Thanks for the question, Larry. This could get interesting. I love them both for very different reasons. The direct injection technology in the VW is absolutely amazing for its smoothness and quiet. At speed, you would mistake it for a gas engine. Even at idle, there is only a hint of vibration transmitted through the accelerator pedal. If it were a six cylinder, it would be rock steady. The MB, while amazingly quiet for a Diesel is just not the same. Every time I floor it (which is nearly every stop light
), I have this image in my mind of a Greyhound bus hauling ass down a drag strip. So, as much as I like the MB, the advantage goes to VW TDI for noise and vibration.
Another big advantage to the VW is that it doesn't need to be glowed in anything above freezing weather. Since buying it in February (remember, I'm in Florida), I've never had to wait even a second for it.
What VW did that I don't like is they used a variable nozzle turbo. I understand why they did it, and it does offer immediate boost, but it completely lacks excitement. The car just feels like an ordinary 4 banger throughout the rev range. However, the E300 gives a fantastic turbo rush when it comes on the boost at 2500rpm. I surprise a lot of people with that and, having chosen my battles carefully, I've never lost a stoplight drag race. On the other hand, I race people in the VW whenever I drive it, but they don't know it.
I saw your earlier post about the VW timing belt and I agree that they should have used a chain. I'll just bite the bullet and change the belt every 50,000.
Both of these cars get amazing fuel mileage - 33 for the MB and 45 for the VW in mixed driving. The better mileage plus switch from premium gas to Diesel cut my fuel bill by 60% when I switched from the old 300E.
If I think of anything else I'll add on later. Do you have any specific questions?
99 E300 TurboDiesel
00 Jetta TDI