These are confusing times for car buyers looking to buy the car that best suits their needs.

Campaigners against diesel are making the most noise, and with good reason if the focus is on reducing Nox and particulates. The announcement regarding diesel tax hikes suggests the government backs this view, although it is intriguing that it also continues to promote the benefits of the latest Euro 6 compliant engines, so far excluding them from tax rises and potential congestion charges.

This new, shifted stance overlooks the equally logical reasons diesel was incentivised in the first place, namely because it puts less CO2 in the air, reducing concerns around greenhouse gases and global warming. 

Insight: is it time to give up on the diesel engine?

And therein lies one part of the dilemma, because choosing either fuel comes with an upside and a downside. One fuel type cannot deliver on both sides of the equation - at least not at present, although there is new tech in the pipeline looking to address this.

It was ever thus, and that is why car manufacturers invested so heavily in improving the emissions and economy of both, to the point that today’s Euro 6 engines are substantially cleaner than anything that has gone before.