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Old 06-19-2014, 03:07 PM   #1
Jamie Z OP
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Help me buy a TDI.

So a few weeks ago I started driving for Lyft, a so-called ride-sharing organization which pairs up people who want rides with people who are willing to give them rides via smartphone.

I've been using my girlfriend's Honda Accord, which is perfect, except that it's not my car, and the gas mileage isn't the best.

Enter the Volkswagen TDI.

I'm interested in getting a Jetta TDI. I've never owned one, or even been interested in getting one, for that matter, so I need an education.

I looked at this one at a Memphis used car dealership yesterday:



http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail...nal&listType=1

It's got 160,000 miles and they're asking just under $10,000. The car has been meticulously detailed, and the only imperfect items I could see was some wear on the driver's seat and the driver's door handle.

The Carfax claims a one-owner car and includes a long list of dealership maintenance including the timing belt at 100,000 and even oil changes and bulb replacement. There are a few ambiguous entries on the Carfax which say "Driveability/performance checked" at around 125,000 miles, but no indication of the problem or work done.

I took it for a spin, and aside from feeling underpowered (100 bhp) it felt fine. There was a little vibration in the pedal on releasing the clutch. I don't know if that's worrisome or not.

I'm a little concerned about the 160,000 miles, and I feel like $10,000 is too high. I'd like to look elsewhere, but it's the only 5-speed, 4-door TDI I can find within 100 miles.

Jamie
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:13 PM   #2
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I've had two TDI's. An 00 and 05. EASY to get more power out of it. There is a lot more info at tdiclub.com. Make sure the timing belt services have been done.....
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:22 PM   #3
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yeah - jump over to TDIclub and start reading..... there is much to learn
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:37 PM   #4
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a jetta seems a bit small for a ride service, no? not exactly a lot of leg room back there...
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:40 PM   #5
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yeah - jump over to TDIclub and start reading..... there is much to learn
I'm awaiting my confirmation email...

Jamie
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:41 PM   #6
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a jetta seems a bit small for a ride service, no? not exactly a lot of leg room back there...
I'm trying to keep my investment costs down, and most rides are just a few miles. I feel like for my needs the back seat leg room is low on the priority list. What's the next step, the Passat?

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Old 06-19-2014, 03:48 PM   #7
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I'm trying to keep my investment costs down, and most rides are just a few miles. I feel like for my needs the back seat leg room is low on the priority list. What's the next step, the Passat?

Jamie
I have a new Passat TDI - love the car. More room in the back than the full size Lexus. Regardless of what you get, if you get a stick, buy the Diesel Geek short shift kit. It transforms the way the thing shifts in a very good way
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:54 PM   #8
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Price seems quite high, given the mileage. That looks like an MK5 generation, which IIRC is 2005 to 2008, so it's at least 6 years old.

I bought my 2003 MK4 Golf TDI in 2009 at 6 years old, with about 85k miles, and paid less than 9k CAN. Car prices are almost always higher in Canada than the US.

FWIW, ours has been relatively trouble free in the 5 years and 55k miles. Small things have gone wrong, but most where easily diagnosed and fixed with the help of TDIClub. It's certainly not been nearly as bad as the interwebs would have you believe.

Good luck in your search
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:56 PM   #9
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I have a new Passat TDI - love the car. More room in the back than the full size Lexus. Regardless of what you get, if you get a stick, buy the Diesel Geek short shift kit. It transforms the way the thing shifts in a very good way
I really wish I had installed my Diesel Geeks shifter before I dumped my TDI. Everyone says how good it is. I still haven't felt it.
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:07 PM   #10
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Does your insurance company know you use your car commercially?
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:09 PM   #11
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I really wish I had installed my Diesel Geeks shifter before I dumped my TDI. Everyone says how good it is. I still haven't felt it.
its night and day. while the stock action feels like a stick in a glass of tapioca, with the short shift its very defined. Unfortunately they muted the audio on my youtube installation video because of a copyright beef, but you can see what its like on this one...... listen to the sound too - you can hear it clicking into gear

IMHO the stock action is borderline unacceptable

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MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:12 PM   #12
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its night and day. while the stock action feels like a stick in a glass of tapioca, with the short shift its very defined. Unfortunately they muted the audio on my youtube installation video because of a copyright beef, but you can see what its like on this one...... listen to the sound too - you can hear it clicking into gear

IMHO the stock action is borderline unacceptable

Thanks.

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Old 06-19-2014, 04:21 PM   #13
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Jamie,

Not to talk you out of your TDI, but - Why not look into Old Grandma's (Lincoln) Town Car? Or Crown Victoria. They are service vehicles that can take abuse...

You can buy one for $1500-$3000.. That's a lot of investment return right upfront. You will never save any money on fuel with a diesel due to high buy-in price ($10000). The grandma's Town Car can be made to run on E85 for under a thousand..

just saying -- also be careful not to get your ass kicked by cabbies..
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:25 PM   #14
eatpasta
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Thanks.

Bucket list! I'll buy you a beer if you let me drive your car around the block!
if you ever make it out to SoCal.....

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Quote:
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I was SO high, I could have hunted duck with a rake
Quote:
Originally Posted by VxZeroKnots View Post
MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:27 PM   #15
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I wouldn't get a car with 160k for this, you'll be racking up tons of city (hard) miles in no time so things will break even if it has been well taken care of.

As long as you don't have super narrow streets a Passat is surprisingly easy to get through traffic and I've had very few issues in Boston so I'm guessing by you it wouldn't be bad. City MPG will suck though, 20ish MPG in stop and go with the 2.5, probably a few higher with the new 1.8T. A TDI while a better option isn't ideal @~30 MPG city.

If you want cheap/economical a Honda Civic Hybrid would be a good bet (~40 MPG city), or a Prius/Camry hybrid the latter has become a very common Taxi out here. Nissan Altima Hybrid would be another option as it uses the Toyota system and gets 35 MPG city.
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