2011 - 2015 VW Jetta TDI forum, specs, features explained, FAQ, delivery checklist, and reviews

- with mpg, differences, and revisions on the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 models

Introduction

This article shows stuff to know about the new Jetta TDI that you won't find on the manufacturer's website and comes from real world TDI owners.  In addition to current invoice and MSRP price, standard equipment and options, FAQ, and reviews for the 2011-15 Volkswagen Jetta TDI sedan, it also shows a comparison between the last body style 2010 and 2011 Jetta TDI sedan.  For the 2011-2014 Golf TDI, see 1000q: VW Golf TDI checklist.  2011 is the first year of the new Jetta body style so please refer to the main FAQ "1000q" for the older Jetta buying guides or other models like the Audi A3 TDI buying guide.  This article is regularly updated as more information comes out and please register in free forum to join our community of TDI enthusiasts!

Fuel injector recall and update: Some #2 fuel lines were leaking diesel due to a the fuel injection pulses coinciding with the natural frequency of the line at certain rpm and load conditions. This could cause the metal to weaken and leak fuel. VW is replacing the affected fuel lines and installing dampers on all the high pressure fuel lines on cars in stock before fixing cars already sold. This is because they need to build up stock before changing all the parts.

Although the last mk5 (5th generation) Jetta was about the size of the mk4 Passat, the new mk6 (a6/6th generation/mkVI) 2011 Jetta TDI is even bigger (2.9" longer , 2.5" of that is rear legroom) yet about 80 lbs lighter.  The TDI engine and transmission are carryovers from last year.  In the past, Jetta and Golf were almost identical except for different bumpers/headlights and a trunk.  The Golf was revised in 2010 and is now a little shorter.  The 2 door and 4 door Golf are actually the same overall length.  The Jetta only comes in 4 door although there was a 2 door concept released.

If you find the tips on this page helpful, please use the donation button at the top so that I can continue to keep publishing great articles for free. I do not receive any compensation from VW so you'll get the honest truth in these reviews. If nothing else, it should help you know what to look for when buying a Jetta TDI and empower you with knowledge when talking to salespeople. Thanks in advance!

The Jetta sportwagen (wagon) is called the Golf wagon in Canada and the rest of the world calls it the Golf Variant.  Because of the changes in the new Jetta, the wagon is no longer based off, looks like, or has similar features as the sedan.  See 1000q: 2009+ Sportwagen buying guide if you're looking for the wagon.  This article focuses on the sedan.  All wagons/Golf/Jetta TDI and even the Audi A3 TDI use the same basic engine and transmission.


Changes and differences on the mk6 VW Jetta TDI

2015 planned changes

This is not yet 100% confirmed but VW plans to put in the EA888 generation TDI engine for 2015 in the Jetta TDI. Gasoline Jetta had the EA888 gen engine opional for 2014. This engine fixes a few major reliability issues, has more usable power, better fuel economy and warms up faster. There are also plans to facelift the model with minor cosmetic changes.

2014 VW Jetta TDI changes

For 2014, the independant rear suspension is added. The MDI (ipod or media adapter) moves from the glovebox to the center console. Premium and Premium w/nav get a backup camera. Subscription based VW Carnet available on all 2014 VWs. This is similar to Onstar.

2013 VW Jetta TDI changes

For 2013, all TDI now have misfueling adapters on the fuel tank filler neck (the metal tab and flaps). Narrower gasoline nozzles won't move the flaps and open the tab to allow you to insert the nozzle. You can now use truck stop high flow nozzles but because they have a fast flow rate, only use them at half speed or else you'll get a lot of foam.

Late build 2013 will have trunk hinge covers, a little more chrome on the front grille, 6 way power seat on nav trim level, and soft touch dashboard (same as GLI and other higher end VW).

2012 VW Jetta TDI changes

There was some shuffling of the packages for 2012. The biggest material change is the addition of HD radio w/tagging to the RCD510 headunit and the option of Fender premium radio system if you get the Premium trim level.  It adds a subwoofer in the trunk and an amp.

Late build 2012 models will also get a phone menu and interface in the RCD 510 radio's touchscreen. This is a rolling change so if your radio doesn't have the phone button you don't have this feature.

For 2012, the base trim is almost the same except that base cars get the RCD310 base radio instead of the premium 8 RCD510. Dealer installed options like body kits or all weather floor mats will be extra and are added at the dealership.

A running change is the removal of the 9w7 bluetooth module if you have the RNS-315 GPS system. This is because the RNS315 has an internal bluetooth. Changing the headunit will require retrofitting the 9w7 if you wish to maintain bluetooth functions.

2012 trim levels: base, premium, and premium with navigation.

Standard TDI trim level: 4 wheel disc brakes, 16" "mambo" alloy wheels, trip computer, sunroof, RCD 310 radio, cold weather package (heated front seats and windshield nozzles), leatherette (v-tex vinyl) seats, leather multifunction steering wheel, parking brake, and shift knob, bluetooth, MDI ipod cable (in the glovebox), Sirius radio, keyless entry, and 6 speaker sound system.

Safety equipment: front, side, and head curtain airbags, ESP (stability control), ABS, TMPS (tire pressure monitor sensors), LATCH (child seat anchors).

Premium trim level adds: power tilt & sliding sunroof, RNS 510 6cd touchscreen radio, Fender system w/subwoofer

Navigation option adds to the premium: chrome front grill & window trim, driver seat manual lumbar, RNS 315 touch-screen navigation, KESSY keyless access w/ push-button start

2011 trim levels: base and premium with navigation

For 2011, the premium trim came with navigation.

Premium with navigation trim level: For 2011, this is the only factory installed option package on the Jetta TDI trim level.  This adds: RNS 315 GPS navigation w/SD card reader, foglights, chrome trim on the grille and windows, KESSY keyless access with engine start button, and driver's seat lumbar adjustment. See 1000q: RNS 315 GPS FAQ for more info on the GPS system.

Official pricing for American 2011 VW Jetta TDI sedan

Destination fee of $770 not included in the prices below.

MSRP in US$ invoice price more info
6 speed manual VW Jetta TDI 22,995 22,075 .
DSG (auto) VW Jetta TDI 24,095 23,131 .
6 speed manual Jetta TDI w/nav package 24,195 23,227 .
DSG (auto) Jetta TDI w/nav package 25,295 24,283 .
rubber mat kit  235 185 4 rubber mats + trunk liner
carpet mat kit 235 185 4 carpeted mats + trunk liner
chrome exhaust tips 160 120
splash guards 220 170 mud flaps

Canadian 2011 VW Jetta TDI information

The packages and trim levels are different in Canada.  The big change on mk6 Jetta is that ESC electronic stability control is finally standard in Canada (called ESP electronic stability program in US).  TPMS are not for 2011 but is for 2012.

Comfortline trim level VW Jetta TDI have: 16" Mambo alloy wheels, sunglasses holder, center armrest, CWP (cold weather package includes heated front seats and windshield nozzles), engine coolant block heater (the plug is next to the fog light), front fog lights, leather multifunction steering wheel, parking brake, and shift knob, chrome trim on the grille and windows, and the RCD 310 CD-radio w/6 speakers.

Options are the DSG automatic transmission, sunroof or the multimedia package (MDI ipod cable, RCD 510 "Premium 8" touchscreen radio 6cd in-dash changer, sirius sat radio, MFSW w/highline instrument cluster)

The Highline VW Jetta TDI includes: everything standard on the comfortline TDI and adds the sunroof, the multimedia package, and an 8-way adjustable driver's seat, 17" "Joda" alloy wheels, KESSY keyless access, and black leatherette (v-tex vinyl) interior.

Options are the DSG automatic transmission, leather interior, and the RNS 315 GPS system.  See 1000q: RNS 315 GPS FAQ for more info on the GPS system.

Official pricing for Canada 2011 VW Jetta TDI sedan

(prices include AC tax and freight) MSRP in Canadian $ invoice price more info
Comfortline VW Jetta TDI 25,340 ? .
Highline VW Jetta TDI 28,120 ? .
? .
DSG automatic transmission 1,400 ? .
Multimedia package 1,300 ? comfortline only
Sunroof 1,400 ? comfortline only
Leather 895 ? highline only
RNS 315 GPS  890 ? highline only

Options packages and standard equipment on 2011 VW Jetta TDI in the US.  There are only 2 trim levels: TDI and TDI with the nav package (must be installed at the factory).  Dealer installed options like body kits or all weather floor mats will be extra and are added at the dealership.

Standard TDI trim level: 4 wheel disc brakes, 16" "mambo" alloy wheels, trip computer, sunroof, RCD 510 touchscreen 6cd changer radio w/SD card reader, cold weather package (heated front seats and windshield nozzles), leatherette (v-tex vinyl) seats, leather multifunction steering wheel, parking brake, and shift knob, bluetooth, MDI ipod cable (in the glovebox), Sirius radio, keyless entry, and 6 speaker sound system.

Safety equipment: front, side, and head curtain airbags, ESP (stability control), ABS, TMPS (tire pressure monitor sensors), LATCH (child seat anchors).

Navigation package ($1200 MSRP): For 2011, this is the only factory installed option package on the Jetta TDI trim level.  This adds: RNS 315 GPS navigation w/SD card reader, foglights, chrome trim on the grille and windows, keyless access with engine start button, and driver's seat lumbar adjustment.  See 1000q: RNS 315 GPS FAQ for more info on the GPS system.

Official pricing for American 2011 VW Jetta TDI sedan

Destination fee of $770 not included in the prices below.

MSRP in US$ invoice price more info
6 speed manual VW Jetta TDI 22,995 22,075 .
DSG (auto) VW Jetta TDI 24,095 23,131 .
6 speed manual Jetta TDI w/nav package 24,195 23,227 .
DSG (auto) Jetta TDI w/nav package 25,295 24,283 .
rubber mat kit  235 185 4 rubber mats + trunk liner
carpet mat kit 235 185 4 carpeted mats + trunk liner
chrome exhaust tips 160 120
splash guards 220 170 mud flaps

Canadian 2011 VW Jetta TDI information

The packages and trim levels are different in Canada.  The big change on mk6 Jetta is that ESC electronic stability control is finally standard in Canada (called ESP electronic stability program in US).  TPMS are not.

Comfortline trim level VW Jetta TDI have: 16" Mambo alloy wheels, sunglasses holder, center armrest, CWP (cold weather package includes heated front seats and windshield nozzles), engine coolant block heater (the plug is next to the fog light), front fog lights, leather multifunction steering wheel, parking brake, and shift knob, chrome trim on the grille and windows, and the RCD 310 CD-radio w/6 speakers.  

Options are the DSG automatic transmission, sunroof or the multimedia package (MDI ipod cable, RCD 510 "Premium 8" touchscreen radio 6cd in-dash changer, sirius sat radio, MFSW w/highline instrument cluster)

The Highline VW Jetta TDI includes: everything standard on the comfortline TDI and adds the sunroof, the multimedia package, and an 8-way adjustable driver's seat, 17" "Joda" alloy wheels, KESSY keyless access, and black leatherette (v-tex vinyl) interior.

Options are the DSG automatic transmission, leather interior, and the RNS 315 GPS system.  See 1000q: RNS 315 GPS FAQ for more info on the GPS system.

Official pricing for Canada 2011 VW Jetta TDI sedan

(prices include AC tax and freight) MSRP in Canadian $ more info
Comfortline VW Jetta TDI 25,340 .
Highline VW Jetta TDI 28,120 .
.
DSG automatic transmission 1,400 .
Multimedia package 1,300 comfortline only
Sunroof 1,400 comfortline only
Leather 895 highline only
RNS 315 GPS  890 highline only

Differences and revisions on 2011 vs. mk5 2010 Jetta TDI

2011 is the first year of the new Jetta body style.  Overall, it loses some features vs. the 2010 but also costs about $1000 less.  While some people aren't happy about the loss of features on the new Jetta, VW did this to lower the price and address the complaints that the last Jetta was too expensive, which it was, especially when compared to past generations of Jetta.  The high price and features of the mk5 Jetta created a sales and profit problem for VW so they made the new car cheaper to build and cheaper to sell.  Some stuff like the air conditioned glove box and locks on the 40/60 rear seat (for trunk security when at the valet) were probably never used by anybody and won't be missed.  Most upscale features were moved to the Passat.  If you are interested in the 2012+ VW Passat TDI, see 1000q: NMS Passat TDI buying guide for information on that car.

What did they change on the mk6 vs. mk5?  Aside from the obvious styling or purely cosmetic changes like headlights/bumpers/sheetmetal:

-Size: To the right is a diagram showing the new size difference vs. the 2010.  Most of these won't be noticeable except for rear legroom: it's 2.4" longer which is a huge jump.  The curb weight is about 63 lbs lighter with manual, 68 lbs lighter with DSG transmission which is quite significant considering that the car is bigger. (2011 weight: 3,161 manual, 3,210 DSG)

-Suspension: Some of that weight loss is from the replacement of the independent rear multilink suspension found on the current Golf, Sportwagen, and the last Jetta with a beam rear suspension.  The suspension has been retuned, the wheelbase is longer, and the car lost a little weight.  NOTE: The independant multilink rear suspension returned for model year 2014. It weighs a little bit more but handles better. The tire pressure monitor system for all 2011 VW Jetta, Golf, and wagons no longer use temperature/pressure sensors in the wheels but is a calculated value off the ABS sensor.  If the wheel senses a decrease in rotating diameter, it assumes that the tire is deflated.  This isn't as precise but it's nice because you don't need a second set of sensors for winter wheels and the sensors only last 5-8 years before needing replacement due to the sealed battery.

-Seats: removal of standard lumbar adjustment on driver/passenger seats.  (The nav package adds 2 way driver lumbar.) NOTE: The premium+nav package for 2014 adds back a 6 way power seat. (The old mk5 Jetta seat was 8 way power seat + 4 way electric lumbar adjustment when equipped with the highline package 2 trim).

-Steering: while the gasoline Jetta lost the electric power steering and now use hydraulic power steering, the TDI will still use electric power steering.  This saves energy vs. a hydraulic system which is pressurized all the time vs. just when you need power assist.  It also eliminates the need for power steering fluid.

-Instruments: The fuel level gauges are now in a shortened multifunction display. There is no engine coolant temperature gauge.

-The engine and transmission are the same.

-Trunk: VW Jetta trunk hinges used to be more expensive articulated units that took up less room (on left).  The 2011 Jetta (on right) now uses gooseneck arm hinges that swing inside the trunk when closed.  The articulated units have a short strut on each side instead of a single long strut on the right hinge and was considered an upmarket feature (changed to reduce cost).  The trunk volume increased by 2 cu ft vs. the last car.  The trunk also gets plastic and painted metal instead of full carpeting lining.  The mk5 had a pull-down shopping bag holder hook (cloth loop on the left pic) which is no longer there.  If you want to add these hooks to the mk6 Jetta they can be purchased as parts and added yourself.  The release for the folding rear seats have moved from the rear headrest area (VW style) to the inside of the trunk (BMW style).  This lets you fold the rear seats down from the trunk and it also eliminates the locks and mechanism by the headrests.  The front hood now uses a simple rod to stay up when you open it instead of a shock support.

-The side view mirrors are a little different on 2010 Jetta vs. 2011 Jetta.  The 2010 mk5 mirrors are rounder and the LED turn signal lens is larger.  The signal is extended to the edge so that it lets you see when it's blinking.  If you're curious how the turn signal works or what's inside the mirror housing, see 1000q: turn signal replacement on mk5 cars. The new mk6 style mirrors are sharper to reduce wind noise, have a narrower LED turn signal lens area, and a small window to let you see when the turn signal is on.  This is not only a cosmetic change, they are quieter due to their shape. The Sportwgen continues to use the mk5 mirrors because it's based off a mk5 chassis.
mk5 jetta mirror mk6 mirror

-Interior general:
    The dashboard is now smoother looking to match the mk6 Golf style.  However, the Golf's dash is made from soft touch plastic - it has a little spring when you press on it and looks duller.  The Jetta's dash is made from hard plastic and is a little shinier.
    The climate controls switched back to the 2005-2007 style knobs but with chrome trim.
    The MFSW no longer has buttons on the left and right side.  It only has buttons on one side.
    There is no longer a little AC duct in the glovebox for keeping items cool.  The glove box is now dyed plastic instead of lined with felt.  The rear deck lid (the shelf behind the rear seats) is now plastic instead of covered with upholstery.
    The seat back tilt control is now manual instead of electric.
    Removal of the rear air vents and 115V (household) outlet in the rear of the armrest center console.  The center armrest does not slide forward for an extra adjustment (It might be a little larger but you might also be able to retrofit one from a mk5 Jetta or mk5/mk6 Golf).
    The rear folding seats no longer have locks for valet security (they still fold 40/60).
    The overhead light console and rear overhead light are different - the styles are shown below right (2010 is on top).

The center armrest is now much bigger.  The MDI is the media device interface for ipod, etc.  For 2011, it was moved to the glovebox.  See 1000q: VW iPod adapter cables and aux inputs for more info on the MDI and aux-in adapters.  If your car has the RNS 315 GPS, it's aux-in is on the faceplate.

Comparison of other misc features
  2011-12 Golf TDI 2011-12 Jetta TDI sedan 2011-12 sportwagen 2011 Audi A3 TDI
body style new for 2010 new for 2011 cosmetic refresh for 2010 refreshed for 2008
interior black cloth only in USA leatherette (vinyl) leatherette (vinyl) only in US leather
standard radio premium 8 touchscreen RCD510 premium 8 touchscreen RCD 510 premium 8 touchscreen RCD-510 Concert Bose w/sub and noise compensation
CD player 6cd in dash standard in USA 6cd in dash standard 6cd in dash standard single, 6cd in glv box optional
optional radio 300w Dynaudio Light advanced, no sub ? / /
optional navigation RNS 510 touchscreen '10
RNS 315 touchscreen '11
RNS 315 touchscreen '11 RNS 510 touchscreen '10
RNS 315 touchscreen '11
Nav+, no touchscreen, uses MMI knob dial to control
wheels 17" in US, 16" in Canada 16" mambo 16" std, 17" optional 17" std

Details of features and options explained on the new Jetta TDI

9w7 bluetooth: The standard OEM bluetooth on the 2011 Jetta TDI is the 9w7.  The 9w7 module allows AD2P streaming bluetooth music, ringtone choice, voice control, caller ID, outgoing call capability.  If you have the navigation it displays the phonebook or dial pad on the touchscreen display.  It will work with the iphone.  For more on bluetooth functions and differences between modules, see 1000q: mk6  bluetooth FAQ.  For specifics of the 9w7 module including screenshots, see 1000q: 9w7 bluetooth module.

GPS system: The RNS 315 GPS is part of the nav package.  This is the same optional GPS as the Golf.  For detailed info on the RNS315, see 1000q: RNS 315 GPS system FAQ.  The MSRP is only $590 but the parts cost is well over $1000 so I suggest buying it from the factory if you want it.  They keep the original radio when equipped from the factory.  To retrofit it, you have to add a GPS antenna, unplug the existing compass module, and change the car's computer coding to let it know that navigation is installed.  If you have the RNS 315, the more expensive RNS 510 GPS found in older TDI or Passat CC/Tiguan is a direct plug-play swap.  It has a bigger screen, internal HD for music and map data, and a video DVD drive.  For detailed info on that system, see 1000q: RNS 510 VW GPS system FAQ.

See page 2 for more features explained, delivery checks, and other stuff to know before ordering

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