I love this little car! My brother talked me into a TDI (he has a Jetta). I get better mpg than my buddy's Prius, and a better looking car. Build quality is excellent. Attention to detail inside is unreal compared to US/Japan cars, like the tiny sun visor above the rear-view mirror. Only problems I've had: plastic window clips loosened up, had to replace MAF sensor when I upgraded the turbo, which I did in an afternoon on my own. Other than oil and tires, it just keeps chugging along. I love the heated seats, a must with a TDI in the winter. I drove from Indy to Virginia on one tank! I love the look on people's faces when I tell them about my 49mpg in town.
Fuel mileage! Easily serviced. Heated seats. Fold down rear seats. Huge cargo space with seats down. Clean, simple styling. Attention to small details.
Change e-brake area to make space more useful (they did in '04).
Bought this car used with 80K miles on it and I was amazed at how smooth the engine and clean it was (inside, outside, and engine bay). These TDI's are easier upgradable and I've added about 30HP and 100 ft-lbs of torque for under $500. My performance has greatly improved and my fuel economy is still 48 MPG mixed city/hwy. Most importantly, this car is amazingly reliable and is an easy car to maintain yourself. I love this car
Fuel economy, easily upgradable, tight design tolerances, easy to parallel- park, efficient use of space (interior/trunk), simplicity of diesel operation, low maintenance, incredible headlight output, dash gauges are bright, beautiful, and do not diminish the headlamp output.
Suspension goes soft after 30K miles, front suspension geometry is not optiminal, front skid plate should be stronger, front cup holders should be revised, 5th gear ratio should be taller to improve mileage on the top end, and side-view mirrors should be assymetrical to eliminate blind spots
Pros: 42 mpg mixed driving with automatic transmission. Good handling and ride for a small car. Roomy too, but backseat legroom is cramped. More cargo capacity than expected with the rear seats folded down. Good exterior finish. Cons: Unscheduled maintenance, all of which occured in the 3rd year of ownership, include: 3 glow plugs replaced, rear brakes (Rotors and pads), intake manifold clogged with diesel residue, intake manifold gasket replaced due to leak, said leak spraying diesal onto wiring harness which required replacement (These last three being caused by a "fuel quality issue" and not covered by the warranty, $1,200+ to fix.) and tires. Oil changes are expensive too.
Miles per gallon, handling on dry pavement and in the snow.
A warranty Volkswagen will stand behind. Improved reliability especially in the electrical and fuel systems. Poor fuel quality does not erode an intake manifold gasket and most diesels don't have problems with the intake until over twice the miles.
The stock intecooler is a wee bit
small and had saturated with heat, I
live in Southern California, so I
replaced it with an ABD aftermarket
unit and have had great results.
changed to a K & N filter and now the
performance is better too. The
automatic I have is good, but the
stick version is really much more fun.
Never has smoked and the other than
the known recall issues the car has
been very reliable overall but not as
good as say a toyota. I will buy
another one again, once they are
available again in california in 2006.
The driveability is great, slow to get
going but has the turbo boost to make
it roll nice at highway speeds and
More base power for the TDI before
(90 HP is adequate, but not too fun)
I love the car in general. It is really
fun to drive and has great fuel economy
(average 48 mpg city and 54 mpg
highway). Excellent power for a four
cylinder. Only have encountered on
problem so far -- faulty window
mechanism for power windows. Driver
side window fell down into door and
wouldn't come back up. Dealer fixed
both windows simultaneously and
indicated that it was a problem with
the pulley design.
Blue dashboard illumination, TDI
engine, Monsoon sound system, interior
More room between gears in manual
transmission, very quick clutch should
be stiffened some