Thoughts on the VW Jetta TDI?

My girlfriend is in the market for a new car after graduation. She currently drives a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder and wants a much more fuel efficient vehicle. So we first looked at hybrids (Prius, Civic, Camry, Altima) to no avail.

Today we took a look at the local VW dealership and she fell in love with the Jetta. She drives to and from school/work daily in mixed driving conditions and drives to her hometown to visit family (200+ mi) about once a month.Is clean diesel the way to go or should she consider the standard gas?

Also, would turning the TDI into a grease burning vehicle void the warranty?

If she likes the Jetta, and she can afford the TDI, get it and don’t look back.

Using waste vegetable oil for fuel will likely be a problem in that car. Biodiesel will not, and it should be just fine for the warranty. Ask your dealer, of course.

TDIs are OK, but she may pay a lot more for it. As a brand new, highly hyped car, the demand is going to be huge, dealers often ask premiums for such cars. Given the high cost of diesel, it’s not an obvious money saver. As for making it a grease burner, ask the dealer, but I wouldn’t think of it if it were mine.

The biggest problem may be finding one. They are in short supply.

I have a TDI and love it. Since that is a new technology engine, I don’t know what the warranty rules are, but I suspect that anything over 5 or 10% bio will not be approved. Check the owner’s manual for the answer to that one. Personally I would tend to shy away from bio, unless it is coming from one of the major oil companies as the quality does not seem to be consistent.

I was reading this post with great interest since I have always wanted a TDI. (I’ve always been obsessed with mpgs regardless of the price of gasoline). I don’t and won’t buy new cars, but I do occasionally see used ones for sale.

But I’ve never gone for one because what I’ve heard is that they (Jettas, Golfs, Passats - whatever) tend to have lots of reliability problems, are very expensive to fix, and that VW doesn’t seem to care very much about the problems consumers have.

My knowledge of it is less than systematic, but to me backed up by the fact that it seems that VW still does 3yr/36K as their standard warranty. In an age when the more common moves seem to be toward longer warranties, I’m thinking that if they don’t even have confidence in their engineering, then why should I?

Anyway…I’d love to hear more about the TDIs and experience with/concerns about reliability & overall costs of ownership.

It is apparently true that VW’s tend to have more problems than other cars. The question is how much more. If the best car has 10 repairs in a given time/miles and the worse has 12, then there really is not a great difference and any individual car could be far more or less. On the other hand if the best car has 10 and the worse has 200 then there is a really big difference.

I can remember when the difference was apparently much higher than today. Overall the differences are not (IMO) not that great. I generally take my own advice and I have a 2002 TDI. I have had two problems, the first was a window that did not want to work (fixed by dealer with a little spray dry lube a week after I bought it and a sticking anti-shutter valve, that has hit me twice in 75,000 miles and takes about 30 seconds to fix with no tools. In short Yea, I would buy again.

I don’t know why people here who own TDIs are afraid to tell you about and Perhaps they are not fully informed. You can get lots of knowhow at those sites about VW TDIs.

PS, Mr. Meehan, if he is the same Joe as on, for one, posts on I don’t know why he is sandbagging on this.

We have a 2002 Jetta TDI, and love it. It has not been problem free though (but ALL issues were warranty and handled with no hassle). The car now has over 80K miles on it and still runs strong. There are no rattles or squeaks, and the handling is great. In fact, we have had a good enough experience with the car that we recently purchased a Passat, and have passed the Jetta on to our daughter. I think what sold us on the Jetta in the first place is that it seems to be designed for taller drivers than other cars (I’m 6’2" which isn’t real tall, but you’d be amazed at how difficult it was to find a car that fit me properly). We also liked the telescoping steering wheel which wasn’t available on any other brand (at the time).

The key with the VW is to keep up-to-date on the maintenance, and use only the approved fluids.

I am the same Joe, but the question can be answered easily with out going to another web site, just reading the manual will do it. Yes the TDICLUB is the place for the most complete and authoritative information on Diesel VWs, it just was not needed for this question.

I have a 2007 Jetta Wolfberg with 51k in lessthan 2 years & have had ZERO problems. I have the 5 cylinder 150hp motor… lots of torque, handles greta, safe, etc… I was a little skeptical when I bought it but so far, it’s a great car. Also, the 3 year, 36k warranty is incorrect. I htink it’s 4 years or 50k.