TDI Clean Diesel: the advantages of diesel over gasoline?

Here at Clarkdale Volkswagen, we’re often asked “What are the advantages of diesel over gasoline?”. So we thought we’d formalize our answer and post it on our fancy blog. After all, what’s a blog for if not pontificating on topics near and dear to one’s heart?

There are a number of advantages to going with Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel engine over a traditional gasoline engine, and broadly speaking, they can be divided into advantages for the environment and advantages for you. We’ll start with the first one.

Advantages for the Environment

2012 Golf TDI at Clarkdale Volkswagen

  • Diesel is cleaner than gasoline: Despite your memories of diesel cars from the 70s and 80s spitting out plumes of black smoke, diesel fuel actually emits much less carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons than does gasoline.
  • New technology makes diesel even cleaner: computer-controlled direct injection (the “D” and “I” in TDI) technology makes the modern diesel engine highly energy-efficient, resulting in less fuel burned and less emissions released. Also, particulate filters and modern catalytic converters in the vehicle’s exhaust system remove 90% of the remaining harmful emissions before they can leave the tailpipe. Finally, diesel fuel itself has become cleaner in recent years (e.g., ultra low sulfur diesel), further reducing emissions of what was already a cleaner fuel than gasoline.
  • Diesel requires less refining than gasoline: the energy costs required to refine a volume of diesel versus a volume of gasoline are markedly less.
  • Diesel engines get better mileage than gasoline engines: this is the obvious advantage of going diesel. A vehicle with a diesel engine will go up to 50% further than that same vehicle with a comparable gasoline engine. For anyone’s particular driving needs, the result is the extraction, refinement and burning of significantly less quantities of a fuel that already emits less environmentally harmful toxins.

Advantages for you

  • Volkswagen’s TDI engines have none of the “bad” features of diesel engines of old: Volkswagen realized that in order to sell diesel vehicles in the North American market, it would have to do away with the stinky, noisy, smokey and shakey characteristics of previous diesel engines. Through the development of new fuel injection techniques, glowplugs, DSG dual-clutch automatic transmissions, particulate filters and catalytic converters, it did just that. Today’s TDI Clean Diesels are as quiet and unobtrusive as any gasoline engine in Volkswagen’s repertoire, something that certainly couldn’t be said ten years ago.
  • Unlike other “green” cars, TDIs are fun to drive: due to their architecture, diesel engines deliver power in a different way than gasoline engines. Specifically, they produce huge amounts of torque (i.e., rotational, or “pulling”, power) at very low engine RPMs. As torque is the power responsible for acceleration (horsepower is more related to top speed), it results in immediate passing ability or acceleration out of a corner, all of which is amplified by the engine’s turbocharger (the “T” in TDI). This method of power delivery garners much praise from automotive reviewers and, without exception, they all comment on how entertaining in makes the car to drive. Together with exceptional fuel economy, this is the reason Audi started using TDI engines in their endurance racecars in 2006. They have subsequently won five of the past six Le Mans races, the most prestigious endurance racing event in the world.
  • Driving a diesel car will save you money: because it uses significantly less fuel, you’ll find yourself at the pump much less frequently. You’ll want to pay attention to the amount of kilometers you drive per year, though—as a Volkswagen TDI model costs slightly more than a gasoline version of the same model, you’ll want to do a quick back-of-the-napkin calculation to determine the financial advantages you stand to reap when choosing the diesel.
  • Diesel is more widely available than you think: you’d be surprised how often we receive phone calls from newly-minted diesel owners asking “Where to I fill this thing up?” The options are more than you’d think, especially now that diesel fuel is becoming a more popular option in passenger cars.
  • It’s easy to make diesel engines perform even better: performance chips offer a relatively cheap and easy way to extract more power and fuel economy from your diesel engine. Depending on how to go about getting them installed, it doesn’t void your car’s warranty either. See Clarkdale’s Parts Department for more information.
  • You’ll sleep well knowing you drive a diesel car: ask anyone who drives a TDI and they’ll tell you the same: they love their cars. For all the reasons stated above, you’ll sleep well with your decision to buy a Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel model.

Touareg TDI at Clarkdale Volkswagen

We hope this helps with some of your diesel-related questions. For more information, visit or feel free to get in touch with Clarkdale Volkswagen Sales Department. Better yet, come in, take one for a spin and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. There’s a reason these TDI Clean Diesels have won so many awards.

This month specials at Clarkdale Volkswagen:

2012 vw golf TDI special at Clarkdale Volkswagen

2012 VW Golf TDI: $1000 off on CASH PURCHASE or Finance at 2.9% over 72 months. See our 2012 Golf TDI inventory!

2012 Jetta TDI Special at Clarkdale Volkswagen2012 VW Jetta TDI: $500 off on CASH PURCHASE or Finance at 2.9% over 72 months. See our 2012 Jetta TDI inventory!


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