I enjoy reading your magazine whenever I get my hands on a copy.
Your August issue featured your regular Group Test, this time comparing three MPVs powered by diesel [Renault Grand Scenic versus Citroen Grand C4 Picasso versus Volkswagen Touran].
As you may be aware, diesel enjoyed decades of undeserved popularity in Europe, mainly because of good mileage and low carbon dioxide emissions. However, Europe has now realised that diesel is actually very harmful to the environment and human health. As a result, Europe has now rejected diesel and is looking to a future where cars are powered by electricity or hydrogen.
In light of the scientific facts against diesel, your magazine should not be promoting diesel cars in Singapore.
We are not forward-looking when it comes to the environment and alternative propulsion systems, but we should not be backward-looking when it comes to diesel. The promises of diesel from decades ago have been shown to be false. It is not in our interests to see Singapore becoming a dumping ground for diesel cars that the German carmakers are finding hard to sell in Europe.
Diesel has had a spate of bad press lately, mainly because of the Volkswagen emission cheating scandal, which other German brands are also embroiled in.
Admittedly, diesel engines emit more particulate matter and nitrogen oxides than equivalent petrol engines. But diesels also produce significantly less carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide than petrols.
So, until zero-emission cars are available (electric cars are not exactly emission-free), we will have to balance the interest of the planet and the interest of humans. – Christopher Tan, consulting editor, Torque.