Overall it has been a good car. I have about 92000 miles on it now and needs some significant work. A wheel bearing is shot, the head gasket leaks, and a few other minor repairs needed. The real problem is that this engine seems to have a flaw as noted by many others. I began to get a VERY rough idle at about 50000 miles that was repaired under warranty for $5000. The problem is coming back now and can really only get a band-aid repair if I want to avoid paying $5000 on my own (which didn't really last anyway). Other than this, it has been a super reliable car and has had very few problems. It has been probably my favorite car I have ever owned but I am selling it now to avoid major repairs.
Great fuel economy, decent handling for its class, quite fun to drive, very spacious for a compact, very comfortable, great interior, very reliable and mostly good quality.
Fix the engine flaw under a recall so these engines don't die after 170000 miles (just happened to a friend). I expect more from a "strong" diesel. Have more reasonably priced parts and shop rates.
I've owned many VW's since 1959, Beetles, Vans, Dasher Diesel, 3 Rabbit Diesels. All served me well. I bought the 2006 Jetta TDI assuming it would be the best, it was my first new VW. Metal skin paper thin, dents from slightest touch of anything hard. Flywheel broke at 30000 for no reason, VW said they had problems. Was replaced under warranty, but VW said I should have a new Clutch. I argued with Idiots at VW that if it was bad that the broken flywheel caused it. I talked to many persons in warranty and none had any mechanical knowledge. Clutch cost me $600. 2 Yr after warranty ended clutch failed again. Engine light intermittent from 2nd year, Excess Smoke since new. It is my last VW
VW warranty persons need Mechanical knowledge. Dealership should loose VW, Auto skin too thin, Seat material is junk, Plastic interior don't clean well. Parts sold at too high a markup, Engine & Transmissions should be made in Germany, Manual Shifter is low quality, needs better shorter throw.
I just found this site and noticed someone else has the same issue! I assumed my car was a diesel and would emit black smoke so never panicked. It seemed to get worse so I asked the "simple" question at my dealer. They told me bring it in. Should be a simple hose replacement $150ish. 4 hours later. I come back to find my engine completely apart. The mechanic brings me back and shows me scoring on my fuel injectors and tells me my engine is shot! $7,000 estimate from the dealer to rebuild only the top portion of my engine and I only have 130,000 km on it! I intend to take this to the top.
I bought this car in March of 2006 in Anchorage for touring around the state, and we love this car. In 4 years, we performed the recommended maintenance and put fuel in it, with no issues! Driving around 55-60 mph on the highways around Anchorage, we averaged 47-50 mpg. When we shipped it to Seattle and then drove it back to Texas, we average 48 mpg at 75 mph and then 46 mpg at 80-85 mph (on I-10 through West Texas). I made it from Gilbert, AZ to Fort Stockton, TX on a single tank of fuel driving 80 mph most of the way!
Fuel Economy, DSG transmission, lots of trunk space, full size spare
Full power front seats (which may have been an option) and a better defroster, both of which are minor inconveniences considering I rarely adjust the drivers seat, it is more of the front passengers seat.
The car has a great feel on the road. This is my first diesel and German car for that matter and I am sold! So many little features in the interior, I'm amazed at how much thought went into the little things. I still discover new features I never realized were there, years later. I've also never needed to use any fuel additives for the winter and I've never had an issue with Michigan's cold months. At 50,000 miles, all four sets of brake pads still have more than 50% pad left and the pad wear appears even across all 4 wheels. This is a great car, you will never regret the purchase.
Most maintenance is super easy since most things are easily accessible in the engine compartment including the fuel filter. Depending on how I drive the car, I get between 38 and 42 mpg. I can drive this car 90 mph consistently for hours and still get 38 mpg.
The rear decorative cover plate for the exhaust needs to be fastened better. I think I lost mine in a car wash at some point, but actually I'm better off without it as it collected diesel soot and really you can't even tell its missing. Would love to see a 6-speed transmission.