The VW Golf TDI and Jetta TDI (Turbo Diesel) are amongst the most fuel-efficient cars available in America and remain extremely popular in Europe where diesels claim more than 50% of new car sales. Currently Volkswagen is selling both the VW Golf TDI and Jetta TDI models in the USA and Audi also sells its A3 with the same TDI engin, so there are several options available to US buyers (in Europe there are many, many different diesel powered cars to choose from).
Now, in its sixth generation, the VW Golf TDI returns with a full redesign and Volkswagen’s 50-state compliant TDI clean-diesel engine under the hood. The most recent generation of Volkswagen Golf GTI was launched as the Rabbit in 2007, but Volkswagen reverts back to the VW Golf TDI name for 2010.
The VW Golf TDI powertrain utilizes an electronically controlled turbocharger and fuel injection system to achieve better fuel economy and performance than the standard gas-powered model. The VW Golf TDI 2.0-liter diesel engine provides 140 horsepower and a stout 236 pound-feet of torque.
The VW Golf TDI fuel economy is 30 city/42 highway with a six-speed automatic transmission, and 30 city/41 highway with a six-speed manual. That’s about 30 percent better than the Volkswagen Golf 4 2.5-liter gas engine. Volkswagen claims the VW Golf TDI range is just short of 600 miles on a tank of diesel.
Inside the VW Golf TDI, the usual well laid out VW cabin and excellent seating position impress. Spacious and roomy, the VW Golf TDI is still one of the most comfortable cars in the class and well designed for long journeys. Quality is to be expected with a VW too, and the VW Golf TDI is no exception, with a solid feel that no rival can match.
The VW Golf TDI diesel is something of an institution, and with economy, torque and in-gear urge, it’s not hard to see why. Compared to conventional diesel engines, some VW Golf TDI review says that it’s releases 95 percent fewer sooty emissions thanks to a trap and burn system—not the urea-based approach taken by Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
Despite the advanced clean diesel system, the VW Golf TDI is not as squeaky clean on emissions as the cleanest hybrids. Moreover, in terms of efficiency, the VW Golf TDI falls 8 mpg short of the Prius’s highway mileage rating, and 20 mpg in the city.
All of the top-tier hybrids, including the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Insight, and Honda Civic Hybrid, handily beat the VW Golf TDI city mileage—bringing the in-town benefits of hybrids into sharp relief. In fairness, a similarly equipped Prius or Fusion would cost at least a few thousand dollars more than the VW Golf TDI.
Competitors VW Golf TDI
In 2012, the VW Golf TDI 2012 badge is a brand in itself. Both 103bhp 1.9-litre and newer 138bhp 2.0-litre motors are huge sellers, particularly as the latter VW Golf TDI is available in sporty 167bhp guise too. Other than the ‘TDI’ badge on the boot, it’s hard to distinguish the VW Golf TDI from petrol models, though twin exhausts are often a giveaway. Key rivals for the VW Golf TDI include the Ford Focus TDCi, Vauxhall Astra CDTi and Honda Civic CTDI, though plusher variants also do battle with the Audi A3 TDI and BMW 1-Series diesel; there’s even a semi-performance ‘GT’ version.
Volkswagen Golf TDi Review
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