All Wheel Drive Diesel?

DieselD

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Location
Minnesota
TDI
2015 Passat TDI, 6 speeed manual
I am looking to possibly update our 01 Jetta TDI. My wife would like to get an suv for Winter commutes but I cringe at losing the 40+ mpg we're getting now. I'm kinda frustrated about the lack of economical diesel suvs or all wheel drive cars, for that matter. We have Dodge and GM diesel trucks, but rarely get over mid teens for mpg, not to mention the higher maintenance. I'm drawn to the Mercedes ML320 CID despite the high price tag. I would be interested to hear anyones response or opinions on this. What's the answer? Stick with the Jetta and snow tires? Take the plunge on the Mercedes? 4motion or Passat TDI conversion? Duramax Tahoe conversion? Help me stop the voices in my head!
 

2slowtdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Location
Dallas Tx
TDI
2003 ALH Bora gone. 2006 Benz CDI 235hp 420ftlbstq
Anyone have a personal review or opinion on the ML320CID?

The M's are a consumer report recommended buy the 07's and 08's are CDI's pre bluetec and run $35K to $40k there abouts.
I'm looking for a SUV 4x4 "diesel maybe" to tow with. The GL CDI's are $45 to $55 and are 500 lbs heavier with the same motor 3.0 210hp 396 tq
After looking at both I like the M320 CDI but for me its not much of a off roader. but I would buy one if it was, its a good little suv.

If your stuck on diesel then they are just about your only ones out there BMW's are more costly and are harder to find.

The R class is one to stay far from lots of problems.

My brother was looking to buy a R320 CDI and in Dallas we have alot of them so as I shopped I looked at them all.

You can, dare I say get a Subaru with all wheel drive and get the same mileage as a SUV diesel with less up keep cost than a MB.
My brother ended up with a 2011 Honda Pilot all wheel drive and likes it.
 

DieselD

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Location
Minnesota
TDI
2015 Passat TDI, 6 speeed manual
ML320 vs BMW

The consumer reports I read did not rate the BMW very high, if I remember correctly. Yes, I thought the Mercedes did score well. I did find a 2007 ML320 with 49k miles for $29,500. Seems like a decent price, but still hard to swallow when its almost equal in price to a full size, loaded up, crew cab pickup of like year and miles. I know its not apples to apples as far as dependability, fuel economy, agility, and functionality go. It just seems easier to plunk that kind of cash down for something I can haul with, tow with, and do most repairs on myself. I have not been thrilled with the repair places I'm forced to take my Jetta to for repairs I can't do myself. That's the only complaint I have on the my Jetta. I assume the Mercedes maintenance is much the same.
 

Fourdiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
May 19, 2003
Location
SW Wash. USA
TDI
'04 Touareg V10 TDI
Mercedes maintainence is FAR worse than the VW. Almost no one but the dealer can accurately read the computer codes. The M-B dealers are competent (unlike many of the VW dealers) but are VERY expensive. Parts and labor are excruciatingly high and the GLs are not very good on frequency of repair (see http://www.truedelta.com/). The navigation system is also VERY 'clunky' and not intuitive to use - very much out of date.
That being said, I have NEVER driven a car that is more enjoyable to drive/ride on the freeway. In ALL weather conditions. I really like my '08 GL and intend to drive it until the wheels fall off. Lots of room for 7 full grown people and luggage and it will tow 7500 lbs with good torque from the CDI diesel. I get about 30 mpg on all hwy driving.
If your people hauling needs are less, consider the ML 320/350 CDI. The GL and ML and R class are built in Alabama from parts "manufactured elsewhere".
The only other option I see for a diesel AWD is the Audi Q7. Drives pretty well but is even higher priced than the Mercedes GL and is a LOT smaller. Better electronics though. Fuel mileage is not very different.
You are simply NOT going to come anywhere the 50 mpg you now get on your Jetta (I get 53 on my 2000 Golf TDI).:)
 
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DnA Diesel

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Aug 18, 2000
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
TDI
no more...
After having let the CRD Liberty go back to the Gods of Leaseland this fall, I'm now looking in the coming year for an X5d coming off a short-term lease. The ML is too small and the GL is too much of a price point difference.
 

2slowtdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Location
Dallas Tx
TDI
2003 ALH Bora gone. 2006 Benz CDI 235hp 420ftlbstq
After having let the CRD Liberty go back to the Gods of Leaseland this fall, I'm now looking in the coming year for an X5d coming off a short-term lease. The ML is too small and the GL is too much of a price point difference.
From everything I have seen the ML has more room than the X5.
I have been in a ML but not in a X5 so I was looking at the spec's
They are almost a match in size.
 

UFO

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Jul 31, 2007
Location
A mile high
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2001 Beetle
A 4-motion conversion would be sweet. Sounds like a ton of work though. Since I'm mechanically inclined, the Jeep CRD worked out for me even though the highway mileage is only 30mpg. But those are getting scarce and difficult to maintain. No good options in the US. :mad:
 

Conan

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2010
Location
Denver
TDI
2003 GLS TDI
I saw on another thread that Kia and Hyundai are going to offer TDIs next year. A TDI Sportage would be awesome. And though I'm sure they're not going to be cheap, they will be way less than a Touareg or a MB.
 

DnA Diesel

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Joined
Aug 18, 2000
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
TDI
no more...
From everything I have seen the ML has more room than the X5.
I have been in a ML but not in a X5 so I was looking at the spec's
They are almost a match in size.
'Subjectively', the X5 seems bigger to me than the ML. the ML isn't a bad vehicle, but I find the sides of the vehicle pillar inwards a fair bit more than the X5, and made me feel a wee bit claustrophobic. I haven't test driven an ML Bluetec, but I'm betting the X5d's sequential twin turbos give better grunt of the line than the ML's single turbo unit.

Regards
D
 

2slowtdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Location
Dallas Tx
TDI
2003 ALH Bora gone. 2006 Benz CDI 235hp 420ftlbstq
'Subjectively', the X5 seems bigger to me than the ML. the ML isn't a bad vehicle, but I find the sides of the vehicle pillar inwards a fair bit more than the X5, and made me feel a wee bit claustrophobic. I haven't test driven an ML Bluetec, but I'm betting the X5d's sequential twin turbos give better grunt of the line than the ML's single turbo unit.

Regards
D
The BMW has over 50 more hp than the MB so I would bet it will move.
 

DnA Diesel

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Joined
Aug 18, 2000
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
TDI
no more...
The BMW has over 50 more hp than the MB so I would bet it will move.

...and 25 more ft-lbs, that start much lower due to the sequential twin turbos, than the Merc's OM642 single turbo motor.

Informal clocking during the test drive was about a 6.7-6.8 0-60, not bad, and only about .8 slower than my 335d. Impressive indeed!

Regards
d.
 

Seatman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Location
Scotland
TDI
2014 Skoda rapid elegance 1.6 cr tdi
Are you guys not getting any audi quattros? They're pretty good in the winter, fun and practical and good mpg at least it was on the older ones. We have them with the standard 1.9tdi engine and we have the a4 with the 2.5v6 engine.
 

DnA Diesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2000
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
TDI
no more...
Are you guys not getting any audi quattros? They're pretty good in the winter, fun and practical and good mpg at least it was on the older ones. We have them with the standard 1.9tdi engine and we have the a4 with the 2.5v6 engine.
Nope...A3 and Q7 TDI are the only Quattro vehicles Audi makes for North American markets.

Regards
D
 

pdxgrease

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
SE Portland
TDI
none
X5d = nice fit and finish - driver's car, great in snow, lots of power == little pricey
Bimmerfest is a nice forum to talk to owners. I loved my x3 fwiw. I'd take an X5d in a snap if I had the scrilla.

ML's : I'm sad mercedes caved and went unibody. Mercedes maintenance is only a killer if you don't find an indy. Benzworld is a great forum for mechanical problems. The ML feels somewhere between an x3 and x5. I think mercedes is in a good cycle right now -- having dug themselves out of a reliability ditch. The ML is kind of boring to me but probably a good all rounder.

Jeep Cherokee CRD - Like an off brand ML. Its got that craptastic interior from mid 2000 chrysler. the fake bling chrome, cheap leather, and plastic thing. but the engine is the same as an ML. An overland diesel would be a very competent off roader. The tow rating is high and it handles pretty nicely.

q7 - i don't know anything.

touareg tdi - there is something special about the egg but its small feeling inside (to me) for how friggin heavy it is. the v10 tips the scales at nearly 6000 lbs - but the torque of a cummins. feature rich with technology that *could* turn expensive to maintain. I would be sorely tempted though if I had to replace the ML430. The egg handling is solid but numb - i found it too insulating but maybe I need to spend more time there. A cayenne on the cheap. I think i'd want an 06 v10 (just saying)

GL - don't know much other than its more handsome than the w164 ML but its Huge. Anecdotally on benzworld people all seem really happy with their GL.. so idk. A bit underpowered perhaps but maybe a tuning box would wake it up.

Liberty - kinda low end feeling, solid tractor engine - underpowered for its fuel economy IMO. decent offroader. transmission can be a trouble spot. tuning is touchy because of EGT's (supposedly).

conclusion: my 1999 ml430 that I paid $5900 for in 2009 (106k miles) is so enjoyable. I friggin love it. Definitely need to fix little bits and bobs (german 90's electronics !) Solid though and body-on-frame. I could replace the engine, cats, suspension, tranny for under $10k and still be way under the price of any of the lovely diesel suv's listed above (except a liberty). From an eco standpoint I am defeated.. but there is no cost argument that would suggest me getting a newer diesel pencils. In that vein, a used gasoline powered $15k SUV is the sweat spot for bang for the buck vs. newness and reliability. I still think diesel power makes the most sense for an suv, though. Plan on keeping your diesel suv for 10 years to amortize the up front costs.
 
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hisdad

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Location
Signal Mtn.,Tennessee
TDI
Mine--2009 Jetta,manual,Avignon; hers--'09 DSG
all wheel drive Passat?

Consumer Reports p.46 October 2011 mentions :
"All wheel drive will be optional" in the brief write-up on the 2012 Passat.
Any other news about this?
 

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
Hmm. Previously, that was only going to be considered.

Anyway, the easiest AWD swap in a car, that can also hold a diesel, right now, is probably the B4V TDI. They all have the syncro floorpan, AND all the AWD components are available in the Canadian B3 G60 syncro. (You'll need to build a frankentrans, though, out of the stock 02A CTN and the G60 syncro's trans.)
 

DnA Diesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2000
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
TDI
no more...
Incorrect. The A3 tdi is NOT Quattro in the US market. It is only FWD in the US.

Are you saying Canada got an AWD A3 tdi?!
I stand corrected, the salesman had his head where the sun doesn't shine when telling me why the A3 would be so much better than continuing to drive my 2K1 Jetta TDI in the winter.

Regards
D.
 

Seacoaster

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Joined
Jun 1, 2011
Location
Seacoast of NH
TDI
2011 JSW TDI DSG
We have a gas q7, it is a great car hands down the best all wheel system available. Many people on the forums have gone over to the q diesel and say it is an incredible vehicle! In the suv diesel game, it would be my choice!
 

DnA Diesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2000
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
TDI
no more...
We have a gas q7, it is a great car hands down the best all wheel system available. Many people on the forums have gone over to the q diesel and say it is an incredible vehicle! In the suv diesel game, it would be my choice!
Haven't driven a Q7 TDI yet, just an X5d, but both vehicles look much nicer than the ML350 Bluetec....a GL might be comparable?

Regards
D.
 

Dean

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Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Vancouver, BC
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2005 Passat TDI(Sold)
Hmm. Previously, that was only going to be considered.

Anyway, the easiest AWD swap in a car, that can also hold a diesel, right now, is probably the B4V TDI. They all have the syncro floorpan, AND all the AWD components are available in the Canadian B3 G60 syncro. (You'll need to build a frankentrans, though, out of the stock 02A CTN and the G60 syncro's trans.)
We can already import the whole car to Canada. (15-year import law)

Don't see the point.
 

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
In the US, though, it's a 25 year law. So, you can't import the B3 G60 Syncro sedan into the US and TDI swap it without jumping through some nasty hoops, or breaking some laws. You can import its drivetrain, though, and put it in a B4V.
 
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