What does it mean?

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missprim | 21:51 Sat 11th Feb 2012 | Motoring
34 Answers
I've had the same car for years but couldn't tell you much about it as I don't know.
It has got me from A to B and that's all I was concerned about.

However, I am going to change it this year and feel I should know more about certain things for instance,

What does Brake Horsepower mean? Of the cars I am looking at, one has 123 and the other 96.

Also CO2 (g/km)? one has 165 and the other is 154.

If you can explain to me please pretend you are telling an elderly lady ;-)


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Both cars had already met my other criteria.
I knew I didn't want diesel, Didn't want a small car that would be difficult for me to get in and out of and obviously being a woman it had to be pleasing on the eye :-)
So the BHP and CO2 were the only things that I thought would help me decide and with all the good answers you have given, I have decided to go for the Venga although obviously I will be test driving it first.
Thanks again.
Horsepower is a term for the calculated output power of an engine, so, the higher the number the higher the power. Unfortunately, maximum power is produced somewhere between 5000 and 6000 rpm on most petrol engines, so, as a guide it's worth looking at the maximum torque figures when comparing engines.

The CO2 [carbon dioxide figure] represents the grams produced per kilometer, so, the higher the number the more CO2 is being produced.
sunny-dave "the cash savings from extra mpg will be cancelled out by the higher cost of fuel" will only occur when there is at least a 50p per litre difference between the cost of petrol and the cost of diesel.
@sigma - superficially that is true ... but you'll notice that I added "as well as more expensive servicing/MoT".

At long last they are going to get tough with the filthy polluting smoke that many (most?) diesels produce as they get older - especially if they are inadequately maintained/serviced.

MoT tests are getting tougher for diesels (especially concentrating on 'particulate emissions') - this will increase servicing costs as diesel owners will have to pay for regular cleaning/replacement of particulate filters and associated parts/consumables. This is especially true if they do most of their miles at low speed around town & the filters never get into the prolonged high temperatures required for the 'self cleaning' to work.

Buying a diesel now to 'save money' is like a reverse lottery - most people will be lucky and win on the fuel consumption, but a growing number will be very unhappy losers come MoT time ... it can cost around £1000 to replace a particulate filter that has become clogged.
Just a tip Miss If I can, take a person with you if you intend to swap your car, the car world is full of sharks!! & sharks can bite very very hard, you get my meaning? take a mechanic with you or someone that knows a bit.
can't add anything, but as a fellow 'big girl' just want to know what colour!

btw, i go by cc (low) and MPG (high) when i change my car!

cath x
agreed ^^^

and most importantly "buy a car you like" :=)
agreed with TWR that is ;)
Regarding bhp and speed; tractors are very powerful, but not too quick.
You might be surprised, a lot of tractors aren't that powerful if you look at the HP figures, it has to be a really really large tractor to have over 200HP, most have less than 150HP.
This is nothing to do with the original question but.........

Your looking at tractors the wrong way.

They use their power (BHP)in a different way and it's not for speed it's down to the gearing torque to provide massive pulling power.!
It's also due to HP being a calculated product of torque and RPM and as most tractors will "redline" at about 2500rpm their huge torque figures don't equate to high horsepower.

Which is also why comparing diesel cars HP and petrol cars HP doesn't give a true representation of how powerful they will actually feel when you drive them... Most people have been trained by the media to only look at HP figures when the torque figures are a much more relevant figure.
Saying that more powerful cars use more fuel is a bit of a simplification, it depends on the car and how it is used as mentioned earlier. There was an interesting comparison carried out by a German car magazine between a Toyota Prius (green hybrid) and a BMW 5 series diesel. The BMW had perhaps twice the engine power as the Prius, much better acceleration and top speed about 50 mph faster. On a trip of about 1000 miles across Europe using the same route the BMW got to the destination quicker and used less fuel. However if it the comparison had been in town driving no doubt the Prius would have won hands down. So suit the car to its purpose.
Top gear done a similar comparison between a pirus and a BMW M3 (I think) where they drove the pirus around the track as fast as they could and simply followed it with the M3, the M3 returned much better fuel economy than the Pirus did purely because it wasn't being thrashed.

So yes, a powerful car being driven well within it's limits will probably be more economical than a small engined car being thrashed although they may be going the same speed.

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