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Automobile magazine jetta long term test

3103 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  mar
Please buy the march 2010 issue for the full issue and if you like it, here is an excerpt. Sorry for the huge pic size but it's the only way to get decent resolution and reasonable file size.

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Filling Up Ain't Easy

You must be psychic. I filled up yesterday at a Hess station and there were three trucks waiting on me. This was one of the stations where I had to leave my credit card, fuel up and go back to sign so it took a while. The truckers did not look very happy and of course they saw I was wearing my disposable rubber gloves so they must have thought I was an -------. Oh well.

Another station I go to has this Giant speed bump and a concrete pole next to the pump. As a result I have to back in so I do not bottom out. The pump does not take a credit card so I have to make 2 trips to the window as well. There is always gas on the ground so now I also try and avoid stepping in the stuff as well.

The very first time in October when I filled up at an Exxon the pump vacuum was such that it took 15 minutes to fill it. It failed to shut off when the gas hit the nozzle and so when I pumped 15 gallons I realized something was wrong. Sure enough I had it all over me.
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One thing I figured out is that if there's a big puddle of diesel at the small car pumps, the pump nozzle shut off is probably bad. The puddle is from previous cars or trucks overfilling. I don't like the smell of diesel in the floormats.
I wouldn't mind the clerk checking as long as there's no wait. Who knows how many people just filled up at the diesel pump when they needed gas. Maybe he was interested in one too ;)
Thanks for the article. I traded a 2007 BMW 328xi for my 2009 Jetta TDI Sedan with DSG and am happy I did. I love the TDI!
My copy arrived yesterday, and I read the article last night. After a month and a half with my A3 TDI and the DSG tranny, I agree with their transmission comment: you definitely want the DSG with that engine. Put that sucker in "S" and you'll stay in the sweet spot of the rev range. Or put it in "D" with an occasional flip of the downshift paddle and go for the mileage. Best of both worlds.
In theory, a reasonably competent stick driver could watch the tach and learn the best shift points for performance or economy fairly quickly.

In practice, I agree that the DSG is a great match for the TDI engine and a stopwatch proves that its lightning-fast shifts make for lower 0-60 times.

But I still went with the stick for various reasons, some of them rational, some more "emotional." But the biggest was that the DSG is a very complex system whose bugs have not been entirely worked out.

I have the 6-spd stick and love it . . . . no regrets.
Thanks for the scan. "It does a much better job of engaing the driver than the average hybrid" While I can see how people compare it to a hybrid, in my mind I compare it to a normal car. And that's key!
Stick vs DSG

The question on which is better really depends on the driver. I myself am biased towards the stick. Driving a stick is simply so much more engaging and more fun than a automatic. Having ordered an Audi A3 TDI, I am unfortunately stuck with the DSG. :-(

Reading the article, I am comforted by that at the very least the DSG is a good match for the TDI. I just hope the DSG won't be like other standard slush boxes that is always two seconds or so behind where I want to be, or down shifts when I didn't need it to.

So, sport is not TDI's forte, but the Jetta is packed with refinement.
I'm a bit offended by the wording. I know that the author meant that the sport is not Jetta's forte. Diesel engine is not known for its speed, so it's unfair to discount the sporty nature of TDI because of it. Likewise, it would seem to be a driver's unfamiliarity with driving a vehicle with diesel engine vs a gasoline engine that creates a variance in the impression about the TDI's "sporty" nature at straight-line driving. Furthermore, it is the deficiencies in the Jetta's suspension tuning that contributed to the lack of "confidence, engagement and agility", not so much of the TDI. If anything TDI should have been an advantage to be able to provide power during and out of twisties at low RPMs without downshifting, but the Jetta's deficient handling characteristics probably render those advantages unnoticeable if not completely useless.
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DSG is the real deal

A few comments:

I just came out of driving 2 stick cars since 2003. I have the DSG wagon. The thing about the DSG I especially like is that when you put it in sport mode and shift, it really feels and acts like a manual as opposed to those bogus transmissions that allow you to shift in sport mode. The reason is the DSG really has a dual clutch system. Hence when you go down a hill the car actually slows itself the same way it feels when you downshift in a manual.
I had a rental 2010 Jetta last week while my car was in the dealer for the 3000 mile check and the rental had the non DSG tranny. I tried to shift it manually and it was really vague as to what gear I was in. Total waste of time in manual mode.

One final note was that I drive from time to time my daughter's 2003 Jetta with a 5 speed manual and the transmission was head and shoulders above my 2007 Mazda Miata 6 speed that I traded and as good as my 2003 mini cooper 6 speed. Thus boith transmissions are excellent.
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