VW Jetta TDI Diesel Mileage Announced


Diesel and VW fanatics have been anxiously awaiting mileage numbers for the first-ever clean-diesel Jetta, and here they are courtesy of the U.S. government: The four-cylinder TDI will get 30 mpg city and 41 mpg on the highway. That’s 36% better than the current four-cylinder and 41.7% better than the current five-cylinder gasoline engines.

The bad news is that the current cost of diesel fuel is 19.7% higher than regular unleaded. Add in the fact that the TDI is expected to cost more than the base Jetta, and the savings aren’t as great as many may have hope for.

Let us know if you think the TDI will sell well when it debuts later this summer.

Official EPA numbers posted for the '09 Jetta TDI - 30/41mpg


Any word on a TDI wagon?

The Jetta Sportwagen comes out later this summer.

Amuro Ray

This post has some excellent points to summarize the UNpopularity of diesel vehicles here in US compare to gasoline vehicles. We definitely need a change in the infrastructure...

Just a couple of thgs to add
(1) not as many gas stations sell diesel nowadays;
(2) mileage not as impressive as the hybrids (not the case in Europe);
(3) no gov't incentives;
(4) not that many service centers to service diesel vehicles, and cost of maintenance is usually higher - but more and more service centers are servicing hybrids thx to the fad.

Thus, I don't believe the TDI will sell as well as, say, the Prius or other Hybrids out there...or even the fuel efficient gasoline vehicles. If VW prices their Jetta like they used to in the early 90's...then that will make a BIG difference!

The 30 is actually 6 mpg worse than the '06s. Thats a shame. I agree with Ray, as nice as this car is, its working against many ingrained factors. I actually considered an '06 TDI last month when I bought a car, but they were too few and far between and the ones available were expensive. We do have plenty of diesel stations around here though and as summer is coming, the gap in price is lessening.


Amuro Ray,
Your post contains a lot of generalizations and misinformation:

1) Diesel is more available than you think. Just consider that anywhere you have an interstate nearby you will have diesel available for all the 18-wheelers. Stations that don't carry diesel are the exception rather than the norm in my area of the country.

2) You are correct in that the EPA estimates are not as impressive as one hybrid, the Prius. However in real-world driving, TDI's can hold their own against the Prius.

3) You are comparing gas cars to diesel cars but since when did the government provide incentives to purchase gasoline-powered cars?

4) Maintenance requirements of a diesel engine are no different than those for a gas engine. They also do not require specialized technicians to work on them but, like any modern engine, gas or diesel, they require someone who is thorough and conscientious in their repair work.

I do agree though that these new TDI's will not be as popular as VW might think but that is because of the cost premium for both the vehicle as well as the fuel over the equivalent gas model.

I'd guess the new EPA rules impacted that number greatly as it did for hybrids.

Amuro Ray


Not arguing with you, but in many metro cities, not that many gas stations carries gasoline. Moreover, given the not so cheap price of the Jetta nowadays, I would expect it to be more expensive than hybrids such as Prius, Camry, Civic, and possibly the Altima or even the lesser hybrids like Malibu (and its cousin from Saturn). The reason why I'm suggesting gov't incentives is solely because - well, what's the reason of buying a diesel? Fuel saving of 'coz! That's the same reason why people buy hybrids. You get incentives on the latter, but not the former. Finally, if you know of good diesel engine technican, good 4 u. However, in many metro cities nowadays, with so few diesel vehicles, many techs simply don't know much on diesel engines. The ones that do recognize this problem, hence charge more for the service. If you go to dealership, you'll see the difference in price for service on diesel vehicles.

Amuro Ray

Oops, I mean "not that many gas stations carry diesel..."


i agree with many of the comments in the blog.

it takes a bit longer to fully break in a diesel than a gas engine.

I have a few coworkers with diesels. One owns a Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC, and the other owns an '06 Jetta TDI.

the E320 often gets 35-40 mpg on the highway and 24-28 in the city.

the Jetta apparently reaches over 50 on the highway easily, and routinley gets 40 in the city.


The Jetta TDI's mileage is a disappointment, especially to all on this blog who have anticipated that it would challenge the Prius. Well, game over - Prius still rules the mileage roost, and gasoline is $.75 per gallon cheaper than Diesel fuel. What VW really needs to introduce is a no-frills $15,000, non-turbo Rabbit diesel that gets a solid 50 - 60 mpg. Instead of taking advantage of its high torque characteristics and doing a small displacement diesel, they are going for performance over mileage, and that will prove to be a marketing challenge.


Keith, I want to comment on your statement about TDI's holding their own against the Prius in real world driving. With all due respect, there's no way a TDI that's EPA rated at 30 in the city will hold its own with a Prius. In real world driving, I'm averaging 53 mpg in the city with my Prius and slightly over that on the highway.



I do not know what this new Jetta TDI will get in the real world however my comment about holding its own against the Prius was regarding previous generation models ('99.5 to 2006). My '01 Jetta TDI gets 50 mpg on trips and usually around 42-45 mpg in mixed driving. Fellow TDIers do even better than me regularly getting mid-50's on the highway. We shall see how this new one does in time.


10-4. Let's hope the new one performs like yours.

Claude Benusiglio

I bought an 06 Jetta TDI last year in June. I just drove 600miles on 13.25 gallons of gas (that's 45.3 mpg). A lot of times, driving around town at approx. 45 to 50 mph I get over 55 mpg. On a trip to Florida and back, my average fuel consumption was 47.5 mpg - that includes highway driving and city driving (at approx. 80mph). On the highway stretch of the trip I got 51.8 mpg. Well, you may say I am cheating because I also use Amsoil fully synthetic motor oil...
Overall, fuel consumption seems to be greater in Winter and now in summer (the new fuel formulation?) it is astonishingly good.
I love my car...


I do not under stand the fuel economy rating on the Jetta TDI's at all... I have a 2006 and I average 46MPG driving back and forth to work in mixed driving.. Metro Detroit stop and go.. It is rated in the 30's. Why would VW under rate the VW's performance. If this is any idea of what the 2009 will do it should be over 50mpg in reality.


I agree with the above comments, I get about 43 to 47 mpg in mixed driving. I drove all the way across country and got about 43 mpg and averaged over 72 mph, including fuel stops.


I find those numbers odd myself. I know two people that a 2006 and average 55mpg highway.


FYI - The EPA discusses the accuracy of their mileage ratings based on the new test protocol to real world mileage in the official report. They state that diesel vehicle mileage ratings based on the new test protocol are 18% low. So expect to get much better mileage in the real world than what is stated on the sticker.


I noticed a few of the posts commenting about TDI mileage on the highway at speeds of 70 to 80+ mph, I have an '01 Golf TDI with 4 speed auto trans. and consistently get 41 or better mpg on the freeway at 80+ mph with my air conditioning on constantly, I feel that is quite good. My question is what does a Prius get for mpg under those same 2 conditions?? I would guess it doesn't do it's best if driven like that, but maybe I'm wrong anyone who has driven their Prius like that please enlighten me. For me city mpg is totally unimportant as I live in a rural area 40 miles from the nearest small town and do city type driving only 5% of the time at best.


The Prius's real world highway mileage varies from the upper 30s to the 40s. The EPA rating is 48 city, 46 combined, and 45 hwy. What makes the Prius' gas mileage vary so much is the use of the battery. For different conditions, the synergy system adjust the output of the battery more or less. If you have a lead foot, the battery likely won't come on line that much, which kills your gas mileage in a Prius. If you drive steadily and use your brakes as much as possible, you maximize your gas mileage in a Prius. 80+ mph on the highway (like your commute) would likely yield low gas mileage in a Prius. With diesel, highway driving yields the best gas mileage, while city driving lowers gas mileage (like in a regular gas car).


With three people on board at 70 mph with A/C running in 85 degree weather, we get 56 mpg on the highway with our Prius. City average is 51-53 in the summer, 43-47 in the the winter. The vast majority of Prius owners on this site report similar numbers.
Sorry CJ, your knowledge of Hybrid Synergy Drive is obviously biased and wrong. Unless you own one, don't be broadcasting your version of "real world" mileage. The EPA ratings for the Prius are conservative - remember the old EPA rating was 60 in the city, which I've actually hit under perfect conditions. Using your brakes does not help with mileage - coasting to a stop and using your brakes as little as possible recharges the battery. If you lead foot it, both the gasoline engine and electric motor come into play. If you're easy on the pedal, electric only takes you up to 13 mph average, but you can coax it up to 30 on electric if you're really careful before the gasoline engine kicks on. You really don't have to baby the Prius - drive it like a normal car and you get about 50 mpg. The new Jetta TDI is EPA rated at 30 in the city - the EPA says the Prius gets 60 percent better city mileage than the Jetta TDI, and that's the only comparison that counts, except for fuel cost, which also favors Prius. Highway mileage between the two is closer, but Prius still comes out on top by about 10 percent there.


I wasn't trying to stir a controversy, or anything, Red. What I said wasn't biased. I went to the EPA website, where they let owners report their own mileage numbers. There are some highway numbers as low as 37 and some as high as 52. Because Toyota's hybrid system is so complex, no mileage number is written in stone. It depends on driving styles, and commutes. The synergy drive system doesn't react the same way in every circumstance and is very adaptive. That's why mileage numbers vary so much.


CJ, Thanks for the tip - I'll check out the EPA site. The Editors on this site did a Hybrid Mileage challenge recently and got eye-popping mileage with the Prius in heavy city traffic - I think on one stretch they reported 59 mpg.


City traffic yields the best mileage on a Prius. That's why, unlike most cars, the Prius's city rating is higher than it's highway. The Honda Civic hybrid is a better hybrid for highway commuters. The biggest difference between the Prius and Civic hybrid, is that the Prius uses a big battery to get high mileage numbers (which benefits in the city), and the civic uses a small gas engine (which benefits on highway). That's also why the civic's mpg numbers are more consistent and less varying than the Prius. Both are great cars, though, so most people just have to decide what they need: a city car or highway commuter.


Everyone keeps leaving out what transmission they are getting these great mpg figures from. The Prius is automatic obviously, but what about all the Jetta Diesels?


Anyone know how VW is meeting the 2008 emission standards? I think that is where you are going to find your drop in fuel mileage from the 2006 model Jetta. If they are using a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to trap soot in the exhaust and an active regen process to burn off the soot then that would explain the drop in mileage. I know first hand the Ford diesel pickups had a big drop in mileage this year with the addition of the DPF with active regeneration (people have reported on board computer showing mileage dropping to 5mpg during a regen when they normally get 13mpg). On top of that, at least in Fords case, the DPF will last 100,000 miles and a new one costs 2,000. I would really look into how VW is meeting the emission standards if you plan to buy one an keep it for over 100,000 miles.

Larry Kauffman

I just bought one on 8/15. Loyalty edition and the torque is really good. I traded in my '05 tdi with 158,000 miles. I hope this one is as good as the old one was. I am tracking my mileage and will share the results with anyone who wants to know. Right now I have placed about 185 miles on the first tank of diesel, and the guage says 3/4. We shall see.


Driving a turbo diesel 1.9l Passat (100hp, same engine as the '06 Jetta) in europe I "averaged" 60+ mpg including 80mph highway driving.

Driving an Audi A4 w/ 2.0 turbo diesel (140hp) I also averaged over 60mpg.

EPA "estimates" are just that, estimates, based now on newer formulas that still do not accurately reflect "real" driving, but also do not "falsely" indicate better than actual mileage like the previous system did. If people can get 60mpg in europe driving at their speeds with the same engine we can now get here in a 2009 Jetta, you should be albe to get more than 38mpg!




You got it backwards on the incentives... there is a tax credit available on the 2009 TDI. There's no incentive on the Prius or most other hybrids because they are expired already. As soon as the manufacturer sells 60,000 vehicles that qualify it is over. So the incentive on the Prius ended a long time ago. Even the incentive on the Ford hybrids are being phased out. The credit for the 2009 TDI is $1300 at the moment.

One thing that probably hurts the economy of the 09 a lot is the new emissions gear, especially the DPF.


I bought a 2010 Jetta TDI sport wagon and I am getting 38-42 mixed use. Freeway would be around 75mph. I love the mpg! I also received a $1300.00 tax credit, only Ford Fusion hybrid had a credit this high.


I am new here, and thinking of getting an 06 jetta tdi turbo,it is an automatic, does anyone know if the automatics have more problems than stick shift?

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