Most Reliable (VAG) Volkswagen Audi Gasoline & Diesel Engine

The number of variations of diesel and gasoline Volkswagen Audi (VAG) engines on the market is huge, while there are many of them whose resource and reliability are unlikely to please their owners. However, there is also a proven VAG engine that can be called true reliability.

Based on my many years of experience in repair shops, I recommend paying attention to some of these VAG engines – the cars with VAG engines in this review will not cause problems for their owners for a long time.

9 Best Volkswagen Audi 9VAG) Gasoline And Diesel Engine

  1. 1.4 16V Engine
  2. 1.6 8V Engine
  3. 1.8T Engine
  4. 2.0 8V Engine
  5. 1.9 TDI Engine
  6. 2.0 TDI Engine
  7. 1.6 TDI Engine
  8. 1.4 TDI Engine
  9. 2.7 TDI and 3.0 TDI Engine

1. 1.4 16V Engine

The unit engine was popular in many models but had a few mishaps early in production – in the 75 HP version it was able to freeze the emphysema of accumulated water, which caused oil to be pushed through the oil dipstick holes.

The engine has been repaired or upgraded as part of a service act. Since then, the 1.4 16V engine has boldly powered the smaller (VAG) Audi, Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda models.

To enjoy long and trouble-free operation, remember to replace the timing belt every 90,000. km and often check the oil level – in cars with a higher mileage, it begins to burn.

The error mainly concerns the sensor, for example the liquid temperature. In some engines there is a so-called piston slap, ie the piston knocks before it reaches operating temperature.

The power level (75, 80, 86 or 101 HP) does not significantly affect the dynamics in daily use. All offered engines 126-132 Nm developed at a fairly high speed.

The engines were used in 1999-2015, and their availability depends on the policies of the particular brand, and even its target market.

The 1.4 16V engine is not to be confused with the 1.4 16V FSI with direct injection and the old 1.4 8V OHV Skoda, which is a development of the century old Czech 1.3 engine.

2. 1.6 8V Engine

The VAG engines are cheap to repair, perform well on the naturally aspirated LPG found in many models from the turn of the century not impressive with their parameters, and not very economical.

The offer price of a car with a 1.6 MPI engine can be very high, as the engine maintains itself with very low maintenance costs, resulting from its simplicity and excellent supply of replacements.

A short list of serious failures is also important – usually minor things like burnt coils or dirty throttle. During inspections and test drives, it is worth paying attention to the color of the exhaust gases.

Some 1.6 MPI engines have worn piston rings – repairs will cost more than installing a used engine. Various versions of this unit can be found in cars produced from the mid-90s to 2013.

Anyone looking well will even find the Golf VI 1.6 8V.

3. 1.8T Engine

Powerful, flexible and LPG tolerant engine. On larger VAG models, such as the Audi A4 or VW Passat, the modest 1.6 8V engine delivers a bit of performance.

The 1.8T would be a much better choice, which in normal operation burns less than 1 l/100 km more (8-9 l/100 km), matches the gas well, causes no major problems, and is prone to tuning – with output 150 HP you can easily get 170-190 HP, and from the more powerful version up to 250 HP.

The engine with a 20-valve cylinder head made its debut in 1995. It was available until 2010. It ended its career in 150-horsepower variants under the hood of the Skoda Octavia Tour and Seat Exeo.

It’s worth looking into this model, as older cars are sometimes very outdated. The engine has some weak points, such as the limited life of the camshaft link chain or the thermostat. The problem is well recognized by the service center, which will be able to assess the cost of possible repairs.

4. 2.0 8V Engine

The perfect VAG engine for LPG assembly. On certain models (eg Passat B5, Ibiza III or Octavia I) a 2.0 8V engine is offered in parallel with the 1.6 8V and 1.8T.

On paper, the maximum 115hp might not look convincing, but the available 170Nm at 2,400rpm means this engine is as flexible as most diesels.

At the same time, it has a high work culture, and the very simple structure results in its low repair costs and simplicity.

Fuel consumption in the urban cycle is high. Therefore, this engine can be recommended to people who travel short distances, travel more often than in the city or plan to install a gas installation – it will be perfect for such a simple unit. Damage especially to equipment, sometimes oil burning occurs.

5. 1.9 TDI Engine

The legendary VAG diesel engine – economical, durable, maintainable – was installed on many VW models, including Polo, Golf, Passat, Audi (80, 100, A4, A3, A6), various Seats and Skoda from 1991 to 2010.

Consumption of 5-6 liters per 100 km, easy starting even in cold weather and efficiency make the 1.9 TDI engine almost the most popular engine in the secondary market.

The power of the 1.9 TDI ranges from 75 to 160 hp. The most reliable version is considered the 1.9 TDI with an injection pump and a power of 90 and 110 hp, such engines capable of “running” more than 500 thousand kilometers without overhaul were installed in Audi , Golf III, Passat B4, Seat until 1997.

In 1998, the new generation 1.9 TDI engine was equipped with an injector unit.

According to the owner, the only drawback of this engine is noisy operation.

As for general breakdowns during operation, after 300 thousand mileage, signs of engine fatigue are noted: increased fuel and oil consumption, smoke when turning, etc.

The owner is also faced with a malfunction of the EGR valve. More serious damage included wear on the dual flywheel and alternator pulley clutch.

If you buy such an engine today, you need to check the health of the bulk air flow sensor, injection pump and injectors.

6. 2.0 TDI Engine

The 4-cylinder 1.9 TDI successor, popular and favored by Europeans, accepts turbines, Common Rail systems or pump injectors and 8 or 16 valves, depending on modification. Power 2.0 TDI – from 102 to 150 hp

Despite hopes and technical improvements, this engine could not repeat the legendary glory of the 1.9 TDI. Owners of the Passat B6 engine presented in 2003 were especially criticized for being unreliable.

2.0 TDI is installed on all VAG models, including Golf V – VII, Passat B5 FL, B6, B7, Tiguan, Sharan, Touran, Seat and Skoda, Audi A3, A4, A6 models.

The different modifications of the 2.0 TDI differ beyond recognition in design and power – that’s why some owners praise this model, while others criticize it harshly.

In 2007, the engine injectors were replaced with the Common Rail system. The most common versions of this 2.0 TDI on the market are 140 and 170 hp.

The Common Rail version is considered more reliable. The BKP version for Passat B6 is considered the worst. BKD is praised , it can be found in Golf V, Audi A3 II, Skoda Octavia II, Seat Leon II.

The owner’s complaints relate to the expensive replacement of the pump injectors in case of failure, breakdown of the DPF filter, premature wear of the oil pump drive (this is indicated by the oil pressure sensor). Consequences – up to turbine failure and engine replacement.

The cylinder heads in the 16-valve engine versions often cracked, and were difficult and expensive to repair.

7. 1.6 TDI Engine

Installed on many Volkswagen Audi (VAG) models since 2009. The most common versions are 90 and 105 hp, and since 2015 – 110 and 120 hp.

Small volume, economical consumption, high torque power and the absence of prominent problems are the characteristics of the 1.6 TDI engine, which makes it popular in the secondary market.

The complaints of the owners are mainly related to the sensitivity of the fuel system to the quality of fuel: the filter “clogs” after 20-30 thousand km and problems in the operation of the injectors.

Rare, but there are turbine breakdowns, oil leaks, and electronic faults. Once eliminated, the 1.6 TDI again pleases its owners with a consumption of 5 liters per 100 km and fresh dynamics.

8. 1.4 TDI Engine

This 3-cylinder engine subcompact version comes with everything you need for a compact urban version: injectors, blowers, simple “appetite”.

From 1999 to 2010, the 1.4 TDI was fitted to VAG (VW Lupo, Fox, Polo, Skoda Fabia and Roomster, many Seats and Audi A2).

Structurally, 1.4 TDI equals 1.9 TDI with single cylinder discharge. The pluses include the economy, the minuses – inconvenient noisy work.

On average, such an engine “runs” without signs of wear for 200 thousand km. Further, wear on the pump injectors and turbocharger may occur.

The biggest annoyance for owners is wear of the piston-crank system support rings. The result is increased crankshaft tip clearance and the risk of expensive repairs.

9. 2.7 TDI and 3.0 TDI Engine

The modern turbocharged V6 is equipped with a common rail system and three timing chains. Fantastic performance at a modest cost is their recipe for success.

This engine is intended for premium class crossovers and the Volkswagen Group (VAG).

The 3.0 TDI was first installed on the Audi A8 in 2004. Subsequently, they were also equipped with the Audi A4 (B7, B8), A5, A6 (C6, C7), A7, Q5 and Q7, VW Phaeton and Touareg, as well as the Porsche Cayenne I. , II.

Many call this engine the best among the engines that Volkswagen is concerned about. However, the complex design of the V6: two intercoolers, Bosch piezoelectric injectors – was expensive to repair.

Owners note the occurrence of problems with the operation of an already running 150 thousand km engine – and this is also due to the complexity of the model device.

A typical serious failure of the first 3.0 TDI was piston burnout caused by a faulty piezoelectric injector.

Some owners note the rapid wear of the timing chain tensioner – if it is not repaired in time, it threatens to jump over the chain and overhaul the engine.

The verdict is this: the 2.7 TDi Engine and 3.0 TDI Engine are strong and attractive options for VAG diesel engines, but not for those looking to save on fuel quality and subsequent repairs.


Volkswagen Audi (VAG) engineers have created many indestructible engines. We present five of them, which are very popular under the hoods of used cars.

When buying a used car, everyone wants to avoid engine problems. Currently, repairs of power units are rare. Services much more often propose to replace the complete engine with a used one.

But you never know what you will find. Anyone who wishes to minimize the risk of problems should look for a unit that is as durable as possible. There are plenty of them under the hoods of VAG cars.

5/5 - (113 votes)

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