Used 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 4dr Sedan w/Premium (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM) Consumer Reviews
This was the most reasonably priced car in this kind of fuel mileage range that did not feel like a toy. True the interior is not flashy, and I am a bit heavy for the standard seat bolsters, and it is not an independent rear suspension, but this little car is a kick to drive. I have 12,000 miles on and I have no complaints. I just got my first 50MPG trip this last weekend. In mixed driving I get 38 on the low side and can always depend on 44 to 45 MPG highway driving with cruise control on 65 or 70 from Fresno to Los Angeles and back. The DSG transmission does take a while to get used to but its a great car. Lots of torque and a huge backseat.
I bought my first Jetta in 2006 back when they were giving away free electric guitars with each purchase. That was the cheapest Jetta they had and people were blown away by how nice the interior was. Fast forward to 2011 where you find me buying the 2012 Jetta TDI because I drive 2 hours each day and I want better fuel economy and an automatic. On balance this is a great car. The motor is peppy and the automatic is very smooth. I love the diesel, if you are going to get the Jetta then I recommend you get the automatic with the 2.0 TDI. My suggested improvments are long, but they are really quibbles and should not deter you from purchase.
Purchased my TDI Jetta 4 door with premium after test driving everything else out there. That includes BMW 328i. This car's ride is ALMOST as good as the BMW...for 15-20k less...not to mention the cost to insure, maintenance and fueling up with premium and getting significantly less mpg with the BMW. 5 months old and just broke 6,000 miles. Averaged 44.3 mpg from bay area to San Diego...less than one tank of diesel. NO DIESEL SMELL detected. Handles great; plenty of power-had trouble keeping it under 80 on I-5.
I have just finished putting a 1000k miles on my 2012 Jetta TDI. I have averaged 39MPG in moderate city driving. I highly recommend the diesel to anyone who is looking for added driving fun, longevity, and a higher resale value. The leather steering wheel, heated seats, and touchscreen audio system make this car seem luxurious. Despite negative reviews on the cars interior, I suspect it will please almost everyone who experiences it. Unfortunately, within the first week of ownership, I had 2 different problems with exterior body work. 1. The gas door would not shut. 2. The trunk squeaks loudly when you open or close it. The dealership noted both problems would be fixed under warranty.
My feelings about the Jetta TDI/Premium are mixed. I love the styling, the fuel economy is unbeatable for an ICE, and the low end torque makes it zippy and fun. But VW had to go and kill a lot of the love by leaving the DSG unrefined, not polishing out creaks and rattles, and cheaping out in areas like the MFD and the touch screen software. The car feels like it was well designed in Germany, then dressed down by a bureaucrat on computer and exported to America. That being said, the styling, fuel economy, and options are still far better than the Civic and the Elantra. Is it worth the extra $3000 on the sticker? Maybe. I'd say it's more of a solid buy as a used or preowned car.