For One Reason - 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Long-Term Road Test

2011 Volkswagen Jetta Long-Term Road Test

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: For One Reason

June 07, 2011

jetta_thisreasononly.jpg My wife owns a '97 Jetta with the I-4 engine and 140k miles on it. It's been an oil sucking, breakdown machine for most of it's life. I think it's a horse with a broken leg while she wants to squeeze every possible mile out of it before it dies.

She and I were talking about possible replacements the day before I drove our long term Jetta. I'm a little hesitant to recommend another Volkswagen after her experience with her current car, but after driving our long termer and doing a little research, another Jetta just might be a great car for her.

Here is my reason:

She commutes about 30 miles a day. Might not be as long as some of you, but that mileage adds up. I'm not sold on the hybrid just yet, especially considering that I could probably get a current generation Jetta TDI as a used car in a year or two at a pretty good price.

I say a year or two because not only does my wife has a death grip on those keys, but I'm thinking of our own positive experience in buying a used '09 Jetta TDI. Yes, buying used you don't get the free maintenance that VW is offering right now, and reliability is my biggest concern with another Jetta given our past, but the current offerings seemed to have closed the quality gap from everything I've read. I'm following our current tester closely.

The TDI gets a pretty solid EPA estimated mpg rating of 32 city/42 highway. Our latest observed average of 32.6 mpg is inclusive of a large concentration of resident lead foot operators. Gas prices are getting pretty high here in Southern California. While they may go up and down every day, the trend is ever upward creating parity with premium.

I feel the cost benefit of a used TDI to undercut a new Prius, or a used one for that matter, will be a good amount of savings while delivering similar mileage and performance. Do you think I'm crazy in thinking that? What else should we consider?

Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography

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