2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Rush-Hour Review
November 18, 2011
Since I had to drive to Pasadena from Santa Monica (about 25 miles) last night in the worst traffic (Thursday nights seem to be cursed that way) I got a chance to evaluate our 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI as a rush-hour conveyance. I liked the Nissan Juke for getting through this daily ordeal but the Jetta is pretty decent, too.
Magrath said he didn't like it because he wants "more control and more smoothness" during his commute which consists of "stops and hard acceleration above 40." But I have the same commute and didn't find the TDI problematic to drive at all. I liked that it felt like it was using engine braking to slow down so I didn't have to hit the brakes as much. And I didn't even make use of its automanual. I also found it sufficiently zippy for getting around the distracted on the 10 East.
As technology goes, our Jetta doesn't currently have a Sirius subscription but I was able to drum my fingers to my playlists on Spotify via iPhone and Bluetooth Audio. Plus thanks to Bluetooth I could call up my mom and get an up-to-date report on who's dead and who's having babies. Seat heaters soothed me as I waded through the sea of brakelights.
However, I hated the map in this car. Too rudimentary to make sense of in that tiny screen. As editor Brent Romans pointed out, it "doesn't display as much information (say, street names) at normal zoom levels" and it's difficult to figure out how to navigate around the map. Good thing I already kinda knew where I was going.
But, yeah, the Jetta TDI did a fine job of getting me to my destination unfrazzled.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor