Car was okay until 90K miles. The turbo on the diesel grenaded, causing not only all the damage in the turbo, but also the exhaust system (which had been redesigned and you had to buy the newer version). Very expensive repair. Asked VW to help, but there comment was that it was out of warranty, your on your own. The car was three years old at the time. They also made the comment that I had put a lot of miles in a short time. Really, a diesel should be good for 300K+.
At 140K miles, radiator starts leaking, and was replaced. Radiator fan had to be replaced as it liked to run until it ran the battery down. Now one of the glow plugs needs to be replaced, one of the rear window regulators, and the electric steering is humming.
With "dieselgate" now, the car is worth half than prior, and VW seems to be more concerned with saving their hide then customers. They don't even seem to really get it that the chicanery they did really is not justified because superior german engineering could not come up with a solution that was within their price point for producing the car.
The car is ideal in concept and I enjoyed it very much in the beginning - especially the 6 speed and low end torque. But the initial quality was poor. Problems included the navigation system, ABS, and exhaust system. Then the fuel pump failed at 27k miles. Very, very disappointed. I have 2 Toyota's with 255k miles combined and I've never thought about the fuel system failing => Much less to the tune of $10k. VW is covering under warranty, but I would consider the quality very much below average.
Bluetooth, Nav and sunroof
Make an engine that lasts longer than 27k miles and fix initial quality issues.
The '09 TDI was in many ways the best car I'd owned in 20+ years. Safe, comfortable, good handling in snow, and amazing MPG (44 hwy, 37 city over 20K miles). However, the TDI has a faulty high pressure fuel pump design and complete failures are showing up all over the US due to the poor quality of US diesel compared to Europe. Bottom line? at 21K my pump failed and shot metal particles through the entire fuel system. It was all replaced (tank to injectors) at a cost of about $10K. This was covered by warranty and the dealer was great-- but there is nothing to prevent it from happening again, out of warranty. And who needs are car that may self-destruct without warning at any time? Stay away.
6M transmission, handling, fuel economy
Do not buy a TDI until VW has a proven fix for the failing high pressure fuel pumps-- this applies to all models, all years 2009-
Bought this car after it was made legal by Maine EPA. Hands down the best car for the money. Tried out the Prius but my soul would not let me buy such a lifeless piece of plastic. Car handles and drives great. Braking is also very responsive ( sorry Prius owners) My neighbors were blown away when they found out it was a diesel. Car has tons of room. I average 41 and if I drive like a responsible adult I can get high 40's on the highway. Nice thing is I don't have to and I still get better mileage then 99% of cars on the road. Features are adequate for the price. For those looking to buy new, I just saw the TDI CUP version and it is off the charts. Would highly recommend buying a TDI
MPG! Roomy interior. Smooth manual shifting. Great power and torque
Better feature like power seats and real leather and fog lights. Make Navi better and less expensive. Also it is time to import the TDI Tiggy!!!