VW Says Jetta TDI Will Get $1,300 Tax Credit


The new 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI and Jetta SportWagen TDI will come with a $1,300 tax credit, according to a press release by dealer association Volkswagen of America. No, the Jetta TDI isn't a hybrid, but it does have a clean diesel engine, which makes it eligible for an Advanced Lean Burn Technology Motor Vehicle income tax credit.

The Jetta TDI meets the requirements for diesel engines in all 50 states (including notoriously clean California), and the healthy tax credit should help Volkswagen sell the car to a still diesel-averse American public.

There is still a quibble to be worked out over what kind of mileage the TDI gets in real-world driving. After the EPA rated the car at 29/40 mpg city/highway, Volkswagen released a statement saying a third-party certifier had found that under real-world conditions the TDI performed 24% better than that, with ratings of 38/44 mpg city/highway.

As soon as we get our hands on one, we'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, does a $1,300 tax credit make you more inclined to consider a clean-diesel Jetta as your next car? Check out full pricing of the 2009s here. The TDIs cost roughly $4,000-$5,000 more than base models but are similarly equipped to higher priced trim models. You can compare the 2009 Jettas here.



Umm, are they even allowed to quote any mileage figure other than the EPA numbers? Seems like Toyota wanted to do that with the Prius, but couldn't.

they can't put it on the sticker no. gotta stick with EPA

When EPA developed the current mileage testing method, there were no diesel models being sold in the USA. However, they did test one diesel car, and reported in the Final Technical Report that the results using their method were 18% below actual mileage. So it is documented that the method used for gasoline engines is not reliable for diesel engines.

If diesels catch on, EPA should develop a separate testing method for them, since they have different operating characteristics from gasoline engines. In the meantime, we're stuck with sticker figures that are highly inaccurate.

Previous TDI models generally got in the 40s in actual use, and it is likely this engine will get about the same. It should be fairly close to the Prius' actual mileage.


If you add 18 percent to the Jetta's 29mpg EPA rating, you get 34 mpg, and that's nowhere near what a Prius gets. In fact it's 41 percent less city mileage than a Prius. With the next generation Prius rumored to get 70 mpg, it's probably best that you leave that comparison out of any comments on the Jetta TDI.


I once owned a VW Jetta TDI and will say it was by far the worst car I have ever owned. Imagine door panels coming unglued while you turn the ignition for the seventh time hoping the car will start. I wouldn't touch a VW TDI with a ten foot pole. VW is poor quality.

VW poor quality? Europeans would disagree profusely, quality has always been the bye word VW. By comparison Ford has always been seen as a cheap and cheerful vehicle. The old adage you get what you pay for rings true.


Our test TDI has consistantly pulled 38-40 mpg during testing, (yes, we've been keeping track, thank you) if that tells you anything.

Also, the price on our fully loaded version runs 24,100 and some change equipped as the top of the line SEL.
Your statement, "The TDIs cost roughly $4,000-$5,000 more than base models." is very misleading considering you ignored what actually comes with that car.

Just my two cents.

You're right don. we didn't have complete details on the TDI before. Now it's all updated and is similarly equipped to higher trim levels. Thanks for pointing that out.


So looking at the comparison the base Diesel is EXACTLY the same spec as the gas SEL, but is actually CHEAPER than the gas version? That doesn't seem like a bad deal for me at all.

What I don't understand is why they don't mark the trim levels for gas and diesel in the same way so we can more easily see the differences.

The only major differences I saw were in the stereo and the wheel size. 16s instead of 17s between tdi and sel but I really find it hard to believe they're that close in price too!


Thanks Dave, much appreciated.
Mart, the options and standards do seem a bit confusing, don't they?
Same to us who work for them.
A word of note to all- Do NOT pay more than the window sticker for the new TDI.
Now, while paying sticker might seem like sacriledge to some of you guys, it's not going to make any VW salesguy rich, and in reality is no biggie. I can tell you this firsthand being a fleet/internet guy.

Last thing... If you have one on order, relax and have another cup of joe. It's going to take a while to get your car depending on your local dealer's allocation.


Don, I paid Invoice for my 06 TDI when I bought it back in 06. Is it possible for dealers to come down from MSRP? (and to keep with the thread...that $1300 Tax rebate should help...as long as dealers don't mark-up the vehicles.)


" Is it possible for dealers to come down from MSRP?"

Back in '06 when you bought your TDI, oil prices were reasonable (to a certain extent) and TDI's were sitting on the lots; very much an unwanted commodity. Now it's an entirely different story. This first year of production, I can't see any dealer discounting a TDI. In all honesty, that would be foolish on the dealer's part.
The good new? There's maybe $1400 total markup in these cars. Nobody will be going to Bermuda for a month long vacation from selling you a car.


Don't count your diesel chickens before they hatch. VW was supposed to have the new TDI on the lots six months ago, but didn't deliver. With the high price of diesel fuel, they'll have to discount them just to move them, and diesel sales are plummeting in Europe.


Thanks for the info. Guess I shouldn't have bothered with the twenty plus years of being in the car business to have a firm comprehension of what's going in in my chosen professional field.
Next time, I'll just ask you.


Here's more food for thought, regarding the fatal consequences of going diesel:



This is the 2nd reference i've read on here this week to diesel sales plummeting in Europe. Where are you getting this info??? Diesel sales are absolutely NOT plummetting in Europe!!! They are climbing and climbing and now outsell traditional gas engines...


And although this isn't definitive proof, this article seems to back me up in that Diesel sales are definately not struggling in the UK (and the EU in general)



i'll be looking for a diesel when i purchase my next vehicle. if vw is the only manufacturer offering them in a passenger car when that day comes, i'll be buying a jetta.


A VW diesel will ensure that you will become best friends with the service manager. I've had not one but two TDI's and will never ever go back. So many problems it'll makes your head spin and the dealers can't figure out how to fix half of them.


Dave, I have had nothing but good things to say about my 3 TDI's I have owned. I have had some common VW quality issues with my older Vw but nothing with the engine itself. Yes, I understand why you would feel this way. A few years ago I can remember being in the service department for small nickel and dime issues and as a college student begged the service manager for discount, so you can say I got to know the service manager as well, but I love how they drive and will probably replace within 3 yrs of service. As I remember VW recently has ranked pretty high in Initial Quality, but long term quality suffered in that study. I can't remember where I read that.


Hey Hybrit,

first of all, your article was swayed and one sided. pretty much no credibility.

second, lets keep in mind that your beloved hybrid need new battery packs every so often. these batteries are AWFUL for the environment, much worse than any NOx gas that previous diesels may have emitted. The new diesel tech from MB and VW will be much cleaner than before. plus, when you are replacing your hybrid batteries, my diesel will be in its prime.

Amuro Ray

Sorry to burst the diesel party here, but sthg DEFINITELY not making sense.
Q: What is the reason for people to buy diesel vehicle?
A: Fuel savings due to mileage.

But...for a new vehicle, u gotta pay premium for it (i.e. no "no-frill" diesel option for the Jetta), u gotta pay premium fuel price for it, and worst of all, you are looking for probably steep markup because of the "fuel savings" (and btw, OFFICIAL figure on the mileage is not too impressive, esp when compared to what Europeans usually got).

Make sense to buy one? No. Make sense to show off to others? Look like it.

(Same grunt apply to the Mini & Smart too! U want fuel saving, get an Aveo, Cobalt XFE, Fit, Versa, Yaris, etc, or a cheaper hybrid like the Civic.)


AV, the article only reports what professional University researchers and Cardiologists have reported, regarding the manner in which diesel emissions kill people. It's interesting how you somehow believe batteries are a threat while dismissing documented evidence on diesel emissions.



Just do some research on Sudbury Ontario, where all the nickel comes from to build those batteries. Then look at all the steps needed after the mining and smelting of the metal to build those batteries.

The raw material make a complete circumnavigation of the world to make it back to North America.


ineluctably being able to use veggie oil in lieu of petrol to fill your tank is the reason for my preference of diesel. see lovecraft.com for explanation.


I'm looking to buy a diesel car, but I'm holding off for the new diesel Mitsubishi Lancer. I liked driving a gasoline Lancer, so I hope the diesel version can top the mileage of the Jetta at a lower price. Does anyone know any specs for the upcoming diesel Lancer?

I haven't heard confirmation of a diesel Lancer. Where did you read this? Are you in the U.S. ?


Please don't make your arguments using articles written a year and a half ago by an obviously biased college reporter. People who ignored the article and bought a hybrid in 2007 are laughing now with the much higher gasoline prices. If hybrid sales stopped today, the Sudbury plant would continue to operate, but gasoline prices would be much higher. You should be thanking hybrid drivers for the millions of gallons of fuel saved and those environmental benefits, not to mention millions of dollars that haven't gone to our enemies.

It seems like many of the posts on this really concentrate on some fairly narrow views of the overall topic. Hybrid vs. Diesel, 20% higher fuel vs. 40% better mileage, etc. Let's open it back up a bit and look at this from a couple of vantage points: 1) automotive innovation and 2) resource conservation.

I'm an automobile fanatic. I appreciate the craftsmanship, beauty, performance, and overall experience. What a great time we live in when an industry in crisis can take a challenge such as fuel consumption and render a 6 speed manual transmission with 235 ft lbs of torque that gets better mileage 90% of the cars being purchased today. Doing that in an environmentally conscious market place is even better! How cool is that! Have you driven a 2009 Jetta TDI? They are amazing!!!

This argument about premiums and whether hybrid is better, etc miss the point. Give the driver power, safety (and acceleration is safety for the right driver), and efficiency at an affordable price point! Is it $2K more than the regular Jetta? Sure. Its also $28K less than the next available option from Mercedes. Is it 10% here or there better or worse than a hybrid? Who cares. . .compare it to the Suburbans, Maximas, even tiny SUVs that get sub 20 mpg and lets talk about progress. I want power and performance as well. The hybrids just don't do that for me.

Lets move on to conservation of energy. Buying a hybrid or diesel is the equivalent of getting on the Adkins diet. It works but it isn't a long term solution. The suburbanite driving 60 miles round trip to work because they can't think of life without a 5,000 square foot house hold and buying a hybrid or diesel to "Do right" for their commute is the same as eating bacon for a month and loosing weight. Conservation is about the right car, the right commute, car pooling, public transportation, housing choices, etc. Before we go off into novel territory, however, lets look at the hybrid and the American car makers because this is something that should be questioned.

I'm not even going to waste my time on hybrid SUVs. We all know that is like ordering a low fat latte with whipped cream on top. Let's focus on the hybrids that make sense and ask why the US auto makers are so hot on these vs. diesel.

How does Detroit make money? Financing. When you have a car with an expensive battery system that will wear out, you have the ultimate situation with a consumer when they bring in a 70K mile car for a batter related issue and you get to say, "It's going to be thousands of dollars, however, we can get you in a new car without an increased payment." In the world of cash flow, we call this an annuity. I'm not saying that hybrids are bad or even going down the path of battery polutants, etc. All American car makers have been in the European markets for decades, however. It is not that they don't have access to diesel technology. . .it is simply a business strategy to choose not to introduce it to the US. Toyota? After all, they have a full fledged Formula 1 team. . .there is nothing technological that they can't do! Hybrid is a choice for them and I do commend their leadership, quality, and strong marketing on the topic. (though hybrids aren't for me)

Germany has been committed to diesel technology since its invention. I'm simply impressed with the fact VW took a major challenge in the US (emissions standards) and delivered a great car. I was so impressed I made the decision to officially garage my '95 E34 BMW to get a daily driver that had pizzaz and made economic sense. I'm also very excited about my tax rebate that I'll be getting. Will I get 14 years out of it like I did my E34? Probably not but I will get enjoy my daily drives and know that I'm consuming less (65% less) than I was before.

Lets not be so harsh on the diesel. VW is making a huge step that will advance the automotive industry in the US and they aren't trying to pull a bait and switch on people who are truly trying to consume less. For me, I am conscious about conservation but I also am addicted to the joy of driving. I simply want to run through the gears, have fun, and stop paying so much at the pump!

Wish me luck, I pick up my black on black 6 speed manual TDI on Tuesday!

I love the Jetta TDI, originally that was the car that I wanted to buy, but just couldn't afford it at the time. So i got an 08 2L and have loved it to death. It is a great car and has had great gas mileage.

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App