Why did you buy a TDI?

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White (SOLD); 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, silver
I decided on a Jetta long before I found out about TDI. There's something about the styling of the exterior, that sporty look with the boxy end I still love. I hate the new body style. But when I found out I could get a Jetta that gets 50mpg, potentially runs on homemade biodiesel and has long engine life, I was sold.
If your homemade biodiesel is not of the highest quality, your TDI engine will not have a long life. Stick with B02 or B05 and it should be okay.
 

NewTdi

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Location
NorCal
TDI
2003 Bora, Reflex Silver
I got a Tdi because I too grew up in Italy where so many cars are diesel but also because I was driving over 75K miles a year for work.

Prior to the Jetta I had a Ford Escort diesel that I purchased used and lasted me 4 years and approximately 370K miles. At the end the Escort just needed to go ...

As soon as I got the Jetta I decided to drive less for work and the car now have almost 178K miles with 7 years of ownership. Its been a great car, only a window clip broke once and the latch on the arm rest. It has had 3 timing belts and now after 7 years I have gotten some "performance" bug.

The best memory thus far during the first years of ownership was the mileage I got on a trip to/from Los Angeles. With a family of 4, 4 suitcases and more I pulled into the driveway adn at the 500 mile mark the fuel gauge was pinned right in the middle at the half tank mark.

What is there not to love about these cars? The fact that we do not have any sparkplugs :D

Also, through these years by hosting several GTG's a year I have made several good friends.
 

3516ACERT

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Location
Maryland
TDI
2010 JSW
I work with diesels - always been impressed with the durability of their design, and their efficiency.
When you have a tough job, whether you need to haul something, dig in the dirt, provide emergency power, pump large volumes of liquids or push a ship through an ocean... it's going to be a diesel because they can be trusted to perform under the toughest conditions.

The larger E class 320CDI was a bit out of my price range and only gets 30mpg.

It's no contest at $24k and 50mpg.
 

RalphVa

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Location
Virginia
TDI
Jetta
The 2009+ TDIs don't sound much different than their equivalent gas models. So, eliminate that from your "likes". Actually, if you put our Cabrio side by side with our TDI, the Cabrio's engine would be noisier at startup.
 
T

TDI Rooster

Guest
My dream Vw Tiguan TDI hasn't made it here yet. Due to my seemingly off-road tendency, this would be the ultimate drive. The Vw Jetta TDI is a good starter to a new chosen horizon.
 

NewTdi

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Location
NorCal
TDI
2003 Bora, Reflex Silver
My dream Vw Tiguan TDI hasn't made it here yet. Due to my seemingly off-road tendency, this would be the ultimate drive. The Vw Jetta TDI is a good starter to a new chosen horizon.
The Tiguan is destined for the US marked but nobody knows when; you could always get a 6cyl Tuareg!
 

TDI-JAY

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Location
MIDDLEBORO MA
TDI
2012 Sportwagen 6M
I drive a TDI because I sell Diesel Trucks for a living & having something gas powered isn't an option! Can't really drive a gas anything & be able to stand behind what I sell - and 52-54 mpg rules! Not to mention a ALH TDI with a RC3, PP520's & a South Bend clutch is a ton of fun to drive!
 

john.jackson9213

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI
1996 B4V
Got my B4V because I expected close 47/50 mpg and when the price got to over $5.29 gal. I saved about $60 by buying in TJ. But have averaged around 36 mpg with a best tank of 48.8 at 55 mph on I 5.

Would I buy another? Not really - too many things to fix and parts are way too expensive.

But I will keep this one and eventually get it all working properly. Instrument cluster is latest problem. Doors acting up again. Lots of electrical issues.
 

TDI Chip

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Central Florida USA
TDI
2010 Jetta Sportwagon TDIBuild date 06/10
I am a newbie diesel driver also a first time diesel buyer. I fell in love with my 2010 Jetta Sportwagon on the test drive. After driving it for 4 months I am even more in love with it. Despite the minor "flaws" with it, I still love it. I like to drive "green", I love the MPG's and how solid it feels on the road. It is built really well and I plan on keeping it a really long time and taking really good care of it. In short, it gives me everything I was looking for in a new "green" car. Cheerz, TDI Chip
 

fastalan

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Location
Richmond BC
TDI
2010 Golf TDI Wagon
I bought the Golf TDI wagon a year ago because:

1) Need to save fuel driving to work
2) Really like the 2010 interior styling
3) Manual tranni must be available during decision making moment
4) Can't stand for a Prius let along sitting in it or even drive it. I did force myself to sat in it, felt really disgusted at the layout and got out right away.
5) Most importantly, I am willing to give VW and clean diesel technology a try (first VW, first diesel)

Test drove the 2009 Jetta TDI both manual and DSG just to experience the TDI engine and what a Volkswagen feels like. Not too impressed by the 5 speed manual Jetta I test drove, kind of soft riding, the sales person only let me try the car in city, no chance to feel the car out. As I marched pass my mid 30's, I was afraid I was going to end up buying an old man diesel way too early.

Went to another dealer, very impressed with that particular DSG version Jetta, very quick almost instant shift, the sales person let me venture out onto the highway and I was very impressed by the way the TDI engine+DSG combo performed, GOOD passing power, lightening gear shift, very stable at "HIGH"way speed. Basically, I had completely forgotten I was driving a German car. I did a few full out emergency stop on bumpy country road, ABS felt good. I was expecting Toyota rental car like or some kind of average family sedan driving dynamic but that 2nd test drive gave me the confidence to place a deposit to put my name on the waiting list for a 2010 TDI Wagon that would arrive just before winter.

After 11 months and a bit over 20K km, I am more than satisfied with the 2010 Golf TDI Wagon. VW has provided way more than what I have ever expected from this diesel wagon.

1) Went with the 6 speed manual instead of DSG, I will row my own gear. It's a good gear box, relax, long throw from 1st to 2nd, but precise shift.
2) Good gearing for highway, 1600-1700 rpm at 100km/h. Low rpm means the car is very quiet on highway.
3) For some reason, my Highline wagon rides stiffer than the Jetta I test drove, really surprised, what a bonus, very good handling. The mini cooper feels like driving on rail, very robotic, very mechanical. On factory 16" wheels, the Golf TDI wagon has a more mature kind of good handling. It rides stiff, but comfortable and handles well.
4) Great seat
5) Great steering wheel
6) Great brake and throttle pedal position and a PROPER dead pedal.
7) Rides like a Mercedes drives like a BMW.
8) Torque. I can put the car out of control during acceleration, even third gear in wet, that means I am always in control.
9) 1150km on one tank of diesel during a trip into the Rockies and Alberta when the car is brand new in middle of winter.
10) I don't really sit at the back but mom likes it.
11) Tons of trunk space, more space than many SUV.
12) I know I have a good towing vehicle.

What I don't like after buying it but has since get used to it:

1) Turbo lag. Yes, there is some turbo lag, with 6 speed manual, it is something you have to learn to anticipate and manage the situation with the right gear, right rpm and throttle timing.
2) Clutch pick up, easy to stall at first but once get used to it, you are fine.
3) Weak low beam light.
4) No automatic climate control, the driver is now the automatic interior climate controller.

Overall, I won't give in this Golf TDI Wagon even if some one tries to swap me with a more expensive gas car like an entry Mercedes C class or even 335i level car. Diesel makes sense and it makes perfect sense in this particular sporty Golf Wagon trim.
 

srptdi

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Location
nj
TDI
2005.5 jetta black
I bought the Jetta because I wanted to fill it once a week. I commute 600 miles a week.I have over 156000 miles and it still runs great.
 

smketrny

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Location
Orange County, New York
TDI
1998 Jetta TDi, 2015 Passat TDi
Many, many moons ago (1983), I got a job picking up parts for big rigs. I was given a 1981 GMC pickup with a 305 engine. Every day, I was given $50 for tolls and gas, and driving around the NYC/tri-state area (mostly northern NJ), I always had to fill up to get back to Long Island (admittedly, it had an electric liftgate, so that added weight and killed the aerodynamics). Shortly thereafter, I was given a 1982 GMC with a true diesel (6.2) with no tailgate.

I cannot recall ever having to fill up to get home with that truck. So I was bitten by the diesel bug then and there.

Working with guys who have all these gas pickups and hearing them whine about mileage, I naturally went to diesel. Now have a 2007 Dodge MegaCab with the 5.9 Cummins.

As for cars, my first VW diesel was a 1980 Rabbit pickup.

Went back to gas for awhile, and found a 1989 Jetta N/A in CT. The rings went after 224k, so i bought a 2009 Jetta TDI. With fuel prices starting to rise, I am getting another engine in the 89.

As for these sites, after beating my N/A for the beater car it was, that attitude changed finding sites like this. I never in my right mind could imagine the number of VW fanatics on the ol' WWW.

Though I love cars, I can barely change my own oil. I get my head spun around with the mods you can do with these VW diesels, yet still maintain EXCELLENT mileage. The guys I work with break my chops about being a diesel fan, but it is their loss. Even explaining to them that you cannot look at the price difference in fuel, but the mileage per tank, they still have their heads in the sand. One guy is happy getting 300-350 out of a Honda. Even with local, highway and stop and go, 550 per tank is my average. Again, HIS loss. :)

30-35 mpg may be nice in a gasser, I'll take the 45+ in my TDI. :)

And FWIW, screw big oil and OPEC. I'll get something that gets great mileage and looks nice, which leaves the Prius out...lol

The TDI rides like a dream. Only fault is (as another poster pointed out) is the right leg/knee can get cramped by the console.

He's right, but at 40-50 mpg, I'll live with it.

And the PRIUS is just plain ugly. Stupid NY State will let hybrid drivers ride solo in the HOV lanes, but not my clean diesel TDI. I've had my car for 2 yrs next month, and will hit 30k this weekend going to work.
 
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chaloux

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Location
Gravenhurst, Ontario
TDI
96 A6 Avant TDI Quattro, 04 Jetta Wagon
I bought it for several reasons:

1) initial cost. My wife and I picked up our bug for $4000 CDN 3 and a half years ago.
2) insurance cost. Being relatively new drivers (me being a young male), it has cost us roughly $1k per year to insure for both of us. Compare this with my friends who are paying $2-4k
3) it's a funky car. And easy to work on, which is good, because I've done everything myself and with the help of my pops.
4) longevity. The ALH should outlast the body, hopefully. Has almost 400k km.
5) fuel economy. Epic 45-55+mpg. That'll do!

It has performed beautifully so far, with only the alternator, starter brushes, tie rod end, subframe bushings, and brakes needing replacement due to wear to this point. Of course normal maintenance like oil filters, fuel filters, air filters, etc. have been done, but that should be considered normal and not extra.

I don't think I will sell this car. I think I am going to run it to the ground, which may take a very, very long time.
 

Westro

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Location
Minnesota
TDI
2002,2002,2003
Bought my 2001 due to economics. Average 51 MPG and diesel was 20% cheaper than RUG, back then. Still have two 2002s and a 2003. Looking at new but why? Pay 15% MORE for diesel then RUG and only get 20% better mileage?

In my tractors I go diesel every time as I use about 1/2 as much fuel with a diesel and get more work done. In a high load enviroment the diesel is cheaper to run. In the new cars it just doesn't make sense to me, the economics are gone.

5 years ago it became popular for diesel pickup trucks. Now unless your pulling a decent load 80% of the time IMO you should be running a gas because it is cheaper. Many of people response in this thread are not about economy anymore but follow many of the same lines of diesel pickup truck owners.... father had one, I like them, wouldn't drive a gas, love the torque, different.. ect... never hear about cost per mile on these new ones..
 

Ryephile

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Location
Metro Detroit
TDI
MkVI Golf
To completely counterpoint Westro, I bought my TDI because I think it makes a relaxed daily driver that's fun enough to keep me slightly entertained during my otherwise boring commute to work. The quiet cabin, good infotainment setup, decent handling, and mindless winter tractability all make it a soothing luxo-barge for me. I do get some satisfaction from the miles-per-gallon statistic, however the strict value in terms of dollars per mile wasn't a big concern.
 

PeterV

TDIClub Enthusiast, HO5G Doyen & Zen Master
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Location
So, NH.
TDI
2000 Jetta 5 sp.
The Boxter S could not get into my drivrway....

So I got the T red TDI and never looked back..
 

Jack_Berry

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Location
Racine Wis
TDI
02 jetta sedan
i got tired of wrenching on the mid 80's merc diesels.:D
i wanted a car that could actually start when it got cold, really cold and away from home and not plugged in.
:D

the kids got their own cars so the wife and i downsized. now one son is back temporarily and we sure miss the roomy 240d and the 300td. nice wide seats.

the old merc diesels. sure miss the roomy seats.




 
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Mike_V

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon
I'd been looking for a good road trip vehicle: fuel efficient and with good cargo room (station wagon), but still fun to drive (not a Matrix). On a trip out to Vegas I was amazed by the fuel efficiency and range per tank of a climbing partner's Jetta TDI, and enjoyed how it drove when I took a turn behind the wheel. When I found you could get a Jetta Wagon TDI my decision was more or less made, I just had to bide my time for the right one to come along!
 

RalphVa

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Location
Virginia
TDI
Jetta
Why do people keep saying that maintenance is cheaper on a gas engined car? The mileage interval on our 240D was the same as the mileage interval on our Tacoma pickup with a gas engine. I changed both with dino oil twice/yr or about 3,000 miles each. With synthetic, I do it once/year or about 6-7,000 miles. My TDI just had its very first visit to the dealer in a year's time to get its free oil change and get a tire rotation that it didn't need (as I did it at 6k miles).

Our 240D required glow plugs to be replaced ONCE. On the Tacoma, it was every 30k miles to change the plugs on it. Now, they're going to 60-100k miles on these, but still twice as frequent as the glow plugs. Manual transmissions with synthetic fluid basically don't need changed at all. Manual or auto, the service interval is the same gas/diesel.

Don't keep telling people there is more maintenance on a diesel. It simply is not true. The sales people here like to tell people this because they're generally selling & moving gas engined cars more. They know them. Their mechanics know them. They're pushing gas engines.
 

RalphVa

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Location
Virginia
TDI
Jetta
What roomy 240D? The Jetta has basically the same space inside and a bigger trunk in a smaller overall outside dimension. I got tired of the noisy, gutless 240D. The complicated throttle mechanism drove me nuts to keep it from rattling. Still, it was a fine car for the 25 year long haul. The Jetta is nicer to drive and has more comfortable seats.
 

CStone

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Location
East TN
TDI
2003 Jetta ALH 5sp.
I drive lotsa miles for work and wanted a cheap-to-operate car, so I bought my '03 Jetta in '06 with ~100k on the ODO. Had a timing belt snafu at 150k, but she's running strong at 175k. As someone earlier said, I'll run this thing into the ground before I think about another vehicle, which will hopefully be a long time.

As I currently commute 1000 miles a week, I'll get another VW diesel when the time comes.
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White (SOLD); 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, silver
  1. Filling up the tank every two weeks instead of every week with my other cars.
  2. Ability to mod it an still maintain good MPG if you don't put your foot in it.
  3. Moving to Guatemala in the future where diesel is STILL cheaper than gas (although gas costs more there than here) The government subsidizes it for the trucks.
When I bought my Golf, I had been driving so many miles for my job that I sometimes had to fuel up my Saab twice in the same day. With my Golf I only had to fuel up twice a week, usually.
 

vaportrail

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Location
SF
TDI
2002 MkIV
It was a number of things that brought me to the point of buying a TDI:

The fuel price spike a few years ago
Dependence on the middle east for fuel and subsequently supporting terrorism
My distaste for big business (oil companies)
Career change, lost my company vehicle (mileage/ efficiency is now a bigger concern)
Efficiency in general. My 17.5MPG Tundra is inappropriate for commuting.

The biggest reason: I'm an engineer--my other vehicle is now well sorted, with no real upgrades necessary. I need something to think about, to learn about, to sort out, to create my perfect vehicle.

TDI Club is very much a contributor to why I chose my TDI. Like my Tundra, there is a dedicated, vocal, intelligent fan base.

Now, after a cooling sensor failure, and discovery of a leaking IP (biodiesel blend resolved the issue--for now), I'm hoping the car settles into a reliable groove. I've owned the car for two months. My Tundra has needed zero unplanned maintenance in 7 years of abuse. It's going to be hard to match that reliability.
 

h2oskibum

Veteran Member
Joined
May 27, 2010
Location
West coast
TDI
1996 Passat
I bought a TDI because:
*TDI's are rumored to get very good fuel mileage, it is awesome to run around all month on the same tank of fuel.
*TDI's have a long service life and hold their value well.
*TDI's are comfortable to drive.
*TDI's can run on boidiesel and I make my own now and then.
*Most of the vehicles I drive run on diesel.
*I got a good deal on this one because someone else broke it and I like to tinker,I enjoy fixing the little things and the maintenance that some people hate.
*It is so much easier to park than my Dodge Ram.
*I also like to be different and not drive what everyone else is driving, it is not very likely that I will walk out into a crowded parking lot and find a 96 Passat that looks just like mine.
*I just think it is cool.
 

geektoad

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Location
NH
TDI
2010 Sportwagen
I bought a TDI because oil burners get the chicks all hot and steamy.

...or because I wanted a nicer car to commute in than my '01 Focus ZX3. My requirements were legit average 35MPG or better and no batteries.

It would have been an Audi A3, but the lack of Quattro or a stick killed that. The lack of Quattro was the biggest one. Without that, even if it had a manual option, i don't see anything of value in the Audi for the extra $7-8k.
 

Pelikan State

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Location
South Louisiana, USA
TDI
2011 White 2dr Golf
Got mine b/c I wanted a more substantial car than the tin can (Toyota) I was driving with smaller outside dimensions and no sacrifice in fuel economy. I also wanted to get back into a MT car with decent road manners (though the TDI is a little nose heavy, it is superior to the Toyo in all other respects).

The zillions of extra features that the Golf has were secondary but I'm sure not complainin'.

The Golf, btw, has averaged 39 mpg so far, which is better than the Toyota by about 20 - 25 %.
 

DisturbedTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Location
Bel Air, MD
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
fuel economy, love diesels, and they last a long time... (asusming the rest of the car does lol)

honestly im disappointed with my MPG... but im sure it was alot from the idling i did
 
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