I drive a 2003 Chevy Silverado 1500. The specs say it’s a 15-20MPG vehicle, and for work I drive at least thirty miles a day. With the price of gasoline I’m looking at my trade options. My wife’s 2003 Toyota Highlander is a V6 18-22MPG model. Her daily travels are about the same as mine. Both vehicles are paid off, but now we are looking for something more fuel efficient. The discussion lately is to possibly trade in my V8 Silverado to get my wife into a used Volkswagen Jetta 4 cylinder DIESEL. That would allow me to use her slightly more fuel efficient Highlander as my work vehicle (Electrician), and have our primary vehicle be a super fuel efficient diesel car.
Here’s my question: Is it worth it to take on a payment for a diesel car with say 110-120,000 miles that will get 40 mpg highway, even though the fuel is pricier, and oil changes are more expensive, or does it make more sense to keep the two paid-off vehicles and just drive them into the ground? Is there a considerable benefit to going with the newer/higher mileage/ better fuel economy/virtually rust-free VW, or does the whole gasoline vs. diesel discussion even out in the wash?
Thanks in advance from this first-time Car Talk blogger.