2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI or SE?

Should I purchase the 2010 Jetta TDI or SE?

Does anyone know if the TDI comes with an engine heater?

What type of price/discount off MSRP should I ask for?

Do yourself a BIG favor and test drive a Ford Fusion for half an hour. THEN do the math.

Where do you live that you think you need a heater ?

And where does he live that an aftermarket heater isn’t cheaper than a factory or dealer option?

The TDI does not come with an engine heater in most areas, as far as I know. OEM heaters are available however. I have a TDI without a heater and have had no issues with starting at well below freezing. It also does not have a problem warming the car, although in sub zero temps it takes a little longer to warm it up.

I prefer to pit one dealer against the other when it comes to buying a new car. MSRP is a totally meaningless number to me. The only number that means anything to me is the out the door number. When buying a new car I decide what car I want and then allow more than one dealer to make me an offer. Put them on the defensive. Remember if they don’t sell you a car, they loose that sale forever. If you don’t buy it from them, you just buy it elsewhere. You have the power.

I suggest you stop by the TDICLUB.com  They are the place for anything TDI.  Lots of great specialized VW knowledge there. 

Where do you live that you believe you may want an engine heater?  Do you have a garage and/or a place to plug that heater in?  Remember they are worthless if you can't plug them in.

The TDI’s are pretty popular and in low supply in comparison to the gas powered Jetta, so there’s a fair chance that there won’t be much, if any discount. The dealership knows that if you balk at the price, there will be 9 more people behind out who may not. You’ll do much better bargaining with the gas powered SE model, as there are more of them and there is more competition in the form of comparable cars from other manufactures.

Taking everything you say at face value, and money is no object…it’s the Jetta TDI. Friend had one for 200k miles and loved it. Brother had gas version and did not. The price you pay is dependent upon your research, location and negotiating skills. Best of luck to you.

You also might look at the Mazda 3, a direct competitor to the Jetta, pretty much identical in size, engine, etc. (except no diesel).

and cheaper to repair/maintain over the long haul should something go wrong


I did and didn’t particularly like it. The inside looks very cheap, especially the radio nobs and speed center. They were not trying to make a luxurious looking car and it is overpriced!

When you shell out a lot of money you would want the car to look nice too. The most nicely executed mid size car is now the Chevrolet Malibu. You should try it as well. The life cycle cost of the Vokswagen will be substantially higher than either the Fusion or the Malibu, or the Toyota Camry/Honda Accord set.

The quality “feel” of a Volkswagen is largely “illusionary”, like British cars, it feels great but does not last very long. Everything designed or made in Germany has a quality look and feel to it. Many VW buyers, including my neighbor, fall into this trap. They bough a Passat for his wife and a Honda for him. The Passat became a maintenance and repair nightmare while the Honda ran well for 10 years.

Fuel mileage is normally about 25% of the overll life cyle cost of owning a car.

The Accord is really a full size car now. It seems to me that the Civic should be inserted in the Honda midsize catagory.

Expected repairs are quite high for the Jetta TDI compared to the Camry or Malibu during the first 5 years; 70% higher than the Camry and over 50% more than the Malibu. But it’s expected maintenance is far less than the Toyota. The cost to repair and maintain either the Malibu or Jetta TDI is about 83% of the Camry! Now, this is the first 5 years of ownership, so costs will increase after the warranty runs out, though the percentages should remain about the same.

I think that the maintenance costs should be easy to figure out; just look at the owner’s manual and estimate the cost for work performed using the same labor rate. This would seem to indicate that diesels are not expensive to maintain.

Of the VW owners I’ve talked to, they agree that if you get to 150,000 miles it’s time to trade. Up to that time things ususallly are not falling off.

A turbo on the TDI needs a $2500 replacement shortly after 150,000 miles. All repairs after that, and there will be many, will be much more expensive, as you point out.