Diesel VS Gasoline? Learn me sumpin here boys.

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by ricochetrider, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    So yeah. I bought a 2011 VW Tiguan about a year ago. It takes high grade 90+ octane gasoline. Since I've owned the car, prices at the pump have done nothing but climb. So I'm kinda kickin myself and thinking about offing the Tiguan and going to a TDI.

    Yeah, the TDI will get 40 MPG or better. The Tiguan topped out at about 27 MPG on one downhill stretch of hiway, with the wind at my back. Typically, I get about 23 MPG in it.

    In spite of what seems like obvious benefits, I still have to ask: IS diesel really "better than" gasoline in a CAR? Guess it's just the ever-present skeptic in me. Throw me a bone and tell me about it. :deal
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  2. Garp

    Garp Long timer

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    it depends how you define "better". Typically a diesel will get better MPG, have more torque, lower Horsepower and a narrower powerband.

    I normally drive a GTI in the states, which is essentially the same engine as your Tiguan, but I'm currently in the UK driving a BMW 320D. I have to say, if the BMW was available in the States, it would get serious consideration. The torque is great in real world driving and it gets an honest 40MPG despite being driven like a rental car :rofl

    I test drove a Golf TDI before buying the GTI. I loved the engine, hated the Dual Clutch transmission and preferred the power of the GTI to the economy of the diesel.

    I suspect if you do the math you would have to do a LOT of driving to break even on the trade. You're going to take a significant hit on the Tiguan to save maybe $40-$50 per fillup
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  3. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    Just due to fuel cost differences alone mileage with the diesel has to be 15 to 20 percent better. Additionally, the diesel option costs more to purchase. Factor in the depreciation hit you'll take to make the trade and I'd be surprised if it was worth it. You'd probably have to keep he vehicle for many, many 10's of thousands of miles to see the payback.
    #3
  4. tpirocz

    tpirocz i do what i want

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    around here diesel costs more per gallon than gasoline. so i would want to do some math based on how much i actually drive and figure an approximate cost per mile. keeping in mind that there is no reason diesel cant and doesnt also go up in price.

    then i would consider the fact that a diesel is usually more money to purchase in the first place. and you will need to determine the loss you will take on your sale or trade in of what you have.

    then comes diesel maintenance. all of my diesel experience is with mercedes. but in general they do cost a little more to maintain and there can be some expensive repair items associated with diesel too.

    then there is the noise...and i know newer direct injection stuff is much better than the diesels of old, but they still sound crappy to me.

    o and the smell...i can not stand the smell of it when filling at the gas station. also diesel pumps tend to be dirtier than the gas ones. your hands will smell when you get back into the car.
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  5. Carlo Muro

    Carlo Muro SupercĂ zzola

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    factoring out the fun to drive part (diesel will win hands down for the most part due to the real-world power band) and looking solely at the economics, the fact that UPS has chosen mostly gas engines makes a huge case against diesel for me. If you're after a 140 bhp engine that "feels" like 300, better range, and better resale then go diesel.
    #5
  6. 1LIFE2LIVE

    1LIFE2LIVE Long timer

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  7. Tinfish

    Tinfish Long timer

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    Well, I bought a Golf TDI, so obviously I am biased. The engine has low hp numbers, but the torque is superb for real world driving. Merging onto a highway, passing on a long uphill grade -- those are when the diesel shines. The economy is sweet, too -- I can drive to Seattle and back on one tank of fuel, for example.

    Honestly, if you really want to save money you should just buy a Honda Fit or an equivalent small, economical car. The fuel savings of the TDI won't make up for its higher purchase price within either of our lifetimes. But if you have the cash, the cars deliver a very pleasant driving experience.
    #7
  8. Southest US Thumper

    Southest US Thumper Extreme n00b

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    We got a Jetta Wagon TDI it's had some lack of intelligent dealer mechanic issues but is really quite reliable and efficient, as metioned check out the Diesel thread here.

    We're currently in Germany and the 2.0 TDI powered Tiguans are a dime a dozen, rumor has it the USofA won't get a diesel until the updated Tiguan comes out, real shame it's not sooner, Tiguans are nice but too thirsty.
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  9. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    I will definitely spend some time this weekend going thru that ADV diesel thread.

    My driving is heavy- I work part time, on call for about 15 different places in about a 100 mile radius from my home. So lots of freeway driving, and just lots of driving in general. My girlfriend has an 03 Jetta with about 125K on it, that we could probably sell outright, and I could flip the Tiguan over to her- she'd ALMOST break about even on the gas and have a serious upgrade, AND have herself an AWD vehicle for when it snows. (the original reason I bought the Tiguan- AWD)

    For my way of thinking, VW offers a heck of a lot for the money. you can get a lot of car with some good fit-n-finish for under 30K. In today's economy, that's a big plus. I don't need a hot rod, that's not something I care about at all, just want some good mileage in something that's not gonna give me that tin-can feel.

    Too bad the Tiguan doesn't come in diesel- I'd have bought one in a heartbeat. Then again, too bad you can't get a TDI Golf with AWD.

    etc.
    etc.
    etc.

    Guess that old Stones song is true, right?

    "you can't always get what you want.
    but if you try sometimes
    you just might find,
    you get what you need".
    #9
  10. SourKraut

    SourKraut Long timer

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    I recently picked up a GTI with the 2.0T engine (same as the Tiguan) after comparing it to a Golf TDI, both with manual transmission. I drive very little and enjoy the sportiness of the GTI but if I drove a hundred miles or more a day I would have gotten the TDI. As it stands I'm putting about 800 miles a month on the GTI which will drop significantly when the weather warms up and I mostly use my motorcycle to get around.

    With the amount of driving you do the TDI sounds like it would make sense.
    #10
  11. PoundSand

    PoundSand Long timer

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    In the 1.5 years we've had our tdi, whee we're at, diesel has typically been ~10% more (usually a bit less, but we just call it 10%) than regular gas, and is currently 3.7% more. But the op uses premium, so the cost diffetential is quite a bit less, usually a couple pennies a gallon more for diesel (1%-2% diffeence, with diesel currently about 2.5% cheaper (10c or so) ).
    #11
  12. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    Diesel in Northern IL is currently .10 per gallon cheaper than unleaded regular...........that has not happened for years.


    Of the alternative engine/fuel choices out there diesel makes far more pay back sense than electric or hybrids..........for range, easy of finding fuel and NOT having purchasing a $2000 to $4000 battery pack sometime in the future.

    Diesels certainly cost more up front:cry

    Clean diesels no longer stink and no longer smoke and have great power while delivering increase MPG.

    Diesels can cost more to maintain....................
    #12
  13. Bun-bun

    Bun-bun Been here awhile

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  14. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Nearly all diesel cars in North America are VW, which tend not to be as reliable as there Japanese competition. Not the engine but the car itself. Got a few friends with VWs and they need special tools to do the brakes.
    #14
  15. 1LIFE2LIVE

    1LIFE2LIVE Long timer

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    Consumer Reports backs this statement up
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  16. MisterPX

    MisterPX Been here awhile

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    Saw teh radius, but no hard mileage. How many miles a year in a car do you average? That'll decide if the switch is worth it.

    For example, I get 16mpg in my jeep, drive 10K miles a year in it. If I got a car that got me 35mpg, I'd save $1300 a year in gas. But where will I find a new car for $100 a month? How about a used car; at $5000, it'd take me 4 years to break even, barring any repairs.

    At 23, and 40mpgs, based on local fuel pricing, $1400 savings driving 20K miles a year.
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  17. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Let's say on a normal year, I probably put 30-32K on a vehicle. This past year is anomolous because I didn't work for several months due to carpal tunnel syndrome and surgeries etc.- The Tiguan has a little over 21K on now, so I probably didn't drive 10K additional miles in the past 12 months due to the above. I bought the car in February of 2011.
    #17
  18. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    Screw all that.

    Get a 335d, people will think you're being sensible, ecological, economical; then go M3 hunting. At least to 60.:lol3

    When the warranty's over, going to look into a chip.
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  19. Tinfish

    Tinfish Long timer

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    The math isn't all that tricky, at least just for fuel costs. According to http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/, national averages for both premium and diesel are just over $4/gallon, so let's call both $4 for easy math.

    Right now you are driving 30k miles at 23 mpg, which is 1304 gallons, or around $5200.

    With a TDI getting 40mpg, that's 750 gallons, or $3000. (With all those highway miles, you should be able to beat 40mpg by a fair margin, but 40 seems like a conservative number to use for comparison purposes.)

    So you are looking at something like $2000 in fuel savings per year at current gas prices; you'll have to do your own math on things like insurance, depreciation, maintenance, etc.

    Whether you buy the TDI or another car, you sure sound like an ideal candidate to be buying a high efficiency automobile. There was a front page story a day or two ago in the NY Times predicting $5/gallon gas this summer; if that came true, your savings would be closer to $3000/year. I don't know how much you earn, but in my world that is real money.
    #19
  20. AkBrian

    AkBrian Long timer

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    I'm guessing depreciation and insurance will be a bigger factor than fuel.

    Edit to Add: Edmunds.com calculates the total cost of ownership over a 5 year period for each model, you might check them out.

    http://www.edmunds.com/volkswagen/touareg/2012/tco.html?style=101404214
    #20