This is my 4th VW. Its my 2nd TDI. I loved my previous TDI. This one, not so much. I am the 2nd owner having bought it 7/13 with ~17K miles. I have put almost 40K miles on it. It is far more powerful than my previous TDI but fuel economy does not match it either. I have not really had any mechanical issues. Just routine maintenence. I should really like this car but I am just not happy with it. There is a resonance (buzz) in the dash between 1500 & 1800rpm which is where I end up running most of the time. The sunroof shade also rattles. The seats are just not comfortable to me. I'm not a slender person but I'm not morbidly obese either. The side bolsters on the seats make them too narrow.
I like the power this engine delivers compared to my previous TDI. The stereo sounds terrific. It drives and handles really well. I love going 600 miles between fill-ups. I think it is a handsome vehicle.
More sound insulation please--kind of noisy at highway speeds. Less bolstering on the front seats.
If something could be done about the turbo lag that would be helpful. At this point the next generation Jetta has already been out for 5 model years so all of this is really kind of a moot point.
Preface: I've owned a LOT of cars. I bought a very clean, used VW Jetta TDI (2010) thinking I'd get a reliable car with great mileage. Well, mileage: yes! Reliability: no. VW engineering is--and I say this honestly--very strange. I think they design with the idea that nothing should fail. Very idealistic. But stuff DOES fail! That's real life! And boy did things fail. I replaced sensors, a glow plug, an intake manifold, a radio, bulbs, a battery...all in just two years on a car with not many miles. The little diesel is great, don't get me wrong. But reliable this car is not. And very expensive to maintain. I don't say this lightly: I will never buy another VW.
Car handled and drove great. Diesel has great torque and was reasonably comfortable. Designed more for cold weather than hot (think Germany), the seat heaters and heated mirrors were nice.
VW made this car far too complex from a maintenance standpoint. Example #1: A very inexpensive sensor is integrated into the $800 intake manifold. When that little sensor fails, guess what you have to replace? That's right, the whole intake. Example #2: The exhaust system has a particulate filter with a finite life ("DPF", look it up). So is that filter accessible? No, absolutely not. MAJOR surgery to get to that filter. Just dumb engineering for a car that's got a motor that will run forever. If you get a VW you better enjoy working on it, because history tells us you will be doing that a lot. If you think this is the German version of the Civic or Corolla think again.
I took my 2010 Jetta TDI into the dealer for the 50k oil change. They broke the drain plug. This dealer blamed both the dealer who did the 40k oil change and VW for a defective drain bolt. Neither party would accept any responsibility or offer any assistance. The shop that broke my car did offer 50% towards the $600 repair bill as they needed to replace the oil pan. VW after doing nothing did ask me if I was satisfied with their service. Dear VW I'm not satisfied and I will never purchase another VW product. Avoid VW. If they will not help on a minor issue that had nothing to do with wear or abuse do not expect VW to step and help if something major goes wrong.
No problems in 36k+ miles. Drives like glued to a road. Great city acceleration or when lights turn green, and pretty good on interstates when downshifted. Mileage depends on the number and frequency of stops: 32-40 in town, 45-52 on secondary roads and close to 50 on interstates. All with dynamic driving. Excellent radio and cell bluetooth integration. Large cargo volume with non-crushing hinges.
Quiet engine except for occasional louder turbocharger heard on quiet surfaces.
A feeling of subtle luxury. Everything works and the car drives with very little effort. Convenient cruise controls. 110V outlet.
Road noise on rough surfaces even with Michelin MXV4; Mileage varies on same routes with similar traffic- probably artifact of extensive emission controls; Seat takes some time to adjust. Lack of automatic light turn-on and proximity sensors for parking (both present in EU Golfs).
The 2010 Jetta TDI is far and away the finest car I have ever owned. It is tightly constructed and a joy to drive. Best of all is the mileage: in a mix of highway and suburban driving, I consistently get in the mid-to-high 40's, sometimes over 50 mpg. I like the styling (last year for this style) and the interior quality is excellent. While not a screamer, performance is beyond adequate. In 20 months, I have put over 47,000 miles on this car with very few issues. My wife has a Honda Accord, and she is very jealous of my Jetta. I'm very pleased!
Standard satellite radio; 45-50 highway mpg; comfort; performance; styling; environmental friendliness; available manual transmission.
The rear deck is a little high and limits rear visibility. The touch screen radio is a potential distraction. The accessories sometimes seem to have a mind of their own (for example, the wipers go into intermittent mode when the vehicle stops, whether I want them to or not). I wish an iPod adapter was standard.