Decided to keep our Golf TDI

Well it has been a while since I have written. I won’t go into a rant on how VW screwed me by selling me a deceptive vehicle etc.

To be honest I really don’t have any ill feelings against VW.

We have driven our 2013 Golf TDI for 4 years , racking up 65.000 miles. The miles reflected some great trips, Vegas, Mammoth, Whitney Portal and Anza Borrego. Our Golf has performed flawlessly for our 4 years of ownership and we continue to drive it to this day.

Originally I planned, like 98% of TDI owners to sell my Golf back, but recently I have had a change of heart.

My plan is to hold onto our TDI as long as we can and hope there is an acceptable fix that does not affect economy and performance. This may prove difficult with our EA189 motor equipped model, but I am willing to wait and see what VW comes up with.

Rumor has it that after the fix VW will warranty the car for another 120,000 miles which equates to many more road trips 🙂

Our TDI got us to Whitney Portal, the rest was up to us.

Our TDI got us to Whitney Portal, the rest was up to us.

Volkswagen TDI Goodwill Package

Finally had a chance to use part of my TDI Goodwill Package.

VW sent us a $500 debit card and a $500 VW credit card too be used on any VW purchase along with 3 years of free road side service.

Just had my oil changed and bought some automotive stuff for the Toyota Land Cruiser from PepBoys. 🙂

TDI Goodwill Package

TDI Goodwill Package

VW TDI’s Too Good To Be True ?

I am sure you have now heard about VW’s software that was only kicking in full emission controls when the cars were being tested. Once on the road the controls were reduced so apparently the cars were emitting 10 – 40 times more NOx.

As a owner of one of the now cars in the EPA’s headlights I am torn. I love the performance, handling and amazing economy that our Golf TDI has given us over the last 3 years of ownership but at the same time I realize perhaps that it was too good to be true.

I will be curious what Volkswagen will offer owners (if anything) but if they send a new Golf GTI my way I wouldn’t complain.

 

Of course I would have to rename the web site to Green GTI 🙂

 

 

New Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 ‘s for our Golf TDI

In our two short years of ownership, our Golf TDI has clocked 38,500 miles on the  odometer. Besides pulling daily driver duties, our TDI has been our hypermiling road trip car, with multiple trips to Vegas, Central California and Mammoth Mountain.

After getting a flat tire on the 5 freeway it was time to consider replacing the stock Continentals that VW equipped with the vehicle.

50 mph and under temporary spare tire  mounted after our freeway mishap

50 mph and under temporary spare tire mounted after our freeway mishap

The tire choices in this size are endless and a bit overwhelming, but I zeroed in on Michelin’s since they seem to get great customer ratings and long tread life. I was also interested in upgrading the performance of the TDI a bit.

To be honest we don’t really need an “All Season” tire living in San Diego,  but we do occasionally get rain and the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 ‘s are suppose to excel in wet conditions.

Discount Tire installing the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 ‘s on our Golf TDI

Discount Tire installing the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 ‘s on our Golf TDI

I am really looking forward to putting some miles on these tires and who knows maybe they will even bump up our mpg a bit 🙂

Our new Michelin Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 's

Our new Michelin Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 ‘s

European Volkswagen TDI’s

We recently returned from our first European trip and I was amazed at the amount of cool VW TDI offerings. Our trip took us from Germany to the Austrian Alps with even a quick step over the border into Italy. Here are a few of my favorite drool worthy vehicles that unfortunately we will probably never see in the U.S. .

Golf 4 TDI 4 Motion

I would love to own one of these 4 wheel drive Golf TDI’s. What an awesome ski vehicle.

 

VW Tiguan TDI

I also had the pleasure of driving my Austrian friend’s Tiguan TDI. Let me tell you the second they offer one of these in the U.S. I will be at the dealer.

VW Golf Blue Motion

In Europe VW makes a higher mpg diesel known as the Golf BlueMotion. Apparently the engine is a 1.6 liter, 1110 hp, four cylinder version that gets upwards of 65 mpg U.S.

While my wife thought I was completely weird for taking pictures of cars, I looked at the trip as a great opportunity some awesome vehicles that are forbidden fruit to those of us in the U.S.

 

Maxing the range of our Golf TDI

World's Largest Thermometer in Baker, CA

World’s Largest Thermometer in Baker, CA

Once again we made plans to head up to Mammoth Mountain for Bluesapalooza, the annual micro-brew blues music festival. This time we would first take a quick 3 day detour to  Las Vegas to see some friends.

I ran the numbers through my head, La Jolla to Las Vegas 327 miles and Las Vegas to Mammoth Mountain 308 miles. Sounds like a good trip for the Golf TDI. 🙂

Driving through Baker, CA temperatures were in the triple digits and according to the world’s largest thermometer it was 109′ which matched the digital temperature readout of the TDI.

For this trip we splurged a bit and booked a room on the 54th floor of the Cosmopolitan with a crazy view of the Las Vegas strip. Believe it or not this hotel goes up another 6 or 7 floors.

 

 

View of the Las Vegas Strip from the Cosmopolitan

View of the Las Vegas Strip from the Cosmopolitan

We have always wanted to check out the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop where the show Pawn Stars was filmed so we braved the 112′ heat and drove over to the Fremont district. Before you ask, no Chumlee wasn’t there.:(

Gold & Silver pawn Shop of Pawn Stars fame

Gold & Silver pawn Shop of Pawn Stars fame

After a few days in Las Vegas we jumped back in the the TDI and drove north into the desert towards Mammoth Lakes. Since we were passing through Area 51 we decided to stop at this cool little alien focused gift shop.

Area 51 in the Nevada Desert

Area 51 in the Nevada Desert – Do you believe?

We fueled up before reaching Mammoth to be safe and averaged around 43 mpg for this part of the trip. I attribute the low average to the fact that we did a lot of in town driving around Vegas. In Mammoth we always stop at Schats Bakery to get coffee and danishes and this trip was no different.

Schat's Bakery in Mammoth Lakes is a must stop if you like good pastries and coffee.

Schat’s Bakery in Mammoth Lakes is a must stop if you like good pastries and coffee.

Twin Lakes, Mammoth Mountain

Twin Lakes, Mammoth Mountain

Filling up once we arrived home in Leucadia told the story; 11.975 gallons to travel 601 miles puts us at 50.2 average mpg. 🙂

Golf TDI mpg

11.975 gallons of diesel to travel 600 plus miles. Yeah I can live with that.

Fuelly

2014 Paso Robles Wine Festival

We enjoy letting our Golf TDI stretch it’s legs on long road trips.

The 300 + mile drive from San Diego to Paso Robles is one of those trips where you can really maximize the economy of the VW Golf TDI.

My friend in his Tacoma had to fill up his tank before making the return trip while we rolled into Encinitas with 60 miles to spare on the same tank of diesel that we started out with. 🙂

2014 Paso Robles Wine festival

2014 Paso Robles Wine festival

 

2013 Golf TDI 676 miles one one tank

Golf TDI 676 miles one one tank

 

San Diego to Las Vegas in the Golf TDI

View of the Bellagio and Paris Hotel from Planet Hollywood

View of the Bellagio Hotel and the Paris Hotel from my 23rd floor room at Planet Hollywood

While a hybrid, such as a Toyota Prius , will excel in stop and go city traffic, the Golf TDI likes long stretches of unbridled highway. That is pretty much what we bought it for. 🙂

The San Diego to Las Vegas route along I-15 is one example of a trip where you can really test the capabilities of a Golf TDI.  If you time it right (I didn’t) you can avoid rush hour traffic and make it to Vegas in under 5 hours.

I hit some really bad traffic throughout Riverside County on the way up, but had a clear shot all the way back to Encinitas. Guess that had something to do with leaving Vegas at 4AM. 🙂

Golf TDI Computer Display

Golf TDI Computer Display

I didn’t check the mileage right away, and drove to work and back the next couple of days on the same tank of diesel. When I finally filled up I had gone almost 700 miles on one tank putting my fuel consumption at 48.8 miles per gallon.

Pretty confident that if I hadn’t hit bad traffic on the way up I would have been way over the coveted 50mpg mark. 🙂

Golf TDI One Year Anniversary

I received this letter from my local VW dealer which reminded me  that we have had our 2013 Golf TDI for a year.

GolfBigSur


January 12, 2014

Dear Robert,

Congratulations!  It is your VOLKSWAGEN’s one-year anniversary.

The time has quickly gone by!  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding your 2013 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF TDI.

Also, if you have any friends or family members looking for a new vehicle, please have them contact me.

Once again, Happy Anniversary!

Sincerely,

xxxx xxxxxx


One year ago, after many happy years of Toyota ownership, I took the plunge and purchased our first VW . Number one reason for me is that it was a diesel, and while Toyota has some great diesel vehicles available overseas, their U.S. offerings are zero.
Some of the highlights of our year of ownership were

I am very happy with our Golf TDI and in fact am about to hit 20,000 miles after only a year.  Looking forward to many more road-trips and trouble free miles.

2015 Golf TDI

GolfJust caught a video over on YouTube showing a review of the new 7th generation 2015 Golf TDI.  If the specs are correct the new  Golf, destined to hit our shores sometime in 2014 will get an amazing 59 mpg hwy and close to 40 mpg city.

We really don’t plan on upgrading our 2013 Golf TDI anytime soon, but if we were in the market we would probably hold off and reap some more fuel savings . 🙂

 

The Golf TDI hates traffic

I am convinced that  every vehicle has its’ ideal environment.

For our diesel Land Cruiser that would be crawling over some rocks at 2 mph in the middle of nowhere.

Our Golf TDI on the other hand likes cruising long uninterrupted stretches of highway where both stoplights and traffic are minimal.

Unfortunately lately our commute has been anything but interrupted. Granted we get to use the carpool lane, but even then it is not always smooth sailing.

San Diego Traffic on 5 Fwy North

San Diego Traffic on 5 Fwy North

TDI Average mpg

Our average mpg drops drastically in stop and go traffic

 

Central Coast and 50 mpg

We Just returned from 4 days up in San Luis Obispo.

The Golf TDI did great. On our trip up from San Diego we averaged 46.5 mpg  for the 300 + miles, and hit the magic 50.3 mpg average mark all the way back to San Diego. 🙂

Stopping to check the surf in Santa Barbara

Stopping to check the surf in Santa Barbara

Sebastian is a great deli in San Simeon that unfortunately is closed on Mondays

Sebastian is a great deli in San Simeon that unfortunately is closed on Mondays

 

Mammoth Mountain or bust in our Golf TDI

Parker Lake Mammoth Mountain, CAOur annual summer trip up to Mammoth Mountain is one I really look forward to. This would be the first time in our Golf TDI so I was really excited to see what kind of mileage I could squeeze out of it.

 

Golf TDI with Curt Hitch and Mountain Bikes

Golf TDI with Curt Hitch and Mountain Bikes

Of course the two Ellsworth Mountain Bikes along with 5 days of luggage packed into the hatchback weren’t really going to help things.

 

TDI Exploring

TDI Exploring

Once we arrived, the Golf TDI served as our taxi as we explored the beautiful lakes and mountains around Mammoth.

Crazy Lemon House

Crazy Lemon House

We averaged over 43 mpg on the way up and back from Mammoth which is great considering all the weight and the occasional “lead foot” required to pass the big semi-trucks on Hwy 395. 🙂

Golf TDI 10000 Mile Service

First 10,000 mile service for our 2013 Golf TDI

First 10,000 mile service for our 2013 Golf TDI

Just hit 9781 miles on our 2013 Golf TDI so I drove it in to Bob Baker’s Volkswagen for Volkswagen’s complimentary 10,000 mile service. The service includes

  • Oil/Filter Change.
  • Tire Rotation.
  • Brake Check.

What is nice is that Volkswagen covers all of this for free for the first 30,000 miles.

Heck they would have even washed it and vacuumed it if I had let them. 🙂

We have really enjoyed the first 10,000 miles of ownership of our Golf TDI.  We are averaging over 42 mpg and this number seems to be getting better and better.

Fuelly

Golf GTD diesel to be offered in U.S. in 2015

volkswagen-golf-gtd-02[1]

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better. 🙂
I just read that Volkswagen will be offering the Golf GTD here in the U.S. in two years time.
It is rumored that it will be a 2016 model and will have a $27,000 price tag.

The GTD Golf is currently offered in Europe. and is apparently a performance version of the current diesel Golf TDI.

In preparation of the GTD arriving on our shores, I thought it would be interested to hi-light some differences between the Golf GTD and the current Golf TDI.

Golf GTD Golf TDI (2013)
Horsepower 184hp @ 3500 rpms 140hp @ 4000 rpms
Torque 280 ft/lbs @ 1750 rpms 236 ft/lbs @ 1750 rpms
0 – 60 mph 7 Seconds 8.6 Seconds
Displacement 120 cu. in. 120 cu. in.

With the huge boost in both horsepower and torque, you would think there would be a hit in fuel economy. Not so. Current tests over in Europe put the mpgs close to the current Golf TDI.

Yes you can have your cake and eat it too. 🙂

Fuelly

The TDI 50mpg Club

Took the coastal route home

Took the coastal route home

TDI

On our recent trip up to a wine festival in Paso Robles we averaged 50.7 miles per gallon for 500 plus miles.

When the odometer showed 400 miles driven I was still showing half a tank of diesel. At this rate I theoretically could have driven 760 miles on one tank of fuel. 

Constantly blown away by our 2013 Golf TDI 🙂

 

Fuelly

Volkswagen TDI Eurovan

Haven’t seen one of these before so imagine my surprise when we passed one on the 15 South on our way back from Las Vegas.

Volkswagen TDI Eurovan

Volkswagen TDI Eurovan on the 15 fwy heading south

Volkswagen TDI Eurovan on the 15 fwy heading south

San Diego to Las Vegas Hypermiling

Made it from San Diego to Las Vegas and back on less than one tank of diesel. Final calculation came out to 48.8 mpg for the 643 mile round trip. 🙂 Incredible mileage in my opinion and that was driving 70-75 mph.

Half way to San Diego to Las Vegas

Half way to Vegas

Peggy Sue’s Diner outside of Barstow, CA

 

Curt Hitch and Thule Rack Installed Today

Productive day. Was able to install the Curt 11000 on our 2013 Golf TDI today.

Curt 11000 Hitch Installed on our Golf TDI

As much as I didn’t believe it would fit, the Curt 11000 was successfully installed today.

The Hitch allowed me to install a Thule Doubletrack Bike Rack for our Mountain Bikes

The Hitch allowed me to install a Thule Doubletrack Bike Rack for our Mountain Bikes

Thule Doubletrack on our 2013 Golf TDI

Thule Doubletrack folded up

A Golf TDI is not a Tacoma

As much as we love the fuel economy and the handling of our new Golf TDI, there is one glaring shortcoming; how the heck do we transport two mountain bikes?

I know a lot of people purchase great rooftop rack systems that will hold bikes, kayaks, skis or anything else you could imagine, but I was thinking of wind drag.
How was I going to “hypermile” with bikes on top of the car?

Solution came in this great product from Curt. A cool trailer hitch that we can hook up to a Thule bike carrier to sit behind the Golf.
Much less wind resistance and you don’t have to worry about low bridges. 🙂

Curt Trailer hitch for VW Golf

Curt Trailer hitch for VW Golf

Curt Trailer hitch for VW Golf

Curt Trailer hitch for VW Golf

Diesel cheaper than unleaded

Just in time to fill up my TDI 🙂

Doesn't happen often lately but I was pleasantly surprised to find diesel cheaper than unleaded when I filled up my TDI yesterday :)

Doesn’t happen often lately but I was pleasantly surprised to find diesel cheaper than unleaded when I filled up my TDI yesterday 🙂

Fuelly

Our Golf TDI in Anza Borrego

Drove the Golf TDI out to the Anza Borrego Desert to meet up with a friend for a day hike.

Ended up averaging 42.6 mpg for the close to 200 mile drive 🙂

Golf TDI in the Anza Borrego Desert

Golf TDI in the Anza Borrego Desert

Fuelly

TDI Mileage going up

Amazing mpg from Golf TDII

Amazing mpg from Golf TDII

Managed 403.8 miles on 9+ gallons of mostly commuting miles. Calculated out to 40.4 mpg.:)

First tank 37 mpg

photoJust topped off our new TDI and we calculated 37 mpg! I am happy with that.

This was a combination of freeway and surface streets. Been babying it a bit since it is in the break-in period.

I also signed up on the website Fuelly to track my mileage.
Fuelly

We bought a VW Golf TDI !

SmallTDIAfter after a couple years of research, and many years of owning Toyota’s we are now the proud owners of a 2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI.

We still own our diesel Toyota LandCruiser affectionately known as BioCruiser but we decided 18 mpg on our daily commute wasn’t cutting it.

Our TDI is rated at 42mpg hwy so I am real excited to see if that is the case.

Stay tuned…..