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Petrol VS Diesel


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Hi, this my first ever post! I am looking to buy a VW Passat Estate. I have a budget of around 4500. I was looking at the TDI's as the economy factor was reasonably important. I only cover around 5k a year so I was wondering whether to have a 1.8T or 1.9 TDI. Any thoughts on what I should buy?


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Hi Alcatraz,

if you scan through the threads there is a recent thread on the excat topic your after! .... I recomend reading the 1.8T Vs 2.0 petrol. some good points to consider there.

you have to ask your self...wat are you are after?

- MPG?

- efficiency?

if you only do 5K a year why are you worried about economy? (sorry just a question)

The TDI is a good motor the one worth considering its the 130BHP engine.

Wat trim level are you after? (toys? extras?) S, SE? Sport?

Manual or Auto?

these are all things you have to ask your self.

as a guide... I have a 1.8T 20V tiptronic 2002 sport model

its fully loaded except for Leather and Sat nav ( i have my own sat nav)

i can do between 30-35MPG no problem and sometimes even get over 40MPG.

for the money you have tp spend you can pick up a decent motor maybe mid - high miles but miles are not an issue if it has been looked after.

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Hi, thanks for your reply. I realised my question about the Economy was a bit silly! I drive 12 miles to work and once in a blue moon to a lonf motorway run, so I am thinking that petrol would be the option. I just hate filling up!

I used to have a 1.8T saloon (T reg) and loved it, I chooped it it a while ago. Now with expanding family, I need the space. I am looking for the SE, as I like the driver armrest! I also would like, A/C, alloys, and CD player,(any ideas on whether I could fit my own MP3 player).

I am not sure about the sport factor, what difference would it make on an estate. I do need some power, my brother has a 1.9TDI 90 BHP and its very sluggish and slow off the mark, I was looking at around the 130-150 mark. With my budget, I expect I am asking a lot!

I guess the most important factor, is reliabilty, Its also going to act as the family car so I have to be as confident as I can be that it's not going to fall apart! I was also debating Private or Trade, I know Private is cheaper bit you do not get that security blanket such as warranties, etc.

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In terms of "sport" all your getting is:

- 16" alloys

- a different trim on the dash

- sports suspension (lowered by 15MM)...hardly notiable in my view

- arm rest and usual inside toys

- elecy heated mirrors

sport front seats (hold you a bit better)

You can put in your own aftermarket stereo..I have a one in mine which plays DVDS, MP3s and has sat nav etc. looks trick.

The TDi models are good but the only one worth talking about is the one with 130BHP. others (100 anbd 90bhp) are all sluggish.

as i mentioned b4 as long as they were looked after you should be trouble free. Some early 1.8T ones had coil problems and there are also known faults on the factory alarm systems (check this with the owner or dealer) the dealer should fix this for free! as a good will gesture.

i wouldnt say your asking alot for the money...a quick glance on Autotrader...shows that you can pick up a y-plate for just under 5K! although you should expect high miles. if you look hard enough you can get lucky a spot a mid miler one! I reckon with the money you have to spend you can get an SE model. The sport model is slightly out of reach unless your happy with one that has over 100K on the clock (which is no problem, a friend of mine has a passat with 200K on the clock and is still going strong). your also looking at a manual for that price as autos a little more.

Again it really comes down to wat you want..petrol or TD? i love my 1.8T as its got nice brisk pull and cruises lovely on the motorway which is all it gets used for (plus tuning potential, but that me!). (mind you i only use it on the weekends).

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If I had your budget I would get down the auction and snap up an ex fleet higher mileage car.

My 2001 Y plate 1.8T sport with 101k cost me £3700 in September. Cars are dirt cheap this time of year so something similar is achievable on your budget (taking in to account an estate will command a premium).

The 1.8T will be the best option, but if you do find a facelift 130 TDi within budget snap it up.

If you are in any way concerned about performance then dont look at anything below the 1.8T or 130 TDi. You might want to consider the V5 (170bhp) model as that has excellent equipment and should still return 30mpg.

IMHO the sport spec is nicer and better for resale, but SE spec cars are more common and cheaper. Personally I find the SE spec cars to be a tad dull, but I have to admit the ride quality is better than the sport model.

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Bear in mind if you buy from a used car dealer you WILL normally pay a premium for a diesel.

At the spend level you're indicating it may be around £500 due to the fact that there is a ready market for diesels.

For 5000 miles a year, I'd go for a petrol - heck, I'm on for about 27000 miles this year based on 9000 miles in about 4 months if I carry on at the rate I'm going, and I've got the 2.0 20V S Petrol Estate.

I could easily recoup the extra 1-2.5k I would have forked out for the diesel, had there been any about at the time I was buying.

The petrol came along, at the right price, with the right miles, at the right time... so the moral of my tale is.

Do your research, do some leg work - get out there, check out the forecourts, the auctions, freeads, auto trader etc. If you have the money to hand, when a deal that feels right for you pops up, go for it, if finance is being arranged get it in place beforehand so you can jump on 'your' car.

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Pug boy...do you really find the ride quality is different? I didnt notice anything?

are you running larger rims? im on the standard wheels ...im sure my motor is the same as yours....1.8T 20V sport Tiptronic Jan 2002. mine has 40K on the clock.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah it is much firmer than the SE spec I used to drive for work. However the works car had massive body roll and bobbed up and down like a canal barge. The wifes Sport model handles ok in comparison. The car has done 104k now though so I could well have worn suspension components. Perhaps I might pop down the VW dealership and test out a newer one. I'm having some Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3's fitted this week to replace the worn out Michelins that were on before so this might help matters slightly. Certainly the tyre pressures make a massive difference to the ride quality.

I dont know why people are telling this fella to buy a diesel if he only does 5k a year. Would you rather have an old shape TDi S model or a new shape 1.8T? He has a rather modest budget to be looking at late model TDi's. When buying a used car you should go for the best deal available that suits your needs and he obviously doesn't require a diesel for 5k a year.

My wife will do about 12k a year in the Passat as it is our main (sensible) car and you can make a saving with having a diesel (she previously had a diesel before the Passat). However we could not run to the cost of a facelift diesel with a decent spec. You pay a big premium for the TDi sport.

I'd rather have a 130 TDi than the 1.8T as I like the more relaxed nature and better mpg, but I wouldn't pay loads more for a slower, noisier car.

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Dont forget that very few people buy a car at this time of year so haggle hard and dont pay the book price. Even traders will offer a good deal, because otherwise the car will be sitting there until business picks up in a couple of months. My local auction normally has about 30 cars on sale, but last Thursday they have over 100 and could accept no more. Most of them were either unwanted cars from the trade or buyers who couldn't sell in private ads.

I did see a Passat on the pistonheads website the other day. It was an 02 plate TDi 130 estate for £5k.

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Just seen this, I know the mileage is high. Any thoughts?

2001 51 Reg VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT Estate TDI 130 SE

5 Doors, Manual 5 speed, Diesel, 180,000 miles, Metallic Inky Blue, 1 Owner. Alloy wheels, Anti theft system, CD, Colour coding - Body, Full service history. This Car Is totally Original Throughout, Runs and Looks Perfect, Full VW History, New Cambelt Fitted £4,850.

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Thats to much money for the mileage. If it was a grand cheaper perhaps, but a car with that many miles will be very hard to sell on.

Worth considering a car with above average mileage though, because you do so few miles that when you come to sell it might only be average miles by then (if that makes sense?!). wink.gif

Try popping down your local auction as it will give you a feel for how much these cars go for. It might be quite upmarket and a VW, but at the end of a day its still a reps kind of car and most are bought by lease companies new.

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I tried both a TDi 130 diesel and 2.0 petrol back to back, and in terms of 'driveability' there was nothing in it, save for a different noise. If anything, the extra torque of the diesel made it more flexible.

I opted for diesel, but then I do in excess of 25k p.a. If I was doing 5k, I'd probably opt for the petrol as they are cheaper initially, and you could probably get a more powerful one for the same money, say 1.8T. Avoid the 4 motion, W8 etc. Apart from being rare, they're over technical - read expensive - to maintain.

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Or this one...not sure about the metallic Green though!

2001 Y Reg VOLKSWAGEN Passat 1.8T 20v SE5 Doors, Manual, Estate, Petrol, 90,000 miles, Metallic Green, MOT-05-2006, 1 Owner. ABS, Alloy wheels, Central locking, Climate control, Computer, Electric mirrors, Electric windows, Front armrest, Immobiliser, Power assisted steering, Remote locking, Roof rails, Rear headrests, Full service history, Radio/CD. Internet Wholesale Price £4,490.

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have you managed to actually check the cars out in the flesh so to speak? u need test drive them too! dont just go on pictures and other peoples word!

the y-plate is a bit high i reckon at 4800...offer just shy of 4K and see where the seller will meet you. personally for a 92K car id only give 4K Max

The second...green one...thats not bad...either...again offer the lowest possible figure and see what you get hit back with.

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I am going to give both cars a run for thier Money on Saturday, the Silver is a Private sale so I might get the RAC to give it the once over, unless you guys can tell me some points I should be looking out for? I am edging towards the Silver, but as you say the price is a tad high, so some haggling might be in order!

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Greens cars tend to be worth less and are harder to sell on so if you are not keen on the colour dont bother.

The silver estate sounds ok. I was very happy with the £3700 I paid for mine that had done 101k. So if you could get that for £4k your laughing.

Obviously HPi check any car before buying, but I'm not sure that getting a check is worthwhile. A basic check wont really show up bugger all and it you want a proper check its hundreds of pounds which would cover most repairs anyway.

People on hear can advise what to look out for if you ask.

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ask the seller why they are selling the car...then check the car over ...


- ask to see ALL documentation on the car...V5, MOT, and all recipts (if the seller has these) if they have all recipts it shows that they cared for the car well! ( i have every single receipt for all the work I've done on the cars i have owned).

-if the seller fails to produce any of the valid docs...ask why as it is more than likely its ringed, dodgey! - walk away.

- Check the Tyre treads on ALL 4 wheels and the spare (a haggling point if they are low).

- check for usual body work, pannel gaps, underbody (use a mirror if you cant get under the car).

- dont be shy about pulling up carpets and seals (sometimes will show hidden truths on the car)

- check the boot floor for repair work or any kinks inthe chassis

- make sure ALL electrical works (even the rear de-mister) get some water boiled in a kettle and place a bowl under the window and let the steam fill up then test it)

check the condition of the engine...if its been steam cleaned ask why? ...steam cleaning is NOT recomended as it removes factory oil, lub etc which can cause problems.

-Check for variation in Colour

- in the engine...check the oil level...and this will indicate the condition of the oil...if its clean u know the owner is good! dirty oil...means service is comming up or they got lazy.


since they are high milers...

-ask for recipts to say when the cambelts where done and by who?

Test Drive :

- test how easy it is to engage all gears b4 starting the car inc reverse...any difficulty and it could be a syncro on its way out.

- Drive for atleast 10-15 miles or about 45 mins, on all types of road, (town, A roads and Motorway)

- test it over speed ramps too.

- if possible drive in a tight circle and listen for any knocking, rumbling etc....worn box, drive shafts etc.

- once you start the car...rev it hard and see if you get blue smoke....then its burning oil...walk away.

-If its Turbo charged....white smoke...indicates turbo seals are on their way out (budget for repairs)

Body work:

- expect some minor marks and dings for the age and miles on the car. anything more than a size of a 20p its costing to fix...another haggling point.


- if it has alloys any scuff marks ...tyre side wall damage all indicate how the car was used and treated.

Best of luck mate...keep us posted


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Thanks for all your help, especially to ppp666 who must have taken ages to to write all that, ALL your advise is very much appreciated. I will let you know how I get on. I have to say that the Silver 1.8T is looking like the one to go for. If any of you spot anything else that might catch my eye and fit into a 4-5K budget, please let me know.

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