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A comparison of two, TSI vs TDI

itguy

itguy

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Messages
816
Location
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Morning everyone (long post, sorry)

I said that I would do a bit of a write up of how we have felt having had a TSI loan Cali while our TDI was delayed, now that we have finally taken delivery. This also covers some of the other options/functions too.

A bit of background first;
"Reggie" - The loan Cali was a 204 TSI DSG 2WD Ocean. Standard Anti Roll Bars, Standard Interior, Factory Nav, Parking Sensors (no camera), tinted glass, standard cruise control. Summer tyres (Dunlops) on 17s.

"Whipsy" - Our Cali is a 204 TDI DSG 2WD Ocean. HD Anti Roll Bars, Alcantara Interior, No factory Nav (CarPlay instead), Parking Sensors with Camera, adaptive cruise control, all weather tyres (goodyear 4 season gen2) on 17s.

So lets cover the engine specific stuff first.

MPG
TSI gave us c.22mpg when pottering around town, c.27-28 when on a long run at 67mph on cruise. (2k miles on clock)
TDI has given us c.28-30mpg when pottering, c.34-36 when on a long run at 70mph on cruise. (only 400 miles on clock so far)

Performance
TSI - really can pick up its feet when you rev it, so power mostly at top end but when pottering around it's quite relaxed
TDI - power lower down in rev range, you really can feel the extra 100nm of torque. Doesn't need to be revved as hard. In general, just feels easier to get the performance out of the TDI.

Noise and vibration levels
TSI - when idling, nice and quiet, no vibration in the vehicle. When revved hard, gets very noisy compared to the TDI.
TDI - when idling a little vibration can be felt but is really quiet for a diesel inside the cabin. When revved hard or under full load it's much quieter than the TSI and quite smooth.

Weight
Can't really notice any difference between the two in terms of nose weight (TDI is heavier engine). It may be the HD anti roll bars are helping mask this.

Warm-up time + aux heater
The TSI was noticeably slow to warm up. In some cases a 10 mile journey taking 20 minutes didn't see the temp get above 70c. There is NO engine coolant heater on the TSI (ie no Webasto) so when it is cold outside there is no warm-up help. The TDI seems much quicker and does come with the Webasto heater to help it when under 5c outside.

We noticed that the aux/night heater just didn't seem as warm on the TSI. The diesel eberspächer just seems to be hotter somehow and it does seem to pump hot air through quicker too. Maybe a fault with the TSI one?

We also noticed that the TSI engine seemed to loose heat very quickly when switched off vs the TDI.

Other stuff

Anti roll bars
We noticed in the hire 150 TDI that back in October last year that it did wallow around corners a bit so we ordered the HD anti roll bars, not having tried them. We are really pleased with them on our TDI and it really does make a noticeable difference to the rolling around roundabouts etc. Really impressed for the very small cost.

Alcantara Interior
We originally were going to go for the standard interior and some brandrup covers but having thought about how much the covers are and how much people rave about the hard wearing nature of alcantara we decided to go for it. No regrets so far. Also, a side benefit for us is that the dog hair doesn't get stuck to the back of the front seats as they are leather-look material.

Adaptive Cruise
As has been said on here many times before, this is pure brilliance and works wonderfully. Makes for a very relaxing drive.

All weather tyres
We were nervous about ordering these because of some reports of increased tyre noise etc but we have heard no difference to our ears between the summers on the TSI and the all weathers on our TDI. Highly recommended!

Navigation
We specifically chose not to use the factory nav function on the TSI loaner as we knew we'd only ordered ap connect/carplay. We have used that a lot and it is just fine for what we need. Not ideal when you're in long tunnels or out of satellite view, but good enough for 99% of the time. Can't comment on the VW Nav unfortunately.

Summary
We've had a lot of people ask us about the TSI and what we thought. We tend to sum up by saying 'it's thirsty but nice at slow speeds or part throttle/low-mid revs'. Anything which stretches the engine out a bit is just nasty to the ear. You wouldn't believe they fit the same base engine into the Golf R, Audi S3/S1, Golf GTI etc. Shows how much an engine is defined by it's exhaust and air intake!

We haven't had to fill our TDI with ad-blu yet or have it do a DPF regen, so our views on the TDI might get tainted over the years, especially if reliability starts to play a factor too.

We've opted for the 5yr warranty from VW as many others have too. A wise move considering how complex the TDI is!

Hope this is useful to people considering both. We enjoyed having the TSI but wouldn't choose one after having one and we are both real petrolheads. If it had of had the 5cyl RS3 engine in, that's a different story :)

Reggie
IMG_2419.JPG

Whipsy
IMG_7104.JPG

Will & Sarah
 
Moakesy

Moakesy

Moakesy
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Messages
563
Location
Hertfordshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Great write up. Found that really interesting and timely as I’m considering upgrading to a T6.
 
B J G

B J G

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Lifetime VIP Member
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3,206
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Stamford
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Good unbiased pro/cons write up.
Appreciate your time given.
 
California7

California7

VIP Member
Messages
180
Location
Weald of Kent
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Morning everyone (long post, sorry)

I said that I would do a bit of a write up of how we have felt having had a TSI loan Cali while our TDI was delayed, now that we have finally taken delivery. This also covers some of the other options/functions too.

A bit of background first;
"Reggie" - The loan Cali was a 204 TSI DSG 2WD Ocean. Standard Anti Roll Bars, Standard Interior, Factory Nav, Parking Sensors (no camera), tinted glass, standard cruise control. Summer tyres (Dunlops) on 17s.

"Whipsy" - Our Cali is a 204 TDI DSG 2WD Ocean. HD Anti Roll Bars, Alcantara Interior, No factory Nav (CarPlay instead), Parking Sensors with Camera, adaptive cruise control, all weather tyres (goodyear 4 season gen2) on 17s.

So lets cover the engine specific stuff first.

MPG
TSI gave us c.22mpg when pottering around town, c.27-28 when on a long run at 67mph on cruise. (2k miles on clock)
TDI has given us c.28-30mpg when pottering, c.34-36 when on a long run at 70mph on cruise. (only 400 miles on clock so far)

Performance
TSI - really can pick up its feet when you rev it, so power mostly at top end but when pottering around it's quite relaxed
TDI - power lower down in rev range, you really can feel the extra 100nm of torque. Doesn't need to be revved as hard. In general, just feels easier to get the performance out of the TDI.

Noise and vibration levels
TSI - when idling, nice and quiet, no vibration in the vehicle. When revved hard, gets very noisy compared to the TDI.
TDI - when idling a little vibration can be felt but is really quiet for a diesel inside the cabin. When revved hard or under full load it's much quieter than the TSI and quite smooth.

Weight
Can't really notice any difference between the two in terms of nose weight (TDI is heavier engine). It may be the HD anti roll bars are helping mask this.

Warm-up time + aux heater
The TSI was noticeably slow to warm up. In some cases a 10 mile journey taking 20 minutes didn't see the temp get above 70c. There is NO engine coolant heater on the TSI (ie no Webasto) so when it is cold outside there is no warm-up help. The TDI seems much quicker and does come with the Webasto heater to help it when under 5c outside.

We noticed that the aux/night heater just didn't seem as warm on the TSI. The diesel eberspächer just seems to be hotter somehow and it does seem to pump hot air through quicker too. Maybe a fault with the TSI one?

We also noticed that the TSI engine seemed to loose heat very quickly when switched off vs the TDI.

Other stuff

Anti roll bars
We noticed in the hire 150 TDI that back in October last year that it did wallow around corners a bit so we ordered the HD anti roll bars, not having tried them. We are really pleased with them on our TDI and it really does make a noticeable difference to the rolling around roundabouts etc. Really impressed for the very small cost.

Alcantara Interior
We originally were going to go for the standard interior and some brandrup covers but having thought about how much the covers are and how much people rave about the hard wearing nature of alcantara we decided to go for it. No regrets so far. Also, a side benefit for us is that the dog hair doesn't get stuck to the back of the front seats as they are leather-look material.

Adaptive Cruise
As has been said on here many times before, this is pure brilliance and works wonderfully. Makes for a very relaxing drive.

All weather tyres
We were nervous about ordering these because of some reports of increased tyre noise etc but we have heard no difference to our ears between the summers on the TSI and the all weathers on our TDI. Highly recommended!

Navigation
We specifically chose not to use the factory nav function on the TSI loaner as we knew we'd only ordered ap connect/carplay. We have used that a lot and it is just fine for what we need. Not ideal when you're in long tunnels or out of satellite view, but good enough for 99% of the time. Can't comment on the VW Nav unfortunately.

Summary
We've had a lot of people ask us about the TSI and what we thought. We tend to sum up by saying 'it's thirsty but nice at slow speeds or part throttle/low-mid revs'. Anything which stretches the engine out a bit is just nasty to the ear. You wouldn't believe they fit the same base engine into the Golf R, Audi S3/S1, Golf GTI etc. Shows how much an engine is defined by it's exhaust and air intake!

We haven't had to fill our TDI with ad-blu yet or have it do a DPF regen, so our views on the TDI might get tainted over the years, especially if reliability starts to play a factor too.

We've opted for the 5yr warranty from VW as many others have too. A wise move considering how complex the TDI is!

Hope this is useful to people considering both. We enjoyed having the TSI but wouldn't choose one after having one and we are both real petrolheads. If it had of had the 5cyl RS3 engine in, that's a different story :)

Reggie
View attachment 31560

Whipsy
View attachment 31559

Will & Sarah
Great write up!

Having originally ordered the TSI and changed my mind after a week or so, it’s quite reassuring to read. I’m very surprised about the engine sound though.

Mine has the standard AR bar at the moment, and to be honest I’m finding the ride OK. But I’m happy to potter about enjoying the fact it feels very different to drive than a car. As the novelty wears off I may well fit the HD roll bar. :cheers
 
Pete_Hampton

Pete_Hampton

Messages
194
Location
Hampton
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Thanks Will & Sarah, @itguy a very good read. :thumb

Not that I have any experience of a TSI, I can say that many of your points about the TDI ring also true for our 150 manual. Certainly quiet, very little/no vibration, warms quickly, good mpg (so far), Ad-Blue range still at 4000 miles after 1500 miles on the clock. I bow to your knowledge of roll bars, winter tyres and ACC etc.

I hope we are going to hear more from you during the next 100,000 or 200,000 miles you clock up in the TDI.

In a previous iteration, we had a TDI 2.0 in a Passat, we clocked 50,000 miles before a forced sale due to going overseas, The friend we sold it to added another 150,000 before finally retiring it. We have another TDI in a Jetta, so we are expecting that, and the Ocean, to go on for ever.:cool:
 
DaNish

DaNish

VIP Member
Messages
114
Location
Rødovre, Denmark
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Performance
TSI - really can pick up its feet when you rev it, so power mostly at top end but when pottering around it's quite relaxed
TDI - power lower down in rev range, you really can feel the extra 100nm of torque. Doesn't need to be revved as hard. In general, just feels easier to get the performance out of the TDI.

Noise and vibration levels
TSI - when idling, nice and quiet, no vibration in the vehicle. When revved hard, gets very noisy compared to the TDI.
TDI - when idling a little vibration can be felt but is really quiet for a diesel inside the cabin. When revved hard or under full load it's much quieter than the TSI and quite smooth.
Clearly the best and most unbiased comparison I have read - thank you!
I did a lot of research before ordering my 204 TSI (to be delivered in 4 weeks), and would have loved to read this at that time. Especially since you are comparing the 2WD, which is my choice too.
My main reason to go for TSI is my usage pattern, with short (2 to 10 miles) drives during the week, which will have a high risk of clogging up the TDI and give EGR problems. I have had the problems in my current diesel and it is quite costly. So I would probably have stayed with the TSI anyway, but this just sums up everything that I have gathered from a lot of sources, so a great read.

We rented the 204 TDI and my experience fits yours, but must admit I had hoped the TSI to be less noisy than your experience. But I will probably get used to it.

The TDI is very powerful and I felt it could have a tendency to spin the wheels if you needed to enter a busy round-a-bout from standstill. I am wondering if the TSI with the lesser torque is easier to accelerate in that situation? What is your experience?

Nis
 
itguy

itguy

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Messages
816
Location
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Yes I’d agree, the TSI was less prone to spin it’s wheels when making a fast start from standstill. I tend to use sport mode when seeing that situation coming and the TSI was more than capable of quick starts.

I don’t want to over-egg the noisy engine thing, it’s only when you are really revving it to get the 200 horses out. Around town and below 4K revs it’s quite quiet. Engine for engine though, the TDI is quieter if you are working it hard.

I’m sure you’ll be more than satisfied. The TSI is nicer in town for pedestrians as there isn’t a diesel rattle!
 
Borris

Borris

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4,688
Location
Canterbury
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T6 Beach 150
What's all this spinning wheels stuff about? :Nailbiting
 
itguy

itguy

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Messages
816
Location
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
LOL - i don't think so!!

I think we're talking here about the slight bit of wheel slip that occurs when on a bit of loose gravel when you pull on to a roundabout!

Clearly I've not been testing the Cali's burnout capability!!!
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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T6 Ocean 204
Similar experiences to myself.
Perhaps I was a little harsher in my review of the Tsi, I that I wouldn’t touch one with a barge pole.

With regards to the noise. The Golf R has better insulation and a performance esq exhaust compared to the T6. Plus they also pump fake exhaust sounds through into the cabin.
 
I

IvanR

VIP Member
Messages
8
Good review. We collected a TSI auto some 10days ago and found your points interesting. Our previous camper was a T5 TDI 174 but manual and after 13yrs the main decision was to have an auto.

I found the torque of the diesel was more than enough, too much sometimes if I spun the wheels, but driving in stop start traffic was becoming a bit of a pain. By comparison the TSI auto is smooth, much quieter and more relaxing. Double glazing and noise reduction in the rear may also be a benefit compared to the T5 but it’s too early for me to be properly aware of this yet.

I have found myself using the flappy panels occasionally at higher speeds in keeping with less engine torque and the fuel consumption is averaging 26 over 700 miles. This would have been nearer 35 in the TDI, 600 miles on a tank. However, I only use the Ocean for leisure purposes and mileage is low which is one reason why I decided on petrol. Very happy with our decision to go back to petrol but I can see the benefits of the powerful diesel. I was very happy with the 5 cylinder TDI but I am now so pleased with the auto box and am reassured that this is not the one that has had problems (that’s the one in our petrol Golf!).
 
D

DLB

Messages
9
Location
Norway
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
I have just driven Norway south to north in a TSI 2wd and it had more than enough power for the hills (although yes is a bit noisy at high revs) and purred along through the fjords. I was worried about the 2wd on some of the tracks but the engine was more than up to it (admittedly in summer). I averaged 32 mpg over the 2 week journey and the ACC made driving so easy. The only downer is that diesel is about 15p a litre cheaper out here.....
 
Legin

Legin

Messages
801
Location
Chester
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199 4 motion
LOL - i don't think so!!

I think we're talking here about the slight bit of wheel slip that occurs when on a bit of loose gravel when you pull on to a roundabout!

Clearly I've not been testing the Cali's burnout capability!!!

I experienced wheel slip on a bone dry road in 150 DSG , no stones pulling away so tried it again to see if it was a one off, it wasnt. Floor it then it spins the wheels
 

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