You’ll hear VWs referred to by chassis (A1, A3, B4, etc.). This code refers to both the size of the platform, with A being the smallest in the US, B the next size, and there are also larger platforms (like the Phaeton) that are not TDIs here. The number refers to the generation of the car, 1 being first generation, 2 second, and so on. So an A1 is the smallest platform sold in the US and the first generation. This was the 1975-1984 Rabbit.
VW has sold a lot of platforms and generations here, but only a few with TDIs. Here’s a guide to the platforms and engines in VW TDIs in North America. There are two basic engine types, rotary pump and PD (Pumpe Deuse). The engine codes for each platform are also listed below.
VW A3 Platform
- Jetta TDI in model years 1997, 1998, and first half of 1999.
These are all rotary pump cars, mostly with engine code AHU. Some early A3s (1997 only) have a very similar engine with the code 1Z. With the exception of some internal engine parts the AHU and 1Z engine components are interchangeable. All have manual transmissions.
VW Jetta, Golf & New Beetle – A4 Platform
- Jetta sedan TDI from model year 1999.5 through the first half of 2005
- New Beetle from 1998 to 2006
- Jetta Wagon TDI from 2002 to 2005 (2006 in Canada)
- Golf TDI from 1999.5 through 2006.
All A4 models switched to Pumpe Deuse (PD) engines from model year 2004 on.
- 1999.5-2003: Rotary engine code ALH
2004-2005 Jetta, 2004-2006 Golf and New Beetle, Pumpe Deuse engine code BEW.
VW Jetta – A5 Plaform
Models & Engines:
- Jetta Sedan from 2005.5 – 2006, Engine Code BRM (1.9L “Pumpe-Deuse”)
- Jetta Sedan 2009-2010, Engine Code CBEA or CJAA (2.0L common rail)
- Sportwagen 2009-2010, Engine Code CBEA or CJAA (2.0L common rail)
The A5 was produced in 2005 and 2006, had a special including special ‘diesel’ edition Jetta in late 2006. Some of these cars are actually 2007 model year cars sold as 2006s. The 2005.5 and 2006 cars all have Pumpe Deuse engines with code BRM. There were no TDIs sold in the US in model years 2007 or 2008. The 2009 “Clean Diesel” is a Common Rail engine with code CBEA or CJAA.
VW MkVI – Golf & Sportwagen
The MkVI Golf was introduced in 2010. Though it greatly shared components from the A5 platform Jetta and Rabbit, it is instantly recognizable by its new front-end and headlights design. This front end is shared by the 2011 and up Sportwagen as well.
Models & Features
- 2010+ Golf TDI, Engine Code CJAA (2.0L, “clean diesel” common-rail TDI)
- 2011+ Sportwagen TDI, Engine Code CJAA (also referred to as the Jetta Sportwagen or Golf Sportwagen)
MkVI Jetta – 2011 All New Model
In 2011 VW introduced an all-new Jetta that did not share its platform with the Golf. Rather, it was build on VW’s “New Mid-Size”, or NMS, platform. The 2011 Jetta TDI was available with the same 2.0L common-rail, “clean diesel” TDI (engine code CJAA) as the MkVI Golf.
VW Passat – B4 Platform
- Passat TDI sedan and wagon, model years 1996 and 1997.
All B4 Passats have engine code 1Z. These were the first TDIs sold in the US. These cars also all have manual transmissions.
VW Passat – B5.5 Platform
- Passat TDI sedan and wagon, model years 2004 and 2005.
The B5 Passat was sold from 1998-2001. The B5.5 was introduced in 2001.5, but didn’t have a diesel in the US until 2004. All B5.5 Passats have a 2.0 liter Pumpe Deuse engine with code BHW. All are automatics.