A guy at work has a 2006 TDI something or other...Jetta maybe? Anyway, it's not half bad looking, and he says he's averaging 46 MPG on diesel. Made a trip back & forth from Tulsa to the Carolinas, 20 gallons each way. He said the 2007 model wouldn't pass emissions tests in the US and wasn't offered, but the '08 will (probably actual years, not model years), and when it goes on sale, it'll be marketed on it's mileage. Starts right up, no waiting for plugs to warm up, but it does sound diesel-ish.
After over 20 months of this MB I am geting tired of it's wimpish ways with these manly Jakarta roads, so I have been looking at an SUV with the ride and options of my E. Went and meet with the CEO of VW Indonesia a couple of weeks ago, his company provided ride he has is a 2008 Touareg V6 TDI with a few more options than normal here. Since it was the only one with some of the options and I know it maybe hard for some of you to understand they really don't do test drives here, no dealer tags here at all except for 1 passenger to transport from point A to point B, we took his car out since it was licensed.
It is a diesel, you cannot hear the common diesel "rattle" and no glow plug and with his "keyless go" it started right up. Driving it was just like the MB, ride was smooth, handling was about the same as the E, the pickup once you put your foot in to it was unbelievable (and the engine noise was nadda, I heard nothing), the thing would beat the E off the line any day of the week it really has tremendous pickup but as the CEO said if on a long haul the thing would start evening out around 180 km (112 MPH) and then slowly gain whereas the E would continue to gain speed and you could still put your foot in to it. He knew all of the engine specs ect ect of my E since as an Indonesian growing up and working after College he went straight out of college to MB and worked for them in California for 7 years and I believe his family alerted him to this opportunity to get in to VW here and he came over to join the family again.
This CEO is so easy to work with he is willing to sell to me a 2009 deliver it to Singapore and I have it imported in via a "friend" I know and then he takes over and gives me my usual warranty. By my importing myself I can save 30,000 USD from buying directly from VW Indonesia and having them do the importation. I am seriously considering this car and I still have a couple more months since 09 production in Eastern Europe does not really start until Sept/Oct for the ME/Asia Pacific area.
I did ask why the failure (quality wise) so badly of the Touareg when it was first launched in the US, he said because the Touareg was originally designed as a diesel around a diesel engine when they stuck the petrol engine in them it caused some problems they had not tested for nor worked out. As of 2007 from what I understand these problems are worked out and in 09 the Touareg V6 TDI is being launched in the States. If you vist the Touareg forums the Touareg fanatics cannot wait for it.
On the production plant side this same CEO put together a plan and sold it to VW to build a plant here. So TN is not the only one getting a new VW production facility.