Volkswagen TDI Sportwagen

austin1972

Super Anarchist
12,472
314
1,
My main complaint in the Jetta concerns the foot well on the driver's side. My right knee keeps pressing against the side; it's a bit awkward on long drives and I am not tall.
I didn't notice that and I'm 6 feet and change with long legs. But I'm pretty skinny too. Not sure if that made a difference or if I just wasn't in the cars long enough to notice any discomfort.

I transferred a bunch o' cash to my checking account this afternoon. Now watch me get laid off on Tuesday.

 
Test drove one this morning. Really, really nice car. Started right up after sitting out in single digits all night.The interior is pretty minimalist but I like that. The ergonomics are about perfect and there aren't too many buttons. With the back seats folded, there's a shitload of cargo room for such a small vehicle. It actually almost defies reasson. Maybe it's an optical illusion but I don't think so...It looks to be just short of being able to put a sheet of drywall in there!

Exterior-wise, it looks great in side profile; I like the chrome treatment around the windows. Not a huge fan of the front but you can't see that part from behind the wheel. I love the fact you can get a kayak attachment for the roof rack.

I drove the manual and the DSG. This was my first experience with DSG and, well, it's OK. Probably nice if you have a lot of stop and go commuting but I really prefer rowing my own gears. One great thing about the DSG is you can keep the turbo pressure up between shifts, which you can't do with the stick.

The manual is pretty nice - the shifter is a little rubbery compared to my BMW but the clutch was light and progressive. The brakes were nice also, with good modulation. The steering was almost as good as my BMW, although a little lighter. Great feel and precision, no sloppiness or vagueness, and very positive on-center.

The diesel motor is very nice, and much quieter than I expected since I'm used to a Cummins 5.9 that sounds like a tractor. If you're not used to diesels, you might initially think the car is slow. The thing about diesel is they need that turbo to wind up before the motor can start brutally twisting. Diesel takes a lot more air to combust, and until the turbo is spun up, you won't get lots of power. I personally like the way diesels pressure up and start pushing like freight trains. It takes a little planning if you are going to pass on a 2 lane but you get used to it.

Like I said, the interior might be considered spartan but I like it. Materials have a high quality feel, buttons feels solid and fit/finish and paint quality are top notch.

The only thing I can think of that would be a tough decision would be the sunroof. I usually don't like them as every one I've ever had either broke down or leaked at some point in its life, plus it's a lot of extra weight up high, increasing CG. That said, it is huge in this car and I really liked the feel in the cabin with the glass roof vs. without.

Anyhow, it's a great little wagon and to get a piece of kit in diesel this nice for $27K seems like a steal of a deal to me.
You can keep the turbo spool up between shifts if you time it right, praciice makes perfect.

 

austin1972

Super Anarchist
12,472
314
1,
You can keep the turbo spool up between shifts if you time it right, praciice makes perfect.
How? Once the motor isn't under load, there's not enough exhaust to keep it up, even if you keep revs up.

At least that's the case with the pickup. If I've got an uber heavy pull from a dead stop, I have to brake torque it to get anything over 10 psi out of the turbo and that's with a boost fooler. I need 25 before I'm pulling and 40 psi is optimal for any load from 15-20K.

The VW turbo seemed very similar, albeit quicker to spool due to being a smaller turbo. There's no way you can keep the pressure up with the stick compared to the DSG, IMO.

 

MoeAlfa

Super Anarchist
12,560
35
My main complaint in the Jetta concerns the foot well on the driver's side. My right knee keeps pressing against the side; it's a bit awkward on long drives and I am not tall.
I didn't notice that and I'm 6 feet and change with long legs. But I'm pretty skinny too. Not sure if that made a difference or if I just wasn't in the cars long enough to notice any discomfort.

I transferred a bunch o' cash to my checking account this afternoon. Now watch me get laid off on Tuesday.
I'm sort of skinny myself and my wife, who has a 34" inseam and is not quite what you'd call skinny, has no problem. Stay employed and drive it in health!

 
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austin1972

Super Anarchist
12,472
314
1,
Bought one today. Dealer was a tool. That's my only remorse so far besides the 27K hole it put in my bank account and giving it to those morons.

Otherwise, I like it!

 

mikewof

mikewof
45,868
1,246
Good car. Make sure to keep the radio tuned to NPR, put a bike rack on the roof, and use an electric shaver while you drive.

These things are de riguer for TDI drivers.

 
O

One of Five

Guest
Good car. Make sure to keep the radio tuned to NPR, put a bike rack on the roof, and use an electric shaver while you drive.
These things are de riguer for TDI drivers.
Starbucks coffee in the holder?

Interchangeable COEXIST/OBAMA BIDEN 08 bumper stickers on the back?

 

MoeAlfa

Super Anarchist
12,560
35
My wife has JMSPHD in tiny signal flags, bottom-center on the rear window, A DOD sticker with a bird (mine), and a license plate frame from the undergraduate school we both went to. No coffee, no electric shaver, and the radio is rarely on NPR.

As it happens, the only other person I know with a TDI has two stars next to her DOD sticker.

 
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junior_ratt

Super Anarchist
2,828
0
Au Large
Good car. Make sure to keep the radio tuned to NPR, put a bike rack on the roof, and use an electric shaver while you drive.
These things are de riguer for TDI drivers.
Starbucks coffee in the holder?

Interchangeable COEXIST/OBAMA BIDEN 08 bumper stickers on the back?
I drive one of two TDI's, with 250k+ and 350k+ miles respectively. I do none of the above. On the other hand, I tow boats with one, and use the other one to transport construction supplies. Neither has a bumper sticker. I love both cars.

 
vw and audi makes the best diesel engines. just try to stay away from the automatic gearboxes and stick with the manual gearbox. the automatic trans are shit boxes and are bound to get screwed sooner or later.

ed

 

P_Wop

Super Anarchist
7,125
4,275
Bay Area, CA
vw and audi makes the best diesel engines. just try to stay away from the automatic gearboxes and stick with the manual gearbox. the automatic trans are shit boxes and are bound to get screwed sooner or later.ed
I think you may have been unlucky. I had 4 of the Tiptronic boxes in the last 10 years, two on A4 wagons, one on a GTi and one on a Passat Wagon. We put 100k on each of them with never a hiccup from any of the boxes. Only Audi gearbox I had real issues with was the 6-speed one (and the Haldex AWD box as well) on my 2000 TT.

Your milage may of course vary.

But you're right on the diesels. Fine little motors. About to swap out the Passat wagon for the Jetta TDI wagon, like many here.

 
vw and audi makes the best diesel engines. just try to stay away from the automatic gearboxes and stick with the manual gearbox. the automatic trans are shit boxes and are bound to get screwed sooner or later.ed
I think you may have been unlucky. I had 4 of the Tiptronic boxes in the last 10 years, two on A4 wagons, one on a GTi and one on a Passat Wagon. We put 100k on each of them with never a hiccup from any of the boxes. Only Audi gearbox I had real issues with was the 6-speed one (and the Haldex AWD box as well) on my 2000 TT.

Your milage may of course vary.

But you're right on the diesels. Fine little motors. About to swap out the Passat wagon for the Jetta TDI wagon, like many here.
thats because the Tiptronics ZF 5HP 19s are made by ZF of Saarbrucken, not by VW and Audi. The 01N and the 01M are made by VW (shitboxes that the group has now discontinued except in Mexico and Latin America. now adays, Audi makes the Multitronic (CVT) and VW makes the DSG which had issues during the first productions. I've been working with the VW-Audi group for the last 17 years to know what works and what does not.

 

P_Wop

Super Anarchist
7,125
4,275
Bay Area, CA
vw and audi makes the best diesel engines. just try to stay away from the automatic gearboxes and stick with the manual gearbox. the automatic trans are shit boxes and are bound to get screwed sooner or later.ed
I think you may have been unlucky. I had 4 of the Tiptronic boxes in the last 10 years, two on A4 wagons, one on a GTi and one on a Passat Wagon. We put 100k on each of them with never a hiccup from any of the boxes. Only Audi gearbox I had real issues with was the 6-speed one (and the Haldex AWD box as well) on my 2000 TT.

Your milage may of course vary.

But you're right on the diesels. Fine little motors. About to swap out the Passat wagon for the Jetta TDI wagon, like many here.
thats because the Tiptronics ZF 5HP 19s are made by ZF of Saarbrucken, not by VW and Audi. The 01N and the 01M are made by VW (shitboxes that the group has now discontinued except in Mexico and Latin America. now adays, Audi makes the Multitronic (CVT) and VW makes the DSG which had issues during the first productions. I've been working with the VW-Audi group for the last 17 years to know what works and what does not.
Thanks for that, mate. Agreed all round.

BTW, is your RS4 one of the newer B7 ones, or the real old B5 giant-killer in the old S4 Avant platform. I drove one of those in Jersey (of all places) back in 2000 and was grinning myself stupid for days afterwards. So beautiful to get up against a Porsche Carrera at the lights, and then hammer him with a station wagon. The one I drove even had a dog guard in the back and a pair of styrofoam yellow labradors to add to the fun.

 

Tugboat

Super Anarchist
3,599
59
Wellington, NZL
Test drove one this morning. Really, really nice car. Started right up after sitting out in single digits all night.The interior is pretty minimalist but I like that. The ergonomics are about perfect and there aren't too many buttons. With the back seats folded, there's a shitload of cargo room for such a small vehicle. It actually almost defies reasson. Maybe it's an optical illusion but I don't think so...It looks to be just short of being able to put a sheet of drywall in there!

Exterior-wise, it looks great in side profile; I like the chrome treatment around the windows. Not a huge fan of the front but you can't see that part from behind the wheel. I love the fact you can get a kayak attachment for the roof rack.

I drove the manual and the DSG. This was my first experience with DSG and, well, it's OK. Probably nice if you have a lot of stop and go commuting but I really prefer rowing my own gears. One great thing about the DSG is you can keep the turbo pressure up between shifts, which you can't do with the stick.

The manual is pretty nice - the shifter is a little rubbery compared to my BMW but the clutch was light and progressive. The brakes were nice also, with good modulation. The steering was almost as good as my BMW, although a little lighter. Great feel and precision, no sloppiness or vagueness, and very positive on-center.

The diesel motor is very nice, and much quieter than I expected since I'm used to a Cummins 5.9 that sounds like a tractor. If you're not used to diesels, you might initially think the car is slow. The thing about diesel is they need that turbo to wind up before the motor can start brutally twisting. Diesel takes a lot more air to combust, and until the turbo is spun up, you won't get lots of power. I personally like the way diesels pressure up and start pushing like freight trains. It takes a little planning if you are going to pass on a 2 lane but you get used to it.

Like I said, the interior might be considered spartan but I like it. Materials have a high quality feel, buttons feels solid and fit/finish and paint quality are top notch.

The only thing I can think of that would be a tough decision would be the sunroof. I usually don't like them as every one I've ever had either broke down or leaked at some point in its life, plus it's a lot of extra weight up high, increasing CG. That said, it is huge in this car and I really liked the feel in the cabin with the glass roof vs. without.

Anyhow, it's a great little wagon and to get a piece of kit in diesel this nice for $27K seems like a steal of a deal to me.
Yeah the diesels are still poo power wise till the turbo kicks in. We test drove a Golf GT diesel and the power transfer just didn't feel right. Ended up buying a GTI (petrol) which is sweet. I did have a manual shift preference but am now absolutely sold on the DSG gearbox. Easy to drive in automatic but just takes a flick of the shift paddles to pick your own gear (great for overtaking).

 
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craig

Super Anarchist
1,199
0
Have a Golf TDi (manual 6 speed)

I doubt if I will ever buy another petrol car - just love it, city or highway including a Brisbane - Melbourne (1800kms) in one go

But you got to try the Skoda Octaviar RS SportsWagon (petrol or diesel)

OMG

My next car!

 

austin1972

Super Anarchist
12,472
314
1,
Couple observations after spending some time with the car.

Motor warms up very fast compared to my Cummins TD. Not sure why, maybe the EGR?

Dealer was not user friendly. Seems this is a VW epidemic in the US.

I don't have the knee bumping problem Moe talked about.

6th gear is very tall, and worthless under 60 mph. I'm very glad I got the stick shift over DSG but I think I'm just used to stick. Shifting comes way early compared to the BMW staright 6. Anything over 2,800 rpm feels like you're just wringing it out. It like 1,800-2,500 a lot. Obviously I'm not going to push the rpms until I get a couple thousand miles on it anyways.

Bluetooth works pretty well. I'm still learning the functions, so more on that when I have a few minutes to just sit in the car and play with stuff. Haven't plugged an IPod in yet, so no opinion on that. I like the Sirius though and will probably subscribe.

We went on a long-ish trip yesterday and the car was quite comfortable and quiet. I didn't set the cruise because I wanted to vary speeds but it wasn't fatiguing. I wish it had xenon headlights and fog lamps. I got 41.6 mpg on 75% country roads, 25% towns.

The only bumper stickers I have around are a stack from the beef council that say, "Eat Beef - the West wasn't won on salad".

 

MoeAlfa

Super Anarchist
12,560
35
Haven't plugged an IPod in yet, so no opinion on that. I like the Sirius though and will probably subscribe.
I got 41.6 mpg on 75% country roads, 25% towns.

The only bumper stickers I have around are a stack from the beef council that say, "Eat Beef - the West wasn't won on salad".
The iPod interface is wretched. You'll wish you had a simple AUX port.

Our mileage improved over the first 10-15K and it was predictably better in warm weather.

gallery_9627_108_4210.jpg


 

U20guy2

Super Anarchist
12,330
3
The TDI jetta wagon with the new 2.0L diesel is hard to find and they still have a tough time building them fast enough. The pre 09 jetta diesels were the older 1.9L engine very different car and engine in a big way.

Edmunds had both in a full year long test go read up on it Edmunds.com

They pretty much loved both cars and had virtually no issues - though it was pretty clear they would go for a true manual 6spd vs the DSG auto.

I'm waiting for the 09 bluetech Mercedes GL's to start showing up used and also see if MB finally got their quality and reliability issues sorted out.

22-24mpg around town and 27-28mpg sub 75mph freeway in a big heavy 7passenger SUV fully able to tow a sporty or two or three to a regatta is what I'm talking about! Christ my old Subaru hardly breaks 24mpg around town and never breaks 27mpg on the highway.

For a non tower or very light sub 1000lbs tower the manual 6spd 09 and later TDI Jetta wagon is a awesome car!

 




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