How many miles should a Volkswagen TDI be expected to go?

Posted By on February 6, 2009

VW TDI ALH enginePeople often ask me what make a diesel car attractive enough that one would be willing to not only pay the couple thousand premium on the sticker, but find fewer marketing promotions at dealerships? I’ll usually point to the solid resale and better fuel economy, which is usually a topic of conversation at our GTGs. But, a couple days ago I was reminded when reading an automotive question and answer section in the newspaper that diesel owners also expect longer service from their engines. Jonathan Welsh of the Wall Street Journal hints when discussing a VW TDI that getting “300,000 miles is a reasonable goal, though some diesel fans would say it’s merely a starting point.”

Q: I am classified as an extreme commuter, typically driving 50,000-plus miles per year. I
purchased my VW diesel new with the intention of turning it over to my kids at school. The car has been maintained on schedule for all parts.

This is my first diesel automobile. What type of mileage could/should I expect from a diesel motor?
–Vincent J. McMahon
Louisville, Ky.

You did a nice job of matching the vehicle to the mission. Diesels perform especially well in highway driving, and as a high-mileage driver you will also sooner recoup the extra cost of the diesel over a similar gasoline-powered model. Diesels generally are more durable and capable of racking up more miles with less fuss than gasoline engines. So 300,000 miles is a reasonable goal, though some diesel fans would say it’s merely a starting point.

It is also worth noting that many drivers have enjoyed similar endurance from well-maintained gasoline-powered cars.

LINK – WSJ 2/3/2009


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog