2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Information Blackout
May 23, 2011
See that blank space on the 2011 Jetta TDI's steering wheel? Thats where the controls for the Multifunction Display (MFD) used to be. The current Jetta Sportwagen and the Golf have on-wheel controls. And our last Jetta TDI had them too.
The MFD has a ton of cool features such as instant and average fuel economy gauges, distance to empty meter, compass, radio station display, turn-by-turn directions (in navigation-equipped models) trip timer, digital speedometer, speed warning, and many more. This Web site goes into more detail for those interested.
This is our Jetta's non-MFD display. It shows time, outside temperature (not engine temp), trip, odometer and fuel. That's it. If you look closely at the instrument panel, you'll see the outline of where the more robust MFD screen would have gone. It looks as if VW wedged in a less expensive -- and less functional -- display in place of the MFD.
As a TDI owner, I love scrolling through and using all the MFD features. On a road trip, I've used the MFD to see how long I've been driving, what my average speed and fuel economy was, and used it to display my navigation directions, leaving my passengers free to use and display the radio and its info.
The largest omission on this car is the fuel economy gauge. While I know that that it may not be entirely accurate, I use it as a reference tool to monitor my driving habits. Every fuel-efficient car should have some way of showing its performance.
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate @ 3,777 miles