Introducing The Diesel Driver’s New Long-Term Auto: The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

By Jonathan Spira on 12 February 2011
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A 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI is now part of The Diesel Driver’s long-term test fleet.  Diesel Driver readers correctly guessed that the new auto would be a Volkswagen (30% said VW, 28% Audi, 25% Mercedes-Benz, and 17% BMW).

There are a lot of things we like about the new Jetta.  For starters, it has a new, sleek, elegant look that differentiates it from the pack.  It’s 2.9 inches longer than the previous Jetta and that translates to more room for the rear occupants as well as a more substantial appearance.  It’s an upscale look (think Audi) and one that should resonate with VW purists and German car fans alike.

It also comes with built-in Fahrvergnügen, a word coined by Volkswagen specifically for use in several U.S. advertising campaigns.  (It joins “Fahr” (from fahren, “to drive,” with Vergnügen, “pleasure,” to convey “driving pleasure.”)

Our Jetta TDI is powered by the same 140-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine as the previous-generation Jetta TDI – and it’s the same engine that gave Volkswagen a Guinness World Record for Lowest Fuel Consumption.  It’s also the fastest Jetta on the market with a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h).

The Jetta goes from 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds and develops 236 pound-feet (320 Newton-meters) of torque.  It is rated at 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km) in city driving and 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km) on the highway.

The Jetta arrived with a sunroof, split-rear folding seat, Bluetooth, Sirius satellite radio, iPod connectivity, heated seats and windshield washer nozzles, a leather multi-function steering wheel, 16” aluminum wheels, and a touch-screen stereo with an SD card reader and built-in six-disc CD changer.  Also included are three years of free maintenance and V-Tex leatherette upholstery.

The Jetta TDI is an excellent value with a list price of $22.995.  When you compare this with a similarly-equipped Jetta SE, the additional cost of the diesel is only $2,200.  the car was just delivered to us by Evelyn Lasky and Jim Maloney at Bayside Volkswagen and we can’t wait to take it on its maiden voyage.  A full report will follow.



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