7 Best Diesel Cars in Australia 2023

By Alexi Falson on 27 Apr 2023
image for 7 Best Diesel Cars in Australia 2023 The world of diesel powertrains has a lot to offer Australian motorists, whether it’s the superior fuel efficiency or added torque for off-roading.

While the number of diesel-powered passenger cars here in Australia might be dwindling, they remain a compelling engine option for buyers.

Having said that, many of the leading models of 4x4s, utes and even family-friendly SUVs sold in Australia feature a diesel option, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at the seven best diesel cars on sale.

In the interest of the most diverse list possible, our list of the best diesel cars in Australia does not include utes; all of which are headlined by a turbo-diesel engine that is great for pulling heavy loads and pushing off-road.

Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento is a spacious and practical seven-seat platform that has both petrol and turbo diesel engines available for every member of the lineup.

Kia’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit produces 148kW of power and 440Nm of torque which is transferred to the wheels with the help of an eight-speed dual clutch transmission that offers very responsive shifts.

The Sorento diesel is offered with an on-demand, all-wheel drive system for added grip and stability at high speeds, with fuel economy figures standing at an impressive 6.1L/100km on a combined fuel cycle.

Isuzu MU-X

A direct competitor to the Kia Sorento comes in the form of the Isuzu MU-X, which has been designed with adventurous families in mind and comes powered by a turbo-diesel engine lifted from the D-Max ute.

Every member of the Isuzu MU-X range is powered by the same 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel kicking out 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, meaning that buyers don’t miss out on any performance in the base model.

Power is transferred to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, with both 4x2 and 4x4 platforms on offer for buyers, the latter of which adds a locking rear differential and a low-range transfer case for some serious off-road abilities.

Volkswagen Touareg

Volkswagen’s largest SUV package, the Touareg offers a heap of space and premium features designed to keep your family safe and comfortable, with a range of two diesel engines under the bonnet.

The entry-level Touareg 170TDI comes powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine producing 170kW of power and 500Nm of torque, giving it a heap of power at your disposal.

Stepping up to the range-topping Touareg 210TDI Elegance & R-Line variants extracts more power from the six-cylinder diesel, with outputs standing at a very impressive 210kW/600Nm.

Mazda CX-5

Mazda’s fan-favourite midsize SUV, the CX-5, offers buyers a choice of four engines, one of which is a smooth and fuel-efficient turbo-diesel engine paired with an all-wheel drive platform.

The CX-5 2.2d comes powered by a 2.2-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel producing 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, which is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system as standard.

Mazda’s turbo-diesel engine can be optioned on the Touring Active, GT and Akera CX-5 variants, with fuel economy figures sitting at a healthy 5.7L/100km on a combined cycle.

Audi A4 Allroad

For buyers looking for a large, practical and extremely comfortable wagon platform powered by a diesel engine, Audi has you very much covered with the A4 Allroad range.

The A4 Allroad comes powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that produces an impressive 150kW of power and 400Nm of torque while keeping fuel economy figures at a very impressive 4.9L per 100km on a combined cycle.

Power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed sports dual-clutch transmission while the car stays impressively stable thanks to Audi’s all-wheel drive platform.

Hyundai Staria

The Hyundai Staria and its cargo-carrying sister, the Staria Load are both great options if you’re looking for a diesel-powered van here in Australia.

The Staria range is available with your choice of a 3.5 V6 petrol and a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, the latter of which produces 130kW of power and 430Nm of torque which is channeled to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Inside, the Staria’s cabin is incredibly spacious and offers seating for eight people, or up to 2.9 cubic meters in the case of the Staria Load, while fuel economy figures stand at 8.2L/100km on a combined cycle.

Kia Carnival

The final vehicle on our list is one that has transformed the concept of family-friendly motoring here in Australia, the Kia Carnival.

The Carnival is the company’s largest vehicle and offers a comfortable cabin for up to eight people with a huge amount of boot space to complement the insanely practical package.

It comes powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel producing 148kW of power and 440Nm of torque, with impressive fuel economy figures of 6.5L/100km on a combined cycle on offer for family buyers.

Request a Quote

If our list of the best diesel cars on sale in Australia in 2023 has sparked your imagination, reach out to one of our car buying specialists who take help take the stress out of the process and find you the best possible price.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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