Double Take: Dueling Volkswagen B4 TDi Passats

As enthusiasts cars go, the words “TDi” and “Passat” don’t generally generate a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. Of course, that belies the entire subculture of Volkswagen enthusiasts that are diesel obsessed; but even amongst them the Passat TDi is rarely the first car they’d choose. Perhaps the exception to that is the wagon version of the B4, which offered smart looks and unbelievable fuel mileage. However, we looked at one on our Facebook fanpage, and people baulked as the price approached $15,000 on a high mile, 20 year old Passat diesel. So what’s here today then? Well, if you need a smart commuter, want to get 50 miles a gallon with a bit of sleeper style, the Passat sedan offers arguably better build quality than the Mk.2 and Mk.3 Jetta diesels did and can be had for a more reasonable budget. Today, there are two nearly identical mileage B4 TDis available on Ebay – let’s start with the older one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi on eBay

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2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI

$_57 (4)

We’re hitting an interesting time in which the initial generations of truly tech-laden cars are starting to “mature,” and we will begin to see how these various forms of packing 10 pound of technological crap into a 5 pound bag will age. At my Bimmer shop, they noted how they love working on the older cars because they are “real,” and most things can actually be repaired. The owner pointed to an early E65 745i sitting outside the shop and lamented that “anything breaks on that piece of s*** and you might as well buy a whole new car.” The Touareg V10 is certainly on the overwrought spectrum of things, and maintenance on this generation of VW/Audi luxury cars is notoriously spendy. I choose to ignore this reality when V10 TDIs come up because they are such beasts. Not the best looking, not the best value, but hell yes it’s a VW SUV with ten cylinders of diesel-compressing fury.

Click for more details: 2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI on eBay

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2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDi Cup Edition

2014 will reportedly introduce to the U.S. a car that many Volkswagen fans have been eagerly awaiting – the Golf “GTD” TDi. Basically a GTi with the turbo diesel in place of the 2.0T, the GTD looks great, drives wonderfully and gets some fantastic mileage. But go back a few years and we basically already had the prototype here; the short lived 2010 Jetta TDi Cup Edition. What you got for your hard earned bucks was a basically a Jetta GLi with it’s heart yanked out and replaced by the thrifty and torque-laden turbo diesel. But this wasn’t just a styling exercise for Volkswagen – they had actively engaged in racing the Jetta TDi in the “TDi Cup” to help promote the TDi brand, so this car has some racing heritage as well. Only 1,500 were produced in black, white, blue, or today’s Salsa Red:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDi Cup Edition on eBay

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1998 Volkswagen Jetta TDi

Recently Paul wrote up a lesser-known Jetta that was imported in quite small numbers into the U.S., the Mk. 2 Jetta EcoDiesel. It’s the father of the modern TDi line that came to be synonymous with both Volkswagen and fuel economy. While we typically like to focus on much sportier models, the TDis are both loved and well-worn by their devoted followers. Further, because of the relative ease of converting the car to bio-diesel, they often command a premium over other models despite their relative lack of sport. Due to their desirability and the propensity for their owners to mile on hundreds of thousands of miserly miles, few of these original TDis remain in good shape. However, today on eBay there is a lower mile Tornado Red 1998 Jetta TDi awaiting it’s next thrifty owner:

Year: 1998
Model: Jetta TDi
Engine: 1.9 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 76,900 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Volkswagen Jetta TDi on eBay

Please do not bid if you do not intend to purchase. If you plan on shipping the car please check your cost first. We have re-listed this car because the buyer did not realize what shipping would cost.

Thank you for viewing this 98 Volkswagen Jetta with the legendary TDI turbo diesel motor and only 76k Original Miles!!!! This car is CARFAX certified 1 Owner with no ACCIDENTS!! The exterior paint is in good condition. The vehicle’s interior looks great and it is in far better condition than what is expected for its age. All interior components seem to be in good working order. The engine starts right up with no problems. The 5 spd manual transmission shifts very smoothly. Clutch feels great. I drove this car last week 250 miles and it cost me about 25 dollars in fuel. Very fuel efficient. I do not have service records on the car. Here is your chance to buy that Jetta TDI that you have always wanted. Please do not wait long on this car. This VW is not going to last long. To make this auction even more appealing we have decided to offer it for a 7 DAY AUCTION with NO RESERVE. All of our listings include standard equipment and can vary at times from the actual vehicle so if you see something listed and not pictured please call to verify. Please feel free to contact us via e-mail or by phone with your questions or offers.


At Auction Close Successful “winning” bidder must telephone us within 24 hours after the auction has ended to verify purchase and make arrangements to complete the transaction. A deposit of $200.00 is to be made with in 24 hours of the end of the auction. This deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE Within (7) business days of the end of auction, full payment must be received either by cashiers-check, approved bank draft, or certified funds. If funds are not received, and an alternate arrangement has not been made, the vehicle can and will be made available to other potential buyers on a first-come, first-serve basis.


We accept cashiers checks, certified funds, or verified drafts from known/approved financial institutions. We also accept deposits via Credit Card. All buyers pay a $200.00 administrative fee plus a $50.00 documentary fee. Delaware buyers must pay 3.75% sales tax plus applicable STATE fees. Out-of-state buyers are responsible for their own taxes, registration, etc. in their own states.


All vehicles are sold “as-is” and without warranty. Some vehicles will have factory warranty remaining (will be stated in our description). All cars come with one master key unless otherwise stated. Vehicles come with books and/or manuals only if pictured in photo gallery and/or if stated in the ad.* We make every effort to present information that is accurate. However, it is based on data provided by the vehicle VIN decoding and/or other sources and therefore exact configuration, color, specifications & accessories should be used as a guide only and are not guaranteed. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any inaccuracies, claims or losses of any nature. Furthermore, inventory is subject to prior sale and prices are subject to change without notice. Prices do not include taxes, registration fees, finance and/or documentation charges, or shipping fees. To ensure your complete satisfaction, please verify accuracy prior to purchase. We reserve the right to cancel bids and/or our auction at anytime for any reason.

These cars were most often purchased with steel wheels, and while the covers aren’t the originals installed, the rest of the car is in shockingly good condition overall. I say shocking because, having owned a 1998 Mk. 3 Golf, it’s just about impossible to find them without some rust or body damage in New England. Further, most Jetta TDi owners might have been thrifty on gas, but they were also less than liberal with their cleaning of the cars and infrequently do you see a clean TDi. This is especially notable on the single-stage Tornado Red paint, which typically at this age of car becomes affectionately known by the VW and Audi crowd as “Tornado Pink”. This car seems to have avoided that fate, and while a relatively low spec car it certainly appears to be in rare condition. What does this mean for value? It’s hard to say, as often good examples of these cars push towards high single digits. This car is no reserve and with bidding in the mid-$3,000 range with about 3 days to go, I’d guess this car will end up around $5,000 to $6,000 range. At that price, I’d consider it pretty well bought and enjoy the 49 m.p.g. commute. Take that, Prius!


1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Carat TDI

It seems there is an infinite amount of ways to customize the Volkswagen Vanagon/T3 Transporter. Engine swaps seem to be the order of the day, as we’ve seen a few of these vans turn up with Subaru flat fours and sixes, and others with Porsche lumps hanging out in the rear. The owner of this Vanagon for sale in British Columbia, however, went a more economical route and replaced the original wasserboxer engine with VW’s tried and tested TDI formula. In addition to the engine swap, the van was given a full restoration, with a coat of BMW’s Tourmaline Violet paint.

Year: 1990
Model: Vanagon Carat TDI
Engine: 1.9 liter inline-4 TDI
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 6,000 mi since conversion/restoration
Price: $29,900

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Carat TDI on Craigslist Portland

Over $47K invested in this complete restoration and diesel conversion of this 1990 Vanagon in 2011. 6K miles on rust free Oregon body since makeover at 150K miles. Always garaged. Completely rebuilt engine and 4spd trans with limited slip. Gobs of low end torque. 29.5 mpg in suburban driving. Factory queen-size bed, folding table and auxilliary battery for camping.

Specs/photos here:

If you are serious I can bring it to Seattle [family there] for a look see.

While violet might not be to everyone’s tastes, I really like this van. The color in combination with the leatherette and wood trimmed interior provides a rich look to what was originally a rather utilitarian package. Done up properly, Vanagons are pulling strong money these days, especially the Westfalia campers. The Vanagon Carat Wolfsburg Editions we featured yesterday is closing in on the $10,000 mark, which isn’t surprising given the other 1990 Vanagon Carat Wolfsburg Edition that sold for $10,500 back in June. With the amount of work and money invested, I’d say the price is fairly reasonable for what seems to be a well done rebuild to an old favorite.


2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon


Since I bought my dream car 1.5 years ago, my car hunting radar got fuzzy for a bit amidst wonderings of what, if anything, was next? I had a sports sedan and an unstoppable truck, what else could you need? Well, with both cars struggling to get 20mpg on the highway, the entry of a Jetta TDI to my brother’s fleet got my mind churning. He and his girlfriend made a trip from Seattle to San Francisco, with a spacecase on top, and averaged 56 mpg. I was sold, and now these days when I think of what car I really want next, the recurring image is a Mk4 Jetta TDI Wagon. Eminently useful and frugal, it would be the perfect counterpoint to the E28 M5. Today’s example is what I will eventually be looking for: low-mileage, manual, and very clean.


Year: 2003
Model: Jetta TDI Wagon
Engine: 1.9L turbodiesel inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 83,500
Price: $13,990

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon on eBay




I’d be a little more ready to pounce if it were around $12k, but low-mileage examples are becoming rarer by the day, so it’s a bit of a seller’s market. It may not have mind-blowing power and speed, but its specific brand of performance is equally admirable.


2004 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI


The beast. The V10 TDI version of the Touareg has a checkered past in the US, fluctuating between legal and illegal according to emissions controls throughout its short life. The TDIs on the road now are efficient 6-cylinders, but the original diesel Touareg was made to luxuriously carry occupants on their way to removing large stumps, folding asphalt and embarrassing Silverado 2500HD owners. 553 lb-ft of torque is the headline figure here, and while it was named “Meanest Vehicle for the Environment” in 2007, I think they should drop the “for the Environment” and just name it Meanest Vehicle. At 17mpg city and 24 highway, it doesn’t seem that bad to me. While there are much more attractive interior colors than this one’s grey, they are amazingly supple. Combined with a simple exterior and the modern ubiquity of Touaregs, this is an absolute sleeper of beastness.


Year: 2004
Model: Touareg V10 TDI
Engine: 5.0 liter twin-turbo V10 diesel
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 140,000
Price: $16,795

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI on eBay


*A rare 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI AWD Turbodiesel*

*Carfax and Autocheck certified*

*Factory six disc CD changer*

*Heated seats*

*Xenon lights*

*Factory alloy wheels*

*Park distance control*

*Wood trim*

*Rear window shades*

*Power moonroof*

Priced to sell!

Roasters Auto is proud to present for sale this much sought and very hard to find 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI AWD! This gorgeous SUV is featuring gray color exterior on gray leather interior! With 139K original highway miles it looks very clean inside and out. It comes fully loaded with options such as power windows and locks, power mirrors, power memory seats, heated seats, front and rear park distance control, Homelink, dual front curtain and side airbags, power moonroof, factory six disc CD changer, Parktronic, keyless entry, factory alloy wheels, Xenon lights, rare window shades and many more (see the pictures for more details)! All the options function accordingly! The powerful 10 cylinder 5.0L turbodiesel engine runs like new and the AWD automatic transmission shifts smoothly into gears and provide a lot of power! The beautiful gray color exterior shines bright like new and the gray leather interior has been kept clean! The overall condition of this Touareg is very good.


The one question here is mileage; we have yet to see if these V10 TDIs hold up the general VW TDI standard of going FOREVER. Regardless, at just over 10% of its original cost, this is a ton of car for the money. Make that several tons of car for the money. The long-term maintenance is cause for pause, but holy hell would I like to rumble this thing around for a while.


2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI

In a time when fuel economy reigns supreme with buyers, most blindly flock towards the hybrid offerings from manufacturers thinking that they’re getting the most fuel efficient cars available. While they are among some of the most fuel efficient, the trade off is driving something that resembles a suppository. Buyers for such things as the Prius, Insight or Volt are generally more interested in the “look at me” factor of those cars. For the rest of us, the answer lies in an old technology that has evolved into one of the most (if not the most) fuel efficient powerplants on the road: the TDI.

With highway MPGs in the 60 range, the 2.0l VW TDI is the fuel efficient car for those of us that aren’t in to the image as much as we are in to subtlety. This barely used Candy White Golf for sale in Bozeman, Montana is a great blend of efficiency and four door utility.

2012 VW Golf TDI on eBay



My 2012 Volkswagen Golf is a 4-door hatchback model. diesel. Clean-diesel fans will like the 2.0L turbo-diesel ‘TDI’ 4-cylinder. This Golf TDI model comes with a 6-speed manual. TDI models achieve great gas mileage, with EPA ratings of up to 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway. Excellent variable-assist electromechanical power rack-and-pinion steering, strut-type front suspension and fully-independent rear suspension, the Golf is tuned to feel responsive, which goes well with the compact hatchback’s maneuverability and parking ease. Four-wheel disc brakes provide strong stopping power, and electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are included. The Golf also rides quieter and with more refinement than other on-a-budget hatches. The 2012 Golf’s interior exceeds expectations for those seeking basic transportation, as it adds a little more pizzazz than other hatchbacks in its price range. The instrument panel and door trims are nicely detailed, and there are plenty of soft-touch surfaces. Front seats are adjustable for height and lumbar, and power recline feature. Rear seats are just spacious enough for most adults, and seat backs are split 60/40 and fold forward to expand cargo space up to 46 cubic feet; otherwise with them up, there’s 15.2 cubic feet–about enough for a standard load of groceries.

Includes power windows and locks, cruise control, air conditioning, a trip computer, a rear wiper and washer, steel wheels and an 8-speaker system with an auxiliary input. The Convenience Package adds heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a front armrest, sunroof, premium sound, SIRIUS satellite radio and iPod interface, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated washer nozzles, and foot well lighting and navigation system. I’ve driven this car in the snow here in Montana and it handles superbly. The roof rack shown in the pictures in not included. 

North American perception of diesels is still generations behind the rest of the world. In the US, many still have visions of the noisy, smokey and smelly Mercedes-Benz cars from the 70’s and 80’s. Since then diesel has come a long way and VW is leading the way. TDI technology is nothing new in the automotive world, with stateside offerings going back to the 90’s, but in recent years, VW has really pushed the TDI brand and diesels are finally getting the respect they deserve.

This TDI Golf offers everything that its competition doesn’t, a manual gearbox, normal styling and most importantly, power. With a Buy it Now price $1,500 below market value, the seller is certainly in the realm of reality with this car.



2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup for sale

While I love burning imprudent amounts of gasoline in my M5, I also have a fascination with TDIs and hypermiling. This probably stems from a love of road trips and superlatives, and few cars are as day-to-day efficient as the VW/Audi TDIs. To commemorate their innovative and eponymous spec series, VW got awesome and paired the TDI with the GLI’s suspension and interior. There’s talk of them bringing the similarly-conceived GTD over someday; yes please. Reader Graham tipped us to his dad’s TDI Cup for sale on eBay, with the awesome note that his dad once bought a M-B 2.3-16 off of this blog’s ancestor, Right on!

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup for sale on eBay

From the seller:

I’m reluctantly auctioning my 2010 VW Jetta TDI Cup Edition. I started a new job on 9/24 with a 70-mile daily commute, plus sales trips that can add another 200+ miles each week. Previously, my daily commute was 10 miles, with much shorter sales trips. The upside is that already in one month, the fuel mileage has increased from my previous 40.4 mpg overall average to 41.2 mpg (it’s all on; my best fill-up is 51.5 mpg, and I have all receipts). However, this is a special-edition car that I feel is too rare to subject to a road warrior’s lifestyle. Factory options on top of the sport suspension and special Interlagos interior on the TDI Cup package include power sunroof, iPod integration, and the Jetta floor mat kit with a Monster Mat for the trunk. The combination of style, comfort, convenience, safety features, and efficiency are compelling; hence, the decision sell has been tough. Further, this car is nearly perfect, interior and exterior, and is garaged day and night. My history with the car dates to February 2012, when I purchased it from York VW as a one-owner VW Certified vehicle. As a result, you will enjoy peace of mind from the transferable VW Certified warranty until 9/22/2015 or 60,000 miles, to include 24-hour Roadside Assistance. York VW recently completed the 30,000-mile service, so this car is ready for its intended purpose of stylish, fun, efficient, reliable operation — there have been zero problems during my 10,000 miles of ownership. I’m located in York, PA, which is 50 miles north of Baltimore, MD on I-83 or 90 miles west of Philadelphia, PA on Rt. 30. I want to sell quickly, before the miles start racking up in earnest. The title is in hand, so please feel free to see the car, bid, etc.

Seems like an honest and affectionate listing. I don’t often write up cars with existing warranties, but with 25k miles or 3 years left, that’s a solid selling point. So is the $15k starting price; the reserve is still on, but TDI Cup Editions regularly go for $20-24k. I definitely miss the TDI Cup front treatment, which was an expensive option and is my favorite piece of VW design since the original R32. Exterior aside, the key points like the chassis, great GTI-homage plaid interior, and fast-and-frugal TDI are all in place to make this a great car.


Theme Week: 2011 Audi A3 TDI

An old coworker recently reached out as he’s in the market for a car that’s useful, fun to drive, city-sized and efficient. His shortlist included the usual suspects who make up this thriving segment: Mini, Audi A3, BMW 1-series, etc. To me, there’s no better compromise than the A3 TDI. It’s the best-looking, most efficient and most useful of the bunch, with plenty of luxury and tuneability. After witnessing my brother’s recent 50+ mpg road trip in a Jetta TDI, I could see going back to a long commute if I got to have an A3/Golf TDI with a chip.

2011 Audi A3 TDI w/ DSG for sale on eBay

Disclaimer: I plan to only own stick-shift manual cars forever. However, while I haven’t yet driven DSG myself, in a tech-laden young urban professional machine like this, it makes sense for efficiency, ease of use in the city, and even fun. My dream A3 would be a nice brown, but white will do. Fierce bidding has turned off the reserve at a low $18k, well below the asking price of $26k. Even into the low-20s, this is a great all-arounder that could still be plenty of fun.