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I'm new to this forum and in the process of ordering a 2011 Golf TDI. I am currently driving a 2003 BMW M3 convertible with SMG and missing the fun of a manual shift.

I have driven the TDI with the DSG tranny and a GTI with the manual. The GTI was more fun. Not sure if it was the the GTI or the manual that made the GTI more fun.

My question: Does the manual in the TDI have the same "throw" and feel of the manual in the GTI?

If they are different, is there a "short throw" aftermarket kit for the TDI?

The sales manager says the GTI has a shorter throw and totally different feel but he doesn't have a manual TDI for me to drive. Based on what I've read online I'm not sure he knows what he is talking about.

Any knowlegeable feedback will be appreciated.
 

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Welcome!

I haven't driven any of the new GTIs, but my educated guess would be that the GTI and TDI are very different in terms of the manuals. Outside of that, the suspensions are different, and the power-to-RPM ratios are completely different due to different engine type. I know this is not what you want to hear, but rather than make your decision from some subjective opinions you get from us, I would highly suggest that you find a dealer near you that has a Golf TDI for you to drive with manual trans.

I'll also caution you (mind you I don't know how the GTI clutch was) that the TDI clutch when brand new has a VERY narrow window between the initial engagement point and full engagement, plus some sensitive engine management features that make it EXTREMELY easy to stall, even for the experienced driver. I've even seen some reviews of the car that mention this in them. This dramatically changes over the first 10,000 miles or so (obviously depending on wear) to where its not an issue at all. Just be aware of it. It scared me a little in the beginning, but after getting used to it in the first few thousand miles, I wouldn't change a thing and I'm very happy I got the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for feed back

I've checked 3 dealers in the area so far. None have TDIs with the manual, only a few DSGs.

Found one about 75 miles away but don't currently have the time or inclination to drive 150 miles. I'll wait until the local dealer gets one.

Thanks for the warning about the clutch engagement - this way I won't be surprised!

Cheers,
Bill
 

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No problem Bill,

I feel your pain on the scarcity issue with the TDI. I had to wait a week to find one close to me to test drive before I ordered mine. Good luck! I think you'll like the TDI, its a lot of fun...undeniably there's nothing like a GTI though. It all depends on what you're looking for. For me it was the TDI.
 

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First I was told they had too many manual TDIs, then none

Thanks for responding.

Since I've been driving a 330HP 265Lbs torque BMW M3 for 4 years and 2004 Honda S2000 before that and a highly modified '88 RX7 before that (all convertibles), I am obviously more GTI oriented than economy oriented. Nevertheless the TDI struck my fancy as a fun-to-drive practical car that would allow me to bring my dog along on my outings and, more importantly, please my "green" Master Gardener spouse.

So, has anyone who drives a 2010/2011 manual TDI also driven a manual GTI?
The question: Does the manual in the TDI have the same "throw" and feel of the manual in the GTI?

 

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I just went from a 2010 Jetta TDI to 2011 GTI both 6M. The TDI M stalls easier until you get used to it. When going slow you really have to put it in first earlier than you would with the GTI otherwise you stall. I stalled it like a dork even a month or so into it. Not an issue later. The TDI likes 3rd gear for normal city driving. The GTI cannot decide between 3rd or 4th when going 25 to 35 mph. The throw is longer in the TDI. Define throw form me if you want more info on that. The GTI is tighter and more crisp feeling. Both great vehicles just a different feel that you end up getting used to over time.
 

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If they are different, is there a "short throw" aftermarket kit for the TDI?
I have a TDI with MT6, and I don't think the throw is excessive, but haven't driven a recent GTI to compare.

But either way, there are several short throw kits from the aftermarket. The one from Diesel Geek is very well regarded, and many GTI owners on VWvortex have it installed to tighten up the GTI even more. Some of the other kits don't do side to side, only fore and aft.
 

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I know it is going to take some getting used too on my TDI. The throws are longish and I think slightly rubbery on the one sample I test drove. As compared to my Camaro (2010 2LT/RS) with the Hurst Shifter, the Camaro from 1-2 is less than the distance in the TDI from 1-N and MUCH more positive.

I've heard of but have no experience with the Dieselgeek shifter. I think in the long term, that will make the short list of my top 5 mods to do this year.
 

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I know it is going to take some getting used too on my TDI. The throws are longish and I think slightly rubbery on the one sample I test drove. As compared to my Camaro (2010 2LT/RS) with the Hurst Shifter, the Camaro from 1-2 is less than the distance in the TDI from 1-N and MUCH more positive.
I'm coming from an S4. It's really not that big of a deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks SLC and ang1sgt for specific info on your observed differences in TDI and GTI manuals. SLC, by throw, I meant the distance the top of the gear shift leaver moves when changing gears (try a Honda S2000 - it's one of the best).

6thVW-1stTDI, thanks for link to Diesel Geek, looks like that's the thing to do with the TDI M to make it acceptable.

PS. To fujii13, the font is blue because my car is blue. By the way, what's a S4? - - - some kind of Camero? Being an ex-Mustang kind of guy (in the '60s), I never paid much attention to those kind of cars.
 

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I am definitely putting in the DG SS Kit at some point.

I like the feel, but the throws are looooooong.

Especially 4th to 5th.
 

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I've never experienced the stalling issue with my '11 Golf TDI manual. The clutch has always been nominal, and actually, I think this car has as much "grunt" coming off idle as my R32 had at 2500rpm. Also, I never gave the stock shifter a thought until people started asking about aftermarket short-throw jobs. Then I realized that, if the shifter is so transparent that I'm not thinking about it, well...what more could I ask for? But hey, I like the stock shifter in my Callenger, too. Back in the old days when Hurst was just getting started selling shifters, stock shifters really were just crap. Today, it's a whole different story. If you feel you have to change your shifter because you buddies won't respect you unless you do, go right ahead. Be aware though that in Newton's universe, there's no free lunch: a shorter throw will mean an increase in effort. If the throw length was excessive, it might be a trade-off you'd consider...but the throw length is just fine, IMO. For me, there are far more productive ways to spend my mod money than on a new shifter...
 

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I think VW knows what they are doing, and the slightly longer throw is to allow the rpms on the TDI to drop into the proper range for when you engage the next gear. You start putting short shifters in there, and the synchros are going to wear prematurely, instead of mesh nicely. Before you know it, the synchro to 2nd gear from 1st will be junked out, from all the red light Ricky Racers out there that never take their hand off the gear shift knob between shifts. I've seen it happen too many times, the hand is faster than the foot on the clutch,when shifting from 1st to 2nd.
 

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VW Golf Manuals

I own both a Golf 6 TDI and a GTI 6, both with manual gearboxes. I owned a Golf Mk6 TDI 2.0 in the United Kingdom, and I must say the differences with the gearbox and clutch are immense. My UK Golf had a very smooth gearbox similar to the one in the GTI, and the clutch was much smoother than my new one here in the States. My new diesel Golf has less than 1000 miles on it, so I suppose it is just an issue of breaking it in. The GTI's gearbox is incredibly smooth, and has a slightly shorter throw. The clutch on the GTI is also much lighter. I learned how to drive manual in the UK as a teenager, on mostly diesels. So the GTI is my first gasoline engined manual I have had, and it takes much more finesse or smoothness if you will. The US and Euro Golf diesels are almost different cars, the Euro Golf 6 has a newer, quieter, more responsive 2.0 diesel than the one in the US Golfs. I did drive a Mk5 TDI Golf in the UK briefly and have realised that the gearbox and engine from the Mk5 is what is in the Mk6 in the US.

All in all, the manual TDI is still absolutely brilliant. I had two golfs in the UK, aside from the diesel, the other was a 1.6 TSI DSG. In my opinion the DSG is dreadful to drive. Yes it shifts very very quick (much quicker than any normal driving can), but that doesn't excuse the fact that it is very jerky at lower speeds. The manual is much smoother, and more fun to drive. Autos make decisions for you, they take more fuel, and they take the fun and thought out of driving.
 

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As a former Jetta TDI manual driver (11+ yrs), I just purchased a 2011 Jetta TDI Sportswagen DSG. After a few weeks of driving, I wish I had purchased the manual version. The DSG gear/shift transitioning just doesn't come anything near what I expect in terms of "seamless" shifting - especially for a 40+ yr stick driver (all VW's). The overrevving when downshifting at the base of a downhill grade is excessive - will discuss when take in for service. Otherwise, am absolutely pleased with every other aspect of this VW.
 

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In addition to expensive 40k mile services to the tune of $400 for the DSG, the mechatronix on the DSG is a total POS. That part alone is $1000, and according to the parts manager I've been working with at my local dealership for the past 10 years, he's been ordering replacements for failed ones left and right, over 60 in the past 3 months. He hates them, the mechanics hate them, it's a total pain in the ass to go in there and replace them.

And if spending $1200 or more to replace a Dual Mass flywheel and single clutch on a manual gets you hot and bothered, how are you going to feel having to replace 2 clutches on a DSG, because it's really two 3 speed gearboxes meshed together into one, with 2 separate clutches.

You couldn't pay me to take any VW automatic after the 01M in my 2002 Jetta failed at 122k miles last year, with me spending $3000 to convert it to a manual 5 speed. Even the automatic in my Audi 5000TD failed at 140 k miles. Automatic transmissions are money pits, every time, they just don't last for the long haul, which is what owning a TDI is all about.
 

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Thanks for your comments. I was particularly interested in the cost of repair to DSG and early failure rate. That would just about do it for me although latest Consumer Reports Car issue gives "Above Average" score to Golf & Sportwagon and GTI trannies.

Cheers,
Bugeyebill (I also drive a 1959 Austin-Healy Bugeye Sprite)
 

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I have a 2010 Golf TDI with 6M. I agree with the sensitive stall comments. I wanted to put the fun back in driving and, therefore, wanted the manual instead of auto. The car is a blast to drive with the manual, and very smooth and slick shifting IMO. I'm used to driving powerful V-8's with manual transmissions (high performance vehicles). I was surprised at how fast the Golf TDI is, with all the torque. It's very easy to go over the speed limit if you're not careful. I saw where the Golf was recommended by Consumer Reports as a good vehicle for a teenager, but they must have been referring to the base model and not the TDI (or GTI). The TDI is fun, fast, and frugal.
 

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I had the exact same dilemma a couple of weeks back, decided to go with the manual after having test driven both. Had the car for almost a week now, no regrets!!
 
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