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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone here have a recent Jetta or Golf TDI with a 6 speed manual transmission? What are your thoughts about a MT on a diesel car, and the VW transmission in particular?

My wife is looking to buy one -- she's driven MT cars for years and likes them, but we've never had a diesel before.

Thanks.
 

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resU deretsigeR
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I was taught to pass the UK driving test on Golf 1.9L TDI with a manual. Nothing remarkable really. Like most diesels TDIs have a lot of low end torque so they are hard to stall. I think the US cars have the more powerful (and better) 2.0L which I haven't driven yet.

Our Vauxall (Opel) has a diesel and an MT too.

With all of them, you shift earlier as the power falls off a cliff as the revs go up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In the US, we have the 2.0 140hp engine. Coming from a gasoline, six cylinder BMW engine, I stalled out the engine in stop and go traffic. You simply cannot pull from idle in 2nd gear.
 

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I test drove and seriously considered the 2010 VW 2.0TDI (Golf/Jetta) in manual form... on all three of my test drives, I found the transmission difficult to engage in first gear and stalled at least once on each test drive. For context, I've been driving stick for 18+ years (Nissans, Hondas, BMWs) and never had this problem (on another forum, people are speculating that it could be a software issue...?).

Still, I really liked a lot of aspects of the car.
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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Hmm, I guess different folks drive manual transmissions differently.

I test drove a Golf TDI (rare!) and really liked the clutch/manual setup. It's just like almost every other German car out there: light clutch, not too hard to start off, geared for a good balance of low consumption and decent performance. I think it's fairly forgiving of the occasional slip-up. I didn't make any glaring mis-shifts during the 20-25km test drive, I didn't stall either. I rev-matched for the sharp off-ramp without drama either. It would be a decent companion in traffic.

On the other hand, it's hard for me to get a seamless shift on my dad's Mazda MX-5 and I don't particularly like the clutch-throttle setup on that car. :dunno:
 

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I have read several reviews of the manual TDI and they all mention that it has a tendency to stall in first. I also chatted with an owner and she said the same thing.
 

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I do'nt make mistakes.
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The question is whether this is something you get used to, or does it remain bothersome.
It reminds me of a turbo-diesel rental car I had in Europe. From a standing start in first gear, it was weak on torque until the turbo spooled up. So, a few times I let the clutch out too quickly, and the engine stalled even though I was stepping on the right pedal at the same time. Other times, it wouldn't stall and a second or two later the turbo would spool up and snap your head back, annoying the passengers. Still, after a couple days and getting used to turbo lag, I could drive it more smoothly than my e46 (damn CDV, I got to get rid of it someday).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I already have. We picked up the car on Thursday and I've had very little difficulty getting used to the clutch.

I'm really impressed by the acceleration -- you lean into it and the car really takes off. Makes me wonder why BMW can't import something like this.
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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I'm really impressed by the acceleration -- you lean into it and the car really takes off. Makes me wonder why BMW can't import something like this.
BMW insists on the "premium" brand image in North America.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's not possible to import the 325d or perhaps the 320d and sell them as premium cars? After all, they finally brought in the 1 series.

VW/Audi isn't having any difficulty whatsoever selling this diesel cars. BMW runs the risk of falling too far behind the efficiency curve.
 

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It's not possible to import the 325d or perhaps the 320d and sell them as premium cars? After all, they finally brought in the 1 series.

VW/Audi isn't having any difficulty whatsoever selling this diesel cars. BMW runs the risk of falling too far behind the efficiency curve.
Americans still aren't sold on diesel cars. The 335d is selling poorly in the US and most Americans still have the old image of dirty diesel cars. You and I don't represent typical American buying preferences, and a 325d would likely cost more than a 328i petrol equivalent, which would likely lead to the same problem as the 335d.

Finally, the other diesel engines don't meet California emission requirements. Many German diesels have that special BluePerformance stuff (except the 4-cyl VWs) in order to compensate so BMW would have to develop a system just for the 320d or 325d.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Of course they're not sold on it, and they won't be if the diesel product line is so thin. The 335d was a huge error in judgment for BMW because a typical car buyer who would be open to a high efficiency vehicle isn't going to spend that much on a 3 series.

Along with the word, "Efficient Dynamics" they should have designed a car at the 328i price point and showed how it could deliver exhilarating performance and high efficiency. Couple that with a good marketing campaign and Americans would eventually be won over.

Build something right for the times, and people will buy it.

Americans still aren't sold on diesel cars. The 335d is selling poorly in the US and most Americans still have the old image of dirty diesel cars. You and I don't represent typical American buying preferences, and a 325d would likely cost more than a 328i petrol equivalent, which would likely lead to the same problem as the 335d.

Finally, the other diesel engines don't meet California emission requirements. Many German diesels have that special BluePerformance stuff (except the 4-cyl VWs) in order to compensate so BMW would have to develop a system just for the 320d or 325d.
 

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Well, all BMWs are high performance and high efficiency, but all that technology comes at a cost. If you ever looked at BMWs worldwide, you'd realise the US gets BMWs for pretty cheap. If you assume a 1:1 exchange rate, one can buy a 320d sedan in Germany at the US 328i sedan price, but that 320d will have absolutely no options, not even alloy wheels. So in that sense, BMW does have the 320d at the 328i price point but the diesel will have less performance and be bare-bones. And I can assume that the performance won't be great, as 90% of Americans buy AT-equipped Bimmers.

Think about how hard it would be to sell that in the US. "What? A BMW with only 4 cylinders? Steel wheels? $2000 for an automatic gearbox? Heck I'm goin over to the [insert Japanese brand here] dealership!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
High performance, yes, but not high efficiency. 18 mpg for the 128i or 328i in the city, assuming you can achieve that in traffic?

BMW doesn't promote itself as the pig of the Interstate -- it sells itself on "efficient dynamics", which is sort of a misnomer when you consider that nothing about their product line is terribly efficient.

A lot of folks complain about how porky their cars have become. Now with the latest generation of 5 series cars, BMW has added 400 pounds or so?
 
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