Author Topic: Do I buy a Golf TDI?  (Read 4771 times)

CoffeeDrinkingThrow

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Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« on: May 09, 2015, 11:21:45 PM »
Saw this was listed on the 'avoid' area of the best cars list. I searched the forum and still didn't find a great reason why. I've got it targeted as my next vehicle (to replace a very poor decision I'm spending way too much money on) but don't want to go from bad to ....just a little less bad. I see them getting 200k-400k+ miles. I'd be looking at a 2010-2013 with somewhere between 20k and 90k miles. (note: I do 80+ miles a day to work and back so I think I would realize the gas savings over the TDI premium).

Any thoughts?

worms

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Re: Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2015, 11:55:19 PM »
It probably depends on which size of engine you choose and how you drive it.  Models vary across the globe as do emissions rules and parts costs, which can affect performance and running costs.  My wife has had a 2003 golf with a 1900 diesel, for the last eight years and it has proved to be a good long-term purchase - now around the 150,000 miles mark.

Of the current TDi models available here in Europe, I believe that the the 2000 engine is much better than the 1600 variant and that the lower spec models also come with poorer rear suspension which makes it feel much more like a small car.

Cole

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Re: Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 12:05:20 AM »
I'm just gonna start off by saying I love the Golf TDI's but here are some non-biased(as possible) pros/cons.
PROS:
-Run nearly forever (Go compression combustion!).
-Arguably some of the cleanest diesel engines produced in the world.
-Good fuel economy (People report 50mpg+).
CONS:
-VW's are notoriously more complicated than other vehicles to work on.
-Higher cost to repair (high parts prices -- imported parts).
-Diesel tends to be more expensive than gasoline.
-More expensive than an equivalent gasoline engine based vehicle.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2015, 02:54:26 AM »
Would you really get that much better economy than something like a Kia Rio?

Why not consider taking public transport to work, or just moving closer?

A VW TDI might not be too bad, provided nothing major goes wrong with it.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 03:43:20 AM »
Let's use good old maths to work out whether the TDI is a good deal.

Let's just say that a VW TDI costs $15000, and gets 50MPG, and compared to a small hatchback that costs $10,000 for similar age/miles, and gets 40MPG.

Using these figures, we'll assume that gas is $2.66 a gallon and diesel is $2.85 a gallon. We'll also assume that you drive to work (80mi RT) for 240 days a year, and drive an average of 20mi per day for the other 125.

As a result, the estimate of total miles driven per year would be (240 x 80) + (125 x 20) = 21700 miles per year.

In the VW, 21700 miles would use a grand total of 434 gallons of diesel, at a total cost of $1236.90 for a year. In the small hatchback, you'd use 542.5 gallons of gas, which would be $1443.05 for the year. If gas was $4 and diesel $4.50 a gallon, the VW would be $1953 and the small car would be $2170.

So, you're saving roughly $200 a year on fuel, go for the VW right? Wrong. After all, you spent another $5000 to buy the thing in the first place. That $5000 is no longer working to generate income for you. Based on a 7% rate of investment growth, you've forgone $350pa in investment returns to save $200pa in gas.

Of course this doesn't take into account things like insurance, servicing, expected lifespan, or similar. YMMV :)

paddedhat

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Re: Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 04:48:24 AM »
Having owned a slightly older Passat, it became quite evident that VW is capable of building needlessly complex, unreliable vehicles that are expensive to repair. Given that, for the same amount of cash, you could end up with a Toyota hybrid that will not only be far cheaper to operate, but several magnitudes more reliable, I can't imagine ever buying a POS VW product for alleged fuel cost savings. Stinky, nasty fuel that isn't commonly available in many areas, and all the other headaches that come with owning a VW ? No thanks, I would rather find a $10K Honda, and burn the other $5K in the fireplace, it would be way less stressful.

VW is in serious trouble in the states, with embarrassingly low sales volumes, for what is one of the largest manufacturers in the world. They are also at the bottom, in terms of brand loyalty. Specifically, they have the smallest percentage of current owners who would purchase the same brand when replacing their vehicle.

Syonyk

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Re: Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 04:08:56 PM »
I searched the forum and still didn't find a great reason why.

They're not the most reliable things on the planet, and the phrase "Cheap VW TDI repair" does not meaningfully exist anywhere in reality.

coffeehound

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Re: Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 08:00:09 PM »
I searched the forum and still didn't find a great reason why.

They're not the most reliable things on the planet, and the phrase "Cheap VW TDI repair" does not meaningfully exist anywhere in reality.

What Syonyk said.  Which isn't to say I don't LOVE my Golf TDI (2013), just that it's nowhere near as cheap to repair, insure, replace tires for than my 2003 Toyota Corolla was.  That said, I drive 88 mi/RT daily (and think about FIRE every.goddamn.day.), and there is something to be said for having a car that's, well, FUN to drive.  Just recognize that your upfront, insurance, and repair costs will likely be substantially higher than if you buy a Kia or Toyota, which will affect your path to RE.

Oh, yeah........ and I get right about 50 mpg, making weekly gas expenses cheaper than in the Toyota.  YMMV.

ysette9

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Re: Do I buy a Golf TDI?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 12:53:48 PM »
I recommend checking out consumer report's for specifics on reliability for VW models and years. As I remember from a couple of years ago when we bought out Golf TDI, there is a significant difference in reliability between models and then for years within the Golf family. More recent cars saw a big jump in reliability. I have been told it has something to do with whether the car was built in Germany (good) or Mexico (bad).

As with any used car, check out the ratings on Consumer Reports first and make sure to run a Carfaxx report as well as take it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase check.