TSI, Finally Explained

Most industries use a great deal of acronyms. Take our military, or any federal government building, for example. They throw around acronyms as if they’re speaking in another language! Well, the automotive industry is no different. Take, for instance, the acronym GLS. It stands for “Grand Super Luxe,” and it gets thrown around a lot in the Volkswagen community when talking about the technology installed inside of the vehicle. Or HBA, which stands for “hydraulic brake assist.” These acronyms are important and can come with a great deal of information you need to know about your car. So, what does TSI mean?


Simply put, TSI is an acronym for a kind of Volkswagen engine, and it stands for “turbocharged stratified injected” engine. It’s a fancy way of saying that your vehicle’s engine is a lightweight, high-powered engine with four cylinders that fires in traditional combustion engine form. It’s not used on all Volkswagen vehicles, but it is used in some makes such as the Passat and Tiguan. What makes it so special, though? Special things usually have acronyms. So, if it’s a basic four-cylinder engine with a traditional combustion system, what gives?

Well, this particular style of engine has a great deal of power behind it for a four-cylinder. That’s why the acronym specifies the “turbocharged” part of it. Normally, four-cylinder engines in a compact vehicle only achieve, on average, around 130 horsepower. But, with a TSI engine on a Volkswagen compact model, you’ll achieve anywhere between 170 to 210 horsepower, all the while keeping around 30 to 40 miles per gallon.


When Volkswagen started trying to downsize their engines without sacrificing performance, they started by combining diesel engine knowledge with things they tested routinely to find the perfect combination. They fiddled with things like higher pressure injection throughout the engine and tapping into more sophisticated intercooling systems that were at the forefront of the marketplace when they were in development with this engine. But, when the intricate engineering was complete, the TSI engines were not only able to outperform the more popular engine models on the market, but they were also outperforming bigger engines in the marketplace as well! Talk about an accomplishment, huh?


Yes. If you don’t want the short answer, though, consider this: diesel engines, in general, are known for their fuel efficiency. It’s why so many people enjoy them in their cars and trucks. Now that Volkswagen has taken that type of engine technology and found a way to fuse it with their notable makes and models, such as the Jetta and Golf hatchbacks, it has pushed their cars to the front of the fuel economy lists. Most of these vehicles are now getting anywhere between 35 and 45 miles to the gallon without having to invest in a car that has an intricate hybrid system beneath the hood of the car, and that’s where a great deal of the affordability comes from. It comes with many of the perks of a hybrid engine, including great gas mileage, but it doesn’t come with the hybrid price tag.

While you might be thinking, “wow, what a snag!” You might also be thinking, “doesn’t a specialized engine like that need specialized work?” That’s where we come in. At Eurofed Automotive in Decatur, GA, our ASE-certified technicians stay up-to-date on all the latest and greatest automotive evolutions that are offered. With our state-of-the-art machinery to help accurately diagnose and fix any Volkswagen issue, our experts are well versed in all things related to TSI engines. Don’t fret if you’re not in the Decatur area, however. We have auto repair shops scattered across Georgia in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Buckhead, Decatur, Duluth, and Snellville, along with locations in Austin, Texas; Charlotte, NC; and Jacksonville, FL! Let’s get your Volkswagen TSI engine on a proper maintenance schedule so you can avoid costly repairs that will break your bank account. Give us a call at or come visit us at any of our 13 locations! Give us a chance to show you why we are the top dog in our area for Volkswagen TSI repair and maintenance.

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