TDI Diesel Cars: Pros and Cons of Turbocharged Direct Injection

January 27, 2012

The Direct Injection Engine was considered to be the savior of diesel, and there has been a growing market for TDI diesel cars. These cars are perhaps the most interesting in their creation, as they attempt to get the benefits of a gasoline engine, including fuel efficiency and engine power, without sacrificing the low cost fuel and environmental importance of diesel. The TDI is important to car makers as it offers them the chance to produce a car which does not lack for performance power. However, as with any other environmental technology, there are many pros and cons to producing and using TDI diesel cars.

Advantages to the TDI
Unlike other forms of diesel engine, the TDI offers a lot of boost to the engine. This helps it to reflect the speed and rapid gear changes of a gasoline car, although diesel will still hold in the same gear for a while. There have been more improvements in the TDI recently, with the invention of an exhaust gas recirculation unit, which attempts to reduce the pollution produced by gasoline still further. The installation of catalytic converters also helps to reduce even the small amount of CO2 which the ordinary diesel car produces. There are significant reasons for purchasing a diesel car, including the fact that TDI diesel car fuel is often lower in price than gasoline, and that most diesel cars now offer a better engine performance than the closest gasoline engines.

Disadvantages to TDI
For all their advantages, there are still problems with the diesel engine system. The most significant one for the average consumer is their cost. TDI engines take more time, and cost more money, than the regular gasoline engine. This financial penalty is, of course, passed directly to the consumer. Some experts have suggested that the diesel TDI engine can cost as much as 5 percent more to create and install than a gas engine of the same type, or several hundred dollars for each car. Diesel also produces a pollutant called nitrous oxide, or NOx, and there are larger particles of soot produced by the engine. Designers have been working to reduce these affects, so they should be eliminated from the TDI in the near future. Another problem, which is perhaps a minor one but has been mentioned by many diesel cars' TDI review pieces in magazines, is the noise from the engine. Diesel is more noisy, and also a less comfortable ride than the gasoline engine, although as TDI improves this is perhaps something which can be handled.

TDI for Diesel
TDI for diesel cars has helped those vehicles to become the close rivals of gasoline powered cars, but they have not come without cost, which is chiefly centered around how much the customer is prepared to pay for his vehicle. With TDI cars costing more than their gasoline counterparts, they are still only bought by those with a real commitment to the environment, or who want to save money by converting the car to biodiesel fuel.

Top Selling TDI Diesel Cars: A Comparison Guide
Turbo engined diesel cars, also known as TDI diesel cars, are perhaps one of the most familiar of the vehicles which currently use diesel instead of gasoline. As environmental awareness increases among the consumer population, car makers are looking increasingly at making their cars tougher, more hard-wearing and enduring. The TDI uses gas to ignite the diesel, rather than the spark which has to be used in a gasoline car, and this also makes it more efficient. As TDI becomes more familiar, you can expect them to take over the sales of gasoline engined cars. Even now, there are many cars which can be considered to be top sellers.

  • Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Perhaps the most familiar of the TDI cars is the VW Jetta TDI. These cars, including the sports utility vehicle known as the Jetta Sportswagen TDI, all have a good fuel efficiency from their 2.0 engine. This car came out on top of a survey which calculated how much diesel cars saved over 5 years compared to their gasoline relatives, with savings of as much as $6,000 over this 5 year period, or around 70,000 miles. This helps to recoup some of the costs which diesel cars include in their original price
  • Alfa Romeo: A less familiar car is the Alfa Romeo, and its Alfa MiTo diesel car. This sells rather well in the European continent, where the rules for diesel emissions are much stricter than in America. The Mito uses a Multi jet TDI engine to provide power, and is an excellent little car for using in the city
  • BMW: The BMW is in a class of its own, and many who are considering going for a diesel car overlook the splendid attempts that BMW has made to produce a good car. The BMW 335d is a diesel car which is considered to get around one-third more out of diesel than its counterpart can manage on gas
  • Kia Borrego:  Unlike the other cars mentioned here, this is a diesel car which is specifically intended to be used with biodiesel. Using this car can help you to get around the city easily, and it is also considerably more cost-effective than the other cars, despite being an SUV. Most of these cars will probably be bought by urban drivers, where the TDI will not be brought out to the best effect, but it is still the cheapest version around
  • Mercedes Benz 320 BlueTec Turbo: Mercedes is not new to the diesel landscape, or in providing turbo diesel cars for mass consumption. Their 1985 300D was a very popular diesel engine that came with a turbo. Today's newer turbo diesel Mercedes has a new engine concept called BlueTec. Because of stringent emissions and pollution rules, Mercedes has developed their BlueTec turbo. This runs on their new AdBlue urea-injection technology that cleans up the exhaust from the 215-hp, 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine. Fuel economy is not an issue either. Mercedes boasts that this turbo powered diesel will reach over 600 miles on a tank of gas
  • Volkswagen Golf Turbo: Talking about the most fuel efficient cars in America, the conversation has to include the VW Golf. The 2.0L turbo powered engine will reach up to 47 MPG and thanks to the glow plugs in the engine block, colder weather is not an issue anymore with the diesel engines. The Golf, renamed the Rabbit in the U.S. has a similar package than the Jetta TDI, but in a smaller compact version. Customers have given the Golf very high reviews in stating that even though the car is smaller than a sedan, there is still room to move in it
  • Audi A3 Turbo Diesel. What has been called a "highly efficient diesel small luxury car", the Audi A3 with a TDI turbo diesel is actually a re-engineered version of the previous A3. With 140 hp and 236 ft-lb of torque coming from the four-cylinder turbo-diesel, the Audi still reaches over 40 MPG on the highway. It is not common to find a powerful, and luxurious, sedan that still has that kind of fuel economy. In direct competition with several hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, the A3 is able to deliver with tremendous customer reviews. While the pricing is still a little more than the Golf, or Jetta, it is a more luxury/turbo/sports car than it is a hatchback

Related Questions and Answers

Is Diesel Fuel Injection Service More Expensive than with Gasoline Engines?

Because of the complexity and sheer size, a diesel fuel injection service is far more expensive than a gasoline engine. A Detroit Diesel-Allison fuel injection system, although it may only be four cylinders, has to work in a harsher, more unyielding, environment that is far more pressure filled. It also has to act as a strainer and filter system to ensure that any gums or lacquers that may be carried in the diesel fuel never reach the injector body and clog it up. Diesel fuel, by its very nature, is nowhere as clean and chemical/wax-free as gasoline. Gasoline systems also burn much of the junk out, while diesels, since they rely on self-combustion and heat, tend to let the lacquers and gums remain.

Do Diesel Fuel Injection Systems Run More Efficiently than Gas Powered Cars?

Diesel fuel injection systems are inherently more efficient than gasoline-powered cars due to the nature of fuel injection. It has been estimated by experts that diesel fuel injection systems are 44% efficient, while gasoline systems are 32% efficient. Because the fuel-air charge is subject to higher pressure and self-combusts, fuel is used more efficiently than the traditional spark-fired system. The spark-fired system wastes as much fuel as it uses, and it operates at lower internal pressures. This means that instead of being nearly 50% efficient, the standard gas engine is only about 30% efficient, and needs a spark to work.

Are Diesel Fuel Injection Parts for Repairs Expensive?

Diesel fuel injection parts are very expensive compared to gasoline engine parts. For example, it will cost you about $3,000 or more to have a diesel fuel injection pump rebuilt. While a similar cost a gasoline fuel injection system rebuild will probably cost you about half as much or less. In other words, where a diesel engine - which is more expensive to begin with - will cost at least $3,000 for maintenance, a gasoline engine will cost you about $1,500. This does stand to reason, too, because diesels are built tougher than gasoline engines. Perhaps the best example we've seen of the difference in price showed up on Yahoo recently when someone asked what it would cost to swap a 5.4-liter gas V-8 for a 7.3-liter diesel Powerstroke, and the answer was about $4,800. A gas-for-gas increase would have been about $600.