It's no secret that editors at Ward's Automotive are enamored with Volkswagen's fuel-efficient, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. After all, the oil-burning TDI mill did make its way onto Ward's 2011 list of " 10 Best Engines."
In testing the 2.0-liter engine (coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI sedan), Ward's editors achieved a rather remarkable average fuel economy of 35.3 miles per gallon. That, according to Ward's, "was better than some of the hybrid-electric vehicles tested, even though editors flogged the engine hard on their daily commutes rather than loping along freeways with the cruise control engaged."
For its third straight year, VW's 2.0-liter TDI mill made Ward's "10 Best Engines" list for being "so efficient, quiet and powerful and an utter joy to drive." When marking their score sheets, many of the magazine's editors called the engine "the car's best attribute" and even went so far as to say that it's the "best diesel out there" for the money.
With praise like that, it seems hard to imagine that the 2.0-liter TDI can be improved upon. But, as VW Group spokesman, Christian Buhlmann, told Ward's:
Looks like someones angling for a spot on Ward's 2012 list.Today, the maximum torque of 236 pound-feet is reached at 1,750 rpm and kept until 2,500 rpm. By using longer gear ratios in the transmissions, the engine can stay within the lower rev range at higher vehicle speeds, as well as in uphill driving, and achieve 40-plus mpg highway fuel economy. Our target is to improve these numbers even further.
[Source: Ward's Auto – sub. req.]