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A newer Prius or a newer VW Golf TDI?

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

jerry.mcintire

We have owned both, and like the Prius in our cold Wisconsin winters because we aren't able to use 100% biodiesel during them. Hard to beat the gas mileage, but there is a new biodiesel co-op here and the TDI gets such outstanding mpg, as good as the Prius once it's warmed up. We would add a coolant preheater if it didn't already have one. We have a block heater on the Prius and would put one in a newer Prius. For short drives around town we use our electric car, so this is mostly for trips over 75 miles.

What is your experience with VW Golfs or Jettas post-2008? Have many of the electrical and door/window problems been solved? The VW motors and transmissions have always been long-lived, but the Prius reliability has been hard to beat.

We like the hatchback for hauling sports equipment and lots of gear on trips.

Priorities: Fuel economy / Quietness / Reliability & durability

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Hatch / Wagon

Car Needs: Family transporter / Long trips

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 60000
Maximum age: 6 years

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Response from wcpowell12

9:45 am March 31, 2014

For long hauls and fuel economy you can't go wrong with the VW Jetta TDi Wagon. If you prefer the automatic (maunal is best) it will take some getting used to as the shifts are firm and sometimes searches for the right gear. But, long trips will reward you with 40-50 mpg, loaded or empty. That's just the way diesels are.

Make sure there is some kind of engine warranty - not for the engine but for the high pressure fuel pump system. VW, in order to save money, uses plastic internal parts and there have been some cases of catastophic failure at speed. The parts disentegrate and you will be looking at a $6 - $8k repair if not under warranty. Not just the fuel pump has to be replaced - injectors, fuel line and in some cases the fuel tank. Not wishing to scare you away from a wonderful car, but this has happened in about 3% of the vehicles. The VW dealerships have been selective in considering it a warranty issue, citing "bad fuel" as a reason. BS.

I have an 07 Touareg (V-10) TDi with 170,000 miles. It has the same high pressure fuel system and I have had not one problem with routine maintenance. While the V-10 is not very fuel efficient as far a diesels go (average about 20 mpg overall) it will dry-dock a battleship and outrun a Mustang GT. My fingers will have to be pried from the steering wheel.

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Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Volkswagen Touareg

Response from jerry.mcintire

11:23 am May 8, 2014

Thanks wcpowell12. How many years have you had your Touareg? What have you had to replace/repair?

Yes, manual is what we prefer. That's one of the issues with the Prius-- it won't let you drive the way you want to, disengaging the drive wheels if there is any slippage. Makes it difficult to deal with snow and mud at times.

My understanding is that the Golf will return better mileage than the Jetta Wagon-- over 50 mpg, which is what we would like.

Moderator: it would be nice to have dates appear on these posts.

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