These are the best-selling used diesel vehicles in SA

Combining easy torque and a fine fuel economy, a used diesel vehicle can make an excellent second-hand buy.
Combining easy torque and a fine fuel economy, a used diesel vehicle can make an excellent second-hand buy.
Image: Lukas Gojda / 123rf

While the price of petrol is anticipated to increase, diesel is forecast to dip by as much as 56 cents. The frugality and torque-richness of an oil-burner, versus petrol equivalents, provide undeniable benefits in the real world. And modern examples of the breed are (mostly) undeserving of the clattering, smelly stigmas that defined forebears from yesteryear.

As the automotive market starts to open for business, we decided to help you survey the world of second-hand diesel options this week. Vehicle classifieds website AutoTrader provided us with data on its top 13 most-sold used diesel passenger vehicles, from the period of January to March 2020. Note that the list omits pickups — that was a separate piece itself, which you can read here.

The Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Trend (manual)
The Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Trend (manual)
Image: Supplied

13: Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Trend (manual)

The little sport-utility vehicle from Ford has performed considerably well for the brand since local launch in 2013. Compact dimensions, an elevated seating position and a rugged persona imbue it with a character well-suited to the concrete jungle. The 1,499cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged-diesel unit under its hood is good for 74kW, 205Nm and a claimed consumption figure of 4.6l/100km. It is paired with a six-speed manual.

Average year: 2016 | Average price: R183,880 | Average mileage: 74,872km

The Volkswagen Kombi 2.0 TDI SWB Trendline (automatic)
The Volkswagen Kombi 2.0 TDI SWB Trendline (automatic)
Image: Supplied

12: Volkswagen Kombi 2.0 TDI SWB Trendline (automatic)

Is an introduction to the T-series bus from Volkswagen ever needed? With an illustrious reputation preceding it, the model is well-regarded both among private owners and those shopping with commercial applications in mind. In 2015 Volkswagen rolled out the enhanced T6, in both Kombi and more luxurious Caravelle specifications.

The model in this instance packs a turbocharged-diesel engine with four cylinders and a 1,968cc displacement, delivering 103kW and 340Nm. The cherry atop is its slick dual-clutch automatic with seven forward gears. Claimed consumption, meanwhile, is 8l/100km.

Average year: 2018 | Average price: R455,580 | Average mileage: 44,746km

The Ford EcoSport 1.5TDCi Ambiente (manual)
The Ford EcoSport 1.5TDCi Ambiente (manual)
Image: Supplied

11: Ford EcoSport 1.5TDCi Ambiente (manual)

Same running gear under the skin as the derivative in 13th place, albeit in lower Ambiente specification, omitting certain creature comforts and aesthetic embellishments. However, this is the 2019 model, benefiting from an array of upgrades as released in 2018. That includes fresher exterior styling and improved materials inside.

Average year: 2019 | Average price: R247,030 | Average mileage: 9,614km

The Renault Duster 1.5dCi Dynamique 4WD (manual)
The Renault Duster 1.5dCi Dynamique 4WD (manual)
Image: Supplied

10: Renault Duster 1.5dCi Dynamique 4WD (manual)

The Romanian-born Duster is an endearing steed. Built for the tough conditions of emerging market economies, it is a junior sport-utility vehicle with authentic off-road capability. More so in the guise of this range-topping version with four-wheel drive.

That it is powered by one of the most widely used and lauded engines in the automotive world helps its cause. That 1,461cc turbocharged-diesel unit, with four cylinders (80kW and 250Nm) can be found in products from Nissan and Mercedes-Benz. Here, it is mated to a six-speed manual. Renault claims a 4.6l/100km consumption figure.

Average year: 2017 | Average price: R199,990 | Average mileage: 56,910km

The BMW 320d (automatic)
The BMW 320d (automatic)
Image: Supplied

9: BMW 320d (automatic)

It will go down in history as the last 3-Series generation to be built in SA. The F30 remains sought after — and as evidenced here, values are strong even despite higher mileages. The 320d packs a four-cylinder, turbocharged-diesel with a 1,995cc displacement. Power is rated at 135kW (same as the 320i) while torque is a stout 380Nm.

A six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic could be had. You will notice that the 320d features again further down this list, albeit in M Sport guise. Interestingly, the data seems to separate that version from the regular Modern, Sport and Luxury Line grades — even though its accoutrements are entirely cosmetic.

Average year: 2014 | Average price: R246,840 | Average mileage: 106,940km

Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE (automatic)
Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE (automatic)
Image: Supplied

8: Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE (automatic)

If you think the latest, fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery has lost the plot with its rounded design, consider that there remain numerous examples of its predecessor on the used market. And the SDV6 packs quite a beefy engine — as it needs to be, powering a tank that weighs as much as 2,700kg.

You get 183kW, 600Nm and a claimed consumption figure of 8.8l/100km from the 2,993cc V6, with parallel sequential turbochargers. An eight-speed automatic is the default.

Average year: 2013 | Average price: R377,930 | Average mileage: 128,436km

Mercedes-Benz Vito 116 CDI Tourer Pro (automatic)
Mercedes-Benz Vito 116 CDI Tourer Pro (automatic)
Image: Supplied

7: Mercedes-Benz Vito 116 CDI Tourer Pro (automatic)

Like the Volkswagen Kombi is the more unpretentious twin to the Caravelle, the Vito is the hardworking kin to the upmarket V-Class. They are, essentially the same underneath of course, with the former model foregoing the luxuries. If you want to move a group of people in a spacious and safe environment, consult the Vito.

This 116 CDI flavour is powered by a boosted 2,143cc diesel with a quartet of cylinders and a six-speed automatic. Consumption is claimed at 5.8l/100km.

Average year: 2018 | Average price: R451,380 | Average mileage: 33,861km

The BMW 320d M Sport (automatic)
The BMW 320d M Sport (automatic)
Image: Supplied

6: BMW 320d M Sport (automatic)

Essentially the same as the model in the ninth spot, with two crucial differences. First, most obviously, the added desirability of that M Sport styling package. Secondly, in 2015 BMW released the life-cycle improvement version of the 3-Series — which meant more power in the 320d: now 140kW and 400Nm. Expectedly, these newer, lower mileage specimens carry a premium.

Average year: 2016 | Average price: R350,570 | Average mileage: 81,053km

Toyota Fortuner 3.0D-4D (automatic)
Toyota Fortuner 3.0D-4D (automatic)
Image: Supplied

5: Toyota Fortuner 3.0D-4D (automatic)

What can be said of the Hilux-based sport-utility vehicle that has not been said before? Even in second-hand guise, it remains a go-to for many families wanting a roomy, reliable, and rugged chariot for all eventualities.

Its 2,982cc, turbocharged-diesel, four-cylinder heart has proven its mettle. Power is rated at 120kW, torque at 343Nm and claimed consumption is 9.4l/100km. It uses a four-speed automatic — old testament, but gets the job done we suppose.

Average year: 2013 | Average price: R266,880 | Average mileage: 145,481km

The 4: Ford EcoSport 1.5TDCi Titanium (manual)
The 4: Ford EcoSport 1.5TDCi Titanium (manual)
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4: Ford EcoSport 1.5TDCi Titanium (manual)

The Ford EcoSport ties with the Toyota Fortuner for the number of times it has featured on this list. Titanium specification means the full suite of nice-to-have features — sitting atop the Trend and Ambiente on the hierarchy. Note that it is not considerably dearer in average price than its brother in the 13th spot.

Average year: 2016 | Average price: R187,990 | Average mileage: 75,924km

BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport (automatic)
BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport (automatic)
Image: Supplied

3: BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport (automatic)

If you forgot that BMW applies its six-cylinder hallmark to that of the humble diesel, be reminded of its 30d moniker. Claimed consumption? 6.2l/100km. But the figures from its force-fed 2,995cc power source are most impressive: 190kW and 560Nm, shunted through an eight-speed automatic. Add the M Sport package and you have a sport-utility vehicle that emphasises “sport” quite well.

Average year: 2016 | Average price: R720,900 | Average mileage: 62,252km

The Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 (automatic)
The Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 (automatic)
Image: Supplied

2: Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 (automatic)

In 2014 Toyota released the current iteration of the venerable Fortuner. The dramatically revised styling echoed hints of Lexus from certain angles. And for occupants, it offered a marked improvement in plushness.

The drive had been polished too, with a more refined character that better muted its pickup truck roots. It also ushered in new-generation engine and transmission choices, with a six-speed automatic in the mix. The 2,755cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged-diesel serves 130kW and 450Nm, with a claimed consumption of 8l/100km.

Average year: 2018 | Average price: R463,590 | Average mileage: 49,810km

The Toyota Fortuner 2.4GD-6 (automatic)
The Toyota Fortuner 2.4GD-6 (automatic)
Image: Supplied

1: Toyota Fortuner 2.4GD-6 (automatic)

And the best-selling used diesel on the list is the Toyota Fortuner. This boosted, four-cylinder 2,393cc derivative produces 110kW, 400Nm and has a claimed consumption figure of 7l/100km. Like its sibling with the bigger engine, it employs a six-speed automatic.

Average year: 2018 Average price: R424,390 Average mileage: 42,053km


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