Should I keep my Kia Sorento diesel?
Aidan Timmons and Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham team up to help readers make the right choice with their next car. Aidan visits dealers all over the country to produce a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars. He is co-editor of Motor Trade Publishers, who supply a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses. Eddie is author of former best-seller 'Clever Car Buying'
I have three grandchildren whom I carry regularly and all require child seats. A 7-seater seemed the most flexible option. At the beginning of 2017 I changed my petrol car for a Kia Sorento diesel. About a month later all the controversy about diesel seemed to go viral. It was only after buying that I realised the full implications of diesel particulate filter clog. I only do around 4,500km a year and was told a good run on the M50 once a month would do the trick, but I now suspect this is not enough and there will be a lot of trouble with engine and second values down the line. I selected 2WD on fuel economy grounds so it doesn't even have the merit of being a 4X4. Should I change to a petrol car in 2018? At what mileage is the diesel particulate filter likely to pack up?
Aidan: First thing is to not panic. You don't need a diesel but you have one so make it work for you. Give the car frequent and uninterrupted spins on the motorway. It is impossible to determine when a diesel particulate filter will expire, but its life-span is certainly shortened if it's not driven at an optimal level to burn off the build-up of particles the filter is designed to trap. As for diesel values getting hit, well, things are more complicated than simply being fuel-type related. Besides, if you hold onto the car, then whatever happens in the market now is irrelevant. Lastly, being a 2WD is no major detriment to your Sorento. There are loads of people who don't need 4WD and the price premiums on the used car market tend to narrow to 2WD models so you should not lose out. While it might not cost a huge sum of money to change to a newer, cheaper, petrol car the overall spend since your initial purchase is likely to be substantial. Drive on for another 12 months anyway.
Eddie: It would be financial madness to change now. You'd take a massive hit. I think the Sorento is a fine car and with all those grandchildren you'll need the extra space. Give the engine a good old high-rev (legal speed) drive every couple of weeks and you'll not have to worry about the diesel particulate filter.
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