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What about VW TDI engine?



  • jss4jss4 Posts: 17
    Well, after watching the price of gasoline in the Bay Area rise to $2 a gallon, I decided to give the TDI serious thought. Imagine my surprise when I start reading the TDI thread in Edmunds and elsewhere and discover that they are no longer available here. Yet, no one, including the dealership I just spoke with, can give me a clear answer as to why. I've scanned the thread and see a lot of complaining about it, I've gone to the VW web site and it still gives the option of California emissions, but no answers. Anybody have a scoop or can point me via link to where I can find out what happened?
  • rgoetzrgoetz Posts: 13
    jss4: If your're still interested, go to, run a search on California and on New York, and learn.
  • pghpapghpa Posts: 1
    I am considering buying a Golf TDI for my next car both for reasons of fuel economy and engine life--I want to drive it for a very long time.

    However, I was reading the long-term review of the NB/TDI on the Edmunds website and it listed the fuel economy as being anywhere from ~34 mpg to ~44 mpg. Is that right? I thought a TDI could get around 50 mpg reliably.

    What sort of fuel economy can I really expect from a TDI? There is no way I'd pay the extra money for a diesel engine, diesel fuel, and diesel maintenance if I couldn't get some return on my investment via improved mileage.

    I'm anxious to hear what others out there have experienced. Thanks
  • theronrohrtheronrohr Posts: 51
    Check out the discussion groups at these sites:
    Most TDI owners are mystified by the low mileage they got on the Edmunds test car.
  • gotnadsgotnads Posts: 19
    I have a 2000 Golf GL TDI. I have not been able to wait to see what the mpg is until the tank was empty, so I have been filling up at 1/2 . My first fill up showed 44 mpg, mostly in town. My second showed 52.9 mpg, 80% highway driving. My last fill up showed 49 mpg with 40%in town, rest highway. Driving at 80+ mph. Why Edmunds mileage is so low is a mystery to me also.
  • yellowbugyellowbug Posts: 7
    Yes, they are available. I got my yellow TDI Beetle with black leather, luxury package and 5 speed. I paid the MSRP price of $20,450. I was lucky enough to get the exact color and options I wanted. Actually, my wife found it for me at a local dealer and bought it on the spot. The dealer had a ridiculous $2000 "beetle package" added to the MSRP that was nothing more than a dealer markup. She was able to get it for MSRP without paying the markup. It had just came off the truck the day before and had only 2 miles on the clock! Keep looking around, they're getting much easier to find with sunroof and leather.
  • tdibugmantdibugman Posts: 5
    My 98 TDI Beetle has just turned 54000 miles with nary a complaint. In fact, the engine has gotten smoother and much quicker with age. It is a sheer delight. I wouldn't have hesitated to get this engine in our 99 Passat but it is not offered. The engine has amazing reserves of power for 1.9L. Plus, my average mpg since new has hovered around 51, so I figure the extra initial outlay has been recovered.
  • jpcjpc Posts: 10
    pghpa: I've owned a 99 Jetta TDI for two years and have seen my mileage run around 44mpg, even with a heavy foot. I think if you averaged 65 on the highway you could do better. Maybe the 34 mpg figure was strictly city driving, I don't do much of that.
    I'm not sure why you think that diesel fuel, and diesel maintenance are more expensive. A currently pay 1.47 a gallon here in CT while regular gas is running around 1.85. Diesel will get more expensive in the winter as home heating fuel prices rise, but usually never more than premium gas. The diesel engine is actually cheaper to maintain than an equivalent gas engine. The oil might cost a couple bucks more but are no spark plugs, plug wires, rotors or cap to replace. Both gas and diesel engines should have new air and fuel filters every year, and both should have the timing belt replaced every 60000 miles. Its no more expensive to replace the timing belt on a diesel than it is on a gas engine.
    One last thing I'd like to point out. The diesel engine runs cooler and the diesel exhaust does not have any water vapor present, so your exhaust system will last longer.
    Hope this helps.
  • ozhouozhou Posts: 2
    2000 VW Golf GLS TDI with automatic transmission.
    Purchased new in Feb- 8500 miles,so far no problems. Test drove 2 new Golf's, a gas burner identical to mine, and a diesel with a 5 speed. Chose the TDI because I thought it ran better than the gas burner. That extra torque from the diesel makes a difference with A/C and auto transmission.
    Worst mileage 38 mpg
    Best mileage 45 mpg- 75 MPH on interstate with A/C on.
    Average around 41 mpg.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    I've heard that anything turbo-charged can be a mechanical nightmare with the increased pressures, needing to let the turbo spin down, water separators, radiator treatments etc. Is this true on a diesel or is it designed with these things in mind ? Wonder if my next purchase should be one of the new hybrides or a diesel.

    Rob Fruth - Houston, Tx

    1981 Raleigh for commuting, errands & fun
    1997 Trek 2300 for real fun !
    2000 Civic hatchback when I have to
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I test drove an automatic Jetta GL TDI the other day for the first time. What a smooth engine for a diesel! I fell in love with it! It's so quiet and has enough power for highway cruising (had it up to 90) and passing as well, even with the AC on full blast. Definitely a surprise.
  • eetoreetor Posts: 10
    Yeh it's a pretty impressive engine with enough guts to keep up with traffic and sitll delivers insane fuel economy. We have a revie of it at and will have the GTI 1.8T next week and the 225TT after that. As far as I know the TDI engine should outlast the rest of the car - though it is important to be diligent about replacing the fuel filter.
  • scalscal Posts: 3
    I'm considering buying a new Golf TDI. Does anyone have any comments on reliabilty of these cars with higher mileage?
  • eetoreetor Posts: 10
    The very concept of owning a diesel is that you drive so much that the higher purchase cost is retrieved by puting huge mileage on the car. VW are notorious for electrical glitches but i know several people that literally drove VWs into the ground with over 200,000 miles on them.
  • davidmasdavidmas Posts: 12
    tdi engine drives great, gets great milage. but doesn't the maintenance cost overcome fuel savings? timing belt change w/auto tranny every
    40,000 miles?!! more frequent fuel filters, synthetic oil, turbo worries. is it worth it?
  • govugovu Posts: 62
    I wouldn't buy a TDI for saving -money- on fuel. It's a wash at best. I bought mine because I loved the way it drove, and I thought it would be more responsible to drive a car with great mileage. Besides, there is something to be said about the fun of only having to fill up every 500+ miles or so.

    I haven't had any second thoughts.
  • I have had my 1998 Jetta TDI for over 2 1/2 years and nearly 80,000 miles. The average fuel economy I have be getting since brand new 'til now has been 52.0 MPG. Any claims of MPGs in the 30's are completely bogus.
  • beaupsbeaups Posts: 6
    Tried to lease a Golf TDI auto today at Desert VW here in Las Vegas. The lowest they would go was 2k over msrp. They said people are buying them for that much and that they are hard to come by. However the Golf TDI in the showroom had 250 miles on it and the Jetta TDI I test drove had 350 miles. Seems like people are interested in the car but not in padding the dealers wallets. Anyone know where I could find one for MSRP?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Try They have them on there for MSRP.
  • DanaRDanaR Posts: 37
    I recently returned from a business trip in Belgium, where I noticed that most of the VWs & Audis, including Golfs, Boras, Passats, A4's and a few A6's, had the 1.9 TDI emblem on the back. This makes sense since gas and diesel is so expensive there. But it impressed me to see these cars on the highways cruising effortlessly at 90 mph.

    My Beetle TDI gets 49 mph on the freeway with the AC on. It sounds so comfortable at freeway speeds, and has plenty of passing power.

  • georgedegeorgede Posts: 40
    I'm looking at purchasing a new Jetta TDI in South Florida. I would appreciate some good and bad points about this car (reliability, resale etc). Its very late, so I'll look for all your comments tomorrow. Thanks....
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I drove an automatic Jetta TDI GL model and liked it a lot. It's the same thing as other Jettas, but the engine is not a fireball. It's more powerful than the standard 2.0, but NOTHING compared to the turbo 1.8 (of course). It is smooth and quiet though, and holds steady right up to 80-85 mph. It should be a nice car. But expect to pay close to retail, because demand is high and production numbers are low.
  • georgedegeorgede Posts: 40
    I drove the manual for a full day, and enjoyed alot, but its still a small car. I wish they had
    the Passat tdi here, I would buy in a minute. Im still looking...
  • sabethsabeth Posts: 3
    I am driving a '99 TDI Bug until my '01 TDI Golf arrives. I'm in love with this engine. In my opinion it drives like the 1.8T without the top end. If you don't rev your 1.8 over 5000 rpm, you won't notice any difference .. until you go to fill up.

    My brother-in-law in Holland just bought a new TDI Bora (=Jetta). The European engine is the same 1.9L, but puts out more hp, something like 110 bhp (you can tell 'cause the TDI label is red!).

    In terms of reliability, turbo diesel technology has been around for a while now (20 years). Most truck diesels are now turbocharged. Also, VW's TDI has fewer moving parts than modern 4- and 5-valve-per-cylinder engines.

    My biggest worry is all the electronics. The bug is positively alive with interlocks. If I unlock the car and am slow getting on board, the darn thing locks itself again!
  • eetoreetor Posts: 10
    Beetle TDI and Jetta TDI reviews at .
  • Thanks Vocus. I ended up buying my golf tdi at the dealer here in vegas. I paid 500 over msrp. I felt the price was well worth it because it was the car I wanted. Forest green 2dr auto. I love it. So far I'm getting 38 mpg with most of the driving on the freeway at 70-75mph with the a/c blasting. Not bad and I expect it to get a lot better as it breaks in and the weather cools down so I don't have to run the air on high all the time. As for georgede down in Florida I say if you have the chance to get a tdi don't hesitate, just get it, you'll love it!! If you have concerns about how the tdi performs on the freeway don't worry this is where the car shines. unless you plan on cruising at 100mph. The car has passing power thats better than most 4cyl out there. However if you don't already know you do have to drive the tdi differently than gas cars because the power is low on the rpm range so the idea is to keep it there by not downshifting a 5spd and if you get the auto like I did you don't need to punch the gas pedal you just ease it down, before you know it 80mph of driving pleasure!
  • I'm stuck.. Must decide...
    any comments??
  • We love our new car. I would recommend the TDI over gas any time. As beaups mentioned, it does take some getting used to. We bought the 5 speed. Our first tank only gave us 34mpg. The last tank gave us 41. That's just driving around Charlotte. We haven't taken it out on the highway for a long trip yet and we had it since June. We have about 3500 miles on it. My wife's biggest disappointment is that she doesn't get to drive it like she thought. She takes kids to school and needs room for 5, safely.

    We looked at the Accord before we bought the beetle. Drove both on the same rainy day back in May. Also drove the gulf on same day. My wife did not care for the Jetta. The kids said they had more leg room in the beetle. We bought the beetle and haven't regretted it. Handles wonderfully, even with ac on full.
  • I just got back form Europe and saw tons of VW TDIs. V6, 1.9. you name it. too bad they dont import hte bigger engines here or in the passat.
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