The Automotive Industry, Briefly

TDI: The New Initials for Diesel Powered Volkswagens

Volkswagen Diesel

Volkswagen continues to stay at the forefront of innovative engineering, especially as it relates to their diesel engines.  The newest of these innovations in the great line of Volkswagen automobiles is to add TDI to the engine, but what is TDI?

TDI is the acronym for Turbocharged Direct Injection and meant for the diesel engines of Volkswagen to allow both turbocharging and cylinder-direct fuel injection.  The main difference from the older diesel engines is the direct injection part of the TDI format.  In older model diesel engines the fuel is sprayed in to a pre-combustion chamber rather than directly into the main combustion chamber, which is what the TDI format delivers.

For the turbo part of the TDI model to work more air is forced into the cylinders by forced induction through the turbocharger.  This allows the intercooler to lower the temperature of the air allowing the engine to have an increase in the amount of fuel that can be injected.

By using this format, Volkswagen has engineered an engine that is more fuel efficient and more powerful than its competition or predecessors.  The efficiency is also felt because the TDI engines are built with a smaller surface area allowing for less heat loss, easier cold starts, and more efficient placing of the glowplugs.  The lone drawback is a slightly higher engine noise than the standard diesel engine, which is reduced by greater hood and engine compartment insulation, not a bad tradeoff for so much more engine efficiency.

For the American Volkswagen lover, Volkswagen has announced the TDI engines will be fitted in their 2015 models of the Golf, Jetta, Passat, Beetle, and Beetle Convertible.  No specific announcement has been made as to the actual fuel economy with the 2.0 version of the TDI engine, but Volkswagen has stated these vehicles will be more efficient than any previous model.

2014 Volkswagen Lineup

Often touted as excellent running, fuel efficient vehicles, Volkswagen has lived up to the name sake which when translated means “the people’s car”.  Any owner of a Golf, Passat, Jetta, Beetle, or any other of the Volkswagen models show nothing but love admiration and pride in their purchase, almost as much as a new grandparent bringing out the new grandchild photos.

Starting off the lineup is the classic Beetle Coupe which has a modest starting price just under $19,000 but when fully equipped can be found as high as $35,000.  Offering a range of fuel efficiencies from 21 city/27 hwy mpg to 29 city/41 hwy depending on the engine and transmission used, the Beetle is the classic Volkswagen that has been synonymous with the name for several decades.

The price ranges so much not simply based on optional accessories that can be added inside, but also due to the differing engine types.  An owner can choose to have a gasoline powered Beetle, or one fueled by diesel.  The diesel power, although a bit pricier, does bring the best of the fuel efficiency to the Beetle.

Not only does the Beetle offer a different engine choice, but also provides a choice between a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission depending what the buyer is looking for.  No matter which Beetle is chose, the owner can be sure they are buying a great vehicle with the classic VW logo and look to it.

Next up is the 2014 Volkswagen CC, a gorgeous four door coupe that has the look and feel of a luxury vehicle but not the high price tag.  Once again there is a broad price range, from $31,795 on up to $42,895 but this price range is not nearly as open as the Beetle.

The Volkswagen CC is not available with a diesel engine, but does offer a nice fuel economy with 22 city/31 hwy mpg on the top end and is available with a six speed manual or automatic transmission.  The Volkswagen CC is a great family car with plenty of room for everyone to ride comfortably for a vacation or just a day around town.

The third installment is the 2014 Volkswagen Eos a great looking sporty style two door coupe which is fun to drive and when equipped with the convertible option can be a serious pleasure on the hot summer days and nights.  The Eos brings a higher starting price than the Volkswagen CC starting at $35,595 and ranging to $42,095.

Available with a gasoline powered engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, the Eos is built for the joy of driving.  The fuel efficiency isn’t bad, but certainly not something to write home about coming in at 22 city/30 hwy mpg.  Overall the Eos is meant for a specific crowd, a car to bring the joy of driving back to anyone who looks forward to the journey and not as much the destination.

Next on the menu is the 2014 Volkswagen GTI, the answer for Volkswagen to the craze for small, durable, flexible and functional hatchbacks.  The GTI is made to scoot around town hauling kids to soccer or picking up groceries, but can also be great out on the highway with plenty of power and a good range of fuel efficiency.

Prices for the 2014 Volkswagen GTI range from $25,095 to $30,795 depending simply on the features added to the vehicle.  Only offered currently with a gasoline engine the options lie in the transmission for the car owner to choose from the 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.  The fuel economy of the GTI ranges from 21 city/31 hwy mpg with the manual transmission up to 24 city/32 hwy mpg with the automatic transmission.

The fifth car in the lineup is the 2014 Volkswagen Golf, basically the old VW Rabbit on steroids; with a huge amount of redesigns, upgrades, and an awesome new feel.  Starting out at $19,995 and ranging up to $27,995, the price range is more modest than the Beetle even though the Golf is offered with both the gas and diesel powered engines.

As far as fuel economy, the Golf has it in this great hatchback bringing a 24 city, 31 hwy mpg for the gasoline powered engine and 30 city/42 hwy mpg when powered by the diesel engine.  One item to note is the fuel efficiency is the exact same for both the manual and automatic transmission configurations and the horsepower drops from 170 to 140 by using the diesel engine.

The lineup continues with the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan, a popular choice as a daily commuter or family car, the Jetta has a ton of engine options to choose from which allows for a wide range of fuel efficiencies and prices.  Great for any driving conditions, the Jetta has become a popular choice for many and is synonymous with quality as well as fuel efficiency.

The Jetta starts at a basic model at $15,695 but tops out at over $30,000 giving a huge price range, but that’s really not a surprise considering the different configurations available.  As far as fuel economy, the Jetta starts as low as 23 city/29 hwy mpg for the gasoline powered manual transmission, but tops out at a whopping 42 city/48 hwy mpg for the gas/electric hybrid engine with the 7-speed automatic transmission, a huge jump in just one car model.

The engines offered for the Jetta range from gas powered to diesel powered to the gas/electric hybrid.  The gas/electric hybrid is by far the most fuel efficient and has a midrange of horsepower at 150 horsepower.

The gas engine can be configured with either a 5-speed manual transmission, 6-speed manual transmission, or 6-speed automatic transmission, with the 5-speed being the most fuel efficient, but gives up a ton in horsepower with only 115 horsepower.  The best options here seems to be the 6-speed automatic which has a respectable fuel efficiency at 24 city/32 hwy mpg and 210 horsepower, which is the top end for the Jetta.

The diesel engine offered on the Jetta can be configured with either manual or automatic transmissions both being 6-speed setups.  Either transmission is going to bring an owner 140 horsepower with a 30 city/42 hwy mpg so this choice is really a personal one to make.

Next up is the 2014 Volkswagen Passat, a bit more of a luxury sedan than the Jetta, but still a great daily commuter car with comfort, style and a huge amount of standard features to make that boring drive a bit more enjoyable each day.  Missing the gas/electric hybrid option, the Passat still has a pretty broad price range and is offered with either a gas or diesel powered engine.

The price range for the Passat starts at $20,845 and ranges up to $34,265 dependent on the optional features and power configuration chosen.  The gasoline powered Passat is available with either a 5-speed manual transmission bringing in a 24 city/35 hwy mpg with 170 horsepower or a 6-speed automatic transmission possessing a 24 city/34 hwy mpg and 170 horsepower.

For the diesel engine, the transmission is either 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic and both have 140 horsepower under the hood.  The fuel efficiency is strangely swayed toward the manual in this case which brings a 31 city/43 hwy mpg compared to the automatic at 30 city/40 hwy mpg.

One note of interest, the Passat has a V-6 option for the power hungry buyer.  This option puts a huge dose of horsepower under the hood with 280 horsepower but gives up fuel efficiency with a 20 city/28 hwy mpg.  This engine is a gas powered engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and is set at the very top of the price range.

Steering away from the cars and into the crossovers/small suvs of Volkswagen, the lineup continues with the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan.   This great looking small crossover is made for an outdoor trip to the lake for a camping, a trip to the beach, or even as a daily driver.  Perfect for the soccer mom on the go or the busy professional the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan has a lot to offer.

Ranging in price from $23,305 on up to $38,835 the range is large because of the variety of configurations from a 2 door model to 4 door and differing trims.  Offering only a gas powered engine, the Tiguan only changes in price based on the trim and doors.  The engine can be set up with either the 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions with the same fuel efficiency for both at 20 city/26 hwy mpg.  The horsepower doesn’t change either staying at 200 horsepower no matter how the Tiguan is configured under the hood.

The final vehicle in the Volkswagen lineup is the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg a great vehicle from Volkswagen to compete in the luxury crossover market.  The Touareg offers a ton of standard features and takes the driver and passengers to their destination in style and class.  Meant to enjoy the drive, the Touareg is at the very top of the price range for Volkswagen vehicles starting at $44,570 and ranging up to $64,745 on the top model.

Once again, a vehicle that is offered with several differing trim packages to warrant such a huge price range, the Touareg is also offered with varying engines to power the luxury style crossover.  All engines are set up with an 8-spped automatic transmission, so this choice has been taken away which is probably for the best.

The Touareg overall is the least fuel efficient of the Volkswagen lineup, with more style, luxury and comfort in mind than a gas savings. The gasoline powered engine brings an impressive 280 horsepower to the party and 17 city/23 hwy mpg fuel efficiency.  The diesel powered engine has a strong 240 horsepower and 20 city/29 hwy mpg fuel efficiency.  Finally, the gas/electric hybrid offers the most in horsepower with 333 horsepower but lacks some of the fuel efficiency on the highway with only a 20 city/24 hwy mpg.

No matter what Volkswagen a shopper chooses for themselves, they can be assured they have made a great choice.  With decades of experience in quality, longevity, and fuel economy Volkswagen continues to impress by engineering better and better designs in both body and power.

 

 



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