2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)
I have just over 2,000 miles on a new base model Jetta TDI with a manual, so I can't comment on long term reliability.
What I can comment on is the performance of the package, and it exceeds expectations.
We're averaging around 43 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
Since this is more than promised, it is hard not to be impressed.
The seating is comfortable, and while the interior finish materials are not as high quality as some other vehicles, they are certainly good enough for a car that costs less than $23,000.
The diesel is responsive if driven correctly, which is different than how one would drive a gas engine.
The torque is delivered all at once, and is as lively as one could ask for from 1250 rpm and above.
Below that, shift gears.
We drove the automatic, but frankly, I would avoid that in this car as it doesn't seem to be matched to the engine.
The slushy automatic shifting was a turn off, and when I commented to the dealer about this, he acknowledged that the auto is not the ideal match for the engine.
Stick with the manual.
I can't really suggest any improvements that would make sense economically.
This car is more fun to drive than our BMW 328xi, with a better ride and equivalent tracking.