If you asked me if the TDI would ever be traded or sold, I would have said no. I planned to keep that car for 15+ years, as long as it would last. The car ran strong and it produced solid fuel economy. Couple this with the torque of diesel and a manual transmission; this car is fairly fun to drive. I’ve driven it across the country twice, it’s been with me through numerous states spanning 49k miles, I was attached to the car. Four doors meant plenty of room for passengers and a spacious trunk for cargo. It’s everything I needed in a vehicle.
September 18, 2015. This was a typical Friday at work. Nothing major that I can recall, but the future of the TDI was brought to question when the EPA announced the mandatory recall of 2009-2015 Volkswagen TDI cars. This was due to a “cheat device” that Volkswagen would later admit is present in the cars.
Now let’s get down to brass tacks. I am not in the automotive industry. I don’t have any fancy environment or science degrees. I’m just a regular guy that enjoys to drive. With that said, I wasn’t very concerned about the announcement by the EPA. It’s my personal belief that the situation was blown out of proportion. I also believe that diesel is cleaner than gasoline and an obvious choice in the current energy market versus electric/hybrid. YMMV, not all circumstances are the same and if you have a differing opinion, congratulations.
As I considered the pros and cons of keeping the TDI, I began to notice all the little issues. A squeak here, a rattle there, the infotainment screen being on the small side. You know how it goes, the hype was building on the idea of a new(er) car. When I bought the TDI, I didn’t shop around much. I knew that I wanted a diesel Volkswagen and that was that. Now the idea of keeping that car for the long haul was tainted, I looked at the market as a whole to determine replacement options. I wasn’t sure that diesel would be an option this time around based on limited availability.
Even after looking at everything on the market, none of the options were calling to me like the TDI did. I loved everything about the way the car looked, felt, and drove. This was turning into a difficult decision and I was starting to feel like keeping the TDI would be the best option. At this point, preliminary buyback amounts were being calculated and once the announcement was final, the number was hard to pass up. Sure, it could have been more, but it’s hard to complain at the end of the day as this car will end up being one of the cheapest to operate vehicles I’ve ever owned by far.
The money was an attractive option and to compound the issue is the fact that payments for restitution were not enough in comparison to the value of the buyback. The choice was made and I didn’t like any of the replacement options. Then I discovered the BMW F30 diesel and after researching the options, everything was able to fall into place rather quickly. I’ll be sad to see the TDI go, it’s been an amazing car, but it’s time to move to the next great thing.