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Discussion Starter #1
I've been studying the configuration of both of these cars as a possible next purchase. I'm trying to balance environmental awareness (high mpg clean diesel) with practicality (hatch or wagon), affordability ($25K or less), and driving enjoyment. Since my pledge to myself was that my next new car would get 40+ mpg, these criteria leave me with only two choices for the next couple of years: the 2010 Golf TDI or the 2010/11 Jetta Sportwagen (the Prius and Insight lose out on driving enjoyment). Since the car will also be for my wife I am limited to the DSG option for the tranny.

I'd like other people's opinions on the comparative advantages and disadvantages of each. Right now I'm leaning towards the the Golf TDI because of the new chassis (quieter, better road manners), more affordability, and a 300 lb. weight advantage over the Jetta. But the Jetta offers a lot more cargo space, 67 cu.ft. vs. 46 cu.ft.

Given the decreased weight and the same powertrain, I would expect the Golf to get better mileage and to be more frisky on the road, especially with the tighter chassis. Also, the Golf comes standard with 17" wheels (16" standard on the Jetta), and a sport suspension is standard on the Golf but not on the Jetta. I'm thinking that a relatively inexpensive modification like thicker swaybars could give the Golf even a greater driving advantage over the Jetta.

The Golf also comes with an improved standard audio system, and standard cloth seats (which I prefer over the vinyl in the Jetta). The new steering wheel for the Golf looks to be an improvement over the MkV Jetta.

One disadvantage for the new MkVI Golf is that it is a new version and subject to the usual glitches associated with new iterations.

Question: Will the Golf come standard with sport seats?
 

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I wrote an article comparing some features such as approx weight, features, and some interesting things like coefficient of drag in Golf vs. Jetta vs. sportwagen - I was surprised which had less drag.

All TDI get the standard RNS 510 touchscreen 6 CD changer. However, only the Golf has the optional Dyaudio 300w radio. If you go to the home page you'll find some more pictures and features comparisons.

The Golf will come standard with sport seats in the US. VW is positioning it as a sporty choice over the Jetta. It's still speculation at this point since there's no official confirmation but it looks like the Jetta will be all new for 2011. Until this information is more conrete it won't go into the FAQ. It's been totally redesigned to have a wider range of prices and features. The base Jetta will be cheaper and have less features than the current Jetta but the high Jetta may have more high end features.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I read your article, "Redesign and differences between the 2009 and new 2010 Jetta Golf TDI". Is that the one you refer to, or is there another? I didn't see any mention of a comparison of drag coefficients. Personally, I'm interested in a car that has an emphasis on performance options and not on "features". Sounds like a more affordable Golf TDI that is already sport-oriented and with an easily modifiable suspension is the way I will go. (And waiting for the day when the engine will be tunable as well.)

BTW, I did an informal comparo between the Golf TDI and the MINI Clubman. It is an interesting comparison, but I'm still prone to go with the Golf. For one thing I think the MINI's interior would bug the hell out of me.
 

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Check out the 2010 Golf buyer's checklist.

The Golf TDI and Audi A3 TDI have drag of .32, Jetta has .31. The sedan or sportwagen body is slightly more efficient than the hatchback body.
 

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That makes a lot of sense: I'd think that a long smooth rear end would have less drag than a short round rear end. The Prius and Insight have that rear slope and then the cut off, the sportwagen has the same thing - the smooth rear slope and then the cut off. It looks much better on the sportwagen though.
 

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One thing they should consider on the new TDI are optional aero kits. Something like partial rear wheel covers or smooth hubcaps, block off or reduced plates for the front grills, or maybe aero spoilers instead of sport spoilers. These could be bolt on or glue on, and wouldn't require any major body changes. Maybe there can be a small market for these?
 
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One thing they should consider on the new TDI are optional aero kits. Something like partial rear wheel covers or smooth hubcaps, block off or reduced plates for the front grills, or maybe aero spoilers instead of sport spoilers. These could be bolt on or glue on, and wouldn't require any major body changes. Maybe there can be a small market for these?
That actually makes a lot of sense. Have the parts made in China out of some molds. The problem would be fit and finish. And what kind of gains can you get? The rear wheels stick out so the rear wheel covers would have to stick out a bit. And how would you attach the rear wheel covers? If they fall off they could flat a tire or go flying into the car behind you = lawsuit when it goes through someone's windshield and blinds someone from flying glass.
 

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Chitty .. Have any of the German magazines published any 'previews' of the '011 Sportwagen? We are going to adopt a TDI Wagon of some sort, but can easily delay gratification if the newer models have something extra to offer. Tx.

Jim
 

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At this point the only people who know for sure are the people at VW. Industry newletters have suggested that the 2011 sportwagen will continue on the current body. This is because of a few reasons:

The wagon gets a new face, it's unlikely that they will change it again next year to match the jetta. Since the wagon is called a golf everywhere except the US, they will probably just keep it that way. They could justify a US specific bumper but why bother?

The wagon is built on the current Jetta basic platform which will probably continue for at least 3 more years with the Golf.

It's possible that in 3-4 years the wagon could change again but early speculation suggests that it will remain almost unchanged for 2011. It's possible it could be called just "Sportwagen" and drop the Jetta sportwagen name in the US because after 2011 the wagon and Jetta sedan will be very different.
 

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If the wagon is staying on the golf body wouldn't it make sense that it would also get the revised chassis for 2011 or would it get delayed until 2012?
 

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If the wagon is staying on the golf body wouldn't it make sense that it would also get the revised chassis for 2011 or would it get delayed until 2012?
The Golf hatchback gets an updated chassis and body improvements for 2010. The wagon does not. Too early to tell but it would make sense that they would adapt the changes over. And since wagons always come later than the sedans, I would guess that any changes are at least 1 year minimum away, maybe 2 model years.
 

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The golfs are made in germany, the wagons are made in puebla. I bet this will also affect where future wagons will be built and how they will look.
 

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VW has done stranger things but I'd think they would want to keep the Jetta name attached to the wagon even though it's a Golf wagon, just because it's more popular in the US.
 

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One thing they should consider on the new TDI are optional aero kits. Something like partial rear wheel covers or smooth hubcaps, block off or reduced plates for the front grills, or maybe aero spoilers instead of sport spoilers. These could be bolt on or glue on, and wouldn't require any major body changes. Maybe there can be a small market for these?
They would sell well but I think only the rear wheel covers would have much effect. Covering the front grille might help a little but the rear of the car is where all the easy gains are. The trunk should have a more teardrop shape for better aero and unless you want to stick a large body add-on to the rear, that's pretty much impossible.
 

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Good point. Sort of like the solar panel roof on the Prius. It's enough to run the interior ventilation fan to help keep the inside cool but not enough to top off the battery. A nice gimmick that makes you feel good.
 
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