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The Little Diesel That Could by Rhett H, Houston, TX on 05/26/2012. Trim: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 2.0L TDI w/Sunroof & Nav, Owned less than 1 year.
Pros: I have owned several diesel vehicles, and this one, by far, outdoes them all and even most of that's vehicles I have owned and driven in terms of performance and power feel. I traded in a 2010 Toyota Corolla sedan, with the base 1.8 liter, and this jetta TDI will drive circles around it......without losing traction too! With 1200 miles on the odometer, the mileage only continues to improve. I live outside of Houston, TX, so my drives are very mixed freeway/city/rural. So far, I'm averaging between 35 to 40 mpg, checking the mileage manually. The computer fudges a bit, perhaps 1-2 mpg. It also handles just as well as a BMW 5 series I tested and for a lot less money.
Cons: For the first few hundred miles, the DSG transmission bucked, as one other reviewer complained. However, since the computer has had time to adjust to my driving style, it has really smoothed out. I also suspect that this is due to the two clutch plates breaking in as well, since it is essentially an automated manual. Also, I don't understand why VW couldn't make the new TDI biodiesel-compatible, but such is life.. I would have given it a ten for interior styling, but they could have done a better job positioning the cup holders and given it a storage console, rather than the typical German arm rest lever. Also, I wish the map could pan on the nav system.
Overall review: Nav system and cup holders aside, this is a fantastic and solid car that feels much heavier than it actually is. It drives like a tank and the doors close like a bank vault. It reminds me of a Mercedes I used to have from the pennical of their quality during the mid 1980s. I would recommend to anyone with a family or the need to haul more stuff than you can fit in a sedan to put out the extra money and get the wagon. If you can swing the tdi, all the better, but I'm sure the gasser would serve just as well. You will enjoy the stout handling, smooth and powerful acceleration and low maintenance of the leatherette seats. Also, VW's customer care maintenance package is pretty attractive as well.
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