2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Unloved
September 29, 2011
People are down on this car. Some on our staff even flat out reject it. Takahashi mocks its bumbling pickup and shift behavior. Jacquot dismisses it because it's not a Raptor. And Austria's definitely over the Jetta, now studying maps of Miami and plotting his rescue of a destitute divorcee indebted to the Chrysler Italians. Even our erudite reader Bodyblue calls the Jetta the most boring car in our long-term fleet.
I disagree. I dig this car.
Dig its clattering diesel, its sound of purpose. Dig its front suspension that hops and snowplows when cracking the wood through a long sweeper. There's one by my home that I've written about, a nice wide transition road. It's where I'll someday end up putting a car -- with my luck, one that Oldham really likes -- into the carbon-soaked iceplant. Try holding a nervous Jetta through a swelling curve like that, while teasing out 236 lb-ft, and stick that in your boring bong, Bodyblue.
Nah, this car's great. Shift for yourself and you've got no issues. There's pull throughout the range. Yeah, the interior's gone downmarket. The old special Jetta touches are gone and our copier is more interesting to look at. So what? VW's playing for large money now. Everyone sells out, even Jane's Addiction. I still wouldn't buy the Jetta TDI, though. Not when $1,500 more gets you into the Golf TDI, and $2,500 more gets the Sportwagen diesel.
Or you could just save it all, buy a Fiat 500 and point it towards South Beach.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor