If you follow this blog at all you’ll know that I recently upgraded to a new vehicle after utterly destroying my motor of my previous car due to an unfortunate altercation with an over-sized rock on a dirt road in Delmas.

I decided to stick with Audi and after doing some homework agreed to my father’s generous offer of his vehicle at a discounted price. There was only one problem – it was a diesel. I was never going to admit it to him or anyone else, but having always been a bit of a ‘petrolhead’ the idea of driving a tractor around, albeit a sleek silver tractor was a little disheartening. Still I justified the purchase in knowing I had a good deal on my hands and that a slower car would most likely be safer anyhow…

How wrong I was.

The car lacks absolutely nothing in the performance department, and in fact the extra torque generated when the pedal is floored adds significantly to the GQ of the car (GQ = Grunt Quotient). It cruises comfortably at 140 km/h in sixth gear and still accelerates if you ask it to. Yummy. Okay, so it took me two whole days to get over my reservations about the performance of the car. But something else I never foresaw happened that has changed the way I drive fundamentally.

The car also has an on-board computer which updates the driver about distances traveled, time spent driving, fuel consumption, range and more. Now you know how much I love computers. This thing has me playing with it all day. Which means for once I’m concentrating on the road and not fiddling with my phone or iPod.

Not only does the computer keep me driving in a straight line, but it encourages me to drive ‘smarter’. Diesel cars are lighter on fuel, so I find myself ‘competing’ (with myself) to get more economic rates of consumption every time I hit the road. I’m speeding less, concentrating on driving and get this – arriving everywhere on time. Apparently, more haste really means less speed.

It’s not just my Audi – I drove the new Toyota Auris D4-D (replacement for the Run-X) at it’s recent launch. It’s a magnificent car, and once again, I found myself driving smarter and more efficiently.

Diesel is the way to drive.