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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm new to these forums. I currently have an old chevy and am considering a tdi jetta to replace it when it eventually dies. I know a bit about the tdi's but would like to learn more to make an informed purchase when the time comes.

Tbone
 

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Which year are you looking for? Each year and each generation has different problems. You can pick up a mk4 pretty cheap now but you have to plan for some maintenance because old cars tend to get neglected or need some minor repairs. Mk4 means the forth generation of VW. They can run forever with the right care but they do need care. You can't ignore the cars and expect them to be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking the 2005-06 as they can be found for reasonable prices without tons of mileage.
I haven't had the chance to take a look at the older ones too closely; I'm wondering if they've got the same cavernous trunk the 05-06 does. I've driven an 02 golf and like it, assume the jetta is the same; problem is finding one without tons of mileage.

To be honest it's a tough decision, each year has it's problems and benefits and I'm still trying to figure them out. I like the new ones but with the high cost and added emissions equipment I don't think it's the right choice.

I'd like to find out what kind of real world mileage people are getting with the 03-04 and 05-06. My current car gets around 10-12L/100km so any year of tdi should do better.

Thanks,
Tbone
 

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The best mpg you can get are with the 99-03. The cars are light and the engine very efficient, and looser emissions. By hypermiling, I once got a calculated (I forget if it was 60 or 70 mpg but I think it was 70 because I've done 60 mpg a few times) all highway. I could barely believe it. Manual transmission, summer fuel, slightly oversized tires, no AC, drafting as close as was safe, and was really trying, that means averaging 60 mph on the highway and letting people zip by as if I were standing still. And of course, some cars just get better mpg than others. That one had higher mpg than normal. Average was more like 48 mixed which is still really good.

Check out the buying guide for 2005-2006 Jetta TDI. It compares them to the newest one. You won't get as great mpg but safety and features are all way up. They do have their problems but they're listed in the checklist. The most I've ever gotten in a 2006 was slightly over 50 mpg and that was really trying. Average mixed driving is low 40s which is still pretty good but I tend to do more highway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. Those are some incredible mileage numbers! My driving is probably 75% or more city driving though I rarely sit in stop and go traffic. I'd prefer to err slightly low on mileage expectations so I can be pleasantly surprised rather than left looking for more. I have read a few comparisons between the 06 and 10, too bad I can't find a good comparison between the 99-03 and 06 cars. I've been told the jetta will get lower mileage than the golf every time due to size and weight. The older cars are a consideration but it's pretty hard to find one with reasonably low km; when you do they want way too much for it(I find).

Tbone
 

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Yep, I barely believed it but that was just a really well sorted car. I got 60 mpg a number of times so IIRC the one time I really really tried hard was the 70 mpg highway average run. I think it was the combination of tires, tire size, good tight engine, and hypermiling technique. I never did it again because it gets boring and scary driving that slow. I usually leave plenty of distance but that time I did follow other cars and trucks more closely. Drag is a big factor in mpg and drag increases as the square of speed so if you go 2x as fast you get 4x drag.

Also, that car just got better than average fuel economy. I could just feel it in how far I pressed the accelerator pedal vs. other TDI I've had.

Believe it or not, the new 2011 is lighter still. The chassis was improved but they also removed some features, among them the independent rear suspension which saved some weight.

The lightest mk4 is the 2 door golf but again, some cars are just tighter and run better than others.
 

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Believe it or not, the new 2011 is lighter still. The chassis was improved but they also removed some features, among them the independent rear suspension which saved some weight.
I wonder why they did that apart from saving weight? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm sure it comes down to cost/saving money rather than saving weight.

I went and checked out the new Jetta at the dealer and while it is very nice there's a few things which I'm surprised not to find:
An automatic setting for the lights, so they would come on when it's dark and the brake is released
The new trunk hinges are very obtrusive in the cargo area, not a big deal until you realize that they had nice out of the way hinges for years leading up to this new model
No power seat option, even in the Highline model
I'm not a fan of the push start/stop system, however what's worse is the location, in front of the shifter at the entrance to the storage cubby which would lead to the pushbutton being easily covered by stuff tucked in there. At least they could have put it on the dash, same with the aux in if I remember correctly.
And there's more but this probably isn't the place for this.

Tbone
 

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Look for a 2005.5 Jetta with package 2. They were the only ones to have memory power seats, auto lights and wipers, and some other stuff that was quickly stripped for 2006 due to cost.
 

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I'm sure it comes down to cost/saving money rather than saving weight.
Its not a cost saving exercise it a poor ride exercise.

there's a few things which I'm surprised not to find:
An automatic setting for the lights, so they would come on when it's dark
Auto lights god if you don't know when you need your lights on you shouldn't be driving, they have final realised its a sales gimmick just the same as the electric handbrake. ;)
 
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