This post was originally posted by me on a different blog on Nov 7, 2011:
This answer is from Janet & Tom, a couple traveling through Central & South America. You can see their related post at ExpeditionPortal, as well as their website cataloging their travels through Africa and Latin America.
“Our decision to go with gasoline versus diesel was made when purchasing a land Cruiser for our Africa trip. We had planned to go with diesel but were unable to get an appropriate diesel vehicle so we went with gas. We actually found that gas was a better choice for a number of reasons. Yes it is often more expensive however it is much more widely available in remote locations. We met travelers with diesel who occasionally were unable to get diesel as it is used by all truckers, however we never ever had problems getting gas. The mechanics are also more likely to be able to fix a gasoline engine versus a diesel engine. We have heard of travelers in South America having issues with water in the diesel, we met German travelers with diesel and they had problems with high altitude and cold.
We have had no issues with power and our highest altitude was 5000metres in Bolivia. Haven driven over 80,000km in Africa and 50,000km in the Americas we can honestly say that we have had no real issues. The octane in Egypt was horrible and we had to add additives but apart from that we have not had issues getting fuel or dirty fuel. We have been really impressed with the Nissan’s capabilities. There are more issues with dirty diesel than gasoline in some countries such as Bolivia. There are however many who travel with diesel vehicles we can only say that gasoline has not been a problem at all. We have also found that prices are not that different in many places. As for performance at high altitudes, freezing temps or hot temps (57C Sahara) we have had no issues. We would choose gasoline again.