Jorge Chapa

Volkswagen's TDI Hybrid- The Prius Killer?

by , 03/18/08

Volkswagen hybrid, VW hybrid, VW TDI Golf, Golf TDI Hybrid, hybrid car, volkswagen, vw golf, vw, hybrid, prius killer, prius-killer, fuel efficient vehicle, green cars, eco cars, hybrid automobile

Some car manufacturers, like Toyota and their uber-trendy Prius, are cranking out new models that represent the hybrid car of the future. Others, like Volkswagen, are working with what they’ve got, making their existing cars cleaner and greener. Volkswagen has just recently unveiled a TDI hybrid version of their cute and sporty Golf model that can achieve 83mpg. Will this be the one to de-throne the Prius?


While at the moment, this is a concept, the Golf TDI Hybrid is a 1.2 liter, 3 cylinder advanced diesel engine with an electric motor that produces no more than 89g/km of CO2. Like other hybrids, as soon as the vehicle drops below a certain speed, it switches to its electric motor, essentially turning into an almost emission free vehicle.

The zippy little car comes with a recovery system to recharge the battery using the cars braking system. The car’s design is slightly different from the standard Golf model, with a slightly different grill design and small air intakes to improve the aerodynamic qualities of the car.

So how does it compare to the Prius? According to VW, this vehicle is capable of achieving 82mpg while the Toyota Prius only reaches 55mpg. That’s a pretty impressive difference. But now rumors are flying around of a 100mpg plus Prius model. Needless to say, this is a competition that we are happy too see.

+ VW in Geneva

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20 Comments

  1. JMo Elstein February 2, 2013 at 12:25 am

    i dunno where you’re getting your numbers, but the tdi hybrid suv vw just unveiled has even more impressive numbers. the clear blue is also a tdi hybrid, but offers 89 mpg in an suv the size of an excursion, while still offering 300mph. toyota’s feeble prius isn’t even playing the same sport, let alone in a league to compete with that.

  2. Corwyn October 29, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I drive an 90\’s Golf with about 300,000 miles on it. I might spend a thousand dollars a year on maintenance.
    It may only get 30 mpg but the fact that it\’s still running well is reason enough not to buy a new hybrid. If the average person didn\’t buy a new car every few years the environment would benefit more than people falling over themselves to purchase the latest green car. That being said I realize that these advancements in technology wouldn\’t be made if people weren\’t coughing up the money. I just think to truly make an impact we need to slow down the industrial machine a little bit. If you have to buy a new car, by all means go green but then keep it long enough for it to matter.

  3. modmario July 20, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Geez guys, its all about being green, what about a Pruis for the wife and a Golf the hubby, or vice versa, wouldn\’t that be nice next to one another in your garage. All in all hats off to these two amazing companies going Green. How about rather taking the stance Pruis and VW kills the Hummer. Peace inHabipuppies!!!!

  4. greenkoi July 19, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    In response to the posting about the Prius being more environmentally unfriendly than a Hummer, I Googled around and found many articles from what I think to be credible sources.

    http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=14582

    http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/editorial/editorial_item.asp?NewsID=188

    In summary, the articles point to the amount of energy used to create the LiOn batteries, and how when factored into the carbon costs, the Prius is a worse polluter over a Hummer over the lifetime of the batteries.

    And when it comes time to replace the batteries, you incur the same carbon costs again.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d never drive a Hummer and would love to drive a Prius, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be when one takes the long view.

  5. tonerman June 7, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Ding and Energy47. I\’ve owned two VW\’s and never had an electrical problem. My son has owned two…ditto. You quote prejudice rather than current fact. Strategic Visions interviews people AFTER the glow of purchase has worn off, not five days later like JD Powers. Guess who the top five are? VW, GM Ford & Honda tied for fourth and Toyota brings up the bottom at 5.

    Why? Unlike the popular \”common knowledge\” Toyota has slipped badly on quality by adding a blizzard of new models and not adding on enough engineers. Speedups at their plants have combined to deliver a body blow to
    Toyota\’s vaunted quality. Their president, I believe his name is Fukuda, has stated himself that they have to get their arms around the quality issue or their success will be history.

    Further, a diesel can use bio-diesel which can be made from rapeseed, soy, any other vegetable oil and is readily made by the home enthusiast. This is a CLOSED cycle which essentially renders the carbon footprint irrelevant, since all the carbon the car puts into the air is then taken back out by growing more veggies. Right now VW and GM are in the forefront. Toyota\’s hybrid experience will probably end up as a footnote like Japanese high-definition analog TV. Remember that? HUGE FAILURE!

  6. mike basset April 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Wow! Bill Jenkins sounds like a bitter man. Chill a little there, fella.

    Salud.
    Mike

  7. billjenkins April 8, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    The Toyota Prius is a car marketed to trick people into believing they are helping the environment but it isn’t.

    I believe the item that “Hugo” is trying to discuss is the one that takes into account the environmental impact of the products put into their production. The nickel that goes in the batteries requires a process that has a huge negative impact on the environment. I don’t think that is a justification for buying a Hummer, but definately something to think about before you assume you are driving around in the cleanest thing on earth which it isn’t.

    The Prius is a marketing scam that is neither environmentally smart or financially intelligent since you can buy a Toyota Yaris and have 10 grand to spend on gasoline which will drive miles before you meet the Prius price.

    People who have cars that run on Veggie oil and bio-diesel often mock Prius owners and rightfully so. The fact is that their cars are way better. People who ride bicycles regularly are actually doing something as well and, of course, that can’t happen in some instances. Sure people can ride 20 miles a day if they want but try that in Chicago traffic. Safety isn’t on the side of those guys.

    So keep driving that car and fooling yourself because it isn’t fooling me.

    Until the Prius can get 100MPG, plug in while at home to extend your miles, and run off the next generation of fuel… most likely biodiesel if we are smart …Biodiesel that doesn’t compete with food, that is…. The Prius will continue to be a car about image.

    I have a Chevrolet Metro that routinely gets 45MPG and outdoes the Prius in most normal driving situations.

  8. Energy47 March 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I have to agree wioth ding. If only VW had the reliability of Toyota, it might be worth considering. Until they do I’ll stay with a Prius.

  9. ding March 21, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Given VW’s growing infamy with the electronics in their regular cars, not too keen on buying one of their gas/electrics.

  10. Volkswagen Reworks the ... March 20, 2008 at 11:06 am

    [...] Inhabitat.com has an interesting story on Volkswagen’s strategy for green-ing their line of automobiles. Some car manufacturers, like Toyota and their uber-trendy Prius, are cranking out new models that represent the hybrid car of the future. Others, like Volkswagen, are working with what they’ve got, making their existing cars cleaner and greener. [...]

  11. hugo hugo March 20, 2008 at 4:44 am

    @ john 123:

    Please react on the content, not the spelling and grammar. I would love to see you write in Dutch! I guess you’re never going to be a “knowledgeable” person here in the Netherlands… Sorry dude!

    @ Phrancis:

    Ok, there are some big holes, but these are very easy solved when one compares a prius to a more standard, let’s say, Volkswagen Golf? Which is definately more efficient then a Hummer. The point I wanted to make is that people wash unjustly their guild away when they buy a Prius.

  12. tomterm7 March 19, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    These cars are almost as versatile as real petrol guzzlers! I wonder when they will get the hybrid bio-diesel cars out, though!

  13. DailyCaveat March 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Well, if this VW runs on diesel it has no chance of catching the Prius in the U.S., that\’s for sure. And as others have pointed out, the source for Hugo\’s claims about Hummers being less polluting that a Prius has been pretty widely debunked. Lets not even get into the broader social implications of how the Prius by its very existence promotes an ethic of sustainability while the Hummer is about conspicuous domination of your environment. Even if the myth were true, the Prius based on its perceived virtues would still be doing more to promote green ideals than the Hummer. Or at least you could make a pretty good case that it does.

  14. VW’s TDI Hydbrid ... March 19, 2008 at 7:55 am

    [...] [...]

  15. john123 March 18, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Hi, Hugo. You\’re never going to get any credibility as a knowledgeable person about pollution until you at least learn to spell \”pollution\” correctly. Can you imagine a Science expert that didn\’t know how to spell \”science?\” It\’s not a typo because you misspelled it multiple times. Another thing you could do to make yourself more credible would to not be so wrong. Nice post though. Very interesting. Can you post the scientific source explaining how a Hummer is more environmentally conscience for all of us idiots out there who stupidly decided against the Hummer in favor of a more fuel efficient car?

  16. dave March 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    What about electric? I read about some companies coming out with electric cars at sattler.
    http://sattlerclothing.com/blog/2008/02/25/88/
    They seem like a better option.

  17. LivingSpaceBuilders.com GreenBuilder March 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    One big appeal behind Prius and their success is their correct positioning in the marketplace. They came out with a product that actually ‘looks’ green. Perception is reality and that’s where VW might have a hard time convincing people that the same looking car can be something other than regular car we all know.

  18. phrancis March 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Wow, not so fast Hugo. Are you refering to that famous article comparing the Prius life cycle to the Hummer? If so, you should note that there is some big holes in their logic. The biggest being that the Prius only last for 100k miles, while the hummer goes for like 300k. Yeah, right.

  19. Brian Lang March 18, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I want this car. Now. When will it come to Canada?

  20. hugo hugo March 18, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Wow, not so fast. Allthough these cars look very green on first sight, however, the Prius is prooven to be as or even less efficient as a hummer (I’ve mentioned this before)! Regarding the complete life cycle of a Prius, it is quite poluting. Fabrication and decommission of a Prius are very inefficient poluting shares of it’s life cycle. The Prius’ MPG figure doesn’t compensate for that (the MPG isn’t that good and is very hard to actually achieve).

    But, I bet our German neighbours will solve this for us. Now, make it an affordable ride, make it available for the masses for the real difference to be made.

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