The 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine under the hood of many Volkswagen models has never been a favorite of ours, and it appears VW may finally be over it as well. Car and Driver reports that a pair of VW sources have indicated that the 2.5 will be replaced with a 1.8-liter turbo four.

The smaller, boosted engine would reportedly be based off the tried-and-true 2.0-liter turbo that we've come to know and respect. The 1.8 is already part of VW's European engine lineup, and it pumps out a middling 158 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy should be improved compared to the 2.5, which returns a respectable 33 miles per gallon on the highway in a manual-equipped Jetta, but nothing like the 40 mpg numbers achieved by competitors like the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus.

C/D claims that the move to the 1.8 could also have something to do with manufacturing efficiencies. Since the 1.8 and 2.0 are from the same engine factory, VW could build both models at the same facility.


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  • 80 Comments
      Vince
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's similar to the next gen 1.8TFSI http://www.fourtitude.com/news/publish/Audi_News/article_7104.shtml I hate how this site bags on the "middling 158hp" but the significant 185 ft-lb is peaks nearly off-idle unlike the inline-5. Then they bash it as if it's nothing compared to the 40 mpg of the Elantra or Focus, neither of which, produces this much torque off the line.
      JacobThomas
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love my 2.5 in my Golf. 170hp/177tq, and I still mange 31MPG around town with the manual. Indeed, it is the red headed stepchild of the current VW lineup, but that isn't really such a bad thing. It wasn't worth it for me to spend the extra 7-8K for the TDI.
        ShutoSteve
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JacobThomas
        I'm red headed. And a step child. *puts two and two together* Crap.
          Kirk Augustin
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ShutoSteve
          Not at all. The 2.5 is smoother and much longer lasting. It just weighs more and costs more to make. It has a timing chain instead of the belt that can be ruined by just a little oil spill.
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      What are you really saving in fuel economy when you have to buy premium unleaded? No thanks. I'll take the TDI in that case.
        Rob Cook
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob
        I run ethanol supplemented regular gas in my 1.8T and it works just fine, I still see 30's on the highway.
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      the 170hp/223 ft lbs tourque engine will ge around10% better economy and much better performance than the 2.5. Makes sense to me
      djrroar1
      • 3 Years Ago
      To Jacob Thomas, the TDI is adds around $3500 to the price of a Jetta, not $7-8000.
        JacobThomas
        • 3 Years Ago
        @djrroar1
        Djrroar, I am referring to the Golf. The Jetta is cheaper because it uses cheaper suspension and interior parts. Actual OTD pricing for a Golf 2.5 is in the 18-22K range. For the TDI, its a 25 - 30k range. You are correct, that 7-8k is a bit of a hyperbole. All the same, unless you drive 30k miles a year, the 2.5 is an excellent option. And a very reliable engine.
          djrroar1
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JacobThomas
          I agree that the 2.5 is a solid engine and very reliable just making sure people understand the numbers. The TDI Golf is about $4000 more than the same Golf with a gas engine. Slightly different equipment with the TDI.
      donnieorama
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dug the 2.5L--177 lb-ft of torque and good mileage.
      Jason Parry
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is the best news I've ever heard. Better than bin laden
      01nb
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 2.5 isn't going to win any drag races, that is for sure. BUT, it has gobs of midrange torque - you know, the stuff that matters in normal driving - and gets "ok" mileage on the highway. City is not great. I'd still prefer the 2.0T any day... wish it was the base motor with the only option being the TDI. The exhaust note is opinion - I don't give a crap if I can hear the exhaust note from one of these it's a family sedan. And as for the weight comments... These cars are big and have tons of safety gear aboard. It's the nature of the beast. You aren't going to see a 2500lb car with their size and "stuff" onboard. I don't know how the 1.8t is going to be in these cars, I'm sure OK but not amazing. And are you guys serious comparing these to Elantra and Focus? The backseat legroom and trunk space clearly make them better compared to midsize cars, where they fit in near the bottom end of the segment.
      bigring
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't understand how the 2.5 is "un-loved". better hp/tq then the focus, mazda3, civic, corolla, aveo, sonic, does anything have more HP in similar class? fuel economy isn't class leading but is pretty good with the 2011 transmission configuration. its a stupid-simple engine sounds cool when revved (totally silent under cruise) great low end torque has a timing chain, not belt (who builds a car with a timing belt that doesn't break at 100 K anyways? )
      tkosoccer03
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The smaller, boosted engine would reportedly be based off the tried-and-true 2.0-liter turbo" 1) the 2.0L is based off the old 1.8T... so if this "new" motor is based off the 2.0T, then it's really not that new. 2) the old 1.8T had something like 170 or 180 hp. i don't see how 160 hp in the "new" 1.8T is any kinda of an improvement. especially when the 250 hp 2.0 ecoboost will see at least 34 mpg in the Focus. really, 33 mpg in a jetta is nothing to be excited about, considering the 2.0T will get 30 or 31.. 3) tried and true??? please... my brother had a 2005 1.8T passat. bought it for $13K, drove it for 3 years, and accumulated over $7K is repair bills. those motors are designed to fail in certain areas in order to get you to send VW more money. ie, the timing belt is guaranteed to fail around 100,000 miles. cost for fix? $3K, and that was 4 years ago. $3K for a flipping timing belt!! there is nothing tried and true about any german motor. they call things like timing belt fail "scheduled maintenance" to make them look more reliable, when really, it's just a complete joke. nobody buys a german car because its "reliable." they're not.. you buy a german car because they're fun and most of them look cool.
        EstePincheWay
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tkosoccer03
        I had a 02 Jetta GLS 1.8T and never had any engine problems. Even at around 170hp, that car was a blast to drive, that was... until my tranny went out completely at 110k. Engine was always perfect, but I babied mine. As for the 100k timing belt... I don't any timing belt that is suppose to last that long. I think the recommended replacement interval is something like 60k -70k. If you do the work when you're suppose to... then you won't have a $3k bill or the necessity to replace any damaged components. Also, in my experience with German cars, it usually never ends up being a problem with an engine but more a problem with some electronic component that, in turn, disables the entire car. :-)
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tkosoccer03
        The 2.0T isn't really much like the old 1.8T. Besides the DI difference the 1.8T was a 20V (5 per cylinder) engine and the 2.0T is a 16V (4 per cylinder) engine. The 1.8T was iron block, the 2.0T is aluminum. They fill the same niche for VW, but really the 2.0T and 1.8T weren't all that alike.
        Autoblogist
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tkosoccer03
        1. You're right the 2.0T is best on the old 1.8t, but old 1.8t didn't have direct injection and had a different iteration of the k03. So a new 1.8t with those additions would make it new. 2.160hp from a turbocharged engine is no the same as an NA. Torque will be significantly more. The Cruze turbo show this. Even thought power is the same, the turbo is way more drivable for it's torque. Most review note this. 3. You're brother is a fool for letting his timing belt go to 100K, the service manual says to change it at 75K and that's easy $500-700 job from a competent. After throwing valves the cost of a new engine or repair would be a couple grand. If you buy a German car and can't follow the service intervals, then simply don't buy a German car or any car for that matter.
          dubtech
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Autoblogist
          I agree with autobiologist. I work at a vw dealership and maintenance is key. $7k in repairs? Take care of your car before it breaks. As for timing belt job... independent shops charge 5-700, dealership 900. When you let your belt break then its $3000 and have to replace the valves and head bolts/gaskets. Knowledge fail.
          jrwgti17
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Autoblogist
          And I do it myself on my car for less than $100, it just takes a couple of hours
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Autoblogist
          Haha, more VW apologists. I had a A6 2.7T and followed the service intervals. It was a mechanical disaster. I'm not alone either. I love the idea of a timing belt for $500. A water pump costs over $800 after labor on my Audi, and it's the same pump and near identical engine to your VWs. And yeah, I used an independent shop too, that saved me so little that I barely came out ahead and I didn't even get a rental car/ride.
          EstePincheWay
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Autoblogist
          @ Rob Cook: It also says the tranny fluid lasts the life of the car. Or in my case, about 75k when you feel funny business with the tranny. lol
          Rob Cook
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Autoblogist
          I currently drive an '03 Passat wagon with the 'old is new is old again' 1.8T. The service interval published by VW for the timing belt is 105K miles, however it's known that you never let it go that long and should be changed at 70-80K miles. If your getting a TB done for "$500-700" please post the garage that does it as that is about 1/2 what a competent independent VW certified garage charges. One thing I do hope VW has or hopefully will change is the size of the oil tank on the 1.8T. Currently it takes 4.3Q which is not nearly enough and is my personal belief as to the cause of the oil sludge issues that plague this motor. I can also hope that they add some kind of turbo timer to help cool the turbo down to also relieve the sludging. Lastly I can only hope the moronic Gunter that put the oil filter where it is located is still being whipped with a cat'o'ninetails is the seventh circle of hell, what the hell VW was thinking to put the filter where it is and at the angle it's at blows my mind. It is literally impossible to change it without spilling oil!
        oRenj9
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tkosoccer03
        I agree on pretty much all counts. I've owned two VWs (B5 Passat 1.8t and a 2003 Jetta GLS 1.8t) and I loved the cars to death. The "old" 1.8t could made decent power and had peak torque nearly off idle, so you're right, the new 1.8T isn't an improvement at all, it is a step backwards (unless it gets 40mpg). RE: the Passat repairs. The timing belt in the Passat was actually pretty easy to replace. If you put the car in "service mode" (drop the front end off essentially) you have more than enough room to work. I managed to do it when I was 18 despite having never worked on a car before then. The coil packs were really easy to do as well. The one major fix I could never do myself was the failing control arm bushings. I had to take that to a mechanic and pay in the order of $1300 to replace them all.
      Frank
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've had the 2.0T in two cars, a 2006 A3 and a 2009 Passat wagon. It's a great engine no doubt, but I have a 2012 Golf with the 2.5 (170hp) and I'm quite impressed with the pull this engine has. For a non turbo engine it's got plenty of get-up-and-go. Sure, the older 2.5 (150hp) was a pile of **** but the new version is great. Why are people bagging on it?
        fetchme1029
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Frank
        i have the old one. hardly a piece of ****. not one single issue in over 85000 miles.
          johncuepublik
          • 3 Years Ago
          @fetchme1029
          just make sure to replace the timing guides soon... only real issue with the early ones.
        Frank
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Frank
        WTF? Can't say sh1t on this site? Did I post to Disney Blog by mistake?
      Autoblogist
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is a god. That 5 cylinder was one miserable sounding and performing engine.
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