Polo Three-Door Diesel Gets 71 mpg

Monday September 7th, 2009 at 8:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW Polo

More news from the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show about the bound for the United States Polo from Volkswagen. The Polo, or some version of it, has been around Europe for quite some time. VW never brought it to North America because they felt it was “too small” for us. That might have been true, but times have changed and so has the Polo. The upcoming version is now about the size of the Golf from a few generations ago, and VW is supposedly bringing it to U.S.

Which is good on a number of levels. It should be small, tossable, fun to drive and economical to operate. It could also fill a nice niche for first time car buyers, and for those that use their car primarily for commuting or city driving, the Polo seems like a natural. And if VW is smart enough to bring the TDi diesel variant here, the gas mileage looks to be stunning.

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New VW Golf Plus BlueMotion Diesel Gets 55 MPG

Monday August 24th, 2009 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW Golf BlueMotion

Wait, did I read that right? Nearly fifty-five miles per gallon? Shoot, that’s impressive. The new, and hopefully coming to America soon VW Golf Plus BlueMotion Diesel gets 54.7 miles per gallon. An astounding, and very useful number to be sure. And with as well screwed together a ride as a VW Golf is, and with all the nifty comfort and convenience features it has, this could turn into one helluva great commuter car. Or a road trip car for that matter. With those kinds of MPG figures, you could probably make it from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on one tank (as an example).

Now, do bare in mind that this is the European model (the British model, actually), and at the moment there are no firm plans to bring the car here, but c’mon VW, you’d be dumb not to. As it sits in the U.K., prices start at £17,570 for the Golf Plus BlueMotion S, and go all the way up to £18,920 for the SE, which is the equivalent of $28,841.86 to $31,057.94. No, not cheap, but then again, those prices also figure in British taxes and such like.

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2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d Review – Advanced diesel technology meets the luxury SUV

Thursday August 6th, 2009 at 2:88 PM
Posted by: AKramer

2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d

By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Dual-turbocharged 6 cylinder diesel engine = tons of torque
  • Impressive handling for a 5,100 pound SUV
  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Well-appointed, spacious interior

Cons:

  • Annoying throttle lag, especially at low speeds
  • iDrive interface is still clumsy and confusing
  • Steep $68,000 sticker price

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V-dub Deezul Action

Monday August 3rd, 2009 at 10:88 AM
Posted by: Derek

VW Jetta TDI dieselLast year I totally got onboard the diesel train after driving a new Jetta TDI. Now I appreciate the value of diesel power a whole lot more after recently driving several hybrids in as many weeks. I’ve come to the conclusion that hybrids are as much fun to drive as a shopping cart with a broken wheel. And they require a totally different mindset from what I already have burned into my left hemisphere.

When gas prices were out of control last summer, diesel powered vehicles offered a little relief because more miles per gallon were possible with a gallon of diesel vs. regular petrol, plus they were an attractive alternative to the over-hyped, over-priced hybrids. The Jetta TDI I tested was quiet, drove like a real car, didn’t spew soot all over the rear bumper, and most importantly – didn’t smell like a carton of rotten eggs.

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2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan – First Impressions

Friday July 31st, 2009 at 8:77 AM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein

Diesel: what’s old is new, only better
I’ve been unintentionally green for a few weeks now; my beloved 2000 Audi A6 is in the shop getting major surgery including a transmission rebuild, new power steering rack, and catalytic converters. So I’ve been cycling and train-riding to work for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, the train station is quite a ways from work, so I’ve been riding a minimum of 9 miles, and sometimes 40 miles a day (if I forego the train). You can imagine there are times I’m pretty tired.

Luckily, my backside got a welcome break with the chance to test the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta. But the “green” didn’t take a break with this frugal VW. It’s a fantastic car that offers plenty of room front and rear, fold down seats to easily fit the bike into the trunk, excellent handling, and a thoroughly entertaining diesel engine. Entertaining? Diesel? Yep-this sucker features a turbocharger that kicks in for some prodigious torque. While the 2.0 liter 4 cylinder has only 140 horsepower, it packs a whopping 236 foot pounds of torque. While it lags a bit off the line, at highway speeds, the torque makes passing a joy. It is an ideal highway cruiser. Even more impressive, despite my notorious lead-footedness (I infamously logged just 22mpg in the ’08 Honda Fit), I averaged a stunning 37.5 mpg!

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Posted in Expert Reviews, hybrid, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , || 7 Comments »


Gale Banks The King of Diesel Speaks Out

Thursday July 30th, 2009 at 7:77 AM
Posted by: m35man

Gale Banks

For many years, diesel engines have gotten a bad rap for being smokey and loud, but one man is on a mission to tell people it’s not that way anymore!

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Gale Banks, owner of Gale Banks Engineering. He’s considered by many to be the King of Diesel in the U.S., having designed and raced diesel engines since the late 1950’s.

Banks said he has seen the diesel performance industry evolve at a tremendous rate during his nearly 50 years of building engines. “I sold my first engine in 1958,” he said. “I’ve seen this market change dramatically, and it’s been exciting. The question we need to ask ourselves is how do we work worldwide to make diesel bigger than it is today? The message I want to tell people is that diesel kicks gas, and that’s no smoke. Winning races and setting diesel performance records is the best way to further this industry and to get people really excited about diesel.

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New Entry-Level Engines For Audi Q5 and A4 Allroad Quattro

Tuesday July 28th, 2009 at 7:77 AM
Posted by: tonyb

2009 Audi A4 Allroad

More word from Europe on engines and models that car companies should be bringing to these shores. Audi, maker of all things all wheel drive and quick, has just announced some new engines for the euro market that would be really nice to see here in America (along with a model we should see too).

The most interesting of the new mills is an entry-level diesel that will be available for both the Audi Q5 SUV and the A4 Allroad Quattro crossover. It’s a 2.0-liter TDI with a nifty common rail high-pressure injection setup that cranks out 143 HP and a maximum of 236 lb-ft of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Pretty impressive grunt for such a small engine. There’s also a new base 2.0-liter gasoline fueled that puts out 180 HP and 236 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 to 3,900 rpm for the Q5 SUV. Both engines get a 6-speed manual gearbox.

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Study Shows Diesel & Hybrid Cost Advantages

Monday July 27th, 2009 at 6:77 AM
Posted by: tonyb

pumping gas

You’d think you wouldn’t really need to run the numbers to make sure, but it turns out that some people have, and, as expected, it’s less expensive to own and operate either a diesel of a hybrid car than a gasoline fueled ride. Who knows what their motivation was, maybe it was that bogus study that showed a Hummer has less environmental impact than a Prius, but the numbers, which do look very good, are laid out after the jump.

For the fourth year running, IntelliChoice.com has released its annual survey of eco-conscious rides and it shows what anyone who has bought a car for long term use has found out first hand: Gas cars are cheaper in initial costs, but over the years of ownership, diesels and hybrids take less from your pocket.

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Diesel's Popularity Because of Fuel Efficiency & Performance

Wednesday July 22nd, 2009 at 7:77 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW Jetta TDI clean diesel

Yup, diesel sales are on the increase again, and it’s not hard to figure out why. Times is tight, as Desmond Dekker said, and people are looking to save wherever they can. Add that to growing green concerns amongst the populace, and that’ll be another selling point for oil burners. “But performance” some people might ask, “Really?”

Indeed, performance is also a viable reason for considering diesels these days. A while back, just for the heck of it, I looked into building up a VW Golf TDi as an eco-friendly rally car. The Golf is a good platform for that in general, but I was concerned about what could be done with the engine.

Turns out, you could do a surprising amount of fun stuff.

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2009 Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 TDI Review – $43K, 30 mpg and 406 lb. ft torque = A No-Brainer.

Tuesday July 21st, 2009 at 9:77 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer

Blings:

  • Powerful, Fuel Efficient, Clean and Quiet V6 diesel
  • Off-road prowess
  • Exceptional value
  • Safer than a nuclear fallout shelter

Dings:

  • No 3rd row seating (but this could actually be a bling depending on one’s affinity for hauling bodies)
  • Umm…that’s it, folks!

Ruling: If you want an SUV that can do everything but schlep more than five passengers, stop your search here.

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