• May 17, 2008
All-time high gas prices have made Americans intensify their searches for top-shelf fuel economy, as evidenced by 15-year-old Geo Metros selling on eBay for $7,200. Apparently even capitalistic insanity isn't enough to convince Volkswagen to bring a diesel engine Stateside in the hotly anticipated Tiguan, as the ultra-efficient 2.0L oil-burner likely won't be available for MY 2009.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that the Tiguan is selling extremely well in Europe, which negates the need to rush additional models to the US, where a weak dollar is cutting into the German automaker's profits. VW is also trying to keep the price down on the new crossover, and diesel engines add thousands to the sticker. We wouldn't be surprised if the constant delays surrounding the 2.0L TDI have anything to do with the decision, either.

If a price war can break out on eBay in an effort to buy a turquoise 49 hp deathtrap, we're more than certain that Americans are willing to shell out $30k for an efficient CUV. Without a diesel powerplant, however, the Tiguan is just one more of the many mediocre-mileage tall wagons from which to choose.

[Source: Winding Road]


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  • 66 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      You guys who think the current Euro manufacturers can make these Rube Goldberg twin turbo urea injection/particulate filter diesels as reliable as the old tractor diesels from the Mercedes 240-300d from 1981 are kidding yourselves. There are so many things to go wrong, these cars are not going to be around in 10-15 years time. Maintenance isn't cheap either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lmao, ur telling me a properly maintained TDI can't hit 200,000 miles? seriously? bwahahaha.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Awesome, which modern (say MKIV) TDI have u specifically had problems with? mines been bullet proof for 200,000 miles thus far (2002).

        Thanks in advance for providing real replies based on actual experience and not nostalgic conjecture.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sure, and VW is a paragon of reliability too. Statistics tell the truth. The Euro manufacturers are middling to poor in reliability. VW stinks. The French manufacturers stink. The Italians stink. Internet nerds who claim to own 200,000 mile examples of cars can't shake the math and the truth. you're lucky dog sir, since you seem to have beat the odds, but deep in your heart you know as well as I that buying the latest newfangled German-o-Urea injection special is just asking for trouble. If Porsche can't even make Boxster engines that don't have a tendency to eat their rear main seals, what chance does VW have of making these engines reliabile? Little.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You can buy plenty of gasoline for the premium charged on diesel powertrains, not to mention diesel costs more than premium unleaded right now. Where's the monetary savings again?
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's not a huge one at current, and that's the problem. Diesel's have the lion's share of the luxury market in Europe because they provide a decent benefit in terms of cost AND performance. Here, american's don't care so long as diesel is so expensive, conveniently attempting to make diesel vehicles seem less appealing and stick it to contractors/construction workers/you name it.

        Oddly, though, I'm surprised they're not talking about the big reason why the diesel tiggy isn't here, it's not the exact same setup as the jetta and would require running the whole emissions gauntlet due to the whole piss injection... well that and most american's aren't going to spend 35k on a CUV with a VW badge.

        If it ever does launch here, and it's got a snow balls chance in hell right now, at least it'll be post 08 when all the VW's (save t-reg and bug) get bluetooth standard across every range.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's no equity in burned fuel.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As long as I can get a jetta sportwagen with a tdi, that takes care of my efficient people moving transportation.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In financial management courses, they teach you not to include past (bad) decisions. That is, if you bought something you will have to 'throw away' you should not factor in the opportunity cost of that bad decision. One can merely add the future net positive cashflow for the sale of the item.

      And sure, the sheet does not have repair costs, insurance etc. The Metro would win there, in many case, too. There's nothing to break on it. ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      No offense guys, but diesels just plain don't make that much sense in the US. First off, not every station carries diesel. Sometimes on long road trips in territory I don't know I end up taking an exit to find gas, only to find that the gas station is closed for the evening. Imagine that compounded by the fact that not every station even has diesel.
      And there is really no cost advantage because diesel fuel costs more money per gallon, so even though you get more miles per gallon it's kind of ruined by the fact that you paid more for each gallon.
      If diesel engined cars cost the same as gasoline engined cars it would make more sense, but with the premium for the engine nobody's going to pay more for an engine when there's no real savings.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, considering how few diesel cars there are these days you'd be hard pressed to just find a diesel. I haven't seen a TDI around here in weeks (then again the only VWs I see tend to be brand new Passats).

        I have however, seen my fair share of VW's that are stranded and needed a tow, but how can you tell if that had anything to do with being a diesel or much more to do with being a VW.

        Anyways, obviously one can avoid this being stranded thing just by filling up a little earlier or planning your trip out. And maybe you live somewhere with diesel at every station. Good for you. Not everyone lives somewhere with diesel at every station, so stop assuming diesel makes sense for everyone.
        In fact, even if it were available everywhere the price of diesel is so high it still makes no sense for most people. Go look at the post about the new Jetta TDI.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, I've owned a diesel car for six years and haven't had a problem once. Maybe it's a California thing, but it's easier to find stations with diesel then it is without. I'm not sure why people pretend all those massive FwhateverSuperDuty's and various other diesel trucks don't exist/need to fill up.

        Maybe this was some kind of concern in the 90s and the old wives tales have carried over?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I routinely drive from San Diego to Riverside, and Irvine, and LA, and occasionally up to Sacramento. I've never, in six years, ever been low on diesel, pulled up to a pack of gas stations and not been able to find a diesel pump. Then again I've lived here all my life, so your mileage may vary.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, that is absolutely true as evidenced by the rank upon rank of diesel fueled vehcles I see stranded on the shoulder every day, everyone of them accompanied by some hapless schlep with a fuel can in their hand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I see diesel stations all around my area and I live in Michigan. Here, it would make great sense to get one. I'm eagerly anticipating getting a tiguan for my next vehicle in two years. They really need to get the diesel over here soon....
      • 6 Years Ago
      One internet dude posting good experiences with a VW does not change what Consumer Reports knows from survey results, sorry. The more complicated the Germans can make it, the worse it is for reliability.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry internet dude, go play with your plastic impellers and ignition coils.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Consumer reports had problems with the last generation of TDIs? which my comment was specifically addressing? Awesome, please post up the links. We could talk current generation, where consumer reports loved the rabbit and gti, but like I said, I was referring to diesels, and was unaware consumer reports indicated they were unreliable and would love to read about it. thanks in advance!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok, with this wait for a Tiguan oil burner to hit the market (+/- 1-2yrs perhaps, time to hit car shopping for me to replace my '00 Passat), I'd anticipate getting a Subaru Boxer Diesel by that time...Forester or an Outback would do.
      • 6 Years Ago
      it would be should a brave soul ever take the risk to guinea pig one of these brave souls for biodiesel/WVO
      • 6 Years Ago
      With Diesel around $4.70. Is it even worth buying a Diesel powered car even if it gives extra mileage ?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "With Diesel around $4.70. Is it even worth buying a Diesel powered car even if it gives extra mileage ?"

        Yep. For someone/most diesel "geeks" who plans to buy a diesel car (legendary engine longevity is a BIG ++) for keeps...reaching 400-500k+ mi for diesels are not uncommon.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes it is. Consider that a BMW 520d yields a combined 45mpg while Honda civic offer combined mpg of 30 (http://www.fueleconomy.gov). Also, a UK version of Civic UK I-CTDI diesel that 2.2liters gets about ~55mpg combined.

        With current price a 1000 mile trip would cost as following

        Civic (1000 miles /30 mpg) * $4.00 (avg cost of petrol) = $134
        Civic (1000 miles /55 mpg) * $4.70 (avg cost of petrol) = $85
        BMW (1000 miles/45 mpg) * $4.70 (avg cost of diesel according to you) = ~$105

        BMW 5200d versus a civic is not a good comparison since they belong in different class of cars but you get the idea. If you compare a BMW 320d with a civic its even better while in US we consider a Honda Civic a great car in terms of everyday MPG.

        Yes you pay more for a diesel car up front but diesel vehicles last lot longer too (most diesel can easily to about 300K) thus higher residual. I am not a diesel fan but a person who would like to see more reasonable size engines available in cars either petrol or diesel here. All around the world every manufactures offer all kinds of engine why not us? I guess the gas prices have to be $8 a gallon before we will any Euro engines here and that is just sad.

        It would be nice to have a 2.0-liter Subaru diesel or 1.9 TDI VW Jetta but in general just more options. I believe just having more choices in the market will improve the vehicle mpg significantly due to competition.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The 53.3 mpg rating for the 2.2 L diesel Civic is scored under UK testing rules - which gives scores 15-25% higher than the US EPA test - and on top of that, using Imperial gallons which are 20% larger than US gallons.

        The 1.8L gas Civic scores a combined 44.1 mpg on the same test.

        At $4.00 / gallon gasoline and $4.70 / gallon diesel, the diesel version will save you a dollar every 500 miles.

        What a deal.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the Tiguan has hit the market like a bomb... in Germany it is from selling start the best selling compact SUV... in April 2008 VW sold more Tiguan in Germany as Toyota sold their most sold vehicle in Germany the Yaris.
      After 2 months on sale the waitinglist reached already 11months.. VW is completely overwhelmed by the Tiguan sales success... at the moment they work at the Tiguan production plant to increase production as fast as possible. Which isn´t that easy because every model they sell skyrocket in sale numbers..
      Golf +40%
      Passat +8%
      Multivan +23.2%
      Eos +38.7%
      they sold April 2008 in Germany 25.2% more as April 2007

      They would be stupid to sell the cars for half the price in the USA if they can get twice the money in Europe...
        • 6 Years Ago
        @airmax

        The VAT change from 16 to 19% had only a huge effect on 01 -2007 and 02-2007. At the end of 2007 the VAT effect was nearly deleted..
        Yes the Mondo is new and it is still far away from A4/3er and C-Class but it is already on 24th place oth the top50 sold models

        The europen market grows in general not only in Germany and it grows pretty fast!

        In April 2008 the car industry sold 1.420.000 cars in Europe which is a plus of 9.6% for complete Europe compared to 2007.

        Europen % number of the complete europen market
        VW
        2007 20.3%
        2008 20.7%
        VW sold 293,567cars in April 2008 11.4% more cars in Europe as 2007.

        PSA (Citroen/Peugeot)
        2007 13.2%
        2008 12.9%
        6.8% more cars... they lost parts of the market because the market was growing faster as they increased car sales.

        Daimler AG
        2007 5.2%
        2008 5.6%
        14.4% more cars

        BMW
        2007 5.0%
        2008 5.7%
        24.7% more car sales

        etc etc...

        the only company loosing currently on the europen market is Toyota/Lexus.. with a overall minus of 1.7%
        • 6 Years Ago
        38.7% increase in Eos sales?
        Wow, the Eos models on the lot nearest to me have been there long enough to be fossils. I really hope VW can find that kind of success in the US.

        Also those Golf numbers are QUITE impressive considering the current generation model has already been on sale in Europe for quite a few years.

        Too bad about the Tiguan in the States. It actually is a really nice looking model. I'm the last person to want to buy into this CUV craze, but I've got to admit even I'd buy one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        To clarify some things about the German market.
        Due to a VAT tax increase of 3 % (16 to 19%) on January 1st, 2007 - car sales in 2007 took a hit and where the lowest car sales since somwhere in the 90ies.
        Ford Mondeo sales are increasing because of the new 2008 model. But they are still very low compared to a Passat, 3-Series, or C-Class.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i think GM should beat them to the market in NA and eat their food.Gm has Vm Motori and they haven't bought anything to the market yet for us Americans.

      atleast VW had diesels here before the harsh Regs.
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