Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
I love my VW diesel
Pros: fuel efficiency
Cons: low seat heightI've owned my 2009 Jetta TDI for just over a year now, and after 25k miles the car has been flawless. The mileage isn't quite as good as my previous '98 Jetta TDI, but it's a hugely improved car that's quiet, comfortable, powerful and efficient. VW's new common-rail fuel injection and piezo injectors have silenced the clatter typical of older diesels while providing a big boost in power over the old TDI. The new engine runs clean with three exhaust catalysts, and soot-stained bumpers are a thing of the past. This is due to a particle filter on the exhaust that traps soot particles and periodically cleans itself. The car's EPA mileage estimates are a little misleading though. The gov't testing procedure overhaul in 2008 does not accurately portray the car's real-world mileage. The car is rated at 30mpg city and 40mpg highway - in reality it returns 37-38mpg in town and 44-45mpg on the highway. If I were doing more highway driving I'd be seeing 600 miles between fill-ups, but I'm averaging closer to 550. A common misperception about diesels is that the fuel is hard to find, or you must refuel at truck stops. This couldn't be further from the truth. There are no shortage of gas stations that carry diesel fuel in my area. Objections to the increased price of diesel fuel over gasoline are resolved by the car's superior economy. Here in CT, a gallon of diesel costs roughly 5% more than a gallon of regular unleaded. The benefit is the car goes 30-40% further on a gallon of diesel vs the same gallon of gas, so the economy is significant. Also, unlike diesels from 20 years ago, there are no problems starting the car in cold weather. My two TDIs have never failed to start on the coldest mornings in single-digit temps. The $2500 extra cost of the diesel over the base gas engine has been alleviated by a state sales tax exemption ($1400) and a $1300 federal tax credit. While I plan to keep the car for ten years, as I did with my previous TDI, if I do sell or trade the car before then the greater resale value of the diesel will lessen the car's depreciation.
My Lifetime Favorite
Pros: Engine performance
Cons: Only one useable cupholder in front. They finally got that right a couple years later.I've had a lot of cars in my life, but the Jetta 1.8Turbo is my favorite. Great handling. Spirited performance. Great both around town and on the road. At 100,000 miles it is rock solid. Total repairs beyond scheduled maintenance - zero. I average about 25 mpg in town. It has done as high as 35 MPG on interstate trips. The best feature of the car is the engine. It loves to rev. and the kick in the but when the turbo kicks in is a real treat. Not a dragster, but if you need to do a quick 40 -80 surge to merge in traffic you've found its sweet spot. Note the car is not the same with the 2.5, boat anchor. My son made that mistake. Nice car but no zip. My wife's TDI doesn't have as much zip either but averaging35 MPG commuting in the city, she doesn't mind.
250k Mile TDI Review
Pros: Heated seats
Cons: Low clearance on front end.Just reached 250k miles on an 03 Jetta TDI GLS Wagon, 5 speed stick. Great car. Still getting 44 mpg overall. Normal routine maintenance. Highly recommend the TDI engine and VW body. Still runs perfect and rides comfortable. Would buy another without hesitation.
Kleine GTI - Fun & Practical
Pros: Sporty handling
Cons: Speedometer (precision lacking at normal speeds)Bought this car four years ago and still love driving it. With its handling, speed and utility, its probably the best balanced car you can buy. A defective A/C compressor has been my only real problem - though it took awhile to get it finally straightened out. Other than that its been a very reliable, hot hatchback.
Cons: jWould Most definantly own another jetta
Right there at the top
Pros: Opening and closing windows and sunroof from outside.
Cons: cup holders block a/c ventsHaving owned a new foreign car or domestic truck every two years since 1989 I can tell you the VW Jetta TDI is one car I can't get rid of. Seven years and 157K later it still looks and drives very well. Less than 1K $ in non-maintenance repairs the TDI just keeps on trucking along at 40+ mpg mixed driving. Not nearly as fast as some of my others but much more frugal on gas (685 mp tank). Wish VW would put the Diesel in the CC.
car looks good