Headlights and DRLs - 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Long-Term Road Test

2011 Volkswagen Jetta Long-Term Road Test

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Headlights and DRLs

June 10, 2011


Ever notice that the Volkswagen Jetta tends to burn out headlights? One-eyed cars are rare nowadays, but it seems to us that certain late-model Volkswagens are the most common motorcycle impersonators.

And we're not just saying that because it happened to us two generations of Jetta ago, when our 2005 VW Jetta TDI turned into a cyclops. These older Jettas use their regular headlights as daytime running lights (DRLs) too, which subject them to near-constant use.

Clarification edit: at full brightness, not some reduced voltage.

We also think the previous generation Jetta, as represented by our 2009 VW Jetta TDI, used the same headlights-as-DRLs strategy. We're not entirely certain because our photographers always want the headlights on in beauty shots and drive-bys. But with a little digging I found a series of shots that were never used in a blog that seem to implicate the headlight theory.

Our new 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI shouldn't have a problem with iffy headlight life because its DRLs are stand-alone units. The headlights themselves only come on when the headlights are turned on. Imagine that.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,563 miles

PS: I know what you are thinking: Why have they had three Jetta TDIs in a row? Good question. We like to keep an economical diesel compact close at hand when discussions of hybrids, plug-ins and electric cars get frothy. We don't want to leave diesel out of the mix.

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411