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  #1  
Old December 20th, 2011, 08:22 PM
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Chris Davis
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OT--new TDI

Looking for a more modern TDI so I get some actual gas mileage and was thinking of the Jetta Sportwagon TDI which I am told gets in the low 40's on the hwy. Cost about $28K, which I can afford to do, but not much more. Thinking it may be a good fit---any other suggestions on what to look at would be AWESOME! My criteria are simple--Something about $30K or less, around 40mpg, wagon body style and a warranty (I have such bad tendonitis, that I haven't been able to wrench and with the D90, RRC, and DII, I need SOMETHING that doesn't need constant care). A preferred option would be all-wheel drive--but I can't find that under $30K. I know I can get this in the Audi A3, but those cost too much. I don't mind a year or so old, but I would like it to be low mileage.

I don't need a fast car, but would like a great climbing engine for the colorado mountain travel. The wagon body style is a must for my dogs and moving some work stuff to clients. ALL Options welcome (could a LWB RRC get maybe 35mpg as a TDI?)

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old December 20th, 2011, 09:49 PM
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I have a 2010 Jetta tdi and average 35 mpg. On a straight hwy run it gets 40-43 with just me in the car. Extra weight drops mpg. Idling drops mpg. Stop and go traffic drops mpg. I like it. I hear the older tdis get better fuel economy closer to 50. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old December 20th, 2011, 09:51 PM
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I don't know about Colorado, but I know that the extra cost for diesel makes ANY diesel powered vehicle counter-productive if you're looking for fuel economy, or $... (Obviously a different story if you're looking for vehicle longevity or torque for pulling or distance between fill ups) I know that in Washington, Idaho, Georgia, and Alabama (all states I've been in the last year for any length of time), diesel is over $.55 more per gallon than regular. I'm too busy (lazy) to do the math, but you're probably only getting like 30 mpgs in a TDI figuring in the extra cost in fuel and the extra initial cost in the engine.

I'd think that the new Subaru Impreza would fit your bill. It is hyped at 36 mpg hwy, plus AWD, plus under $25K new. Don't know if it is regular or premium fuel though, or if it will actually hit the 36 claimed mpgs...

FWIW, My mom gets 39 mpgs in her 2011 Sportwagon, and paid a $3-4K premium for the TDI over the gas lump. I'll probably look for an Outback or Impreza for a Nanny-mobile in a year as I'm looking for the same conditions that you are looking for, good mpgs, safety, awd, and a little bit of cargo capacity.

------ Follow up post added December 20th, 2011 10:40 PM ------

OK, so for my own edification...

2012 Impreza Sport Premium (wagon model) 27/36 MPG - CVT Tranny plus a few doo dads and destination is an MSRP of $22,800. Not bad me thinks...
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  #4  
Old December 20th, 2011, 11:10 PM
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You have extremely limited options for diesel wagons here in the US. Best advice I can give you is to move to Europe. There you can practically buy whatever car you want in a diesel model. Not so much over here. We rented this Volvo V50 (pic) when I went to visit a year ago. 72 MPG in a 1.6 liter diesel engine and it's not even a hybrid! A wagon nonetheless. We drove this around for two weeks and didn't even get close to having to fill up the tank. This is not a North Korea. We should be able to buy whatever fuel efficient car we like here in the US but that is apparently not the case. If I sound bitter it's because I know what's available on the other side of the pond.
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  #5  
Old December 21st, 2011, 12:16 AM
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I have a 1996 tdi passat wagon, B4V. I love it. We will regurarly get 40-45mpg around town and on freeway trips we have gotten 50mpg. Ugly as sin, cavernous inside, surprisingly good handling and 1100 miles per tank. Biggest down side is the the door handles were designed by a 4th grader and always break.
I really like the 99ish jetta wagons also. Everything later got too complicated.
Just my 2c
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  #6  
Old December 21st, 2011, 08:23 AM
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audi

My wife and I are big Audi fans and I think if you look around you could find a nice low milage A4 for a good price and they get 30 mpg. She just sold her 03 quattro for $9000 with 50k on it. Dealer said it was only worth 7k. She got a new one to take it's place.

The higher cost of diesel negates the diesel vs gas issue. You gain maybe 8 mpg with the diesel but with the higher cost of fuel will you actually save money? If you drive a lot maybe, and the diesel vehicle cost is much more. Of course we were comparing new to new in the Audi line up and went with the gas engine. Plus the Audi Q diesel made more power than my Ford powerstroke and I just couldn't allow that!
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  #7  
Old December 21st, 2011, 09:20 AM
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I think the diesel vs gas initial cost comparison really matters whether youre the type of person who keeps the car forever or trades in every 3 years.
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  #8  
Old December 21st, 2011, 02:04 PM
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I have a 2011 tdi sportwagen (eeyore as it is grey) and it gets very high 30s on mostly highway with the six speed stick. Bone stock no options other than steelies with snow tires and rubber mats and mudflaps.

I would absolutely make sure to get the extended warranty ($1800 and change from Chris at VW Langhorne who is also the low cost seller on tdiclub.com) as the HPFP is a known issue and is insane money to fix (although it happens to only a very few of them).

Great comfortable car.
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  #9  
Old December 21st, 2011, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis View Post
My criteria are simple--Something about $30K or less, around 40mpg, wagon body style and a warranty
Why does it have to be diesel?

A Prius can easily make 40mpg. And not just on BS either

http://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/prius
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  #10  
Old December 21st, 2011, 05:58 PM
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Prius are the worst handling and braking cars ever.
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  #11  
Old December 21st, 2011, 06:03 PM
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Bought my wife a 2010 Jetta Tdi last year and love it.
We get about 42~45 on the highway.
After driving her car, my Defender feels like a farm tractor...lol
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  #12  
Old December 21st, 2011, 08:47 PM
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Seeing as I will be down this road soon, I ran some numbers on the three rigs I was considering.....

Current Georgia (Sam's Club) prices:

$3.05 (regular) / 30 MPG (Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon AWD average MPG) = $.1017 per mile
$3.05 (regular) / 27 MPG (VW Sportwagen 2.5L Gas average MPG) = $.1130 per mile
$3.50 (diesel) / 39 MPG (New Sportwagen TDI average MPG) = $.0897 per mile

Base MSRP:

Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon AWD: $20295
VW Sportwagen 2.5L: $19995
VW Sportwagen TDI: $25260

Basically, you'd have to drive around 240K miles to pay for the TDI versus the other two. The Subi would be just as fun to drive as the TDI and safer with AWD, but the 2.5L Sportwagen is a pig.

The Prius is not a good value as price per cargo carrying capacity, driver engagement, and longevity is questionable at best. I liked the Volvo wagons, but they seem to be discontinued at the moment other than the mid-sized XC which starts at $32500. Perhaps a used V50? A used Passat wagon with the 2.0 FSI turbo might hit the spot; they had the 4Motion AWD models for a few years too.

I've driven the Prius, Sportwagen TDI, and a 2.5L powered Jetta extensively and used the MPG numbers from those experiences for the calculations. I've no experience in a Subaru or Volvo.

And finally, used or certified used prices might alter these figures drastically.
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  #13  
Old December 21st, 2011, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
I have a 2011 tdi sportwagen (eeyore as it is grey) and it gets very high 30s on mostly highway with the six speed stick. Bone stock no options other than steelies with snow tires and rubber mats and mudflaps.

I would absolutely make sure to get the extended warranty ($1800 and change from Chris at VW Langhorne who is also the low cost seller on tdiclub.com) as the HPFP is a known issue and is insane money to fix (although it happens to only a very few of them).

Great comfortable car.
I was going to chime in saying you had that.

I don't know anybody who has that car, who doesn't love it


Quote:
Originally Posted by SMac View Post
The Prius is not a good value as price per cargo carrying capacity, driver engagement, and longevity is questionable at best.
I've heard its illegal to own a Defender AND a Prius, true story.

Wouldn't you rather drive something WITH a soul? that doesn't also take yours? http://www.green.autoblog.com/2008/0...age-test-kind/
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  #14  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 09:40 AM
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Chris Davis
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I guess it really doesn't have to be a diesel, I just thought it blew things away mpg wise---the mile-per-dollar cost that you folks chimed in about really gave me food for thought. Ideally an AWD wagon with gas mileage is my preference, so I will rethink the Subaru and audi/vw scenarios as well.

Just curious--does anyone know what a RRC, such as a '95 with a TDI gets?
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  #15  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 09:43 AM
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you will recoup the difference in initial cost of the diesel at the sale of the vehicle. if diesel is a 20% increase from say 87, they get more than 20% improved economy. Once again the diesel will win in the comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMac View Post
Seeing as I will be down this road soon, I ran some numbers on the three rigs I was considering.....

Current Georgia (Sam's Club) prices:

$3.05 (regular) / 30 MPG (Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon AWD average MPG) = $.1017 per mile
$3.05 (regular) / 27 MPG (VW Sportwagen 2.5L Gas average MPG) = $.1130 per mile
$3.50 (diesel) / 39 MPG (New Sportwagen TDI average MPG) = $.0897 per mile

Base MSRP:

Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon AWD: $20295
VW Sportwagen 2.5L: $19995
VW Sportwagen TDI: $25260

Basically, you'd have to drive around 240K miles to pay for the TDI versus the other two. The Subi would be just as fun to drive as the TDI and safer with AWD, but the 2.5L Sportwagen is a pig.

The Prius is not a good value as price per cargo carrying capacity, driver engagement, and longevity is questionable at best. I liked the Volvo wagons, but they seem to be discontinued at the moment other than the mid-sized XC which starts at $32500. Perhaps a used V50? A used Passat wagon with the 2.0 FSI turbo might hit the spot; they had the 4Motion AWD models for a few years too.

I've driven the Prius, Sportwagen TDI, and a 2.5L powered Jetta extensively and used the MPG numbers from those experiences for the calculations. I've no experience in a Subaru or Volvo.

And finally, used or certified used prices might alter these figures drastically.
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  #16  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draaronr View Post
you will recoup the difference in initial cost of the diesel at the sale of the vehicle. if diesel is a 20% increase from say 87, they get more than 20% improved economy. Once again the diesel will win in the comparison.
After doing the math, I agree to a point. The TDi, or any diesel vehicle, *should* be worth the additional amount incurred at purchase. One of the only scenarios where it wouldn't would be if you kept the vehicle past 180-200K miles; then the total vehicle value would be less than the difference in engine cost. But then at that point, you may have another 100K left on the TDI whereas the gas engine would be taking a dump. The difference in fuel prices here in Georgia is 13%, which is lower than Idaho and Washington. It looks like the mean difference in Colorado is over $.65, or 19%.

I remember getting eatin' alive when diesel hit $5.20 in Seattle and I was filling the 32 gallon tank on my Cummins. Gas was over 23% cheaper. I've always been a huge diesel fan boy, but there are a ton of scenarios where diesel will NOT pencil out. If you're on this board and/or driving Land Rovers, you probably don't care about bang for your buck, or we're just plain crazy/stupid, but a purpose built car like a commuter/high mileage/work vehicle needs to be penciled out imo. Just laying out scenarios for "bang for the buck" for myself....and the op if interested.
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  #17  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 10:38 AM
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There are also some low cost hybrids. I bought a 2011 Honda insight base model for my wife. She demanded some sort of hatchback I was looking for a nice used subie but the crappy mileage and beat to shit NE cars didn't help

She drives about miles a day for work and has been getting a solid 51 mpg driving with a light foot. This will prob come down by a few mpg now that it is getting alot colder out

We bought it at right above invoice at 17900. did not come with a single option besides the factory equipment. We put in some walmart floor mats and off she went.

Was financed at .9% so over the life of the loan we arent going to be paying much more.

some caveats:

Car is a hybrid so its slower than my 110
cabin space and loadspace is smaller then the prius but we can still fit 2 dog crates, her and I and 2 50 lb dogs plus luggage in it
Stock tires blow they are loud and suck in the wet
TPMS system is very very sensitive ( a good thing for mileage but annoying)
interior is light in color and made from cheap materials
2 speaker stereo (lol wut?) but the wiring was there in the doors for the other 2 speakers so i put them in


Pros:

mileage
we now have 26k on it and not a single issue besides a whiny TPMS computer
front and side airbags, abs and AC standard
led rear lights
warms up in cold weather in about 45 seconds for hot heat
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  #18  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 11:00 AM
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I think people need to realize that 99.9% of cars on the road are depreciating assets. My thought is if you plan on keeping it over 100k then get the diesel...

I only made money on one car I have owned at it was a Toyota Tacoma that Toyota bought back from me at 150% of KBB.

Buy Barrys Bike if you want to be save money.
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  #19  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 11:05 AM
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A couple more things to consider. Over the last 10 years or so that I have been driving diesels almost exclusively the price of diesel versus gasoline has fluctuated wildly. I would not assume that today's diesel surcharge will remain constant during your car ownership. Just a few months ago diesel was quite a bit cheaper than gasoline, at least up here.

Based on current used sales prices in my area, a 120-180K mile used TDI will sell at 3-4K over a comparatively equipped gas powered one. VWs with gas engines have horrible resale but the TDIs command a premium. Subarus also seem to depreciate rapidly and they don't have the same body build quality as the VWs, in terms of rust resistance, so they are generally worse off for resale (this is in the rust capital of North America).

Another factor is that gas engines rarely get advertized mpg in the real world but diesels seem to fare better. I don't drive 55 mph, ever. An Impreza in my hands will get less than 25 mpg. My TDI Jetta rarely gets worse than 40 mpg and on road trips I often get into the 50 mpg range, 75 mph cruising speed. Hell, last year I towed a small trailer down to Doug Crowther's place, through DC and home behind the TDI. I got in the mid 40s towing at 75 mph with a 1500 lbs trailer.

I'm in the unfortunate spot that we need an AWD due to our insane driveway, and our TDI has 315K miles. I would love to keep it but walking home gets old, so I am looking at Subarus and Audis. I just wish they made a TDI A3 that was AWD.

Edit: I did the math a while ago on the savings from driving my TDI Jetta as opposed to an Impreza, converting for average fuel costs and it was at least 12-14K cheaper over the car's lifetime, plus the TDI has been as reliable as a freaking clock, it starts at -30 not plugged in, and the interior has held up quite well for 300+ plus miles of torture.
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  #20  
Old December 22nd, 2011, 11:14 AM
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Speaking of crappy driveway situations.... I have a duplex and my tennants are lazy and both have front wheel drive cars... My wife and I drive right over the snow to get out (we both have AWD), if there is 1" of snow they can't get up the driveway..... I usually have to clean it.

Her next car will be a Diesel AWD.. (we are hoping the Evoque comes in the US as a Diesel (to compete with BMW and Audi)...
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