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Car Engine Types & Sizes

Engine Size Guide | We Buy Cars

It is important when you are looking to buy a new car to ask yourself about the lifestyle and motoring needs you have so you can to match them with the best option regarding engine sizes, to ensure value and comfort for your budget and requirements.

For example, families with children, doing a lot of driving with school runs, weekend activities and family visits/holidays further afield, will differ to the person only driving to and from work / the shops / sports club or gym. Or perhaps the young driver starting out, requiring a small engine to safely pass the test and keep insurance premiums down.

Here is a quick run-through on engine sizes / types so you can find the perfect car for you:

Petrol/Diesel Engine Types & Sizes 

The most traditional types of engines are those powered solely by petrol or diesel and commonly known as internal combustion engines (ICE).

Petrol engines can typically suit people who do shorter journeys and do not travel significant distances every day for school, work or otherwise.  

Recent years has seen a lot of manufacturers move towards developing smaller, turbo-charged petrol engines which are very fuel efficient and more cost effective to run. Traditionally, small, one litre petrol engines are ideal for first-time and young drivers as they are deemed safest and less expensive to insure.  

Diesel engines are usually suited to drivers who do longer journeys and travel more mileage every year on average. Modern diesel engines can achieve very good fuel consumption figures over long motorway type drives and due to tight EU emissions standards, newer diesel engines now emit much lower NOx levels than before. Currently, diesel is cheaper than petrol in Ireland, adding to the cost-effectiveness of owning a diesel-powered car. A lot of the widely used diesel engines in today’s market tend to come as 1.5 – 1.6, or 2 litre configurations.  

Types of Hybrid Engines  

There are a number of different hybrid configurations available, with the two most popular being ‘Plug-In’ and ‘Self-Charge’. Hybrids consist of a traditional internal combustion engine, usually petrol, and a battery motor which work together to power the car.

Plug-in hybrids enable you to plug the battery in to charge them using charging points or traditional mains power. When driving using just the battery you can get emissions free driving for everyday trips like a fully electric car.

A self-charge hybrid cannot be plugged in, instead the battery is charged by the internal combustion engine and from regenerative braking which enables the car to capture energy when braking and then transfer it to the electric motor where it can be used to power the car.  

Battery Powered Electric Vehicles (EV)

There are so many more electric vehicles on our roads today than there were even three years ago! EVs are powered solely by a lithium-ion battery configuration, which produce no emissions while being driven. Hydrogen powered EVs are also being developed and will no doubt become an important player in the future.

Electric vehicles come in different range capabilities and different battery sizes, which is measured in kilowatts, reflected in entry level prices. Kearys also have a wide range of used EVs and our sales teams are fully up to speed on the benefits of going electric.

EVs can be charged in the same way as plug in hybrids, with many customers signing up for a home charger at the time of purchase and availing of SEAI grants. Also, the charging infrastructure in Ireland is improving rapidly to accommodate so many motorists who have made the switch to electric.

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