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DocLightning
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I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:02 am

So my Prius at 6 years old and 183,000 miles needs $2,500 of repairs. It's worth about $5,000. Soooo...that's a wrap.

In case you're curious, it's the front struts and front right castor. The powertrain is A-OK, including the battery.

Now, with my 50 mile commute each way, the top priority is of course efficiency. So I was looking into getting another hybrid, but I'm not happy with the options. The Prius racks up astronomical maintenance fees and there is no highway maintenance schedule. The Honda Civic and Accord are both expensive and don't have the features I want for that kind of money. The Ford C-Max isn't very efficient, it turns out and the fusion is fugly, big, and expensive. Anything that plugs in (Volt, Leaf, Tesla, any plug-in hybrid) is a nonstarter because I don't have a driveway or garage where I can put a charger.

So...anyone own a Jetta TDI? Highway mileage is like a hybrid. I'd get a manual trans, of course (I can't even tell you how excited I am about that). It's a good 15% less than an equivalent hybrid. And I'm assuming that with the single-type drivetrain, the maintenance will be a lot less complicated.
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fr8mech
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:13 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
it turns out and the fusion is fugly, big, and expensive

Doc, I got a couple of friends that love their Fusion.

I won't be in the market for a new car until the wheels fall off of mine, so I can't really help you passed what I wrote.

Good luck on your hunt.
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Pyrex
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:27 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Highway mileage is like a hybrid

Actually, if you are talking about highway only a modern turbo-diesel is more efficient than a hybrid - at constant highway speeds the batteries are pretty much dead weight, so add that to a more efficient internal combustion engine and the diesel wins out every time, on a pure MPG basis. Of course in the U.S. Diesel fuel is a lot more expensive than gasoline (if you can even find it), so it will depend a lot on the price differential in your neck of the woods.

Also, when doing the math don't look just at the official fuel consumption - the EPA test cycle is biased against diesels, so I would look at the "real world" mileage figures publications like Car & Driver manage to get. Diesel engines tend to typically come out with better mileage than the official EPA figures, while gasoline and hybrid ones normally come out worst than advertised.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
I'd get a manual trans, of course

A Diesel manual - make it a wagon and you got yourself an automotive unicorn.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:34 am

Don't exclude a non-hybrid Civic with a manual transmission. The highway fuel economy rating is essentially the same as the hybrid Civic, without the additional weight of batteries, additional maintenance costs, and high purchase price. A Civic is also one of the most reliable machines on Earth.
A turbo-diesel VW cannot be beat for economy and longevity, but the purchase price is high... but hey, your a doctor!




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vikkyvik
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:35 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
Doc, I got a couple of friends that love their Fusion.

My dad has one and seems to like it. I'm not enamored of it, though I haven't driven it that much.

Doc, I just recently (as in this past Monday) bought a new 2015 Mazda 6 Touring with 6-speed manual (that's why I can't stomach getting a hybrid). My commute is 37 miles each way, 95% highway, and I'm already at 33mpg average, and climbing. I expect it'll get up to 35-36 overall, since I do some city driving, and some stop-and-go on the freeways (EPA rating is 38 highway, I think). Not sure if that's high enough for you.

The ride is very smooth, the shifting is ridiculously smooth, the handling is great, and the features are pretty good for the price. If you want a smoother, quieter ride, you can always get the Sport trim with the 17" wheels (instead of 19").

My previous car was a 2010 Mazda 3 (also 6-speed manual), and the new 6 is vastly improved (though I loved the 3 too).

I should say, the newer Mazda 3 models should be just as good, and get better mileage than the 6 (and have more pep, if you get the 2.5L engine, which is the same as in the 6).

[Edited 2015-05-27 21:39:28]
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Pyrex
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:39 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 4):
bought a new 2015 Mazda 6 Touring with 6-speed manual

I wish the Touring part referred to the body style and not the trim level...Mazda sells a gorgeous wagon version of the 6 series in other markets but unfortunately does not offer that for sale in the U.S.
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Revelation
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:40 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
So...anyone own a Jetta TDI? Highway mileage is like a hybrid. I'd get a manual trans, of course (I can't even tell you how excited I am about that).

I talked a friend into a Jetta TDI based on a test drive I did when I was waiting for my own car to be worked on. In addition to the great highway mileage I loved the great low-end torque it has, as well as the really well-sorted interior and entertainment system. Typical german auto: very nice yet not excessive.

The problem was/is that diesel used to be priced on par with regular unleaded but now it's at or above premium unleaded, so that advantage in mileage goes away pretty quickly. Then add in the "can I get diesel in the middle of East Bum**** USA" issue and the fact that the TDI usually commands a premium and it's not as easy a decision as it once was.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
Doc, I got a couple of friends that love their Fusion.

I rented one two years ago and I thought the steering was pretty sloppy and it had that really bad Microsoft based tech package. I'd pass, unless they worked that stuff out, perhaps if you end up at a higher end package.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
I won't be in the market for a new car until the wheels fall off of mine, so I can't really help you passed what I wrote.

Me too.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
Good luck on your hunt.

  
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vikkyvik
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:43 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 5):
I wish the Touring part referred to the body style and not the trim level...Mazda sells a gorgeous wagon version of the 6 series in other markets but unfortunately does not offer that for sale in the U.S.

I actually did not know they had a wagon.

I wish they still sold the V6 engine.....sort of. Not sure if I would have bought it.....
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fr8mech
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:50 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
rented one two years ago and I thought the steering was pretty sloppy and it had that really bad Microsoft based tech package. I'd pass, unless they worked that stuff out, perhaps if you end up at a higher end package.

Ford has redesigned their Sync/MyFord Touch package. Supposedly an easier interface and not as buggy. My wife has a 2011 Edge and we were not fans of the MyFord Touch system. Though, the software upgrade/redesign seems to have all but eliminated the instability.
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DocLightning
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 5:09 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 2):
Actually, if you are talking about highway only a modern turbo-diesel is more efficient than a hybrid - at constant highway speeds the batteries are pretty much dead weight, so add that to a more efficient internal combustion engine and the diesel wins out every time, on a pure MPG basis.

Incorrect and indicative that you have no idea how a hybrid works. I've driven a hybrid for 186,000 miles, mostly on the highway. I promise I know more about how a hybrid performs on the highway than you do. Hybrids shut the engines off on the downhills and they use a smaller engine because they can draw on the battery when they need the power. The efficiency comes from having a tiny engine that runs at max efficiency most of the time with a battery for when power is needed.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 4):
My commute is 37 miles each way, 95% highway, and I'm already at 33mpg average, and climbing. I expect it'll get up to 35-36 overall, since I do some city driving,

Not good enough. 45+ highway or bust.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The problem was/is that diesel used to be priced on par with regular unleaded but now it's at or above premium unleaded, so that advantage in mileage goes away pretty quickly. Then add in the "can I get diesel in the middle of East Bum**** USA" issue and the fact that the TDI usually commands a premium and it's not as easy a decision as it once was.

So I've been paying attention. Diesel seems to have a 10% premium on regular unleaded 87 octane. As for availability, most stations near a freeway have diesel (for trucks). It's surface stations in towns that may not have it.

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 3):
Don't exclude a non-hybrid Civic with a manual transmission. The highway fuel economy rating is essentially the same as the hybrid Civic, without the additional weight of batteries, additional maintenance costs, and high purchase price. A Civic is also one of the most reliable machines on Earth.

Hmm... for 40MPG but lower maintenance costs, I could be convinced to listen. The trouble is that the manual is only available in the most basic of models and I do want some creature comforts.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
I won't be in the market for a new car until the wheels fall off of mine

Yes, that's about the point where I am unless I replace the struts and castors.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 5:14 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
So I've been paying attention. Diesel seems to have a 10% premium on regular unleaded 87 octane.

Around here, that's changed. I'm seeing regular at ~$2.89, while diesel is $2.69. I noticed it about a month ago and they have been tracking together, give or take a nickel.
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ikramerica
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 5:35 am

Have you looked at the Golf SportWagon TDI that just came out? It's built on the new Euro Golf platform vs. the Jetta which is a Americanized platform.

I have a 2015 Touareg TDI. Highway mileage is better than ratings, around town worse. For a huge SUV I get 33MPG highway. But I live at 1500 feet in very hilly terrain so around here, I get 19. But with 240hp and 400lbft torque that's pretty good for a vehicle with 7700lbs towing capacity. And I have a lead foot.

I have no doubt the Jetta and Golf will do much better around town because they are lighter and less powerful.

BTW unless you are a professional driver the automatic will get better economy than the manual TDI. And VW auto has standard Drive and Sport mode that really makes a difference. In D, efficiency is s priority. Drop it into S and the drivetrain is transformed.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The problem was/is that diesel used to be priced on par with regular unleaded but now it's at or above premium unleaded, so that advantage in mileage goes away pretty quickly. Then add in the "can I get diesel in the middle of East Bum**** USA" issue and the fact that the TDI usually commands a premium and it's not as easy a decision as it once was.

It depends on where he lives.

Here in SoCal diesel is currently $3.19 and premium $4.29 in my area. So with a 40% better economy compared to the VR6 Touareg, I'm saving on both ends. Even if the prices went back to last summer where premium was 45 cents cheaper than diesel, I'd get better $/mile.

Then factor in higher resale of the TDI, better performance, the ability to drive 700 miles on a tank when on a road trip...

As for will I find diesel? 1/2 the stations around me have it. But I also need to fill up 1/2 as often than before, should I choose. I still had 3/8 of a tank when I filled up this morning and had gone 300 miles. That's the beauty of the TDI. Fill up when it's convenient and a diesel station is close.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 5:49 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
Dieseseems to have a 10% premium on regular unleaded 87 octane.

Yes and some quick math shows the difference in highway mileage is 28% based on http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2015_Volkswagen_Jetta.shtml so you're in the black on that. Yet at the time it was around a $2k premium for the diesel and at today's cheaper prices for gas it takes a while to get back the $2k premium in purchase price and 10% premium in fuel.

Also, what happens when prices spike? Last time it seemed that diesel went up quicker than did gasoline, but part of that was its transition from being on par with regular to being on par with premium.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
As for availability, most stations near a freeway have diesel (for trucks). It's surface stations in towns that may not have it.

Given your long commute you are going to be near a highway so it's a non-issue, but for others it may be.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
The trouble is that the manual is only available in the most basic of models and I do want some creature comforts.

The Jetta does creature comforts much better than others in its general price class, IMHO.

I'm driving 16k miles a year or so mostly highway and the Jetta will get some strong looks next time around but I'm currently in a BMW and we'll see if I'm OK with making the change at that point in time. OTOH the current four-banger BMWs don't impress me that much and the six-bangers really drill you on price. I might end up buying used next time around just to avoid the big sticker shock.

To me the four-banger diesel provides a lot of the low end torque you miss on a four-banger gas engine naturally aspirated or before the turbo kicks in, which you don't really want to happen off the line. That's another thing about the hybrid, the electric part is good for low end torque so you might miss that during your rides to and from the interstate. At highway speed the diesel just wants to stay in its band which can be an issue when you want/need to step on it. Also a turbo surges/lags a lot at highway speed, IMHO.

To me I'm really happy with a naturally aspirated six cylinder in my current car. Doing some quick math I spend around $1700 a year in gas and cutting that in half is not going to change my lifestyle. Heck, $1700 won't buy you a month's rent in a crappy Boston apartment. I'd rather have the great combo of good off the line torque and good responsiveness at highway speed, and not have the torque steer issue that one gets with a front wheel drive.

The biggest dilemma in my future will be trying to find a car that makes me as happy as the current one does. It sucks to take a step backwards.
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Aaron747
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 5:50 am

Doc, you're a doctor in the Bay Area! And a handsome guy! And about town! And on the road 2 hours or more a day!

It's clear, the starting point for you has gotta be:

http://www.bmwusa.com/
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 6:01 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
BTW unless you are a professional driver the automatic will get better economy than the manual TDI.

That makes sense to me. My car's six speed auto is silky smooth, and I often think to myself that it's shifting better than I can. And if I really want to slap through the gears my tranny will let me do that too.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):

Here in SoCal diesel is currently $3.19 and premium $4.29 in my area. So with a 40% better economy compared to the VR6 Touareg, I'm saving on both ends.

Wow. Just did a gas buddy search and it's $2.59 for regular unleaded and $2.89 for either premium unleaded or diesel around here. Wonder why diesel is so much cheaper relatively speaking in SoCal? Do they hammer the price of premium?

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
Even if the prices went back to last summer where premium was 45 cents cheaper than diesel, I'd get better $/mile.

That's the scary thing to me: you can make a decision today that gets totally flipped around when prices spike, and last time they spiked the spike lasted from mid 2010 to early 2014 (ref http://then.gasbuddy.com/Retail_Price_Chart.aspx ) and clearly we're now in a trough so you can't be too confident looking forward.
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ikramerica
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 6:54 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):

It's simple. California has an outdated fuel mixture concept that matters for older cars but does little for modern vehicles. There is a summer and a winter blend. Neither are sold anywhere else in the USA. The oil refiners have a captive market and they make the most of it. They barely have enough capacity and then routinely have "maintenance" problems and unexplained fires on a yearly basis. Further, during the changeover month refining capacity is limited.

But diesel is all the same nationally. Diesel #2 can be imported from any state. There is more competition so wholesalers can't jack up the price here. When the price of oil dropped so did the price of diesel. So did the price of gas, until the refineries had their predictable explosions and shutdowns driving the price up over $1 in only a matter of weeks.

The reason our D#2 costs more than yours is taxes. The reason the gas costs more is taxes+corruption.
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Kiwirob
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 6:57 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Now, with my 50 mile commute each way

Which is good, diesels don't like short hops, they like longer drives, a properly warmed up diesel doesn't suffer DPF failure, which is a problem with diesels which never heat up properly.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
So...anyone own a Jetta TDI?

Nope but owned a VW Touran, same platform and engine, it was a good car, never had any issues with it.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
I'd get a manual trans

You don't want the manual, with VW's 2.0 TDI you want the DSG, it's a much better, it's also more efficient.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
Have you looked at the Golf SportWagon TDI that just came out? It's built on the new Euro Golf platform vs. the Jetta which is a Americanized platform.

I'd take this one in a heartbeat over the Jetta, the new MQB platform is a massive improvement over the PQ35 platform it replaced.

If you want more flash there's also the Audi A3 TDi. Just don't buy the manual, diesel and manual aren't a great combination, the DSG just works so much better. If you really want a manual buy a petrol powered car.
 
ikramerica
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 7:03 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 16):

Problem is in USA manuals are either not available or only on the base model for most brands. Except for VW TDI where it is usually available on most trims. Not the Touareg but the Jetta, golf, beetle and Passat.
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ikramerica
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 7:05 am

If you can plug in at work you might look at the eGolf.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 7:37 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 18):

If you can plug in at work you might look at the eGolf.

With a 100 miles RT commute, an 84 miles range, and no way to charge at home this is a no-go.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 8:18 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 4):
I just recently (as in this past Monday) bought a new 2015 Mazda 6 Touring with 6-speed manual

I bought myself the 2016 Mazda 6 2.2 TDI last month (April) ... and am loving it! Oodles of torque, moves like a scalded cat when asked to, and sips diesel with great restraint. I'm getting close to 40 mpg with mixed driving around Taipei at the moment. Sadly it's not available in the US, so I can't heartily recommend it to Doc! I got the auto sedan because it's the only 'box and body style available here.

This is my first diesel (in five cars in the last 25 years).
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 10:23 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 17):
Except for VW TDI where it is usually available on most trims. Not the Touareg but the Jetta, golf, beetle and Passat.

The DSG is better than the manual, diesel and manual isn't much fun.
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 10:25 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
it's the front struts and front right castor.

$2500 worth of repair for that?

Let me know where you live, I'll set up a repair shop there...
 
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JJJ
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 10:37 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
BTW unless you are a professional driver the automatic will get better economy than the manual TD

Unless you drive like a 6 year old a manual gets better economy than an auto.
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 10:39 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 21):

Don't know if it's the harsh climate or what, but at least here VW DSG's are notorious for their unreliability, similarly to their TSI petrol engines (timing chain failures on few year old ones at least, I think the brand new TSI's may be better though...) If I was to buy a VW diesel and manual would definitely be my choice, haven't heard of any issues with those.
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melpax
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 11:16 am

Quoting pvjin (Reply 24):

Same situation here with the DSG's, VW got themselves into a bit of strife here last year over DSG issues. Wouldn't want to own one outside of warranty.

Another thing with the VW's as well, the diesels are very economical, but the servicing costs are more expensive than for a petrol model. VW here has a reputation here for expensive maintainace, not sure what the situation is over there.
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Pyrex
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 12:15 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):

Don't just take my word for it, look at what the EPA itself is saying. A larger, more powerful, more refined, aerodynamics-of-a-german-brick manual Diesel Golf gets 45 MPG on the highway ( http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...en-golf-tdi-diesel-dsg-test-review ), same order of magnitude of a Prius ( http://www.caranddriver.com/news/201...rius-v-hybrid-photos-and-info-news ). If you drive the Diesel carefully you will get more than that, which I doubt you can pull off from the Prius. In actual, real world applications the difference between the two is non-existent.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33324&id=32699

Where the hybrid comes through is in urban highway type environments, where there are a lot of accelerations and decelerations (even if you never come to a complete stop) that allow you to recharge the batteries for later use in the city or to help bring the car back up to speed. But at straight and level, cross-country type highway situations just do what truckers do and go for the Diesel.
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Aaron747
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 12:22 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 26):
Where the hybrid comes through is in urban highway type environments, where there are a lot of accelerations and decelerations

You have just described the daily hell that is driving in the San Francisco Bay Area to a T.
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melpax
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 12:37 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):

Just saw that you wanted a manual - a better bet than a DSG.... Also with the Diesels, if most of your driving is in heavy traffic, be prepared to take it on a good long clear highway blast at least once a month to clear out the pcp. If most of your driving is in clear highway conditions, you should be fine.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 12:44 pm

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
BTW unless you are a professional driver the automatic will get better economy than the manual TDI.

I don't think that's true. Depends on your driving style, but regular driving can still get you better economy on stickshift.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 1:49 pm

Quoting jjj (Reply 23):
Unless you drive like a 6 year old a manual gets better economy than an auto.

In stop start highway traffic DSG is going to be much better, combined with radar cruise control it makes manual a waste of time. I can't see any advantage with a manual in these conditions.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 24):
Don't know if it's the harsh climate or what, but at least here VW DSG's are notorious for their unreliability, similarly to their TSI petrol engines (timing chain failures on few year old ones at least, I think the brand new TSI's may be better though...) If I was to buy a VW diesel and manual would definitely be my choice, haven't heard of any issues with those.

Well I live in a similar shitty climate to you and don't know anyone who has had problems with DSG equiped VW's.

Quoting melpax (Reply 28):
Just saw that you wanted a manual - a better bet than a DSG

But he also want's radar cruise control and is driving 100 miles on a motorway to work and home again, if this isn't the perfect environment for auto I don't know what is. It's not like he's buying a Caterham for blasting around back roads during the weekend, he's buying a 2.0 TDi to get to work and back on the motorway. Manuals in heavy start stop traffic suck, if Doc has half a brain he should try one out in traffic, if he likes it after spending time swapping gear and pressing clutches good for him.

Quoting melpax (Reply 28):
Also with the Diesels, if most of your driving is in heavy traffic, be prepared to take it on a good long clear highway blast at least once a month to clear out the pcp.

So long as the cat's heat up to working temperature which they should on a 50 mile commute it won't be a problem, they only clog if people use them as city cars for short hops and never get them to the proper working temperature. Which is why diesel isn't the first choice for a small city car.

Quoting melpax (Reply 25):
Another thing with the VW's as well, the diesels are very economical, but the servicing costs are more expensive than for a petrol model. VW here has a reputation here for expensive maintainace, not sure what the situation is over there.

Never had anything more than schedualed maintenance for any of my VAG vehicles.
 
threeifbyair
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 1:55 pm

I test drove several different cars before landing on the VW Passat. I went for the DSG / TSI however because I don't drive enough for the TDI to make financial sense.

The interior fit and finish is comparable to the Jetta and it feels more expensive than it actually is. I am very happy with it so far. The Passat is spacious (amazing rear seat legroom, large trunk), but if you don't need the extra room, I'd consider the TDI versions of the Jetta or Golf.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 24):
Don't know if it's the harsh climate or what, but at least here VW DSG's are notorious for their unreliability, similarly to their TSI petrol engines (timing chain failures on few year old ones at least, I think the brand new TSI's may be better though...)

Here's hoping. I have a DSG and the new TSI in my new Passat. Already recalled once for the risk of a fuel leak, although VW had no instances of that actually happening.
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 1:57 pm

I've read several of the Diesel comments, I want a diesel car too except I'm more concerned about mx over the future but.. have you considered the Chevy Diesel Cruze?

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Flighty
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 2:26 pm

BMW 328d wagon - there you go.

Also, Doc, are you sure it's 2500 worth of work? That sounded like BMW dealer prices. Should be about $600 for the struts. Front castor, maybe 500? Not sure. But you're being quoted something ridiculous.

You could also wait for the 2016 Prius. Or go for a Prius C today.
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 2:59 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
Yes and some quick math shows the difference in highway mileage is 28% based on http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2015_Volkswagen_Jetta.shtml so you're in the black on that. Yet at the time it was around a $2k premium for the diesel and at today's cheaper prices for gas it takes a while to get back the $2k premium in purchase price and 10% premium in fuel.

I am less confident that gas prices will stay low, but I do have a 45 mile commute each way, so for m
e fuel efficiency is a very important number; more important than purchase price.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
Should be about $600 for the struts. Front castor, maybe 500? Not sure. But you're being quoted something ridiculous.

Struts are $700. Castors $800 (maybe I got that backwards). And then new tires and alignment. Taxes and fees. Total winds up north of $2k. Now, I've always felt that tires and windows were "consumable" items that accrue on both new and old cars alike. Windows break and tires wear.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
You could also wait for the 2016 Prius. Or go for a Prius C today.

Honestly, the maintenance costs on the Prius when you do high mileage are bad. Not only that, but the sight lines on the Prius are bad. I lost count of how many pedestrians I've almost taken out on right turns because the window pillar is so thick that you can hide a 6' man in it. For my 6'4" husband, he can't see traffic lights without hunching.

It was a good choice back in 2009; I think it's not a good choice now.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
Manuals in heavy start stop traffic suck, if Doc has half a brain he should try one out in traffic, if he likes it after spending time swapping gear and pressing clutches good for him.

Owned a manual for ages 17 and 18. It's second nature for me. When I drive a manual, people are shocked that I accelerate more smoothly than an automatic. And, frankly, it's more fun.
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planewasted
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 3:00 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
Well I live in a similar shitty climate to you and don't know anyone who has had problems with DSG equiped VW's.

There have been lots of problems with DSG in Sweden. VW stopped selling Passats with DSG to taxi drivers because they had to change the gearbox in average twice per car.
But I would guess these issues are fixed now. Problem is that VW don't take their responsibilities by fixing bad gear boxes, and timing chains... The solution for the timing chains was to change to timing belts instead. Strange that Toyota's timing chains works without problems in cheap cars.  

[Edited 2015-05-28 08:03:07]
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 3:06 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
So my Prius at 6 years old and 183,000

Damn that's a lot of miles in 6 years.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
So...anyone own a Jetta TDI? Highway mileage is like a hybrid. I'd get a manual trans, of course (I can't even tell you how excited I am about that). It's a good 15% less than an equivalent hybrid. And I'm assuming that with the single-type drivetrain, the maintenance will be a lot less complicated.

I've heard good things. I've also heard very good things about the manual Passat TDI. It has one of the longest ranges out there (around 700 miles or so), gets about 44 mpg highway, but it is priced about $6000 higher than the Jetta.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The problem was/is that diesel used to be priced on par with regular unleaded but now it's at or above premium unleaded, so that advantage in mileage goes away pretty quickly.

I think it depends on where you live. Lately here in Colorado, Diesel has been fairly comparable to regular whereas there used to be a much bigger premium.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 13):
Doc, you're a doctor in the Bay Area! And a handsome guy! And about town! And on the road 2 hours or more a day!

It's clear, the starting point for you has gotta be:

http://www.bmwusa.com/

  
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vikkyvik
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 3:08 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
Manuals in heavy start stop traffic suck, if Doc has half a brain he should try one out in traffic, if he likes it after spending time swapping gear and pressing clutches good for him.

It's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. As Doc noted, it's second nature. I'm so used to it that I get terribly confused when driving an automatic in traffic.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
When I drive a manual, people are shocked that I accelerate more smoothly than an automatic. And, frankly, it's more fun.

  
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 3:39 pm

Quoting planewasted (Reply 35):
The solution for the timing chains was to change to timing belts instead. Strange that Toyota's timing chains works without problems in cheap cars

People know that if you are shopping for a tool, Toyota sells the best tools. Only when your decorator suggests it looks ugly would you start looking at something like a VW or a Land Rover.

I don't drive Toyotas but I realize that my cars are totally inferior to them. My Jeep and Saab and Mercedes are all old now. They could not hold a candle to a Corolla's engineering. But, what I learned in the airline business is, you can keep anything running as new if you are willing to lavish the best parts and mechanics on them.
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 3:59 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 21):

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 17):
Except for VW TDI where it is usually available on most trims. Not the Touareg but the Jetta, golf, beetle and Passat.

The DSG is better than the manual, diesel and manual isn't much fun.


True but he asked about stick.

And if you like the engine braking and always driving nature of sticks in curves, dropping the VW into S does a valiant job of keeping you in the powerband until it can tell you are cruising.

Quoting jjj (Reply 23):

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
BTW unless you are a professional driver the automatic will get better economy than the manual TD

Unless you drive like a 6 year old a manual gets better economy than an auto.


That's an old wives tale based on dumb 3 speed plus overdrive autos of days of old vs their 5 speed manual contemporaries. Modern 6-8 speed autos with efficient gearing, low mechanical loss, and smart adaptive brains do better.
And it takes an expert to outsmart an 8-speed auto like mine. You would need to know the right time and way to engage each of the 8 gears at any time. Nobody can handle that so the 5 speed manual is most common, with some 6 speeds out there that average driver really doesn't know how to master.

The reason manuals sometimes still eek out 1 mpg better on the EPA cycle is because the EPA cycle is not realistic and is performed by professional drivers on a test bed who know specifically how and when to shift based on this specific cycle. They are focusing entirely on shifting not driving and specifically focus on economy as a living.

Even then on certain models the autos or cvt models get better numbers now and to help with CAFE that is one reason the automakers are dumping most manuals.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 37):

It's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. As Doc noted, it's second nature. I'm so used to it that I get terribly confused when driving an automatic in traffic.


I love sticks and drove 5 from 90-2001. But la traffic is so bad it was wrecking my knee to shift so much.

My mother in law had never owned an auto in 50 years of driving. But la traffic and hills led her to choose the mazda2 auto over the manual. I drove the stick and it's very good, very responsive, but ultimately the auto won out, partly because her knee was hurting too. My wife never owned an auto either but had to get an auto because most CUVs only offer stick in the lowest trim. She also will never go back to stick.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:11 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 13):
It's clear, the starting point for you has gotta be:

http://www.bmwusa.com/

Dem prices doe...
-Doc Lightning-

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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:12 pm

I don't know what you budget is but perhaps an Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI with or without quattro?

Audi also have their start stop system http://www.audi.co.uk/glossary/s/start-stop-system.html
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:24 pm

Quoting thunderboltdrgn (Reply 41):

I don't know what you budget is but perhaps an Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI with or without quattro?

Again, the price is too high when VW can do the same for much less. With an Audi I'm paying $15k more for basically the same car.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:26 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Dem prices doe...

Assuming you are not looking at Utility vehicles. BMW are pricey, yes. If you want great cars cheaper, Mazda 3 or 6 might be good for you. Fantastic reviews, 40mpg highway on regular gas. This will likely be cheaper per mile than a TDI. Remember diesel contains more energy per gallon so MPG not = "efficiency" exactly, given that diesel has more energy and costs more.

In your situation I would go Mazda 3/6 or Golf turbo most likely. Honda Accords are awfully nice too.
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:49 pm

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 39):
That's an old wives tale based on dumb 3 speed plus overdrive autos of days of old vs their 5 speed manual contemporaries. Modern 6-8 speed autos with efficient gearing, low mechanical loss, and smart adaptive brains do better.

I'm not so sure about that. Two friends of mine drive new Golf Diesels, one with automatic, the other with a 6 speeds manual. The guy with automatic doesn't get below 5 liters/100km, while the guy with the manual usually does. Not really a scientific proof, but since they're both quite experienced drivers, I tend to believe that the manual can still save you a bit of fuel.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 39):
Nobody can handle that so the 5 speed manual is most common, with some 6 speeds out there that average driver really doesn't know how to master.

I have a 6 speeds car and the rule of thumb "put it into sixth gear if you go fast" seems to allow me to "master" it.
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 4:51 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
anyone own a Jetta TDI

My son was a 2 yr old Jetta TDI. He's getting a wee bit over 50mpg on the freeway which is his commute. No issues with the engine. Just a warning, if you're tall (6'4) it might not be the car for you, might need to move up to the Passat.
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 5:42 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):

Owned a manual for ages 17 and 18. It's second nature for me. When I drive a manual, people are shocked that I accelerate more smoothly than an automatic. And, frankly, it's more fun.

I love a manual, I've been driving manuals since I was 15, my A1 is a manual, my wifes A6 is multitronic, if I'm going to be driving in heavy traffic the A6 is the go to choice. If I'm wanting a frisky drive around some windy roads A1 every time, petrol engines and manuals are made for each other, diesels on the other had aren't, they rev slowly, taking one to the redline isn't worth it, you really need to drive a manual diesel then the same car with an auto, it's night and day. BTW I have owned a Mercedes E Class 200 TDi manual, BMW 318D Manual, MINI Clubman Cooper D manual, MINI Countryman Cooper D manual, most of them should have been autos but I was cheep when specifying them at the dealers.

Quoting planewasted (Reply 35):
There have been lots of problems with DSG in Sweden. VW stopped selling Passats with DSG to taxi drivers because they had to change the gearbox in average twice per car.

I've never been in a manual VW taxi in Germany or Skoda in Norway, they are all DSG.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 37):
It's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. As Doc noted, it's second nature. I'm so used to it that I get terribly confused when driving an automatic in traffic.

You must have some kind of co-ordination problem  
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 42):
Again, the price is too high when VW can do the same for much less. With an Audi I'm paying $15k more for basically the same car.

No you are not, there is no VW equivalent to the A4, A6, A7 or A8. If you drive an A3 then drive the Jetta it's clear as the difference between night and day which is the better car. The A3 and Golf Wagon are closer but the nod still goes the to the A3, it really is a much better car and worth the additional price. The A3 E-tron is also well worth a look.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 39):
Nobody can handle that so the 5 speed manual is most common, with some 6 speeds out there that average driver really doesn't know how to master.

Must be unique to American, I've haven't been in a 5 speed manual for years, every manual rental I've had in years has been a 6 speed. I even got to drive a 7 speed manual Porsche last year.

Quoting Rara (Reply 44):
The guy with automatic doesn't get below 5 liters/100km

He must have a lead foot, I can get my wife's A6 2.0 TDI Multitronic below 5 litre/100km on a long haul, which I think is very impressive, I can't get my A1 1.4tfsi below 5, usually on a longer trip I can average 5.7 around town 7 is the norm.

[Edited 2015-05-28 11:16:57]
 
vikkyvik
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 6:19 pm

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 39):
The reason manuals sometimes still eek out 1 mpg better on the EPA cycle is because the EPA cycle is not realistic and is performed by professional drivers on a test bed who know specifically how and when to shift based on this specific cycle. They are focusing entirely on shifting not driving and specifically focus on economy as a living.

Most EPA ratings that I've looked at recently have actually rated automatics higher than manuals for the same car, by one or two mpg, typically.

Quite a different story than 10 years ago.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 39):
But la traffic and hills led her to choose the mazda2 auto over the manual.

The newer stick shift Mazda 6 has a "hill-start" thing where it will prevent the car from rolling backwards for a couple seconds when you take your foot off the brake (if you're not in reverse, obviously). I was actually a bit disappointed by this; I like using the parking brake to do the same thing.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 46):
You must have some kind of co-ordination problem

I have the opposite - when I drive an automatic that requires very little coordination, I get all confused. When I drive a manual, everything feels normal.  
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
flanker
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 6:35 pm

Diesel is the way to go, hands down.
 
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RE: I'm In The Market For A New Car

Thu May 28, 2015 7:20 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Dem prices doe...

When I was comparing a few years ago, you could get two Jetta TDIs for the price of one mid-range BMW 3-series, meaning one with more than the entry level trim. At the time the Jetta only had one option package (nav/entertainment package for $2k or so) whereas the BMW packages ratcheted up the price severely. BMW is all about using "clever" marketing to extract lots of money out of the buyer by including one thing each package that you really do want and two more you don't care so much for.

When I was doing the comparison I already owned the BMW, but it did make me think. The Jetta wasn't as fun to drive as the BMW, but the 2x price premium was hard to justify.
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