Not the Best Car... Not the Worst.
By 200_MPH on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000
overall rating 5 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "47-50mpg freeway, comfortable seats, A4 styling"
Cons: "DSG is clunky, 25mpg city, poor interior quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have a love-hate relationship with the Jetta TDI (Premium/DSG). As a freeway car it is extremely comfortable, smooth and fuel efficient. On the streets… not so much. A great example is with the diesel milage. Averaging 47mpg is easy on the freeway, even on short trips. When you get to the inner city however, 25mpg is the norm. The longer you can go without stopping, the closer you stay to the speed limit, the greater the reward. Another great example is the transmission, smooth as silk on the freeway, but when you hit the street, the experience is clunky and overbearing. Going 15mph, the car will buck and jump as the DSG decides how it's going to handle power from the engine. If you try to coast to a stop the DSG will immediately try to jump to a lower gear to slow the car down with the engine and make a final bumpy lurch as you step on the brake. This makes city driving as unsettling as it is inefficient. When going down hills the DSG also likes to jump to a higher gear way to early, even while coasting forcing you to use neutral. To make matters worse, the DSG lets a lot of vibration and noise through to the cabin when driving on the street. DSG issues are slightly worse when it is cold and slightly better when it is warm out. The DSG problems subside when you leave it in sport mode, but that severely eats into fuel savings. As far as reliability goes, the car is shaky. Right out of the gate at 900 miles it broke down in a parking lot and I lost almost a full day of work. After that I had intermittent starting problems until summer when they subsided. I've also had trouble with rattles from just about every part of the interior. This is an especially big problem when you play music, even at a low volume every plastic part in the car will hum. Along with the headliner falling down and door moldings coming loose at 4,000 miles, and a software reset at 3,500 miles I'd say interior fit and finish is sub par at best. Heres the bottom line: The car has the looks of a classy A4 and is roomy enough to please any client passenger. The modern touch screen and connectivity features like bluetooth and SiriusXM are fantastic as well. If you drive 80/20 freeway and live in the burbs, you will probably not be hassled with the DSG and experience fuel mileage that rivals the Prius. If you are a 50/50 driver like me that makes a lot of stops, you will be severely disappointed in the performance and ride quality. From an overall quality standpoint I would be wary about claims made by VW. New cars shouldn't break down, have starting problems, or have parts fall off. If you buy it, make sure you load up on extra warranty."
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