TSI vs TFSI – Which One Is More Superior and Reliable?

Both the TSI and TFSI turbocharged engines from the Volkswagen Group are produced in the same engineering facility and use the same technologies. Which one is better – TSI vs TFSI?

We’ll provide a brief overview of the TSI and TFSI engines’ technology in this post, as well as some details that will enable you to assess the engines’ merits.

The most crucial aspect is that we’ll finally let you know if these TSI and TFSI engines produced by VW and Audi are identical.

What is the difference between TSI and TFSI engines?



The major difference between both engines is that the TFSI engines power Audi vehicles, while the TSI engines power VW models. However, both of these engines operate on the same basic principle.

The 2.0 FSI, the Volkswagen naturally aspirated engine with direct injection, served as the foundation for the first TFSI engine. TFSI is merely a turbocharger that has been fitted. Since Audi mostly used it, they began calling its turbocharged engines by this moniker [1].

A simple 1.4-liter engine was used to create the first TSI engine. Direct injection and a basic turbocharger were also utilized. But as these technologies advanced, the type and number of turbochargers were altered.

What does TFSI mean?

Every gasoline-powered Audi vehicle has the TFSI badge, whereas diesel vehicles have the TDI badge. The acronym TFSI, which stands for “Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection,” designates a turbocharged gasoline engine. Audi used to sell ‘FSI’ engines, which lacked turbochargers, for about 15 to 20 years. [2]

Only Audi uses ‘TFSI’ badges within the Volkswagen Group; most other brands use ‘TSI’. As engines are frequently transferred between brands without any alterations, there tends to be no distinction between the two in more recent vehicles. TFSI was utilized on belt-driven engines and TSI on chain-driven engines in some earlier cars, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case now.[3]

The TFSI engine was replaced by the TSI (Turbo Stratified Injection) engine, which had significant technological and mechanical improvements to solve the TFSI’s shortcomings. It was originally made in 2008 in Volkswagen and Audi vehicles and is still available today. However, these engines mostly use the EA888 engine, which produces 170-310 horsepower and 207-280 pound-feet of torque [4].

Why do people still believe TFSI to be superior to TSI?


People believed this technology was more opulent, pricey, and advanced than TSI technology because Audi automobiles only used TFSI engines, which led them to believe this. Is it, however, the case? No, they are still the same engines, but because TFSI engines often employ larger blocks, they are typically better and more powerful.

Due to the 1.4 TFSI’s low potential power and extremely small displacement, Audi does not use it. Instead, they primarily employ 2.0 TFSI and 3.0 TFSI, but they also use a few other less common choices. Volkswagen, however, doesn’t give a damn about displacement; they care about fuel efficiency. Thus they utilize 1.4, 1.5, 1.2, 1.8, and 2.0 TSI engines. For this series, any more displacement seems alien.

As a result, if you compare the TFSI and TSI engines that are now on display, you will discover that Audi has better engines because they have more horsepower and a larger displacement, as well as frequently more advantages due to their specifications [5].

TFSI engine problems

Older TFSI engines used in the A5, A4, and Q5 have a manufacturing flaw that causes excessive oil consumption.

The issue appears to be with the piston rings, which allow small amounts of oil to enter the cylinders and burn. As a result, our oil consumption will increase. When the oil level indicator on the automobile illuminates, drivers become aware of this.

You do not need to stop immediately when the warning light shows that you need to top off the oil level, but you will soon need to add engine oil. What motors are impacted? Engine codes CAEB, CDNC, and CNDC, are those of 2.0 and 1.8 TFSI engines produced before 2012.

TSI engine problems


Most VW vehicles produced between 2008 and 2015 come with TSI engines. Additionally, TSI engines may be fairly troublesome, frequently experiencing issues with the induction coil as well as the spark plugs.

If you have a TSI motor and notice unusual engine noises, the PCV valve may need to be repaired. The gasoline pump and intake manifold were common sources of driver complaints. 

Are TFSI engines reliable? 

The TFSI engines are generally extremely dependable. Obviously, the 2.0 TFSI engine must be at least somewhat reliable because it has been utilized in numerous models across numerous continents for many years. However, another question is whether it can be trusted compared to its rivals. The Warranty Index [6] gathers information from more than 50,000 warranty policies.

There are only 2 Audi vehicles on the current top 100 list. No specs are provided, although both of these are compatible with the 2.0 TFSI engine. Additionally, the TT, which ranks 44th most trustworthy, is the highest-ranking Audi.

The 2.0 TFSI engine is often available in Audi’s medium- to large-sized vehicles, including the A3, A4, A5, and A6. These automobiles compete directly with models from the Mercedes C and E Class and the BMW saloon lineup.

What does 40 TFSI stand for? 



Audi has a wide selection of engines, with some only being offered on certain models. For the A3, you may choose between a 30 TFSI, 30 TDI, 35 TFSI, 35 TDI, 40 TFSI, and 40 TDI. What do all the numbers represent, even though the TFSI abbreviation stands for a gasoline engine and the TDI stands for a diesel engine?

Audi changed its previous numerical badging system, which used a difficult coding format and comprised of the letters “2.0” to denote an engine with a 2.0-liter displacement, with a new system in the fall of 2017 [8].

This system considers the power output and ignores the engine size. Simply put, the engine’s power decreases as the number decreases. Thus, despite the fact that the 35 TDI is a 2.0-liter diesel engine and the 35 TFSI is a 1.5-liter gasoline engine, both of them generate about the same amount of power.

While This might appear pointless, it makes sense why the German firm decided to adopt this new branding scheme. It all comes down to the reality that an engine’s size no longer directly affects how much power it can generate. For example, a conventional 1.4-liter engine cannot match the power of a compact, turbocharged 1.0-liter engine.

Therefore, it makes sense to arrange engines according to their power output. Even though they may have the same engine number, an Audi A3 40 TFSI doesn’t have as much power as an Audi A5 40 TFSI, even though each engine category has a lot of diversity. A TFSI may produce between 190 and 210 horsepower.

Final words

All turbocharged Volkswagen and Audi engines are reliable and effective in daily driving. They are practical and a pleasure to drive. However, just like anything else, they have their own common issues and drawbacks.

You will appreciate these engines if you are prepared to steer clear of and prevent them by providing outstanding TLC servicing and maintenance for your car. These TSI and TFSI technologies are not for you, though, if you’re looking for a cheap, multipurpose vehicle that you can drive for years without changing the oil. 

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