VAG Diesels - Fred Stoat
Interesting comment in today's Sunday Telegraph that the Audi A3 diesel sound like a load of nails in a food processor. Couldn't agree more. I tried a new A4 Avant with the 130bhp PD engine yesterday and I couldn't believe just how bad this much-vaunted engine really is - noisy, unresponsive and downright uncouth with teeth rattling vibration through the steering. A damned fine car spoiled.

I also tried a 2.5 Tdi A4 - not bad but still pretty noisy and very expensive. On an extended run it returned a whole 1.5 mpg more than a similar A4 1.8T (petrol) - it would take several zillion miles to get back the price premium.

And before the DERV brigade start writing abuse..... just try the new TDCI Focus, performs just like a petrol and doesn't even sound like a diesel except if you are outside. You can buy a lot of fuel for the £1200 premium though.

Until I drove the 130Tdi I was on the point of buying an A4 Avant, the experience has so soured my view of the car that I probably won't buy now.
Re: VAG Diesels - Pat
Interesting comments, Fred. I've got the A4 TDi 115 (2000X) and it is a bit noisy at low speeds/tickover, especialy when cold. Once warmed up and at typical driving/cruising speeds you wouldn't know it was a diesel, apart form its tremendous torque. Going up hills is a real joy, and accelerating in 5th on motorways is quick and safe. 600+ miles per tank is another benefit.

I compared it wih the 1.8 petrol at the time and I found this very 'busy'; undergeared, noisy and lacking oomph, even though the performance figures are almost identical. It just felt weedy compared to the diesel.

Mind you, the new BMW diesels sound pretty good! (see 3 series reign of terror)

Re: VAG Diesels - Honest John
Where in The Sunday Telegraph was this comment? Noisy, unresponsive and downright uncouth are not words I have chosen to describe this engine in the road tests on this site. Far from it. But, like XUTDs, HDIs and other TDIs, the TDI PD 130 can probably vary from car to car. The 1.4 TDI PD in the Polo and Lupo certainly does and needs at least 5,000 miles to run in.

Re: VAG Diesels - peter charnley
It was in the Sunday Times. I am keen to buy one. I will now check out the BMW diesel as well.

Re: VAG Diesels - Moosh
This months edition of 'Diesel Car' magazine has a comprehensive compartive test on the BMW 320d Compact v Audi A3 Tdi 130.

The Audi wins, but only just.
Re: VAG Diesels - Ronnie Courtney
"It was in the Sunday Times. I am keen to buy one."

Peter - Available at all good newsagents! Sorry, smacked wrist - couldn't resist .... Good hunting - for your preferred diesel, that is, and don't forget to tell us which and why.

Re: VAG Diesels - Keithb
BMW diesels are cheaper than petrol cars if you buy abroad i.e. best savings are on diesels. UK diesel car prices (for all makes) tend to be greater than petrol equivalents - another UK rip-off ?
Re: VAG Diesels - Moosh
"it would take several zillion miles to get back the price premium."

Please do not forget the future second hand value, diesel residuals are getting much stronger than their petrol counterparts.
Re: VAG Diesels - Leslie
I think the 1.9TDI has been produced in 90BHP, 100 BHP, 115BHP, 130BHP form and the latest is 150BHP.

I may be wrong on this but each iteration seems to produce more torque at a similar RPM and is claimed to be more economical.

Normally when increased BHP is obtained from an engine there is a penalty in higher fuel consumption or the torque curve is modified and 'drivability' is reduced.

How do VAG achieve this?

Re: VAG Diesels - Phil
Economy seems to go down very slightly with the PD engines. I don't think the PD150 is more economical than the 130?
Re: VAG Diesels - Graham Perry
The 4 cyl VW dervs are renouned for their inconsistancy. I have driven several and cannot understand why some were super and others were really quite noisy & rough. Others have commented on this as well.
Re: VAG Diesels - Fred Stoat
Sorry - yes it was the Sunday Times and the A4 I drove had done 1200 miles. I still won't be buying one.
Re: VAG Diesels - Nipsy
Ihave a Golf TDI 130 with just 2k on the clock and I find the engine quite and refined for a diesel. Plenty of grunt and ave 47 mpg from new in Dec 2001. No long journeys yet mainly 10/15 mls each time but I can see that it should do 50mpg on motorway at 80mph. On the debate re addatives I will give this vehicle a shot every month just in case - it will only cost pennies and I will be happy.
Re: VAG Diesels - Fred Stoat
key words are "for a diesel"... I am not prepared to spend the hard earned on agricultural vehicles
Re: Diesel do us nicely ta! - Pat

I too was prejudiced regarding diesels, but now I can't see myself buying another petrol-engined car. Yes, petrol cars are a bit quieter and smoother, but they lack that muscularity that a good turbo diesel has. Even it wasn't for the fuel economy advantage (which is considerable) I still think I'd go for a TD again.

I took my family from Evesham (Worcs) to Scotland last Easter in the A4 and got to Fort William on just over half a tank. That's over 400 miles! In normal driving I quite honestly forget about filling up for weeks on end. Brings a smile to your face!
Re: Diesel do us nicely ta! - John
I've got the 130PD in a Passat and like Pat says, it's very different when it's warmed up. It is noisy when it's stone cold but as it heats up it quieter and smoother. It's my first diesel and I really like the way it drives. It feels like you're sitting behind a much bigger engine. I think it's down to your driving style whether you'll like a diesel or not.
Re: Diesel do us nicely ta! - Phil
My Dad reckons he is up for entry into the 800 club this summer (800 miles on one tank). Audi A6 Avant 1.9 TDI. His previous record is 775 miles, but reckons if he carries extra diesel in reserve he pluck up the courage to drive that bit further with that light on and the oh so pleasant low-fuel warning 'ding'.
Diesel is not the answer - Fred Stoat
Can I just clarify that I took an A4 PD 130 on my 152 mile round trip to and from work, taking in mostly motorway and dual carriageway as well as about 15 miles on suburban and rural roads.

I found - the noise was tiresome, the vibration got worse as the engine got warmer, the car returned an average of 41 mpg (measured full tank to full tank) and showed 480 as the tank range (I am familiar with the Audi DIS computer as I have the same on my wife's A6). The A6 (1.8T and a bigger car) returns 37 mpg when treated to the same journey.

So, I have driven the wretched thing from cold, from hot, on a motorway, on a country lane and I stand by what I said - noisy, unresponsive, and agricultural. A light pressure turbo petrol (like the 1.8T) wins on all counts.

I am not anti-diesel but this engine is simply not acceptable in modern terms. I view the A4 diesel as a good car ruined. It seems some people will put up with second best simply to save a quid or two.
Re: Diesel is not the answer - ROBIN
I drive diesels because the torque characteristics make them quicker and more fun on british roads.If you have a rough one then get it rechipped,they all need this,as do petrols,because the manufacturers optimise them for emissions-as low as possible-and good governement consumption figures.
this produces engines which actually produce more pollution and burn more fuel.
There a re no very nice 4 cylinder engines,really,but some are better than others and they can all be improved.
Whichever way you go you have to put up with compromise,my HDi is smoother than my XUD,but is considerably noisier.Chipping it made no difference at all.At least it has a reasonably progressive torque delivery,no more flat spots,yet in standard form its no fireball.
I am quite sure that this engine is no more than an XUD block with a DI head strapped to it and a bolt-on common rail system.
If I'm right then its a very creditable piece of bodging,prosaic though its output might be,what could they have done with a decent turbo and more adventurous engine management,we wonder.
Re: Diesel is not the answer - Simon Ridgers
Have to agree with you on the A4 130TDi. Had one today for a 24 hour test drive and found the vibration very tiresome. Wouldn't be able to live with it. However, I wouldn't agree that it was unresponsive because at 2,500+ rpm the acceleration is very strong. Also, averaged 44.5mpg over a fair mixture of motorway, dual carrageway and stop/start.

It was an SE spec and wouldn't be able to live with the poor damping on the standard suspension either.

So I'll give this diesel lark one more try and see if I can get my hands on an A4 2.5 TDi with sports suspension. If it can do 40 mpg and keep itself from floating/ bouncing, I'll probably get one.
Re: Diesel is not the answer - Fred Stoat
Try the TDCi Ford engine in a Focus (a bit quieter than the Mondeo for some reason) - this is the first decent diesel engine I have come across.

None of your apologist "for a diesel" comments apply, this is a decent car - period.

Value my car