2011 Volkswagen Jetta Long-Term Road Test


2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Too Many Jettas?

May 26, 2011

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Our friend Itai Lottati over in the data department at Edmunds.com told us an interesting story about his own Jetta recently. Here are his thoughts:

As the owner of a 2009 Jetta TDI, I'm slightly concerned about the resale value of the Jetta now that it seems like VW is pumpling a lot of new ones into the U.S. market.

Even though I plan to keep my Jetta diesel for a long time and I primarily got it for its fuel economy (which it does deliver, as I am consistently achieving at least 33 mpg in mixed driving around Los Angeles), I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen to my Jetta when it comes time to sell it as a used car.

After all, Volkswagen sold 13,905 Jetta sedans in April, an 87.7-percent increase from last April 2010. VWoA has sold 57,975 Jettas in just the first four months of this year, which compares to the 123,213 Jettas sold in the U.S. in all of 2010.

I live in the Valley, and I am seeing a lot of brand-new Jettas on the road every day during my commute to and from work. I see a mixture of styles, but out of all the styles, I must say that I happen to see more of the base, S or SE styles. I’ve only seen a few of the SEL styles, which might further imply that people are going to buy the most economical style if it is being offered in volume at a really low price. Furthermore, Volkswagen of America has added a base model for MY2011 that starts at around $15,000. Previously, the cheapest Jetta style that was offered was the S, and it cost somewhere in the $17k range if I remember correctly.

It's great to see so many people choose VW, but it does make me wonder what will happen when people like me put their cars into the used car market in a few years. Will the value of our cars be depressed because there are so many Jettas on the road? Will we feel like the value and reputation of our premium-style Jettas have been undercut by the new model?

Finally, the opinions I have heard regarding the 2011 model vary widely. I’ve heard people like the new model because the styling is a little bit reminiscent of Audi’s styling (I think just in the taillights). However, I think most people do agree that the exterior styling is very boring compared to other vehicles out there in its class and that the interior quality has diminished from the previous model years.

Of course, this is speculation about the future. For my part, I'm really enjoying my Jetta TDI, which I bought with 17-inch alloy wheels and a spoiler. I bought it because it is extremely comfortable and has great performance -- great torque and wonderful acceleration and handling. The elegant blue and red instrument illumination is probably one of my favorite things about the car.

For me, the Jetta TDI is a premium sedan. I hope someone else thinks so too when it's time to put it into the used car market.

Itai Lottati, Pricing Analyst, Edmunds, Inc.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta in VA is:

$127 per month*
* Explanation
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