Archive for Miles Per Gallon

New 2002 Golf GLS TDI

2002 Golf TDI GLS

Our new 2002 Golf TDI GLS

I decided to pick up a new “to us” 2002 Golf TDI GLS model.

Had it shipped down from Washington from a company specializes in VW diesels. Mechanically it is pretty sound but showed up needing a lot of TLC such as hoses, bushings, shocks and belts. 🙁

Will slowly upgrade it as money allows but for now it is pretty fun to drive and have noticed the gas (diesel) mileage is much better than our 2013 Golf TDI. First half tank returned around 45 mpg without any hypermiling 🙂

The 1.9 ALH motor has a nice diesel sound to it, somewhere between an old Mercedes diesel and our 2013 Golf TDI. 🙂



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.


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.


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!


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.

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. 🙂

The TDI 50mpg Club

Took the coastal route home

Took the coastal route home


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 🙂



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


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 🙂


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.