how to choose in 2022?

Faced with the multitude of engines available in 2022, it is not easy to find your way around, and to make the right choice. We guide you through the available options!

In 2022, the offer of engines on new cars has never been so rich. Certainly, the diesel is on the way to the start, but it is still offered by many manufacturers. And gasoline, micro-hybrid, classic hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, E85 and LPG offers abound and coexist. As a result, it is not always easy to find your way around and buy the engine that will best meet your specifications for as little money as possible. We take stock.

Gasoline: the safe bet

With most manufacturers, the conventional petrol internal combustion engines are still the cheapest of the ranges. Especially since they are often the only ones available in manual gearboxes, which are even cheaper than automatic ones.

Technological progress obliges, petrol engines are more and more economical to use, and less and less polluting. And if they are Euro 6D-Full certified (the standard currently in force), you will not be stuck in urban areas for many more years (2030 at the earliest in Paris), and not before 2035 in France. Enough to ensure that you can resell your new car in a few years without worry.

But beware, species will become rarer, due to the tightening of standards. And non-hybrid gasolines are the hardest hit by the penalty. Don’t forget the latter when buying your car.

Diesel: not dead yet

Since the famous Dieselgate and the tightening of anti-pollution standards, diesel has had a hard life. From the majority in sales in France, diesel represented in 2021 onlyjust over 20% of sales. With the famous ZFEs and traffic restrictions regulated by Crit’air vignettes, the days of diesel in the big cities are numbered. Logically, many manufacturers have decided to abandon it.

But outside urban areas, diesel still has its card to play. First, at equivalent power, it tends to emit less CO2 than gasoline. The penalty is therefore lower. Above all, consumption is lower, even if the price of a liter of diesel is no longer much lower than that of gasoline. Also, the German premiums still tend to offer it on the models intended for big riders.

Micro-hybrid: an affordable compromise

To cope with increasingly stringent emission standards without skyrocketing costs, manufacturers often turn to the micro-hybrid. This technology, often composed ofa small battery of 12, 24 or 48V, allows the combustion engine to be switched off more often. Some even offer a little boost on acceleration, and can turn off the heat engine when you get off your foot. City fuel economy is often great, but make no mistake: it’s a trade-off. You will be far from the liters saved from “full hybrids”, and you will not be able to drive in 100% electric mode.

Classic hybrid: the most rational?

With pioneers like Toyotas and Hondas, “classic” hybrid technology is now well established. One or more electric motors take over from the thermal engine at low speed and in town, and support it in the acceleration phases. The latter can therefore be smaller. The consumptions are therefore logically reducedand this much more than on a micro-hybrid.

Compared to the plug-in hybrid, the classic hybrid offers generally lower prices, and above all fuel savings in all conditions. On the other hand, driving in 100% electric mode is often restricted to a few kilometers, the fault of a small battery. Also beware of variable speed gearboxes (and equivalents which are often fitted to these engines, and which are not always pleasant to use.

Plug-in hybrid: be careful, very specific uses

Advantaged by a WLTP certification cycle which makes them display ridiculous consumption, plug-in hybrids are taking up more and more space in manufacturers’ ranges. And, on paper, they represent an attractive solution. With 100% electric autonomy generally oscillating around 50 km, they can allow you to make your daily journeys (home-work, shopping, etc.) without consuming a drop of gasoline. And when it’s time to go on vacation, you won’t have to queue in front of a charging station.

But now, these advantages only apply to a very specific situation. You must indeed constantly recharge the battery of your PHEV to benefit from reduced consumption. Otherwise, they can do much worse than a classic thermal! So study your uses well before you start. Can you recharge at home and at your workplace? Do you often go on vacation or over long distances?

Electric: the future, but at what cost?

Touted by manufacturers and authorities alike as the engine of the future, electric vehicles are on the rise. Sales are exploding (but remain very much in the minority), communication campaigns are multiplying… And we must admit that in everyday driving, electric is very attractive. The instantaneous torque is ideal in town, and the silence very pleasant on longer journeys. the mode one-pedal which equips many models is an additional comfort. Not to mention, of course, fuel savings, and the ecological aspect, even if the latter is sometimes debatable.

But the price of electric cars is still very high. The price of charging is only going up. And not to mention the network of terminals, which is still very insufficient in the face of autonomy that struggles to exceed 350 km on the motorway.

E85 and LPG: smart alternatives

In these times of completely crazy fuel prices, the alternatives are more interesting. Whether it’s LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), or E85 (superethanol produced mainly from beets in France), prices at the pump are displayed below €1/L. Unexpected! Unfortunately, these two engines are still rare. Dacia and Renault have invested in the LPG market, while Ford offers several models in E85. On the other hand, in both cases, these engines are often available in low power (100 hp for example at Dacia and Renault). But that makes it a smart entry-level!

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