Nope, not noisy at all really. I've had to head for work in the early hours and the "rattle" from cold is no worse than the hydraulic tappets on my old Audi before the oil pressure got up.<p>Only at idle can people I've taken out identify it as being a Diesel. I also get around 48mpg (or 5.7 litres/100 kilometres I think) on average.
Jeremy, I'll demonstrate my ignorance of the UK, but what are the very lowest temperatures you chaps experience during the winter months? My experience with VW Diesels are fine until a cold snap catches one with insufficient gasoline mix in fuel, won't start, and IF it starts, smokes and vibrates tremendously until it warms up. (I'm speaking of 15-20 below zero F). Otherwise I'd surely consider the D5 for my next Volvo.
Well, we are in the tropics by comparison - coldest so far (according to the car readout) was a -2 deg c (or about 28 deg f). Even so, it is still pretty quiet... I guess if it is that cold, don't you use an engine heater?
Well, the engine block heater helps to an extent, but fuel will yet gel either within the fuel tank, or along feed lines to the engine. The block heater can't help much with fuel delivery problems. Even so called "winterized" fuels just don't stay fluid at much below -5 F, so we are instructed to pump in gasoline up to 10% of the tank capacity to ensure fluidity. That helps but it can take up to 20% gasoline dilution to keep things working at -20s F we sometimes get in the midwest. My VW vibrated so much after starting once that my rear view mirror shattered into a million pieces! So Diesels require some anticipation of temperature changes that busy people just can't always manage.