I did a search for VW TDI's but didn't find much, so I thought I'd start a topic to ask. What are your thoughts on them? I'm 19 and I'd like to get something that's fuel efficient, somewhat newer (last ten years), and safe. Obviously they're diesel, but usually diesel isn't too overwhelmingly higher than gas (actually right now it's cheaper by 20 cents where I live.) I also think I'd feel safer in a VW as opposed to a tiny Metro or Civic. I always ask people in parking lots who drive TDI's if they like them or not, so far I haven't talked to anyone who doesn't absolutely love it.
So, any thoughts on TDI's? A used one is going to be right around $8,500 average I figure.
I'd rather have an $8500 Civic than an $8500 TDI. The TDI would end up costing more for maintenance, I believe. And if you do your own maintenance, the Civic would be much easier to work on. TDIs are good if you want fellow owners to wave and if you want to buy cute t-shirts.
I have a TDI wagon and really like it. I have to admit I really looked at it because of the better then average safety rating. I have done all my own work on the car and not spent much so far. I would say it depends on what you need to do with the vehicle. The wagon has a bunch more room then some of the other high mileage cars out there, which was also a plus for me. And now I really like the fact I can burn bio-diesel as well. My last tank came in at 65.84 mpg, but my lifetime is 54.54
Oh if your looking get a model between 99 and 03, the 04 and newer have bigger engines and more power but lower fuel economy.
Oh and with the ultra low sulfur diesel switch over the emissions are much much better now, or if you use bio-diesel they are even better.
I repair my TDI and it stays repaired. I invariably replace broken crap on her Honda with momentarily un-broken crap that will soon break again. And hers is definitely NOT easier on which to work.
TDI's cost too much? Maybe it's supply and demand at work. Maybe there's some logic to why otherwise sane people are paying more for a TDI. Used first generation TDI (1996~1997 Passat) are still pulling in $8500. What 96~97 Honda has retained such a percent of it's initial value? Her 2000 Honda cost more when new, has fewer miles, and is now less valuable used than mine.
High maintenance cost? A fuel pump that puts out 30,000 psi with a time accuracy to .00004 seconds (one degree of crank rotation at 4k rpm) isn't cheap, so don't use substandard fat as fuel thinking it is 'biodiesel'. It requires a lot of gallons of free fuel to compensate for ruining one injection pump by running crap fuel. Use trusted fuel and these pumps are serviceable for 300,000 miles+. Then have it rebuilt for the next 300k. The rest of the engine is no more expensive than on a lesser car.
Not clean running? When using the emissions standards that include ALL emissions, the TDI are cleaner than the alternatives. Not by much, but measurably cleaner. Now put quality biodiesel instead of quality petrodiesel in the fuel tank and a gasoline engine would have to get 200 mpg to be as clean as a 50 mpg TDI. Even a 15 mpg Hummer (Ahnold's perhaps?) on B100 is a clean and green as a 60 mpg Insight.
I'm not an impartial source of information on the TDI. My last five cars have been diesel, 4 of them TDI. At the top of the post I alluded to "otherwise sane" people willingly paying a premium for a TDI. I'm not one (neither sane, nor willing to pay $8500). I paid under $4000 last autumn for the one I now have.
TDIs are good if you want fellow owners to wave and if you want to buy cute t-shirts.
Our t shirts are pretty much crap, too. But the "Girls of TDIClub" calendar has TDI owning cuties pictures with their car on each month.
I'd say go for the TDI From my research (I was looking for one - more on that in a minute), the weakest link is the glow plugs (which isn't a bad repair). And as said -- these things retain their value (so buying is a little higher, but selling will also be high). Diesel in the winter is typically more expensive, but in the summer (when gas prices go up) diesel goes down (at least that's been the local trend).
Now, as I said - I was looking for a TDI... But having a helluva hard time FINDING said TDI. Why? The owners just don't want to sell Now, if the car a money pit beast -- value would be very low and the market would be saturated (my last car has a bad reputation for a very crappy atx - and I guarantee you can find one no problem ).
I forgot to mention... If you end up with the TDI - and plan on doing your own work on it... Get the Bentley manual (don't skimp and get the Chilton's or any other). I have one -- and it's the most comprehensive manual I've ever used (on my 2.0 gasser). I bought my manual from someone that sold his TDI -- here's what he marked (with little flags).... Brake Switch, fuel injection system, inter cooler, brakes, cabin filter. I think he cranked up the boost (just based on certain notes he wrote) - but I'm not quite sure.
Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.
I've also been looking to trade in my 06 Toyota Matrix xR for a 99-03 VW Golf TDI 5-speed, but they are difficult to come by here in L.A. . It's a wise choice. And yes... the parts might be slightly expensive given that it's a diesel, but it's okay. It's also modern German engineering (i heard not so reliable), but you can make any car reliable. Just do some research before you buy it so you can be knowledgeable about the recalls, etc.
The TDI is a great engine, that happens to wrapped in a newer VW, which means the usual relatively low reliability. Now, to put this in perspective, relatively low means instead of an average of a problem per year, there will be maybe two problems per year, which isn't a deal breaker imo, but something to be considered. It by far is the most efficient vehicle line for most drivers because of outstanding engine efficiency, which is probably why it's so popular and expensive. I wouldn't get any new car, and recommend an early 80s/late 70s compact, since that will be the cheapest, but if you absolutely have to have a newer car it's a fine choice. Then again, so is an early 90s Civic imo. Each has their strengths and weakness, so research and pick based on them.
Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.