VW Touts Jetta TDI's World-Record 58.52 MPG

Vwtdi

For the past few weeks, Volkswagen has been hyping a road trip. One couple, Helen and John Taylor, set off to cross the country in a new 2009 VW Jetta TDI and traveled across the lower 48 states in 20 days, covering 9,419 miles. Their diesel-powered Jetta returned an average of 58.82 mpg, which set a Guinness World Record (previously 51.58 mpg).

VW was a little miffed when the EPA rated its new TDI 30/41 mpg city/highway. Clearly the diesel engine is capable of more than that on the highway. One user on the EPA’s website rated their average mileage at 49 mpg in mostly highway driving. However, the Taylors have admitted that they employ added mileage-saving techniques, like watching their speed. We don’t know if that should be considered “real-world” testing.

While new EPA rules have brought mileage estimates much closer to reality for hybrids and gasoline engines, new diesels may have gotten the shaft. Recently, Popular Mechanics also conducted a road test and found the Jetta TDI to get about 32/45.4 mpg city/highway. The publication pitted it against a Toyota Prius, which scored lower on the highway. 

The truth about mileage probably rests somewhere in between. We’ll test a TDI sometime in the near future and will report our findings right here. If you have a new TDI please let us know what kind of mileage you're getting.

Comments 

Cj

Hopefully the information that the TDI (and diesels) in general get better mileage gets out, because if consumers only look at the mileage number on the window, they'd more likely opt for a regular Jetta.

Jorn

I used to have a TDI powered car 6 years ago when I lived in Europe, while I can't to the new TDI mileage I can say that my similar sized Seat with a VW TDI engine averaged ~ 47 MPG.

Needless to say that I have often found adds back here in the states kind of funny when they touted their “great mileage”…

Hybrit

I'm tired of the whining by VW and the diesel apologists who won't admit that those stinking belchmobiles are an inferior technology. After 100 years Diesel is still struggling to succeed in cars - it never has and never will.
The fuel is more expensive, it gels in cold weather and provides a great growing environment for algae, the cars are more expensive, maintenance is more expensive, and we don't need to take the fuel away from our professional truckers who need it most. I'm curious about this Guiness record - it certainly isn't a record for all cars because the documented world record for a stock Toyota Prius is over 100 mpg - the person who did it used a variety of gas saving driving techniques to go more than 1200 miles on a single tank.

Tony

Stay away from VWs, guys.
Your mileage gains will be well offset by repair costs.

Justin

I've put 70,000 miles on a 2006 Jetta TDI. Most trips we get mid 40's on the interstate, at 55 mph we get low-mid 50's and once we made a 10 mile trip and got 60 mpg on Scangauge. Town driving varies 30-45 mpg, depending on traffic of course. I almost always drive with mileage in mind, but after a while it becomes habit.

Very exciting to see the new TDI getting upper 50's on long trips, I would say thats at least 10% better than mine.

JM

Both Tony and Hybrit are perfect examples of stereotypes at work.

Hybrit-
"the cars are more expensive, maintenance is more expensive". that sounds 100% like a hybrid to me. not to mention the fact that nickle hallide battery that "helps" with fuel economy needs to be replaced every 10 years or 100,000 miles. a diesel engine lasts for decades.

Tony-
Have you even HAD a VW? If you did, you would know that if you acctually maintained the car, i.e oil changes on time, etc, then you would know that they are just as problem free as any other make. a car that can be neglected and still runs ok is not a reliable one.

M. Miller

I currently own a new CLEAN diesel and I must say I get just as good if not better MGP's than my 06 TDI.  Those that say they are "stinking belchmobiles" should definitely do their research. There is a reason why they call it a "clean diesel." Many Advancements have been made to make them cleaner. I have owned many new Vw's and must say I concur that VW has had pretty good Initial Quality - JD Power Assoc. - Long term could be a little skeptical however - but if the resale stays up like previous generations, you can also upgrade after a few years with minimal depreciation - you have to have the money though to put up for a new one.

Hybrit

JM, The Prius and Civic Hybrid top the lists of reliable cars - there's not a diesel on that list. As for the hybrid batteries, they're designed to last the life of the car and in Toyota's case are warranteed for 100,000 miles, as is the rest of the Hybrid Synergy Drive. The only diesel car I would ever drive would have to run on locally produced biodiesel fuel. But all the new "clean diesels" only allow a 5 percent biodiesel content or you void the warranty. Another negative is the environmental impact of diesel cars with their fine particulate soot emissions. A recent report by a University in Scotland and noted cardiologists confirmed that the cause of death for 9,000 people in Great Britain in a single year was diesel particulate pollution so fine that it got into the victims' lungs and clogged up arteries. Europe is now paying the price of having 40 percent diesel cars - I hope the USA doesn't repeat that mistake.

Douglas

I have been driving a 2009 Jetta TDI for almost a month now and the last combined city/highway mileage recorded was 39.2 mpg. This is the second Jetta diesel I have owned. When you compare fuel costs in Texas, diesel is approximately $.50 more per gallon than regular gasoline, but you are getting 30-40% better mileage from each gallon.

larry why

JM, apparently you are speaking from a German engineering point of view. I had a 1998 Infiniti I bought with 28K miles in January 2000. I sold it in July 2007 with 128K miles. I changed the oil once - that's right once. It never burned a drop and never failed to run or get me where I was going. Of course it's engine was rated as one of the top 10 engines in 2000 by car and driver, but I can tell you when it comes to foreign cars and Japan, nobody does it better as far as reliability.

50pascals

You know, I really feel sorry for people who are so blinded by an ideology that they lose the ability to reason.

I am speaking specifically to the anti-diesel, Prius loving hybrid loving folks. Don't get me wrong, those are great cars, but please just admit they are not the best available weapon for getting great mileage.

Before I comment further I'd like to calm you all down and state that I do not own any diesel cars. I do have a diesel motorhome. I buy cheap cars at auction, I don't care about mileage.

OK, first lets get real here. Lung Cancer? Come on. Stretching a bit aren’t we? Lung cancer. Probably from a smoker no less. If you want to be serious about lung cancer ban smoking. If we were sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year to the Saudi’s for their cigarettes would you want to ban smoking? Focus your energy on radon, smoking, and removing carpets and chemicals from your house to prevent lung cancer.

Second “the top of the list” type arguments. I have read several of these lists and usually in the fine print, or after actually making a phone call (as opposed to reading everything in my life as fact) you will discover that many of these “lists” do not include diesel powered vehicles! The EPA listing of the most fuel efficient cars most notably.

Third – soot. Please do a google search for “Diesel particulate Filter.”

Fourth – Biodiesel. I am a huge fan of biodisel. In fact I am investing in a company that develops it, as well as switching our business to bio-based oils and lubricants. But Biodiesel is in it’s infancy. The automakers aren’t “anti-biodiesel” they just don’t want to warranty their $10,000 engine when you ruin it with crap that some guy made in his garage. You will see the industry shift to biodisel, but give it some time. And also, all the biodiesel we could ever hope to make is a fart in the wind compared to the amount we currently buy from the Saudi’s.

Fifth – Old Technology? I’ll take it. The simpler the better. “New” doesn’t mean “improved.”

Sixth – Durability. I personally have owned dozens of vehicles in my life. I generally abuse and neglect them. The two that have cost me the least to own? Dodge Ram 360 gas 256,000 miles. And my wife’s Passat with 135k. My 2001 Ford explorer cost me more than many other vehicles combined.

And lastly. Have you ever seen a crazy, homeless person in a city? They walk around and ramble on about weird bizarre stuff. They never make any sense. And Generally, no one pays any attention to them. Start giving them billions of dollars a year, and suddenly they have a lot of friends, and their crazy starts to sound good to the people that are getting the billions of dollars a year. This is Al-Queada.

The less money we send them the better.

I don’t care what a vehicle runs on. If it means spending more here, and sending less there, then it is right for you and me.

All arguments to the contrary are just blind ideology or foolish bravado. But stupid nonetheless.

Some of the anti-diesel arguments above are literally the dumbest reasons I have ever heard to fund terrorism.

The TDI VW's are very nice reliable cars. 'Nuff said.

M. Miller

What happened to this thread? This is supposed to be about what kind of MPG New Diesel owners are getting. Face it Prius owners, there's a new kid on the block delivering close to the same if not a better package (depending on your desires) and you better get used to it. Acura's/Honda's new diesel is right around the corner - now that will be interesting!

Like I said above, I am getting pretty good MPG's like my 06 provided with more power! My last tank averaged 42 Mpg's and I feel I have a pretty heavy foot with a fairly equal mix of driving. I don't know if I could ever average more than that, but if I actually drove(the speed limit) 65 MPH on the highway, I bet I could give the prius a run for it's money!! :)

J

Really?
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveonaCar/Get50MpgInYourOwnCar.aspx

Read that then whine all you want VW.
Even a normal Accord can get above 50 given the right driver.

My Civic got 45mpg in 100% City driving for once too.

50pascals

Hyper-miling bears no resemblance to the real world.

DaveInLBC

Wow, people really get defensive! I LOVE how people love to pick on the Prius; that in itself goes to say how much of a huge impact it has made in the industry. I drive a Prius; I bought my first Prius in 2005 after actually adding up how much I was spending on gas with my "compact" SUV and averaging 30k miles per year. Drove that Prius 39k miles in 1.5 years- never a single problem. Bought my 2006 Prius because the tax credit increased and I could get in a new one for no change in debt, so I did; plus it had more fun features. Have had it 2 years and have put 50k miles, no problems. Maint costs are lower because there isn't much to change. In CA the battery is warrantied to 150,00 miles- if I actually kept a car that long I wouldn't think twice about paying $3500 for a new battery IF it needed to be replaced. The Prius is a great car, it really is roomy, and being a hatchback, you can fit so much! Try that in a Jetta TDI. People are amazed when they see how much stuff fits in a Prius; it has a bad wrap for being "small" or slow; it isn't. Sure it doesn't have a Hemi or any of that hillbilly crap, but it gets along quite well. I have owned over 20 cars in almost 10 years; I drive the heck outta my cars and this by far has been the best car when it comes to reliability compared to Ford's, GM, Nissan, or VW's that I have owned; I owned MANY Ford's and they were great cars- I was surprised. I heard so many negative things, but never had an unpleasant experience- and their service dept was always wonderful. VW has a horrible reputation; based on personal and my friend's experiences with issues, I would never trust one again (unless an old beetle from the 70's). Do you know that you have to refill the additive for the VW "clean" diesel? How much will dealers charge? How many "do it yourselfers" will refill it? For me, the Prius wins (and I did go look at the new VW) based on versatility and reliability. I love folding down my seats and throwing my bike in the back. I bought the Prius purely to save money; what I got was a vehicle that I LOVE!

Jack

I have previously owned two VW TDI's and liked them for the most part that was until I bought a Honda Accord. After owning the Accord for several years I understood what reliability was all about. I am now into my third year of Prius ownership and simply love it. High mileage coupled with Japanese reliability simply cannot be beat. No more VW's for me.

J

50pascals,

Oh really? Then please list all the reason why I got that mileage while not hypermiling?

Can you consistently and repeatedly achieve this 45 mpg in 100% city driving figure? If not then it is an aberration and has no basis. And go poll the public to see how many can eek out 50 mpg in a midsize sedan...slim to none.

Tony

JM,

you're funny guy. VWs are riddled with problems and their sales shrink all the time. VW total sales are less then Accord alone. People normally don't go back to VW dealer. As an example, Volvo used to have high % of returning customers. But not anymore, since their quality dropped much. It takes 20 years to realize. Many VW made in Mexico. I would not buy a Honda if it was made in Mexico. But even German made VW are questionable quality.
In Europe VW is a low grade brand. Sort of like Opel. It is a mass market. Korean brands have better quality then VWs, hand down.
JM, you can say anything you want. May be you can also fix a "Check Engine" light problem that not even dealer can fix for last 10 years?

Mart

"In Europe VW is a low grade brand. "

Erm, no, actually. VW is the premium mainstream brand - the "aspirational" make that owners of Fords, Opels, Renaults etc all want. It's why VW can charge much more for the Golf than the Astra and Focus and STILL be the best selling car in Europe.

VW there has a reputation for quality and reliability that simply doesn't exist here in the US. I have no idea why. Maybe the european built VWs are much better, or maybe Europeans have lower expectations of reliability than US consumers. The avergae mileage driven per year is certainly less there than here. Maybe that is a factor. People there are also much more brand-snobs than people here, hard as it may be to believe. It's why the BMW 3-series outsells the Ford Mondeo there. Europeans would rather drive a poverty spec 318i than a nicely equipped Mondeo, simply due to the badge.

Anyway, I'm leaving the point hugely. VWs are seen as upscale - somewhere around Volvo and Saab - in Europe.

I think their Diesels are lovely, and if I were in the market for a car i'd consider one. I rented a Rabbit recently and it was one of the nicest cars I'd driven in a long time.

Tony

Mart,
I know that VW sell well in Europe. But not because they are best. You said this yourself. This is a mainstream. They would buy BMW 318 with cloth but they don't have money for it. Taxes are high. So, in Europe they often buy a car that has a tax break. For example, in Russia, Camry made in Russia costs less then one brought from Japan. In Denmark there is 100% tax on car. So people buy Fiats. etc.

Here is the list, and look at those cars. Most are small miniature cars.

Sales:
Volkswagen … 19.7 … 3,150,933 … -1.1 … (Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Seat)
PSA … 12.8 … 2,050,708 … +0.6 … (Peugeot, Citroen)
Ford … 10.5 … 1,667,915 … +1.7 … (Ford, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar)
GM … 10.2 … 1,635,040 … +1.6 … (Opel/Vauxhall, Chevrolet, Saab)
Renault … 8.7 … 1,380,952 … -4.4 … (Renault, Dacia)
Fiat … 7.8 … 1,249,092 … +7.1 … (Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia)
Toyota … 5.8 … 929,585 … +2.5 … (Toyota, Lexus)
BMW … 5.3 … 848,080 … +6.7 … (BMW, Mini)
Daimler … 5.2 … 826,150 … -0.2 … (Mercedes, Smart)
Honda … 2.0 … 313,898 … +12.0
Nissan … 1.9 … 310,698 … -5.6
Hyundai … 1.9 … 308,687 … -5.4
Suzuki … 1.8 … 287,793 … +9.3
Kia … 1.6 … 252,590 … +5.0
Mazda … 1.5 … 240,354 … -6.0


Top 10 Best Selling Cars

1st: Peugeot 207 (437,505, +105.5%)
2nd: Volkswagen Golf (435,055, +4.5%)
3rd: Ford Focus (406,557, -7.5%)
4th: Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (402,173, +41.7%)
5th: Opel/Vauxhall Astra (402,044, -7.9%)
6th: Renault Clio (382,041, -11.5%)
7th: Fiat Punto (377,989, -5.9%)
8th: Ford Fiesta (300,566, +0.6%)
9th: Volkswagen Passat (300,566, -9.4%)
10th: BMW 3 Series (295,312, +2%)

But when it comes to most reliable cars they are:
1. Honda Accord
2. Subaru Forrester
3. Mazda MX-5
4. Mitsubishi Carisma
5. Toyota Yaris
6. Honda Civic
7. Nissan Almera
8. Honda CR-V
9. Toyota RAV4
10. Nissan Micra

Actually, Japanese are 16 most reliable out of top 20

Mart

I understand. I am British and grew up there.

I didn't mean to say VWs weren't mainstream. What I meant was that they aren't seen as low grade. They are perceived as much more desirable than any Toyota or Honda irrespective of their ACTUAL reliability.

Us Europeans are very snobby about our cars and worry more about what our neighbours will think than almost anything else! heh! It's why nobody buys snoozemobiles from the Japanese makes very much.

Tony

Mart,
in US it used to be same situation with Ford Taurus. No matter how unreliable the car was it was a bestseller. Of course, took years to realize that car was junk. But it looked like revolution in the car making. Spacious, comfortable, FWD (good on snow), powerfull and cheap.
VWs of course have positive sides. The design and ergonomics are very good. But then there is this "Check engine", which VW engineers can't get to work for over 10 years. Just as Ford engineers can't make reliable cruise control switch over similar perioud of time.
But one area where VWs are still suck is they don't feel as tight after 10 years. They feel like they falling apart. While Hondas feel as good as new.

50pascals

J - I really don't care what mileage you get. The link went to some article about a competition where someone got 100+ mpg.

THIS IS NOT REAL WORLD DRIVING!

I can drive my wife's Passat so that it says I am getting 80 mpg. Unfortunately I never break 40 mph. And REAL slow uphill.

The TDI owners I deal with are not hypermilers at all, and they all average above 40.

Also, DaveinLBC - refilling the additive is as difficult as adding windshield washer fluid. Can you handle that?

Too bad the Prius doesn't have a little diesel, it would get better mileage too!

DaveInLBC

No doubt European VW's sell better; they are built better. We are debating here in the states, no? Take an American Jetta (German but built in Mx) vs an "American" Audi A4 (Jetta in drag built in Germany) and look at their reliability ratings. The Audi A4 holds together much better.

50 pascals- How many people even change their windshield washer fluid? Most people rely on someone else (a mechanic or husband or?). All I am saying is if someone takes their TDI for service to a shop that doesn't know to change or refill this fluid, will it get done? Will shops that don't have ethics refill it when they know they should? I know someone at Jiffy Lube that tells me all the horror stories of his manager pushing him to charge for services they don't do. So w/o this fluid, it isn't CLEAN; what's the point?

I love the commercial for the new VW van that talks about German engineering; WHAT GERMAN ENGINEERING? It is a Chrysler van with VW badges LOL.

In ALL the diesel threads, its ALWAYS the diesel haters that start the war between hybrids and diesels. Telling.

just me

We've had a 1997 Passat TDI my son total the car, miss that car, extremely reliable had about 350K on the same engine and trany, economical and fan to drive. Just a couple of days ago my wife took delivery of her new Jetta TDI. At least for now we're gonna have to forget about economy I'm guessing VW put monster horses in that engine it's amazingly fast, it's like you die and went to heaven. By the way ours is a 6 speed manual, we test drove both automatic and manual. Manual win's hands down. If you know how to drive manual should go for it assuming you can locate one.

just me

Hybrit there's no doubt in my mind you're the perfect candidate for hybrid. stay away from the TDI. TDI's are made for real drivers those who drool over driving. Toyota and Honda will appreciate your support.

Then

People who enjoy driving definitely don't buy diesels as it defeats the purpose (sloooow, smelly, hard to start, etc). VW is on the diesel bandwagon because they lack the smarts, skill level, and technology to build a quality hybrid. They should stick with rebadging minivans and building cars in Mexico.

50pascals

Adrock - Funny you should say that. I copied 95% of my reply above from another discussion thread. All the hater arguments were identical. As if they all got the same memo........

Obviously those folks calling TDI's slow have never driven one.

Hybrit

I think diesel is great for over the road trucks and heavy duty pickups - rigs that need big torque to get the job done. I see no advantage to diesel powered cars- the engines are more expensive to build, are heavier, noisier and harder to start. The efficiency advantage of a diesel engine over gasoline is more than erased by up front costs, maintenance and the higher cost of fuel. Vastly improved gasoline cars and the advent of Hybrids make Diesel cars an unnecessary option. Don't call me a diesel hater, call me one of the 94 percent of Americans recently polled who said they don't see diesel cars as a viable option for their next vehicle.

J

50pascals,

You can't do it, does not mean no one can do it.

Please do factor in the price for diesel.

The mileage is just not offsetting any "savings".

50pascals

J - I don't care what the upfront costs are, or whether or not there is economic justification. I want cars that burn fewer gallons of fuel - PERIOD. The equation is simple. Less fuel burned = less money to terrorists.

Hybrid owners (who generally don't know squat about cars) all like to attack the TDI and diesels. For no reason other than to defend their shallow egos.

A TDI burns fewer gallons per mile than a hybrid - PERIOD.

You know the really funny part of this is that I have a buddy working on fuel cells, and another one developing biodiesel, and yet another photojournalist friend that covers the auto industry. This TDI vs. hybrid thing is a known fact, openly discussed - if you allow yourself to hear it.

Paul

Ive had my 2009 Jetta TDI Sportwagen now for a couple months. Each tank I go through the mileage gets better. Car has about 3K miles on it now and last tank was average 37.5 mpg combined city and highway. Mind you, I live in Southern California so when Im on the freeway there is ALOT of stop n go so most of those miles should be considered city miles. On one 35 mile trip early in the morning with no traffic on the freeway I hit 45.5 mpg average on the computer and it was still climbing but I had reached my destination so I stopped. That is at 60-65mph. Love the car, its awesome drives great, looks slick and the low end power is something Prius owners can only dream about.

DaveInLBC

My first car was a 1984 Mercury Lynx diesel. It was a great car. NOt anything like the new VW diesel, but still, I have a soft spot in my heart for it. That lil thing ran forever and got great fuel economy (even though I now know it was killing mother earth). I love the comment above about diesels using "less fuel period= less $ to terrorists". So you are ok with the concept of supporting terrorists because it is conventional and convenient for you; just as long as you don't give them an excessive" amount (excessive would be how much?)? I love MY hybrid- not a "hybrid is the best and only answer" type of Prius driver; just love my car and it works the best for me. When something better comes along, it will be in my garage.

very interesting to see all the comments about the TDI, if you have driven one you would know it does not even seem like you are driving a diesel engine. plenty of power, no smell and no noise. you would swear you are driving a gasoline engine... don't forget Audi is winning most of the races with a TDI...

Justin

This thread is another fantastic example of how powerful the marketing has been for hybrid technology. Owners and enthusiasts of hybrids are so consumed that they know virtually nothing about any other car except for what that feeling in the pit of their stomach tells them.
All these comments about TDIs being slow, smelly, sooty, or bad to start in the cold are remnants of the 1980s. Why talk about what diesels were like 20 years ago? Why don't we talk about what hybrids were like 20 years ago?

My favourite comment is this one:
DaveinLBC:
"The Prius is a great car, it really is roomy, and being a hatchback, you can fit so much! Try that in a Jetta TDI. People are amazed when they see how much stuff fits in a Prius; it has a bad wrap for being "small" or slow; it isn't."

Try doing what in the Jetta? Even the sedan has 16 cu. ft. of cargo room, the Prius only has 14.4! But to be fair, the Prius should be compared to the Jetta Sportwagen TDI (since they both have liftgates) which sports 32.8 cu. ft. of cargo room! (way more than DOUBLE!)

Comon man, stick to topics you know something about. It's obvious that none of the anti-diesel crowd in this thread has actually driven a clean diesel (based on their criticisms), but knowing a simple stat like cargo volume before actually commenting on cargo volume would do wonders for your argument's credibility.

D Hooter

I've had my 2009 Jetta TDI Sportwagen since mid-August 2008. I'm at almost 3,000 miles and have gone through about 6 tanks. I calculate my mileage at each fillup, in addition to watching the live mpg gauge on the display. All tanks have been between 34 and 37 mpg. I live in the high mountains of Colorado. Nearly all of my driving is highway, although I go up and over passes a lot. I accelerate moderately (except passing) and try to drive for good mileage.

Even though this is pretty good compared to most of the rest on the world's fleet (and my last Subaru, a turbo Outback that clocked in around 22mpg), I am disappointed. I expected mid-40's minimum, and over 50 on good days. I just got back from the dealer where they went over everything and pronounced the car functioning perfectly. They continue to say that the engine needs to break in, and by 5K or so I'll be in the 40's. If it's trending upward, it's going slowly.

My wife also has a TDI, the 2003 Jetta Wagon. She gets in the high 40's most of the time. I expected the newest TDI to do even better, and so far, it's coming up short. Anybody else?

Other than the mileage on my new TDI, I will say that it is an outstanding vehicle. It drives very well, is comfortable, roomy, killer audio, and the skyroof is impressive. A great German engineered car for $25K.

Dave

Mark

I have owned my 2009 VW TDI automatic for 2 weeks now and love the car. My daily commute is 38 miles each way on country roads. I average about 35 mph with a lot of stops and starts. I averaged 37 mpg on the first tank. (When I drive my wife's 98 Jetta TDI 5spd, I average 42 mpg on a tank of diesel on the same trip.) My next tank averaged 39 mpg with two trips on the highway. So far this week I have had three trips on 95 from Baltimore to Bel Air and the cars computer is indicating 47mpg with the car on cruise control on 68.

This car is much more fun then my 95 Honda Accord EX which only average 25mpg for the past 200,000 miles.

Hybrit

Consumer Reports only managed to achieve 23 miles per gallon in the city with the 2009 Jetta TDI. Consumer Reports is not recommending the Jetta TDI.

Hybrit

Consumer Reports reports that the 2009 Jetta TDI delivers 23 mpg in the city. The magazine is not recommending the Jetta TDI.

DodgeFan

Some would argue the van was designed under Damilars watch. Just kidding. But the minivan has always been one of Chrysler's most reliable products.

justin

put 500,000 miles on your hybrid and get back to me

Hybrit

Having to spend 500,000 miles in a cramped Jetta diesel is its own punishment, so I can't criticize anyone who has endured that. Just the same the original Priuses put into service as taxis in Canada have racked up those kinds of miles without battery replacement. Toyota has bench tested the Prius battery pack to 300,000 miles and it remains reliable. Toyota gasoline engines, and the engines of many other brands can easily last 300,000 miles or more. That's why diesel cars represent a backward technology with unneccesary added expenses. Tony's post above and the other one warning people off VWs are right on the money.

Hybrit

Justin, just one more note: The 2010 Prius is rated at 51 mpg in the city - the diesel Jetta is rated at 29 in the city. Get back to me when the price of diesel fuel is no longer more expensive than gasoline and when the diesel VWs can match the Prius for economy.
I think it will be a long wait.

Hybrit,

Apparently not that long a wait, as diesel prices seem to now be handily under the price of regular gas again after the big run-up in gas prices last year.

And as someone who owned a Beetle TDI for 8 years, it did seem to take a break-in period, about 10K miles for me, before the economy hit its stride.

My dad and I did a trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix Arizona and back in 2005, doing 80mph with the A/C on about 50% of the time on one tank of fuel plus one gallon (I stopped in Riverside on the way back for one gallon as insurance). Miles divided by gallons used came to 49.75mpg total trip. Over 750 miles on 15.5 gal of fuel.

Hybrit

Adam, Did you say "owned" a diesel? There's lots of former diesel drivers - why don't you drive one now? Maybe you saw the error in your ways and got rid of it. As soon as the economy rebounds diesel fuel prices will zoom as demand from truckers rises, so don't count on cheap diesel fuel. And then there's the matter of the Jetta having to improve its city mileage by 23 mpg to better the new Prius. That just isn't going to happen. FYI, my last tank of gas in my Prius lasted 2 weeks. It took 7.8 gallons to to go 430 miles. That wasn't straight highway driving, it was every kind of driving in all conditions.

Josh

This is hillarious.

Yes, hybrid technology is fantastic. The Prius is the cornerstone of Toyota's technology.

Unfortunately, Toyota has lost its reputation with the sticking gas pedals. And let's face it, the Prius is not the car it used to be since it's problems have been widespread by the media.

I am not interested in Toyota's sticky throttle or shoddy engineered Prius. Yes, the Prius was great-now unfortunately, its just not the car it used to be.

You can not in any way compare a Prius to the Jetta diesel. The Jetta diesel is a driver's car-its incredibly solid, quick, full of torque (obviously), and its quality German engineering.

The Prius feels like a lightweight reincarnation of the Escort only with a modern look and a cool interior. Crappy brakes, etc. The car gets blown around in high winds for cryin out loud.

I will not knock Honda. Honda is a dam good car.

There is no way in hell anyone will get the driving experience out of a Honda or a Toyota.

RIP to all of those who have been killed by Toyota's malfunctions.

Zack

Josh, all you have to do is google VW diesel problems and you'll find more articles about shoddy quality than you care to read. I saw an old review of the 2003 VW Jetta Diesel by Warren Brown which touted how its advanced technology would be a game changer with lower emissions, better reliability and a bunch of other crapola. It concluded that the Jetta Diesel was extremely slow, taking a full 13 seconds to hit 60 mph, but still worth it because it heralded a new era of diesel cars. Well VW ended up discontinuing that car and now they're back with the next version of the same junk, touting 58 mpg on a course that had no stoplights, city driving or stop and go conditions. Consumer reports managed only 23 mpg in town in one test of it's TDI, and in the most recent test got an average of 33, including highway driving. In other words there's no comparison between the Jetta TDI and the Prius, which gets an honest 50 mpg average. To top it off, the Prius is classified as a midsize car and the Jetta is a compact.

Magnet

Unlike the majority of posters here I actually OWNED a VDub TDI (2004) and would only recommend it to my worst enemy. Categorizing the car as unreliable is a compliment. The only thing worse than the car is the dealership network which is nothing short of atrocious. One shouldn't have to go to five dealers to get a engine check light properly addressed.
My wife has had a Prius for two years now and I've driven it enough to highly recommend it to anyone who wants great gas mileage and reliability.

Matt

I live in the Washington DC area and do a daily commute that varies from 80 to 100 miles a day. I drive mostly highway, but I'm often stuck in rush hour which means stop and go, and extended lenghts of 15-40 miles an hour. The last time I made a concerted effort to record my real-world mileage was on a road trip to Philadelphia. I remember it being cool enough to keep the windows closed and not use too much A/C. I was undoubtedly driving fast, probably between 75 and 90 (Hey, I live with some of the worst traffic in the nation. When I get a clear open highway in front of me I take advantage of it, k?) Back then I remember it being around 42 mpg. would have done better at 55 mph I'm sure.

Recently I made a long road trip that was 20 hours round trip, plus my daily commutting over about 5 tanks of gas. I have a photograph of the dashboard thermometer reading 109 so yes, my AC is cranking, and when I'm first starting off I have every window and the sunroof open to evacuate the boiling air. With those daily conditions, including gunning it when I can, and generally driving like crap in crappy DC traffic, I'm averaging a hair over 39 mpg according to the software I use to measure it (aCar for Android). That's a couple weeks of driving mind you, including a very long road trip.

The Jetta gets great mileage. Is it as good as a hybrid in the city running on a battery ? Who knows, who cares. If you want a hybrid, get a hybrid. I don't know anyone who bought one for the mileage, they bought them for the "cool" (yes, we now have smug rolling into DC each morning).

I bought my Diesel for the mileage and reliability. 73k miles, many of which were put in over the last couple years, without a single problem. I say again - WITHOUT A SINGLE PROBLEM. I've replaced 2 tail-light bulbs. I have my oil changed every 10k miles. Yes, it's special oil, yes it's exensive, but it's only 2 or 3 times year

I do some routine PMCs of it before road trips,removing any junk in the trunk, checking tyre pressure, etc.

Diesel is not that expensive. Around here it's a hair less than premium fuel. I'm getting anywhere from 50 to 100 percent more economy from it though. When I bought it, diesel was 10 cents cheaper than the cheapest gas.

You can run bio in a diesel. The educated gentleman who made the point about manufacturers not risking an engine warranty on home-made fuel is absolutely correct; they only "allow" b5 as a risk management approach.

You can also run used vegetable oil in them. Diesels are remarkably strong, tolerant engines that have considerably better reputations for strength than gas engines, but that's just the engine not the vehicle.

I'm quite happy with the mileage i get from my VW. I'm sure if I were driving pure highway without driving quickly and without using the AC I'd do better. For the tank during the first leg of the 20 hour roadtrip I got over 40 mpg and am quite pleased with that. 50 would be great, but even with the existing mileage my passenger was still shocked on how far we got on a single fill up.

Rick Cato

I have gotten almost 55 mpg on several recent trips in our 2011 Jetta TDI. When new it still bested the EPA 42 mpg. Also it does just fine on biodiesel. All this and no $6000 dollar battery pack to replace, that often occupies most of the trunk space, after as few as 1100 road trips is why the brainwashed hybrid folks are going nuts.

Kevin

Just purchased a 2012 Jetta TDI. On my first tank of gas I have averaged 45mpg driving just like I did in my last car.

trainer

I would never go near a filthy diesel car, especially a slow vw tdi. Im going to look at a clean hybrid for my next car. Vw owners dont take it the wrong way when i pass you. I just dont want to put up with your stinking emissions.

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