Learn about VW Engines : 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel

2.0L TDI Clean Diesel

Put simply, the 2 litre TDI is one of the planet’s most revered automobile engines. Since its North American introduction in 2009, the engine has twice won its respective vehicle the coveted “Green Car of the Year” award – the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel in 2009 and the Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel in 2010. It is a 16 valve inline-4 cylinder that in its current form produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, but what originally made the 2 litre TDI so revolutionary was its shedding of all the bad things people used to associate with diesel engines: noise, stink and black smoke. Volkswagen realized that if they were ever going to sell diesel cars to North Americans, they would have to eliminate these things, and so they tasked their engineers with doing so. And do so, they did. A combination of fuel injection technique and particulate filters have done away with the downsides of diesel, leaving behind only upsides: smooth power delivery, stump-pulling torque, incredible fuel economy and low emissions. These attributes have made it a very popular engine choice among both long-time diesel aficionados and newcomers to the diesel scene. In fact, the large majority of TDI buyers are first-time diesel drivers, and you’d be hard-pressed to convince any of them to go back to gas.


Because of the environmental friendliness of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles, they are most often cross-shopped with hybrid vehicles. Despite this, the two could not be more different (as a demo drive of both vehicles will very quickly reveal). Hybrid vehicles tend to eschew some of the classic aspects of the driving experience such as performance, handling and “fun-to-drive”*, while TDI vehicles embrace them. They are the ideal vehicle for an environmentally conscious individual who, despite a desire to enjoy the journey from point A to point B, doesn’t want to burn unnecessary fuel in the process.

The 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel engine is currently found in the Volkswagen Golf, Golf Wagon, Jetta, Beetle and Passat.

The numbers that matter:

  • Cylinders: inline-4
  • Displacement: 2.0 liters (1968 cc)
  • Horsepower: 140 hp (4000 rpm)
  • Torque: 236 lb-ft (1750 – 2500 rpm)
  • Fuel economy (for Jetta TDI): 6.7 L/100 km (city); 4.6 L/100 km (highway)

*Porsche 918, Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1 are notable exceptions to this, as is the Volkswagen Jetta Turbocharged Hybrid!


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