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Petrol vs Diesel (Weight & Handling)


Leon FR EcoTSI 150
Feb 16, 2017
Has anyone experience of driving both a petrol Leon and a Diesel? Especially if they were FR models.

The reason is that I'm about to order a replacement for my leased FR 1.4 150. The diesel 150 is currently cheaper to lease than the petrol and as most of my driving is on long A roads at 50mph stuck behind a lorry, the diesel makes sense.


My experience in the past with other makes is that the extra weight of big diesels can have a big effect on handling and steering. A small petrol equivalent can give a car a more of a light, chuckable feel than the heavy diesel.

Anyone have any experiences of this with the Leon?


Dec 15, 2016
London, UK
There will be more 'shove in the back' feeling with the 2.0TDI 150, as it has 320Nm vs the 1.4's 250Nm. The TDI will be about 75kg heavier with more weight in the nose...if you are doing quite a few miles a week at faster than city speeds, I don't see any problem with a diesel. Probably can easilly achieve mid 60s mpg too! I've had a 1.4EcoTSI as a rental before, and had the 2.0TDI for 2 years, so this is my experience.


Active Member
May 11, 2018
There will be more 'shove in the back' feeling with the 2.0TDI 150, as it has 320Nm vs the 1.4's 250Nm.
At the crank, yes but the diesel will need a higher (closer to unity) final drive ratio so the figures at the wheels will be closer than that.
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Active Member
Sep 13, 2018
I think the handling would be very similar. My mum’s got a Golf GTD and feels very similar to my (petrol) Leon. Whether you get the sports suspension and choice of wheel size would play a bigger part in my opinion.


Active Member
Jul 18, 2012
Emsworth, Hampshire
We have an FR 184 (diesel) and an FR 148 ACT (petrol) in our household. They're both on Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres. I've spent a lot of time in both.

In terms of handling, the diesel feels notably heavier up front, and if pushed will understeer sooner. The FR148 feels lighter and grips much better. I've got more confidence pushing around the corners with it.

Trade off is the the diesel is night and day faster! Much quicker off the line and mid range grunt makes it feel considerably faster.
DPM Performance