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New VX Diesel TDIs | Engine so close to front end

We are considering buying late model or new VX TDI (Golf or Sport-wagon) and have concerns of frame as well as engine so close to front end; anyone out there who could comment on this? We are looking for a longterm (keeper of a vehicle) – have need for diesel, yet feel that if there was even a low impact accident to front end that this engine may have lasting ‘impacts’, which would lessen its longevity for us. We’re retiring a '91 Saab (sob)…

Other recommendations other than VW TDIs?

VW – not VXs…oops!

Most all fwd vehicles have the engine ‘crossways’ transverse-mounted in front of the front axle, so VW isn’t unusual in this. Your Saab’s engine is parallel to the direction of the car, so much of it is further from the bumper, just because of the layout. Nothing to worry about.

If you’re concerned about passenger safety this web site has lots of info and rankings:

Any impact strong enough to reach the engine will likely take out the whole front clip too. $$$
So don’t crash! :wink:

I don’t know if your fears are founded or not (although I suspect they’re not). Even if they are, it seems like there are many other factors that should be a bigger concern than this one.

In most cars the engine falls down rather than being forced back into the passenger compartment.
And compared to your current ride, even the most unsafe vehicle sold in the US today is safer.

Recent issues of Consumer Reports has given this car – or at least some of the cars with the TDI engine — an excellent reliability and owner satisfaction rating. Suggest to take a look at the last 2 or 3 issues, and see more of the details of what the say there.

Technology has changed to an incredible extent since 1991, and if the OP is using a 1991 Saab as his/her criterion for modern technology, that would be a major error.

While the OP believes that the engine on the VW TDI models is placed very far forward, I have to wonder…What other modern (post 1991) cars have you compared the VW to?

Please bear in mind that I am not advocating for a specific model, be it VW or otherwise, but unless you compare that VW to other modern cars, you will likely have no valid basis for comparison.

Or…in other words…time marches on.
Has the OP marched on with the times?

I think the OP is concerned about damaging the engine (not the passengers) in a minor collision.

Yes, as CircuitSmith writes…my concern is with damage to the engine in a minor collision…am not comparing VW Golf to any car…just feeling the diesel engine may not be well protected (and diesels run for a long while )

“am not comparing VW Golf to any car…just feeling the diesel engine may not be well protected”

But…until you do some under-hood comparisons, you won’t know whether that VW’s engine is mounted further forward than other modern cars. Car buying involves many steps, and one of those steps is comparing models in order to see how they stack up according to your criteria.

" …am not comparing VW Golf to any car…just feeling the diesel engine may not be well protected (and diesels run for a long while ) "

Consider this. Although engines are very tough in a collison, engine accessories can be replaced and even engine blocks, too.

Engine placement figures into the overall crash worthiness of the vehicle and the important part of the car to protect in a collision is the passengers, not the metal and plastic. Would you rather have a well protected engine in your lap following a collision ?

I’d concern myself with the safety of the vehicle for the draiver and passengers. Let the Insurance company worry about repairing plastic and metal. Also, you can check and see what the insurance companies think of the vheicle, collision and repair cost-wise, as well as medical payouts on the IIHS site.

It’s just a car. Don’t worry so much about it. They’re fixable and replaceable. Your health, not so much.

I’m just curious, do you drive by the “Braille Method” or have a history of crashing into cars and objects ?


As we’ve said, no difference between the TDI and just about any other front wheel drive car. But you are mistaken if you think the TDI will have a longer life than a gas engine. That is not true, especially now, with all the complex controls needed to make them deliver adequate power and good mpgs while meeting the stringent air pollution standards.

Do you have enough minor collisions that this is really an issue worth worrying about? Generally, after the bumper and front grille, the radiator and A/C condenser would take the brunt of the impact, then accessories like fans, alternator, etc. before the engine itself receives any damage.

If you get in a wreck bad enough to destroy your radiator, that’s a pretty hard hit and there will likely be frame or unibody damage at that point too.

You could extend the front bumper out by another 2-3/8ths inches by adding a 2x6 . Or 5-3/8ths inches the height. And to be really safe, 7’-3/8" by the length, but that will limit your parking spaces.

“You could extend the front bumper out by another 2-3/8ths inches by adding a 2x6”

…and, by doing so, you would screw-up the way that the impact sensors react to a crash.
When the impact sensors are compromised, the air bags will not deploy in the way that they are designed to do–possibly deploying too early, or more likely, deploying too late to be effective.

If someone wants to improve his safety, this is NOT the way to do it.

I think he was joking about the hillbilly bumper.

"I think he was joking about the hillbilly bumper. "

Maybe yes, maybe no.
Unless there is a little winking emoticon, I tend to take postings literally, as may the OP.

In any event, I really hope that the OP ignores longprime’s advice, whether it was meant in jest or whether it was DEAD serious.

I understand your concern but keep in mind that every car will pose certain issues or supposed design flaws. With that said dont over think or over analize this. If you do it will drive you nuts since there is no perfect car.