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2007 VW Jetta Wolfsburg... or 2006 Toyota Sienna AWD?

This may seem to be a very random question, but it’s a very real choice for me. I’m graduating from college in the spring, and have been driving a very enjoyable 2007 VW Jetta Wolfsburg. My mom is ready to move beyond her minivan days, and wants to trade in her 2006 Toyota Sienna AWD for a Highlander.

As both cars are now worth roughly the same, I get to choose my ride for graduate school (I’m going to med school next year). Any thoughts about which will be the better long-term option?


-Fuel economy


-Winter driving

Oh and nearly mileage is identical and low (~20k) on both.

not sure on fuel economy, but the dependability of a Toyota is hard to beat, from what I’m told. However, if you’ve been by the book in maintaining your Jetta and your mom has been lackluster with her Toyota, it may be better to keep what you have.

Depending where you go to med school, you may also want to factor in whether the car is likely to be stolen. Many medical schools are in perfectly awful parts of big cities.

The Sienna is mighty big for a single person. Maybe you should keep the Jetta. You won’t have much time to drive anyway.

My wife has a 2006 Sienna and can vouch for it’s reliability. It’s comfortable, get decent gas mileage (~21) and the insurance is reasonable. That said, it would be unwieldy driving in an urban environment. On the other hand, it’s less likely to get stolen than the Jetta.

I believe the AWD Sienna comes with run-flat tires since the center differential takes up the space for the spare tire. The run-flats wear out quickly (~20k-25k miles) and are expensive to replace.

I suggest driving the Sienna for a week or two to see if you can tolerate it. In the long run it will probably be more reliable and less expensive to maintain. Given the choice though, I would choose the Jetta because it’s more enjoyable to drive.

Ed B.