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10 fastest diesel cars you can buy

December 01, 2021 by

Diesel cars are no longer the slow, noisy and strictly economical option – there are some seriously quick models on the market that are happy to give plenty of petrol-powered sports cars a run for their money.

What’s more, they deliver lots of torque from low revs – handy when you need a bit of extra grunt to overtake slow-moving traffic.  As an added bonus, these diesel-powered cars often return better fuel economy than their petrol-powered counterparts.

Here are the 10 fastest diesel cars on the market:

  1. Audi S5: 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds
  2. Audi S4: 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds
  3. BMW M340d: 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds
  4. BMW M440d: 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds
  5. Bentley Bentayga: 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds
  6. BMW X4 M40d: 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds
  7. BMW 840d: 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds
  8. Mercedes CLS 400D: 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds
  9. Audi S6: 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds
  10. BMW X5 xDrive 40d: 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds

Audi S5

  • 0-60mph: 4.6 seconds
  • Power: 341hp
  • Torque: 700Nm
  • Starting price: £52,159
  • Wowscore: 7/10

If you want an elegant-looking two-door coupe with great performance and economy, look no further than the Audi S5. It has a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine with 341hp, allowing it to launch from 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds.

The Audi S5 has a great cabin that feels well made and looks upmarket. It’s very comfy and easy to travel long distances in, but if you’re looking for something that’s more exciting to drive on a back road then you’re probably better off with a BMW 4 Series.

Audi S4

  • 0-60mph: 4.6 seconds
  • Power: 341hp
  • Torque: 700Nm
  • Starting price: £48,835
  • Wowscore: 8/10

If you like the look of the Audi S5 but could do with the added practicality of some rear doors, then the Audi S4 is an ideal candidate. You get the same engine and performance as its coupe counterpart, only in a saloon bodyshell.

You also get the same lovely interior as the S5, and if you want even more practicality you can have it as an estate as well. The Audi S4 is entertaining to drive, but a BMW 3 Series will be even more fun on a country road.

BMW M340d

  • 0-60mph: 4.6 seconds
  • Power: 335hp
  • Torque: 700Nm
  • Starting price: £51,515
  • Wowscore: 9/10

Following that pair of Audis is the BMW M340d. The 3 Series has been synonymous with executive saloons for decades now and it’s easy to see why. It’s very well made, very comfortable and fun to drive.

The M340d has a 3.0 litre straight-six diesel engine that can push it from 0-60mph in just 4.6 seconds and on to 155mph. It’s just a shame that it’s pricier than some alternatives and the options can be expensive.

BMW M440d

  • 0-60mph: 4.6 seconds
  • Power: 335hp
  • Torque: 700Nm
  • Starting price: £54,330
  • Wowscore: 9/10

Luxury coupes are a great choice if you want to make a statement in the corporate car park, and the huge grilles on the BMW 4 series mean it stands out more than most. The M440d is powered by the same 3.0-litre straight six diesel engine as the M340d saloon on which it’s based, meaning it has the same power figures as well.

The 4 Series gets a sportier suspension set up than the 3 Series, making it even more fun on a country road. It’s still very comfortable though, and the interior looks great and is well made. Head room is tight in the back for adults though, and if you get carried away with the options list then the costs can mount up rapidly.

Bentley Bentayga

  • 0-60mph: 4.8 seconds
  • Power: 429hp
  • Torque: 900Nm
  • Starting price: £155,660
  • Wowscore: 8/10

The Bentley Bentayga is one of the most imposing-looking SUVs on sale – and that’s saying something. It doesn’t just look the part, the Bentayga is quick, with a 0-60mph time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 168mph thanks to its punchy 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine.

The Bentley Bentayga’s cabin feels more like it belongs in a stately home than a car, but don’t let the uber-plush interior fool you – this SUV is still surprisingly fun to drive.

BMW X4 M40d

  • 0-60mph: 4.9 seconds
  • Power: 322hp
  • Torque: 680Nm
  • Starting price: £62,655
  • Wowscore: 7/10

The BMW X4 M40d is a coupe SUV that packs a powerful 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engine. Despite being a bulky SUV, it can still get from 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and go on to 155mph.

It’s quite agile for a big SUV, and it’s comfortable to drive as well. The interior is very well made, but the sloping roofline means it’s not as practical as something like a BMW X3. The styling is quite divisive, but at least it’ll stand out in your company carpark…

BMW 840d

  • 0-60mph: 4.9 seconds
  • Power: 340hp
  • Torque: 680Nm
  • Starting price: £78,710
  • Wowscore: 8/10

The BMW 840d is a big, luxurious four-seat coupe that is comfortable but also sporty to drive. Its 3.0-litre diesel engine packs a lot of punch, too – enough to launch it from 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds.

It’s reasonably practical as well for a sleek two-door coupe. The boot is big enough for all your luggage and there is plenty of space upfront. The back seats may a bit cramped, and the interior design lacks the flair of something like a Mercedes S-Class, but this is still a great grand tourer.

Mercedes CLS 400D

  • 0-60mph: 5.0 seconds
  • Power: 335hp
  • Torque: 680Nm
  • Starting price: £68,535
  • Wowscore: 6/10

If the Mercedes S-Class isn’t quite slinky enough for you, then the Mercedes CLS may be worth a look. It’s a coupe version of Mercedes’ flagship luxury saloon, and as such it has much of the same advanced technology on offer.

The CLS 400D is powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine and has all-wheel-drive to maximise grip in slippery conditions. Some alternatives do have more luggage space, but is that at the forefront of your mind when buying a car like this?

Audi S6

  • 0-60mph: 5.0 seconds
  • Power: 349hp
  • Torque: 700Nm
  • Starting price: £62,465
  • Wowscore: 7/10

The Audi S6 is a performance-oriented version of the A6 luxury saloon. It has a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine which can launch it from 0-60mph in five seconds, and it will go on to a limited top speed of 155mph.

The S6 is conservatively styled, which may be the main appeal for some if you like your performance saloon to slip under the radar. As you’d expect from Audi, the interior is very well built as well. It’s not as fun to drive as some alternatives, but it is very comfy on long-distance drives.

BMW X5 xDrive 40d

  • 0-60mph: 5.5 seconds
  • Power: 340hp
  • Torque: 700Nm
  • Starting price: £67,535
  • Wowscore: 9/10

SUVs are all the rage at the moment as family buyers seek to get something with plenty of space for the kids and higher driving position. If you want your family bus to have a bit of poke as well, the BMW X5 xDrive 40d is worth considering.

Power comes from a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine with 340hp. This means an impressive 0-60mph sprint time of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 152mph. It can hold its own on a twisty road, just beware of the large alloy wheels as these can make the ride firmer than it should be.

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