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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife flew out the other day to attend a curling Bonspiel ( as a spectator), also picked up her new car and is driving it home.

She phoned me when she finished up her first day on the road, put some gas in and gave me the numbers.

A brand new VW Passat Wagon, 2.0 litre turbo diesel.

First day on the road, just right around 60 MPG, and as she says " passes semis like they're standing still".

This will cut down the cost of running the fleet. Pretty impressive numbers.

The irony is that the State of California has banned the engine saying the exhaust particulates are too high, but it's OK to sell 8 MPG Hummers by the boatload. Since about half of VW's sales in NA are in California, no more 2.0 litre diesels for any of North America.
 

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My back hurts
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toomanybikes said:
My wife flew out the other day to attend a curling Bonspiel ( as a spectator), also picked up her new car and is driving it home.

She phoned me when she finished up her first day on the road, put some gas in and gave me the numbers.

A brand new VW Passat Wagon, 2.0 litre turbo diesel.

First day on the road, just right around 60 MPG, and as she says " passes semis like they're standing still".

This will cut down the cost of running the fleet. Pretty impressive numbers.

The irony is that the State of California has banned the engine saying the exhaust particulates are too high, but it's OK to sell 8 MPG Hummers by the boatload. Since about half of VW's sales in NA are in California, no more 2.0 litre diesels for any of North America.
If those numbers hold up, that's impressive mileage. I have an '03 Passat wagon with a 1.8 l turbo engine. Due to my costly habit of speeding on state highways, my highway mileage usually comes in about 25-26. However, if I drive on the highway like a civilized person (which I'm now doing with two tickets in two weeks) I can regularly crack 30 mpg on the highway. On a recent trip following a friend in a moving van, I managed to go over 35 mpg on a 200 mile highway trip.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yeah, the average will certainly come down when she starts driving in town but as highway mileage - this is impressive.

I drive a Tribute 3.0 litre V6 and am pretty happy to get between 27 and 30 MPG, on the highway with cruise control on.

She has been driving a Passat with the 2.8 litre V6 and highway is roughly 25 MPG so this performance out of the little stove oil burner is quite a revelation.
 

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FIFTY, really? Let us know if that holds up...

There are some pretty cool diesels coming to the US now that they're getting the sulphur out of the fuel. Europe has had high-perf diesel cars for quite awhile, but in the United States they're perceived as clattery and slow. I did a story about them a year or so ago...I've forgotten the details, but it's stuck in my mind somewhere that under ideal conditions, a diesel at a highway cruise will get 25-30 percent higher mileage than a gas engine of comparable output.
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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I haven't heard anything else about it lately, but I did read a while back that VW and other manufacturers who sell diesel-equipped cars in the states are halting them for '07, at least for a few years, because of the very stringent EPA regs for the upcoming year. I'm not sure what'll happen when '10 comes along, where they become even tougher. So if you want one, you might want to think about getting one soon.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
GirchyGirchy said:
I haven't heard anything else about it lately, but I did read a while back that VW and other manufacturers who sell diesel-equipped cars in the states are halting them for '07, at least for a few years, because of the very stringent EPA regs for the upcoming year. I'm not sure what'll happen when '10 comes along, where they become even tougher. So if you want one, you might want to think about getting one soon.
The Passat is halted now. VW says a new diesel is to be introduced for the 2007 model year.

The problem stems from the State of Californis regs. and the problem results from the oil refiners who find it cheaper to produce high sulfur diesel oil (Sulfur is a lubricant) than to produce a compliant fuel.

The emission problem results solely from the fuel, yet as I said above, GM and others can keep turning out 8 MPG SUV's and that's OK. Unbelievable, so much for conservation.
 

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Motorator
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toomanybikes said:
My wife picked up her new car, put some gas in and gave me the numbers.

A brand new VW Passat Wagon, 2.0 litre turbo diesel.

First day on the road, just right around 60 MPG, and as she says " passes semis like they're standing still".[/QUOTE


I think the speedometer must be in KM/H.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Starliner said:
toomanybikes said:
My wife picked up her new car, put some gas in and gave me the numbers.

A brand new VW Passat Wagon, 2.0 litre turbo diesel.

First day on the road, just right around 60 MPG, and as she says " passes semis like they're standing still".[/QUOTE


I think the speedometer must be in KM/H.
Geez, do ya think??

Really?

wonder why I never thought of that!?
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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60MPG is very optimistic. The onboard computer is not as accurate as real-life mileage.

The best mileage I ever got in my '98 Jetta TDI was right at 50MPG and that was on a long drive with the cruise control on. I typically get 40MPG with mixed driving and I typically drive aggressivly. The worst tank I ever got was 33MPG and that was right after I got my car chipped. I was driving like an idiot for an entire tank.

I'm hoping to replace my old Jetta with a Mk V Golf TDI if they ever make it to the States (yes, I'm a Californian!). Bringing one into California is a whole lot easier than getting one into the US.

I've seen a Lupo on the streets in San Francisco and I would say that VW should bring the 3 Liter Lupo here. It's about as large a Mk II Golf so it's not a tiny car like the new Mini is. The 78MPG that the car returns would compete favorably with the Honda Insight but, unlike the Insight, it seats four.
 

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It would be very interesting if that Passat was actually getting 60 mpg. It may be possible, given how efficient diesel big rigs have become. Most trucking companies can't compete on price if their engines are more then 3 years old. The interesting thing on the new truckin' rigs is that the fuel is primarily metered out by satelite relay. Some big companies run SAP software which calculates whether there are greater cost savings by increasing fuel to save time (less driver cost, quicker turnaround) or to reduce the fuel available (less fuel cost, less time spent in unfavorable traffic). The driver can still step on the gas to pass, etc. but the amount of power available is limited to a certain duration.

California's Smog restrictions may be strict, but compared to the Tuft is Germany its a cake walk. Its really about the formulation of the fuel. There is clean burning diesel all over Europe and tons of vehicles are running on it. Diesel engines can have amazing, if not superior performance. The torque is already there, if you add a turbo they are super snappy. IMO, the future in terms of ultimate efficiency would be a turbo diesel hybrid that runs on a cleaner formula diesel. I would be stoked to have one of those about the size of a Smart Car for running errands, commuting, etc.

I used to have a VW Rabbit diesel car and the pickup version. The car would average about 46mpg and pickup around 41mpg for 65/35 highway to city driving. Those vehicles were made so well, they went 250K without a problem, that is until California reformulated the diesel fuel around 1993. The new fuel would eat at hoses, seals, and gaskets. After that they would only go a year before the fuel injection would need to be rebuilt.
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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toomanybikes said:
The problem stems from the State of Californis regs. and the problem results from the oil refiners who find it cheaper to produce high sulfur diesel oil (Sulfur is a lubricant) than to produce a compliant fuel.
I wasn't as aware of the low-sulfur release dates as I was the emissions controls. Thanks for the info!
 

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Travels by Map
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A friend at my old job regularly got in the low to mid 40s per gallon with his diesel Beetle. That's the same mileage as a current coworker of mine who has a Prius.
 

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I have that car too- an '04.5 Passat diesel wagon., and I got 34 mpg driving back and forth from the Snelling RR yesterday. I'd get a bit better but I had 2 bikes on the roof and did a steady 80 mph.

After over a year I've never gotten close to 60 mpg, and neither has anyone else with that car whom I've been in touch with. Folks in the midwest, who don't have bikes and roof racks on top, and who don't have to drive up and down big passes, get about 45 mpg tops. Maybe she was looking at the __instantaneous__ mpg readout on the dash, instead of the average.

but hey- great car! Don't trust your VW dealer to know anything about the engine-check out tdiclub.com and passatworld.com for lots of info on your new ride.

CA has mandated that all diesel retailers switch to Ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD- 15ppm) ) by October of this year, so perhaps we'll see some new diesels in the CA market for 2007. Select BP/Arco stations sell it now in CA, and its all I use. Oh, and it runs great on biodiesel too!
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Momma and car home tonight.
Took the readings off the in car computer and double checked to the figures she was keeping for me when she filled the tank.

Average for her run comes out to 50.5 MPG.

Not bad, I'll take it.
 

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Lets Go Hokies!!!
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If you want to save money and get good gas mileage, get a Corolla. We've had one for a year and a half and I get 36 around town and around 42 on the highway, consistently. Its light, pretty fast, and doesn't look stupid. And I doubt anyone will be banning it anytime soon.
 

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Anything even close to 60mpg is outstanding. Friends have VW's cars get around 40 - 48mpg.

My 1996 Mercedes E300 gets 34 - 38 on highway. But I only go in to work once or twice per week. And my wifes Toyota Highlander Hybird gets only 25 - 28 hwy. Although, most of her 100 miles per day are spent in the city; between 34 - 37mpg ( golf cart mode ). She wanted a Prius but to small for me to allow the kids to ride in. 60mpg WOW; I need to look at VW's.
 

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Incredibly slow
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toomanybikes said:
Momma and car home tonight.
Took the readings off the in car computer and double checked to the figures she was keeping for me when she filled the tank.

Average for her run comes out to 50.5 MPG.

Not bad, I'll take it.
In the early 80s the father of one of my friends drove his Mercedes 300TD from Palatine, a Chicago suburb, to Denver, travelling just a hair over 1000 miles, on one tank of diesel. I just looked up the fuel tank capacity on a 1980 300TD, and it held 21.1 gallons, with a 2.8 gallon reserve. I'm assuming that was an extra 2.8 gallons, but it still comes out to 41.8 MPG, which is pretty good for a car that big.

What I don't understand is the amazing variability of diesel prices. I've seen differences of 70 cents a gallon at same brand stations an hour apart on the same highway. I guess only the most desperate trucker would patronize the higher station.
 

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No Crybabies
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efficiency

Diesels do great compared to gasoline engines at low throttle conditions and idling. It's because they have no throttle plate to restrict the incoming air. So, crusing at low throttle down the highway their efficiency is great, because the engine is sipping fuel but with tons of oxygen flowing through. They can do this because they don't require the precise air/fuel mixture that gasoline does.

For similar performance during accelleration, city driving, gasoline can be about as efficient, though. Downsize a gasoline motor to have the same horsepower and they become comparable.

I had a 1985 Chevy Sprint 3 cylinder gasoline engine car that got over 60 highway and 45 town (with air conditioning). I kept track of every drop of fuel for the first 10,000 miles, and it averaged 52 mpg overall. It accomplished this largely from having a small motor combined with a 1500 pound curb weight. Weight makes a huge difference. Of course, it felt like a tinny cheap car, because it was. Got me though law school, though. If that could be done back in 1985, you'd think we could do better now -- problem is that we are mandated so much safety crap and have so many luxury things built into even cheap cars. Cars weigh a whole lot more than they need to. Just imagine a hybrid that weighs 1500 pounds. It might get 70 mpg in the city. No way it would pass impact standards of today, though, unless of course it costs half a million dollars and is made from carbon fiber and magnesium.
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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Fixed said:
I had a 1985 Chevy Sprint 3 cylinder gasoline engine car that got over 60 highway and 45 town (with air conditioning). I kept track of every drop of fuel for the first 10,000 miles, and it averaged 52 mpg overall. It accomplished this largely from having a small motor combined with a 1500 pound curb weight. Weight makes a huge difference.
I don't know what the Insight weighs but the very concept of it is very similar to what you posted here. Now, imagine that VW gets about the same mileage (or better!) from a turbodiesel that seats twice the number of people compared to the Insight and without the fancy electric motor to assist and you can draw your own conclusions. The 3 Liter Lupo gets 78MPG!

BTW, for comparison's sake, my Jetta weighs about 2700 lbs, makes about 130 HP, has over 225 ft/lbs of torque, and still returns an average of 40MPG. Once I get the car over 50MPH it goes into fifth gear and does not get downshifted again until the speed drops below 45MPH. Passing is just a simple matter of pressing on the accelerator pedal some more. I once was playing with a guy who had a heavily modified Rabbit GTI. The interior was stripped out to lighten it, the engine had higher compression, knife-edged crank, ported and polished head, cams, throttle body, K&N filter, and a whole slew of other go-fast mods. On the freeway, at about 60MPH, he downshifted into fourth and I just mashed the accelerator. A few miles down the road we come to a stoplight and I told him that I didn't bother downshifting. He was quite upset because he spent all kinds of money on his engine and here I was in my heavier Jetta and I was able to keep up without even bothering to downshift.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Squidward said:
I don't know what the Insight weighs but the very concept of it is very similar to what you posted here. Now, imagine that VW gets about the same mileage (or better!) from a turbodiesel that seats twice the number of people compared to the Insight and without the fancy electric motor to assist and you can draw your own conclusions. The 3 Liter Lupo gets 78MPG!

BTW, for comparison's sake, my Jetta weighs about 2700 lbs, makes about 130 HP, has over 225 ft/lbs of torque, and still returns an average of 40MPG. Once I get the car over 50MPH it goes into fifth gear and does not get downshifted again until the speed drops below 45MPH. Passing is just a simple matter of pressing on the accelerator pedal some more. I once was playing with a guy who had a heavily modified Rabbit GTI. The interior was stripped out to lighten it, the engine had higher compression, knife-edged crank, ported and polished head, cams, throttle body, K&N filter, and a whole slew of other go-fast mods. On the freeway, at about 60MPH, he downshifted into fourth and I just mashed the accelerator. A few miles down the road we come to a stoplight and I told him that I didn't bother downshifting. He was quite upset because he spent all kinds of money on his engine and here I was in my heavier Jetta and I was able to keep up without even bothering to downshift.
Horsepower is overrated, torque is what counts and the more torque you make lower in the band the better, especially if you hold it.
 
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