2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Strong First Half
February 14, 2012
Yes, the trip odometer had been reset properly when our 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI was last filled with diesel fuel. This appears to have been a very strong half-tank performance, but the lesser figure on the miles-to-go readout suggests that maybe this gauge isn't accurately predicting the halfway point.
I pulled up to a pump and refilled the tank to sort it all out.
The Jetta took on 9.551 gallons out of a possible 14.5, so by rights the fuel gauge should be at the one-third point. Still, this tank of mixed driving -- a bit more freeway than city, perhaps -- works out to 38 mpg. The Jetta's EPA combined rating is 34 mpg.
Overall performance after 17,100 miles goes like this:
Average lifetime fuel economy: 35.3 mpg (better than EPA-rated)
Best fuel economy: 46.1 mpg
Best single tank range: 642.7 miles
Average range: 357.7 miles on an average fillup of 10.1 gallons
This car can easily top 400 miles per tank if you allow the needle to get past the one-quarter mark. The tank pictured above already exceeds the average and still registers half full. Heck, it's still be impressive if it accurately read one-third full.
Remember that we're stopping at the pump less often than once per week, on average, even though we're driving at a an elevated pace intended to achieve 20,000 miles per year. Drive 12,000 miles per year and you may only need to stop twice a month.
The best part is this: this thing is no slug off the line. We're not hypermiling the Jetta to get these numbers. Diesel torque rules.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 17,100 miles