Actually for about $300, you can have a software upgrade chip put in that will give the TDI a big boost in power. My car has the chip and also a tuning box (~$350) and it will run with about anything out there. It will certainly outrun a 2.0 VW and hold its own against a VR6 or 1.8t at least in town. I can run with my (still in the family) supercharged Bonneville. Not that it gets left in the dust, but until about 45mph, the TDI will pull from the Bonnie.
The TDI is limited by revs, as it really runs out of steam at about 4000rpm whereas the 1.8t will zing way past that.
Sold: 1987 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver, Blue Leather, all books and records from day one.
Totalled: 1998 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray Leather, loaded, E-Codes, "Slightly" modded, "Slightly" faster than stock, arrived 11/07/1997.
MBCA Member, Chicago Region