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T2 TDI v FSI extreme cold experience

Hi all, so I live and work in Williston, ND one of the most extreme and inhospitable climates in the US. Summer temperatures routinely hit 100 (40c) and almost every winter we go down to close to -50 (-45c) and for several weeks at a time morning temperatures are close to -30 consistently.
I'm getting a 08-10 T2 in a few weeks and I just wanted to see what experience people have with the TDI in extreme cold. Lots of people have TD pickups here, but I've not seen any TDI Touaregs.
T2 Touaregs can be had for a song these days and there are lots of immaculate models out there. Of course it's impossible to find one with the rear lockers but they all come with at least the central locker and that's a requirement to reach my property in Montana. It's my understanding that the newer American model Touaregs are designed slightly with more on road capability in mind over off road so for now I am not looking at those.
The FSI of course is gasoline and since my previous SUV with a gas V6 never had problems starting in extreme cold it seems like the safe choice. But the superior characteristics of the TDI make it seem like it might be worth the gamble.
What experience do you guys have with these engines in extremely cold environments?
How do these two engines compare in general reliability and maintenance?
Thanks
 

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I live in Northern Ontario, Canada. I also experience cold temps in winter. I have the V6 gas. No problems at all when in extreme -40deg C. Takes a long time to warm up but it starts with 1 kick every time. I have no experience with the diesel version of Touareg. Going to a winter diesel, parking in the garage in extreme cold would be the way to go.
Making sure your battery is good is definitely a plus.
With proper snow tires, the T2 will just about go through anything even with not having a locker. It will leave most 4 wheel drive pickup for dust. It is street ahead in technology in finding grip.
My T3 is 8 years old and still on the original battery. I am expecting to replace it soon but so far, it has been up to any task.
 

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Someone on here probably has more experience with both but until they post I'll tell you my experiences living in NW Montana.

I bought a 2007 Touareg with the 3.6 fsi a year and a half ago. It has 167,000 miles on it. I've put 13,000 miles on it and have averaged 17.3 mpg. I work nights and it gets parked in an open parking lot with no wind breaks. So after sitting all night at 6am when it is -27 degrees F it has started just fine.

I bought a 2011 Touareg TDI only 2 months ago. It has 170,000 miles on it. I've put 2,300 miles on it and so far have averaged 26.2 mpg. We did have one cold snap where it was -15 degrees F. After sitting out in the parking lot all night I turned the key, there was a several second pause from the glow plugs doing their thing and then it started right up.

Somewhat related is my TDI experience with 3 other TDIs. A 2000 Golf TDI, 2004 Passat TDI, and a 2005 Passat TDI. On these 3 cars I put over 100,000 miles on them. Even though they are not exactly the same engine and don't have the same emissions equipment I had ZERO problem with them starting in winter. If it was going to be below 0 degrees I would use some of the arctic formula Diesel Kleen (white bottle) or Stanadyne. And make sure you have a GOOD battery. The glow plugs draw some serious current.

I love driving both of them. Both are solid and very comfortable. Both feel very similar. I do like the torque of the TDI. It just makes it feel like the touareg is lighter than it is. And between having to use premium unleaded in the fsi engines and the better fuel mileage of the TDI saves quite a bit of money. The HID headlights in the T3 are way better than the halogens in my T1. Lots of deer around here.

I haven't used either Touareg to go "off road" but can tell you the 2007 with skinny snow tires (235/65R17) did very well the last 2 winters. I often drive home before the county plows are out. I've driven thru snow drifts that came up to the headlights. It is good in deep snow and on icy highways. It has the weight to knife right thru deep slush. And that is just in regular drive and in hi range. No rear locker. We got a few inches of snow followed by freezing rain so I was drive a bit with the 2011. It only has all seasons on it so far (haven't bought my snows yet). It did a lot better than I was expecting. But that isn't much experience at all. I left the computer knob on on road instead of switching it to off road. Maybe others can talk about how useful off road mode on the T3 is.

Most TDIs have extended emissions warranty currently.

With the TDIs I've have used some sort of winter fuel additive. And the TDI does take a bit longer to warm up. This T3 is supposed to have some sort of supplemental heater to help the heater keep you warm inside. On the other TDIs I had I blocked the grille with foam/rubber pipe insulation for winter. I haven't read about people with Touaregs doing that.

That's my 2 cents anyway.
 

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Quality fuel, quality treatments, & a strong battery will get you through without issues.
I've had my 2L TDI sit outside in -30c for days exposed to the elements, and it's never failed to start in 9 years.....
The Touareg hasn't had the same exposure, but has also sat for up to a week in -20c, and still started. They both cranked over slower than normal, and it sounded like there was some guy with a sledge hammer stuck inside the engine "trying to get out", but neither has let me down yet. I will be replacing the Touareg battery soon however, since it's already 5 years old and I'd like to avoid being stranded.
 
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