What does the future hold for diesel powered vehicles? 

That’s the million dollar question that has failed to provide a definitive answer so far.

There’s been lots of humming and hawing over potential solutions to the fossil fuel dilemma including the worldwide pledge to cut out internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) completely by the year 2040. 

Volkswagen’s infamous ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal in 2015 hasn’t helped to fight the diesel engines’ corner, but the stark reality is that most societies will still rely on fossil fuels as a mode of transport for years to come.

This comes down to the highly efficient engines that diesel cars are packing. They’ll provide you with better fuel economy than a petrol engine can dream of, so drivers covering long-distance trips regularly will be financially better off opting for a diesel car.

The majority of diesel cars can return over 50 mpg, whilst also emitting less Co2 than their petrol alternatives. However, you must be aware of the increasing parking surcharges, road tax and company car tax bills that accompany diesel cars in the current climate.

We have gathered together the finest diesel cars to grace our presence in 2019 and what a diverse bunch of powerhouses we have found. All the cars on our list are ready and waiting on LeaseFetcher, if you fancy a sneak peak. If not, sit back and enjoy the show!

Meticulously designed, beautifully crafted and gracefully driven - the BMW 3 Series 320d Sport is an absolute cracker that gives it the edge over the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 in the executive saloon class.

This 7th generation BMW lives up to the 3 Series’ illustrious history of excellent performance combined with ultimate comfort.

Returning a rational 55 mpg, the 320d ‘Sport’ has the pace to match the efficiency, which sees this posh saloon glide from 0-62mph in 6.8s and hit a mammoth top speed of 143mph. The 320d has also been commended for its low Co2 emissions of 113g/km, making it the lowest emitting 3 Series bar the hybrid model.

As promised, the 320d has the comfort to back up its superior performance. It starts with the chic leather seats and amalgamates into the excessively spacious and glamorous cabin.   

Add in your all-round parking sensors, BMW’s parking assistant system, as well as your standard 8.8-inch cutting-edge, infotainment touchscreen and you’ve got yourself a car that’s not going anywhere fast...well, actually...

An absolute stalwart in the hatchback class, the Focus is the third best selling car in the UK behind the VW Golf and younger brother, the Fiesta.

However, the Focus is the only one to make the shortlist - a tip of the hat to the engineers who crafted such an alluring family hatchback. 

If you’re planning on covering a fair bit of motorway mileage, the 1.5- litre, 120bhp Ecoboost engine is the golden ticket. Both efficient and effective, it should return a mighty 70-80 mpg in normal driving, and noticeably low Co2 emissions (92g/km) which should please potential company car buyers.

The Focus is a resolute all-rounder that doesn’t cut corners. This is evident when you get inside - leg and head room is extremely spacious in both the front and the back and the driver is aided with lane departure warning and intelligent speed assist. 

Not to mention the luxury of an 8" colour touch screen, with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

The Renault Megane might not be everybody’s cup of tea to drive, but it sure is a well-equipped, practical and reliable family car that has been rejuvenated to challenge the likes of the VW Golf, Ford Focus and SEAT Leon.

We’ll be honest when we say the Megane’s impressive diesel engine is what made it onto our list - in fairness, it really is quite impressive! The 1.5-litre dci 115hp diesel engine returns a whopping 65.7mpg, which is bound to warrant a few eyebrow raises for hatchback seekers.

The Megane won’t blow you away with excitement, but there’s no doubting the thrill you’ll receive once you realise how much money you’re saving with your economical engine. 

The ‘Play’ trim also comes with an abundance of standard equipment. Kitted out with glossy leather seats, front seat height and lumbar adjustment, as well as, climate and cruise control, you won’t struggle to get accustomed to the ways of the Megane.  

Safety is paramount for this family trooper. Wherever you roam, the Megane will serve and protect after scoring a full five stars from EuroNCAP. With the ‘Play’ trim, you’ll be blessed with hill start assist, emergency brake assist, multiple airbags, side impact protection and superlocking.

Seductive on the outside, and sophisticated on the inside, this splendid SUV has all the capabilities and style to compete with the best in the business.

As one of the best cars to drive in its class, the 148bhp, 2.0-litre D3 diesel engine has been singled out as the pick of the bunch in terms of flexibility, consistency and comfort. 

Driven with affection, the D3 should perform astutely on both city streets and country roads, while also returning fuel economy of around 55 mpg which really is the nail in the coffin for the uninspiring, more expensive D4 model.

Step inside, and you’re in the company of some of the finest front seats that you’ll find in any family SUV. The seats are layered with pristine leather and four-way electric lumbar adjustment comes as standard on all models.

In terms of interior quality, the Volvo has transformed itself from the days of the chunky estates. The elegant mix of high-end plastics, metal rims and plush leather give the XC40 an air of sophisticated maturity that rivals the like of the Peugeot 3008 and BMW X1

Just the sight of the Audi Q7 is enough to turn a devoted BMW buyer - seven-seats, ultimate practicality, timeless comfort and most importantly, a pleasant drive.

So impressive is it, that the Q7 has been the pinnacle in the luxury SUV class since its inauguration in 2015, making the likes of the Volvo XC90 and Land Rover Discovery look pretty subpar in the meantime.

The 45 TDI version of the two 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines packs an almighty punch with acceleration and handling as smooth as silk. Economically, the Q7 obviously isn’t the most efficient car on the list, but if you’re looking for a diesel to give you an extra bit of oomph there isn’t a better option.

Space is also mightily impressive in the Audi Q7. If you’re over six-feet, fear not, there’s enough space for you and the rest of the basketball team to hitch a ride to training in ultimate comfort!

With great space comes great quality. The Q7’s dashboard is a blend of soft-touch materials and promiscuous plastics that add a certain degree of class to an already charismatic cabin.

The T-Roc has a pleasant ring doesn’t it? This stylish, small SUV has all the build quality and high-tech interior were used to seeing in a Volkswagen vehicle - plus it's also pretty funky!

In a nutshell, the T-Roc oozes comfort. Hands down, it’s one of the best small SUVs on the market and outperforms the likes of the Skoda Karoq, Audi Q2 and Mini Countryman with its punchy acceleration, firm suspension and precise steering.

The most economical T-Roc is the 1.6-litre, 115bhp, diesel engine that comes in manual drive only and returns 64.2mpg - exactly the same as the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.6-litre diesel engine.

The infotainment system is the same as you’ll find in the VW Golf - a crisp 8.0-inch touchscreen that’s a piece of cake to navigate. The only difference is that it's positioned slightly higher to accommodate your monster truck-esque driving position.

The T-Roc’s pleasant driving experience and practical seat and boot space will appeal to families - as will its five-star EuroNCAP safety review.

As a powerhouse in the automotive industry, it’d be rude to leave the Mercedes C-Class saloon out of our established list. 

In a constant battle for supremacy with the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, there’s also fierce rivalry from the Jaguar XE and Volvo S60 meaning there’s no margin for error for Mercedes in this hugely competitive class.

If you’re up and down the motorway like a yo-yo, we recommend the frugal C220d that comes with a 194bhp, 2.0-litre diesel engine with plenty of power to match it’s exterior panache.

As standard, it comes with a smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox, while returning a real-world fuel economy of around 55 mpg and competitive CO2 emissions of 111g/km.

Every C-Class model is complemented by a sharp 10.3-inch colour screen above the centre console that is controlled by a user-friendly rotary dial that is easier to use and less distracting than touchscreen alternatives.

Mercedes have always prided themselves on the snazziness of their cabin - the C-Class is no different. A delicate blend of high-end materials give the cabin a sparkling glow that sets it apart from the crowd.

Although, when you take a plunge into economy class (back seats), you soon realise the C-Class has put all its eggs in the stylish cabin basket.

The Skoda Karoq hasn’t received the plaudits it truly deserves. Practicality...tick, affordability…tick, spaciousness...tick, comfort...tick.

Compact and well-built, the Karoq really is the unsung hero of the small SUV class that consists of fellow rivals such as the Volkswagen T-Roc and SEAT Arona

Our recommendation of the 1.6 - litre TDi engine - it is a great option if you cover long distances or carry heavy cargo. 

The Karoq is as fuel efficient as it gets for SUV diesels - it returns a modest 60 mpg and emits around 110g/km of co2 and strolls from 0-62mph in 11s.

The excessive range of adjustments means you’ll have no issue getting comfortable in the Karoq. Seat and height adjustment is available on all trims and you’ll also command a relatively high driving position with clear visibility and lower back support.

All Karoq models come fitted with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and SmartLink capabilities. This includes MirrorLink that enables you to use several smartphone apps such as: Google Maps, Spotify and Youtube for half the price - very sneaky Skoda!

At an eye-openingly low price, the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport also flaunts a roomy cabin to go alongside its charming sporty style.

Engine-wise, the 134bhp, 1.6-litre diesel engine is the bulls-eye of the range. It outshines the 108bhp variant by a country mile, and isn’t far off catching the far more expensive 168bhp 2.0-litre.

Fuel economy is solid and will return you around 64.2 mpg, so you’ll certainly be getting more bang for your buck on that front. Co2 emissions are pretty low for a diesel engine too - 106g/km which isn’t too bad if you’re considering a company car either.

Hop inside the Grand Sport and you’ll feel like you’re in a Ford Focus or Mercedes C-Class. The interior cabin is incredibly well-built and the dashboard comes with a soft-touch finish and intricate stitching that you’d expect from a luxury saloon.

For the cheap as chips starting price, you’ll be impressed with the amount of standard equipment that comes with the Insignia Grand Sport. You’ll have access to single-zone climate-control, cruise control, electric four-way lumbar support and a leather covered steering wheel to make those long winter journeys all that more bearable!  

If you’ve been searching far and wide for a family SUV with bags of space, practicality and flair, then you may have found your next family member in the form of the Peugeot 3008.

If it’s low running costs you’re interested in, the 130bhp 1.5-litre diesel model really should tickle your fancy. The 3008 GT Line BlueHDi will return a generous 67.3 mpg and emits a pretty standard 106g/km of CO2. 

The engine’s flexibility is put to the test with a fully loaded car, but passes with flying colours so feel free to offer your services for your friends next house move as the boot is absolutely humongous too. 

It’s not just the driving experience that sees the 3008 punch above its weight in the SUV class. The interior cabin possess all the capabilities to challenge the likes of the Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC 40. Both pleasing on the eye, and silky to touch, the 3008 uses a perfectly combined blend of soft and squidgy materials that give it a rather surprisingly upmarket feel.

Every 3008 model is fitted with an 8-inch touchscreen above the centre console and even the entry level Active trim has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features.

*Click fingers* snap back to reality. Right, which car is still lingering on your mind?

Our list of diesel cars really are the best options for drivers looking to cover long distances, and save a few pennies on their running costs in the meantime.

We know diesel cars tend to cost more and they’re more expensive to fill up, but they truly are more efficient and have better gas mileage than their petrol equivalents. 

If you’re worried about the residual value of diesel vehicles in the current climate crisis, it’s worth knowing that they are slightly decreasing in value, but not at an alarming rate. 

If you’re looking for a more environmentally-friendly car it might be worth taking a look at our best hybrid cars and best electric cars lists! 

To compare the best deals for your new car, check out LeaseFetcher.