How Much Money Do You Save With TDI? - 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: How Much Money Do You Save With TDI?

July 11, 2013

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

Recently I came across a study that concluded that a diesel-fuelled new car can save its owner potentially thousands of dollars over five years of ownership compared to a regular gasoline version of the same car.

The Volkswagen Passat TDI wasn't part of the study, though the Golf and Jetta TDI were. Here the study concluded that the VW TDI models would cost less to own than the regular versions over three- to five-year timeframes, taking into account factors such as fuel efficiency, fuel prices and resale value.

However, you can use Edmunds' True Cost To Own (TCO) calculation to arrive at similar figures for the Passat TDI. I plugged in a 2012 VW Passat TDI SEL Premium and a gas 2.5 SEL Premium. Five-year Edmunds TCO for the TDI is $46,758, while the 2.5 is $48,379.

Based on this, going with the TDI version of the Passat would save you an estimated $1,621.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 3,474 miles


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Its a comfortable large sedan that actually offers a stick shift, outstanding range, and the relaxed driving characteristics that I subjectively prefer, that's why I'm interested. I'd be happy with recouping the price premium paid towards a TDI model, but its actually going to save money? Nice!

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    This entry is not particularly useful without explaining where the savings are. I suppose that is to force us to use the tool ourselves, which is very annoying, you're already shilling for your product, don' also force us to take the time to go to it, run both cars, take notes on the differences and come back. However, I did that, so for the benefits of others (and to my surprise) the bulk of the savings is fuel. My numbers are slightly different (~$300 less in savings diesel vs 2.5) because I am in a different zip code, the largest savings was $2,440 in fuel, offset by $877 greater depreciation (which strikes me as odd. Why would the crappy 2.5 hold it's value better than the diesel?)

  • vendredi vendredi Posts:

    From most reviews I have seen, Diesel vehicles routinely exceed their EPA fuel economy numbers, whereas Gasoline and Gasoline Hybrid vehicles rarely exceed and often don't even attain the published EPA fuel economy numbers. I think that if one were to use real observed fuel economy numbers, the annual fuel savings would be even greater.

  • While not a true apples to apples comparison I had my 2010 Jetta TDI, with manual transmission, at the dealer for service. I was given a 2012 Passat 2.5, automatic transmission, as a loaner for the day. Typically on my drive to work I average about 40mpg, some days a little less and others a bit more. Same route and similar speeds and I only averaged 26 mpg in the Passat.

  • We took the plunge and bought a 2013 TDI SE at the end of June. The stock Hankook tires were noisy so we drove directly to Discount tire, got decent trade value and put on, at their recommendation, Yokohama RX580s. Huge difference in noise, and very smooth. Next day we started a whirlwind tour of California. 1050 miles, staring with about 120 miles on the odometer. The first 400 or so miles were highway but bucking a 20-25 mph crosswind or headwind much of the way, and a 15 minute pull over for a dust storm. Avg. mpg 41.5. Rest of the trip included going up the coast, including over an hour of stop and go (mostly stop) coming out of LaJolla after fireworks on the 4th, then three long stop and go slogs on I-5. Total average for the entire trip, 40.2. Before we bought, I compared EPA numbers to local fuel costs for a month at our favorite station. I took average miles per year, divided by EPA mileage, and multiplied by average price per gallon. Diesel beat the gas by just about $50 per month and our old car by nearly $105. So far, and its very early, TDI is doing what was promised.

  • slimjim7 slimjim7 Posts:

    Own a 2013 TDI SE (6 manual) and to date have 21000 miles. Love this car. Needed a highway econo cruiser because of my long highway commute, 62 miles one way, 59 of those miles highway. I am now averaging 48-53 MPG (depends on speed/traffic)), typically drive 72-76 MPH. That is with cold tire pressure of 36 PSI. Paid 25K and the fuel saving payback is going to be real quick. Only concern is long term reliability. Had a few camrys before this and like this Passat much more. Only time will tell if I can run this 360K miles like one of the camrys. Did I say I love driving this Passat.

  • thesheet thesheet Posts:

    How many miles a year are they assuming in this test.... Also, IMHO the diesel will outlast the gas engine 60000 miles on average, while this translates into savings in a longer time-frame than in the scope of this study, it is a consideration nevertheless.

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