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What Would It Take for YOU to buy a diesel car?

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Comments

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Fueleconomy.gov is an EPA website.

    Go to this page:

    Prius as a Mid-Size

    Select Midsize Cars.

    The top entry is the Prius.

    If the Prius is listed as a compact car on epa.gov, then that's a mistake.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Don't get too hung up with "official size designations". The original 1986 Mercury Sable and the current 2008 Honda Accord are both legally "full-size" cars, but would you really compare them to a Crown Vic/Grand Marquis? Of course not.

    The reason for these anomalies is, trunk space is included in the interior size designations, and a hatchback or sedan with a fold-down rear seat will always have more trunk space than the same car with a conventional trunk. The 86 Sable had a bigger trunk (by 2 cubic feet) than the 86 Taurus, so the Taurus was a mid-size but the Sable was a full-size (by barely crossing the 120 total cubic foot line that separates mid from full), even though their passenger areas were identical.

    The Prius gets the "mid-size" designation because of its hatchback cargo space... common sense says it's a compact.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I went through all the dimensions on both cars but didn't list them because it's rather tedious reading. Trust me on this---the interior of a Prius and a Jetta are almost identical at least on PAPER. How they feel in real life might be different of course. So abstractly and numerically, the two cars are the "same size" inside.
  • Well, it will be interesting to see what happens on the Prius once they convert to Lipos. Where would you get statistics on Battery replacements?

    The Jetta feels bigger inside to me, but that is subjective I admit. Mostly, I like the overall handling of the car.

    I agree, the Europeans have good little diesels that we just have not seen here, and I hope that we start to see that change. I'm also rooting for the Hybrids to get better, because as the batteries improve in the cars, the ones I use in my models also improve and get cheaper. LOL. But you can fry a Lipo really easy, and the idea of having those power my car makes me really nervous.

    Cheers!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    When you say Lipo are you referring to Lithium Ion batteries?

    I would rather drive a Jetta TDI than a Prius any day.
  • Yes, Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer are variations of the same basic technology. The manufactures are making significant strides in the "C" ratings of these packs. The "C" rating determines how fast the battery can safely be charged and discharged. This is a major factor in determining their longevity and ability to handle heavy loads for extended periods.

    A couple years ago, the maximum "C" ratings on these packs was about 15C, it is now 30C. The 30C packs use more metal and are heavier, but still lighter then NimH or Nicads. There is also a derivitive technology from a company called A123, which I believe many of the Hybrids are looking to use (notably the Volt from GM). They are heavier then most LIPOS, but have very high "C" ratings and are not subject to burn the way the traditional Lipo packs have been.
  • Thats not a question any body can answer straight up for you. There are pros and cons to all the technologies currently available. What are your primary driving conditions and needs?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I have also read a few comments about the VW engine noise. It is louder than the gas engine at idle, but put it on the highway and the diesel is much quieter. I am usually about 2500 rpm at 70-75. The gasser would be around 5500 rpm and whining like most small gas engines.

    Umm, heh? My Matrix with the 1.8 turns less than 3000 rpm at 70 mph and certainly doesn't whine. The diesel-devoted will be deaf to any discussion of alternatives, it seems.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I would encourage you to go listen to one of the 09 VW TDIs and take a test drive. It is very quiet. Same with the argument about particulate emission. Go see for yourself. I was skeptical, but the proof is in the product. VW has made some great leaps in dealing with traditional diesel issues. The torque band is in the lower RPM range on the diesels and it's geared appropriately. This is a snappy car, and quite refined.

    Not as quiet as a Hybrid running on batteries. But now that is presenting it's own problem as blind pedestrians are getting mowed over by Hybrids they can't hear coming down the street. So there are regulations afoot to make Hybrids "noisier". THAT will be interesting. ;-)
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    My Matrix with the 1.8 turns less than 3000 rpm at 70 mph and certainly doesn't whine.

    How does it do pulling a 6% grade at 70 MPH? That is my problem with small gas engines. They have to get up over 4000 RPM to reach their ideal torque curve. Common sense tells us that an engine turning at 2000 RPM at full torque has no problem staying in high gear at 70 MPH up hill and down.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    Higher RPM doesn't necessarily equal noise and whine. I really don't care if I downshift and go up to 4000 rpms. It is hardly noticeable in a modern car from the more refined manufacturers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    That's why diesels make such good taxicabs. The torque is down low, for darting around traffic, and they can idle for hours and hours, no problem.

    I haven't listened to a 2009 TDI. The older ones aren't too noisy at all, very acceptable, but you do notice them as "diesels" if you are sitting next to one in traffic. And yes, I can smell them if I walk past one. I guess from spills.
  • In answer to the original question - over here in Europe I can get the car I want with diesel...............or at least the one I can afford. Would love to see a big TDi in a Bentley or Aston but couldn't afford either. Could afford a used Jaguar with a 2.7 twin-turbo diesel, (very sweet engine), but think my S60 D5 will suffice for now. One of my realistic "wants" was a diesel Subaru Legacy Estate but they now do that so it's moved to my "Hmmm perhaps" list.

    Of course, petrol engines are improving and VW's 1.4 TSI gasser is a foretaste of things to come; 168bhp/177lbft in the Golf without bending the needle at the far end of the tacho. So as they both Turbocharge and Supercharge, (TSI), gas engines the diesels will continue to improve and who knows where the relative difference will pan out ?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well, a 6% grade is the Grapevine, as far as I know. So, to answer your question, it holds its speed in top gear at 70 mph.

    The car only weighs a little over 2700 pounds, after all. No sweat. Toyota's VVT-i has a lot to do with that, of course, producing a very flat torque curve, with lots of torque available even at 2000 rpm.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • The only time I would consider a diesel is when diesel fuel is $1.00 per gallon cheaper than gasoline. VW is crazy thinking people will run out and buy a diesel car when the cost of diesel is way more than gasoline.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Why a dollar cheaper? I get 51 mpg overall and have a good driving experience each day. Right now, diesel is actually cheaper than gas, after the hurricane, and in any event, it is under $4 here. You just aren't a diesel person. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Nationwide though, diesel is conspicuously higher than gasoline all across the country.

    You can see the charts here. Interestingly, the diesel prices seem more volatile.

    Gas vs. Diesel Prices, USA, as of 9-8-08
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I thought you all might find this fact sheet on diesel fuel interesting. I did:

    DIESEL FUEL FACT SHEET

    I had no idea, for instance, that very very little diesel fuel is imported into the US. We make most of it here. What little we get comes from Canada and the Virgin Islands??

    Of course, we make it from a certain amount of imported oil.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Two things stand out in that chart for me:

    1. Diesel is up 17% MORE than gas is up, since this time last year.

    2. While the price they quote for regular unleaded is pretty much spot on, the diesel price they quote is a good $0.40/gallon lower than any diesel ANYWHERE near me. There isn't enough competition in retail diesel delivery to hold prices in check. That's one of the big problems with buying a diesel car (price volatility, as you mention, is another).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yes the volatility and variation of the diesel pricing does suggest speculation, gouging and/or a lack of competition.

    I'd expect freeway pricing to be higher.

    Diesel prices in California are BRUTAL right now. This may account (somewhat) for my teensy bag of groceries costing $50. :(

    California buys 3 percent of the entire world's cars and owns about 25% of all the hybrids sold in the USA. California has about 10% of the US population and so per capita Californians buy more hybrids per person than any other state, over 3X the normal rate.

    it's a huge market and certainly a diesel car would have to compete favorably with hybrids on fuel costs to have any success out West.

    So I'd say, right now anyway, the diesel market in California doesn't look that good because of the fuel cost issue. The idea I think would not be to appeal to diesel lovers in California (Preach to the choir) but to get people to SWITCH to diesel.

    What's going to push them that far?
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    At the current moment in gas panicked Alabama, diesel is cheaper than gas. Diesel hasn't changed a penny in at least a week or two.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I see one station is selling diesel here in San Diego for $3.73. Costco RUG is $3.63 today. Face it you guys are not gas station friendly up Northern CA way.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well I'm friendly to my gas station but I guess it's not friendly to me...

    :-(

    Actually, it's not too hard for me to find regular unleaded for $3.70. Even my local Chevron is down to $3.81. I think if NorCal is unfriendly to anyone, it must be diesel, not to gas buyers in general.

    But hey, there are 7 million people just in the Bay Area, so it's a significant market. And it's going to be HARD to sell a diesel-powered car here. I thought I would see a bunch of those Jetta TDIs here soon after they launched, and instead that one I saw weeks and weeks ago is the only one I have seen, period.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I have had the same experience. I don't see (or notice perhaps) very many TDIs---now and then---, hardly ever see a "Smart" car, but I see a boatload of Hybrids. I know that just ONE Toyota dealer in SF was selling 85 Priuses a month.

    I'd be interested in a good deal on a used TDI, but both the premium on a new one and the diesel pricing deter me from considering new.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Considering diesel vs. hybrid costs, there is no Watts-per-mile price to be taken into account? I dare say this might well increase the hybrid price per mile by 10%.

    Regards,
    Jose
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Possibly once plug-ins arrive, but for now the hybrids we can buy today do not plug in, so there is no watts-per-mile cost.

    Shifty: Priuses are so common around here (Civic hybrids too) you can't throw a stone without hitting at least three.

    I do also see a few of the older VW TDIs around, which were of course much less expensive to buy than the new Jetta.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    The Jetta TDIs being sold today are less expensive than the Prius you see sold. Usually by about $2000. Add to that a $1300 tax credit and the Jetta is a much better buy.

    Priuses are so common around here (Civic hybrids too) you can't throw a stone without hitting at least three.

    Toss a half dozens stones for me :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Toss a half dozens stones for me

    LOL! Good one, gagrice! :-)

    The sticker on the Prius starts out about $1000 lower than the Jetta TDI's. So I'm not too sure about the $2000 price differential, favoring the Jetta, that you mentioned.

    I know that Priuses are back up to selling close to sticker, and there are wait lists again. But I have no knowledge of actual Jetta TDI transaction prices. Are they really selling at $3000 or more below sticker?

    I suspect they are not, but it does bring to mind a thought I had: they are supposedly releasing the Golf TDI next year, and when they do I think they would be well advised to lower the sticker price from the Jetta's $23K.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    The sticker on the Prius starts out about $1000 lower than the Jetta TDI's.

    That is true. Just try to find one that is not loaded up to about $27k to $29k. Prius around SD goes for $30k+.

    Every one so far that has posted here buying a Jetta TDI has paid MSRP. Not sure if they are being discounted yet. The high price of diesel in some areas could have that affect. Still a better option than a Prius.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Possibly once plug-ins arrive, but for now the hybrids we can buy today do not plug in, so there is no watts-per-mile cost.

    My confusion. Though there hybrids to buy over here, I must admit I have not been interested on them. Thus I assume the distributed cost to replace the battery in due time is not noticeably high.

    Regards,
    Jose
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well back when there was still standing stock of Priuses, the two dealers nearest to me ALWAYS had base models with the $22K sticker on the lot, usually in a half dozen colors. They were available at $2000 off MSRP last winter too. Then the gas went shooting up and the rest is history. I don't know what kind of build mix they have now. I just kind of assumed that if they were building a bunch of base models all long, as evidenced by my local dealers, they still would be now.

    If both are selling at sticker, then the Prius has a $1000 advantage on the Jetta. Slightly more, in fact.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    If both are selling at sticker, then the Prius has a $1000 advantage on the Jetta. Slightly more, in fact.

    That does not take into account the $1300 tax credit on the Jetta TDI, or the fact that the Prius is not a great car outside the city. Maybe OK for low speed driving on the East Coast. Not for our 75 MPH + highway speeds and long uphill grades with lots of cross winds. It is a decent city commuter. The Jetta TDI is an all around useful vehicle that will in real life match the Prius for mileage. You are also comparing a stripped Prius to a fairly well appointed Jetta.

    A stripped Prius in SD has an Edmund's TMV of almost $25k. No skid control, stripped as low as you can go. A base with no packages which I am not sure how that is different from the standard has a TMV of $26,140. I think in SD the Jetta TDI is a no brainer with diesel only 20 cents higher than Costco RUG today.

    My Toyota dealer in Poway has 4 Prius in stock. From $24,949 to $28.991.

    TMV for the Jetta TDI is $23,740 which includes no gouging as done by Toyota dealers. Drew VW looks to be sold out of Jetta TDIs.

    They told me they had a waiting list. Looks like they are going as fast as they unload them.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Looks like they are going as fast as they unload them.

    But that's partly because they are not unloading them very fast right?

    Toyota's supply of Priuses is wait-listed at an annual rate of 180K per year, yet VW only proposes to sell 20 or 30 thousand TDIs annually? Why is that? To keep resale high or something?

    I won't bother to do a back to back comparo of base model Priuses and Jetta TDIs, but I will idly wonder aloud if the TDI has alloys and auto climate control at base price? Knowing VW, I think they probably do, but if you go head to head and find that the only lacking feature in the Prius is stability control, then I think the $1000 discount for the Prius is understandable.

    And you keep on making remarks that imply that Prius is useless outside city traffic, but I can't agree with that. My coworkers took one of the county Priuses on a 500-mile round trip up I-5, where they estimated they averaged 75 mph. With three on board and the A/C running the whole time, they managed 43 mpg. Not bad. The TDI might have made 50 on the same trip, but every weekday when its owner is stuck in traffic, it will be pulling 40 or less while the Prius is the one pulling 50.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    VW only proposes to sell 20 or 30 thousand TDIs annually? Why is that?

    I would say the fact that they are not building the TDI engine in NA is the main holdup. When the plant in TN comes on line I would expect a much higher number.

    My one Prius story: We were headed to Phoenix last Thanksgiving when a Prius blew past us on a long down hill stretch of US Interstate 8. We were doing around 70 MPH at the time. About 10 miles further up the road we came upon the same Prius creeping along about 40 MPH. The only difference is the wind had picked up. I would say he probably got nearly blown off the road and it scared him to death. No way would I take a Prius out on a road trip. Then It is unlikely I would take a Jetta on a long road trip either. Though I would like to test drive one of the Sportwagens.

    The Jetta has 4 wheel disk brakes and the side airbags were still part of the extra cost package on the Prius last I checked.

    How can you compare the handling of a Prius to a Jetta. Worlds apart. The Prius is for those that consider high MPG & gadgetry most important.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Which is exactly the point. The Prius is not useless outside city traffic...it just loses some of its mileage advantage. So, once again, if you do mostly city driving and in city commuting, you will do better mpg with a Prius (but not by all that much). If you do any commuting by expressway, the TDI has the advantage.

    But of course that is just one aspect of a purchase decision. Looks, driving satisfaction, features, how long a person plans to keep the car, etc. can all figure in. "Payback" alone is an odd way to make a pruchase decision. If people only bought cars based on the cost of ownership, we would have far fewer choices and much more form follows function going on. Buying a car for most people has an emotional component, and that is damn difficult to quantify.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    Does the Jetta come with a stick? I would think that for some people, that would be the deciding factor .. the sense of "involvement" in the act of driving.

    The Jetta, to me, seems to be the better choice, since you can have good MPG and some "fun to drive" characteristics in the same car. Plus, you can get the Jetta in either a sedan or wagon, whilst the Prius only comes in the hatchback body style.

    gagrice: I, too, have had Prius' (Prii?) blow by me on the interstate ... it seems odd that these folks select a car that gets high mileage then, on the open road, make choices that mitigate the advantages of the car.

    EDIT: One last thought .. the Prius is for people who like technology (kinda like those who have to be first on their block with an iPhone 3G), whilst the Jetta is more of a mechanical device (like a Blackberry).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    You should drive one.

    I drove one 2,000 miles cross country at 70-80 mph through the Rockies and Sierras and the desert and the Prius was actually very comfortable and stable. Averaged 47 mph for the whole trip. Surprised me. I used to think more like other folks about it, but having driven one, this is not the case. It's no sports car, but if you want to get friskier you can buy the Touring edition or just put better tires on the one you have.

    It's a boring and unattractive car but adequately competent for most drivers IMO. Being somewhat of an enthusiastic driver, I would prefer the Jetta.
  • yes michaell, you are right-on that the stickshift is the deciding factor.
    If used benz diesels were available with stickshift here i'd probably find a way to upgrade. Or audi. or BMW. Nobody has the stones to make stickshift diesel cars except for VW, and they are awesome cars. plenty reliable for me - but I haven't
    run any of my 4 TDIs past 100k like a 1965 beetle a while back.
    .
    jetta tdi comes with a 6-spd stick in USA this year.
    other recent year jetta TDI are available with a rather fantastic 5-spd stickshift.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is in front of Congress today lobbying for a reversal of the tax scheme on automotive fuels, which favors gasoline and hits diesel harder, the reverse of what they have in Europe:

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20080923/ANA02/809239993/1135

    Society won't realize the important benefits of modern diesel engines if high fuel prices discourage consumers from buying and driving vehicles with the advanced powerplants, a top industry leader warned Congress today.

    The engines promise 20 to 40 percent better fuel economy than comparable gasoline engines -- which would mean sharply lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduced petroleum consumption.

    But diesels cost thousands of dollars more, and consumers could be less willing to pay that if diesel fuel costs much more than gasoline, McCurdy said.


    Apparently, there are some that forecast that the U.S. market could go from 3% diesel to 14% diesel in 10 years. Me, I think that could be a little optimistic.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    It wouldn't be at all optimistic if diesel fuel suddenly became cheaper than gasoline. But who knows what Congress will do and why? Most of the time, not even Congress does.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    involvement in driving a stick diesel. The RPM band is so narrow that you simply can't wind out a diesel. Manual involvement is trying to keep a small or high revving engine in its power band. A deaf mute could keep a diesel in its power band. You don't need a tach for a diesel it would just be there for show. But if we were talking about a hybrid diesel we might have a winner even here in the US.

    But even so I still question if a diesel can be made to be Pzero. :confuse:
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    The cleanest cars in Europe are all diesels. The tech is available.

    I have fun driving my TDI. Revving to 4500 is fun enough in most driving situations. Plus, downshift control is so much easier than with an auto box. Plus the acceleration is better. To each his own.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    You don't want to rev a diesel *too* high. They don't like that, and generally it's not where the power band is anyway. But hey, if you want to make noise, why not--it's fun.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    "The cleanest cars in Europe are all diesels. The tech is available.

    I have fun driving my TDI. Revving to 4500 is fun enough in most driving situations. Plus, downshift control is so much easier than with an auto box. Plus the acceleration is better. To each his own."


    Europe has different standards than we do and tend to allow higher particulent level than we do. We have had clean gas vehicles for some time. Pzero should be our minimum. I know it isn't and with the exception of the Focus I have naot had a Pzero car in a very long time. Now if you are saying they have Pzero diesels without using hybrid technology I would be interested is looking at the data.

    As for shifting at 4500 RPM in your diesel I have to ask two questions? Why and where is the torque curve in your VW? The advantage of diesel is low end torque and that doesn't require nor reward high RPM driving. Downshifting in a diesel isn't as necessary because once again you have compression working for you. Wanting a manual because one prefers a manual is one thing. But a manual in a diesel passenger car doesn't add to the utility of the car as much as it would in something like a S2000. Most diesles do not make make additional HP from 1600 RPM all the way to 4500 RPM.

    However if someone prefers a manual simply because that is what they want that is a different story. It simply isn't much of a plus to the consumer looking for a clean running vehicle and increased fuel mileage. But it would impress Nippon because he hates Automatics and is even less impressed with Hybrid CVT transmissions.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    "You don't want to rev a diesel *too* high. They don't like that, and generally it's not where the power band is anyway. But hey, if you want to make noise, why not--it's fun. "

    You beat me to it. :blush:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    It was one of the few things I knew anything about. I had to answer quickly, it was my big chance. :P

    Did a long, long drive around north/south California out of San Francisco on business (and got a speeding ticket for my trouble, but that's another story) and I was keeping track of diesel prices in urban, rural area etc. and at least from mid-state on up it seems quite consistently a .50 cent a gallon difference between diesel and 87 octane gas.

    So for me, in September 2008 in California, if I traded in my 30 mpg car for a 45 mpg diesel, I'd say $470 a year in fuel costs with the diesel.

    Not enough to urge me on I'm afraid.

    My friend's car gets only 21mpg and for him it looks more tempting. He'd save some $1,300 bucks a year. That's not great considering his car is pretty good otherwise, but it's still $100+ bucks a month.

    We're talking 15000 miles a year here.

    I was thinking of some formula that would "trigger" my buying a diesel, and was wondering if "saving enough fuel to make 6 car payments" was too unrealistic a goal? (figure 6 X $350).
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    This is a silly argument I'd rather not have. This is my experience with my particular car. I really don't know how it might work for other diesel models. I know that I get more acceleration and the car is happier if I downshift to accelerate, especially if I want to gain some speed quickly. Granted, the car will usually not lug in a higher gear, but not downshifting makes acceleration more sluggish. And although I don't usually go past 3000 in normal driving, I actually do "want to make noise" now and again, not just because it is fun, but because the VW TDI works better and has less carboning of the intake if you rev the engine regularly.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The new VW 2.0 TDI has maximum torque at 1,800 rpm (236 ft lbs.). Probably if you did some acceleration runs, you'd do better with short-shifting than revving to 4000 in every gear, although you might lose a little time by adding one more shift say from 0-60. Naturally going up hill on a pass, you wouldn't want to short-shift but rather hold the gear as long as you have to.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Driving a current diesel is fun… as long as one wants tohave fun in it.

    I drove a manual 04 530d and currently drive an auto 335d. Because of the wide high-torque band (1500/1750-3500/4000), those engines allow a lazy driving no matter if with manual or auto trannies.

    But their best torque range is between about 1750 and 2250 revs. So, whenever I wanted to drive the 530 in a spirited way, I tried to keep the revs within that range. The car accelerated like a rocket. With the 335d I put the auto in M mode and proceed similarly. I call it "speeding through torque" instead of "speeding through power". It is true that I've had to get used to not to rev to the max but to start accelerating at 1500 revs. and change gear at 2500 revs. That means consistently using a lower gear as compared to a gas engine. I spare long gears to cruising or coasting.

    On the other hand, both diesel engines allow enough engine-braking as to encourage its use. There is a difference braking those cars only with wheel brakes or adding the engine brake.

    Thus, IMO, a current diesel offers the best of both worlds… for the lazy, for the sporty. ;)

    Regards,
    Jose
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I see why that difference may not be enough to convince you to go diesel. What is so strange is the variation in pricing. Regular and diesel are practically the same price this week here. And it hasn't been as much as 50 cents difference in many weeks. My car is now doing 52 mpg overall (up from 51 since my last oil change). Mileage is up at least 5 mpg since I bought it six years ago. Maube the new diesel fuel helps as well...I don't know. Am looking forward to the new Golf diesel next fall. By then it may be time to trade, even though I still love this car.
This discussion has been closed.