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Discussion Starter #1
There's just something about DSG that kills the experience I had. I drove two sedans just to make sure it wasn't the demo car. But once I got into a manual (albeit, a JSW), I was totally convinced and came down off the fence.

The review is huge, so I didn't post it on this forum, but you can access my review here:

http://www.topgearage.com/?p=448
 

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IMO, standard will be come more and more of a niche product until they don't offer it anymore. You'll have electric motors with 2 speed transmissions and DSG or CVT for gas/diesels and those will probably be hybrids.
 

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There's just something about DSG that kills the experience I had. I drove two sedans just to make sure it wasn't the demo car. But once I got into a manual (albeit, a JSW), I was totally convinced and came down off the fence.

The review is huge, so I didn't post it on this forum, but you can access my review here:

http://www.topgearage.com/?p=448
I just read your review and it is very well done. I ended up going with the DSG because my wife (the primary driver of the car) was having elbow issues with our manual car. We both prefer manuals but had to sacrifice the involvement for the no-brainer DSG. The jury is still out for me on the DSG, it takes getting used to for sure but the car is pretty darn quick with it and the S mode allows you to exploit the powerband pretty fully. For a commuter car and long hauler, the JSW is a compelling offer. Our first long trip is next week...this is a great chance to test the milage, comfort and overall package. I'm throwing on my Subaru car-top carry too, so I'll get a picture of the car under load and at an aero disadvantage. I'm very curious to see the mpg we get. Stay tuned!
 

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Amen. When the MKV GTI came out, I drove a DSG & stick back to back. Although the DSG is technically very impressive and can shift a heckuva lot better than me, I thought it was incredibly boring. I am planning on a Golf 4 door TDI with a manual when available. It's a real car with a real transmission and real instrument panel as opposed to an appliance - uh, I mean Prius/Insight/whatever. $0.02.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, yes, yes to the manual TDI!

But I'm going to be running in circles for a while to wait for a 2010, which will be by August. VW is already building 2010's as of 1st week of June.

As a single guy, the sedan makes sense. But I'm wondering if the JSW is a better choice in the long run (for usability and resale)?
 

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Yes, yes, yes to the manual TDI!

But I'm going to be running in circles for a while to wait for a 2010, which will be by August. VW is already building 2010's as of 1st week of June.

As a single guy, the sedan makes sense. But I'm wondering if the JSW is a better choice in the long run (for usability and resale)?
Jetta sedans are going for well under invoice (at least around here in the DC/Baltimore area). Dealer in PA was selling at -$1,500 below invoice. JSW's on the other hand seem to be going out the door for MSRP so they probably will hold value well. I personally want a 4 door golf. I've always loved hatchbacks and they represent the best size/practicality compromise for what I need in a car.
 

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The wagons always get the same MPG as the sedan - same weight and slightly better aerodynamics results in about the same MPG. IMO, they called it the sportwagen not the woody wagon! I think the station wagon stigma has finally gone away!
 

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But I'm going to be running in circles for a while to wait for a 2010, which will be by August. VW is already building 2010's as of 1st week of June.
Hi there, brand new to this forum and I'm researching buying a new car since my 1998 Subaru Outback just got totaled by someone rear-ending me. Currently the Volkswagen Jetta Sportswagen TDI is right at the top of my list because of its fuel milage. (I had in fact just done $3,600 of engine work on my Outback in order to get it to last long enough until 100mile/gallon vehicles were available. Okay, I can dream, can't I? :p)

In any case, if the 2010 models really are coming out in August it seems like a good idea to wait for them and get by on my bicycle and CalTrain (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area). I could probably wait until October-ish without too much effort ...

So, is there any concrete information on when the new 2010 Sportwagens will hit West COast dealer lots?

As a single guy, the sedan makes sense. But I'm wondering if the JSW is a better choice in the long run (for usability and resale)?
I'm not currently single but I bought my Outback while I was single. I find the "station wagon" conformation to be optimal for my life style of social and outdoors activities. It has the flexibility to carry 4-5 people comfortably with large cargo capacity or 2 people with huge cargo capacity. And the roof rails make it very easy to put things like bicycles, cargo carriers, etc. on top – or even just lash something in place.

Finally, on the style front, I actually like a well appointed wagon. There are definitely ugly/clumsy looking wagons out there but some are as attractive as the nicest sedans. Take a look at the BMW wagons for instance. I'm relatively pleased with the looks of the Sportswagen and its milage makes it a major choice with my forced car purchase. (I also looked at the Subaru "XT" Outback but its milage just sucked. (sigh))

Casey
 

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There's no confirmation on when they will be available. And while VW may be building 2010s, they are building 2010 GTIs and Golfs, not the sportwagen. The sportwagen can be ordered but there is no price or any delivery date. In other words, you can put a deposit down but it means nothing since the dealer can just skip over you if someone is willing to pay more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dealers sing different tunes - ALWAYS!

In CA, when I test drove the Jetta TDI DSG sedan and JSW TDI manual, the dealer was very relaxed and didn't even want to sell a car. This was only 2 weeks ago. The CA dealer had about 6 TDI sedans and 0 JSW's.

:BS Just yesterday in NC, however, the South VW dealer in Charlotte had about 10 TDI DSGs lined up and 1 JSW TDI manual. When asked for a white/black color combo (which they did not have, he ran inside to check local inventory). He then came back to say that he found one with DSG - and then went to say that those 10 on the lot are all he has left for 2009, and that at the rate he's selling them, they'll be out by next weekend! Yeah, right! So I asked when he would get 2010's in and he said - 5-6 months! Suuuurrrrrreeeee!!!!

Always remember: new cars roll off the line all the time. There is NEVER a need to rush a purchase. I've been to the Mercedes factory in Sindelfing, Germany, and the Mercedes S-class was coming off the line at a rate of 1 every 2 minutes. That's an insane amount of production for a high-rent car. I can't imagine VW Jetta's for 2010 rolloing off the factory any slower than 2 minutes.

The problem is loading them up on a train/boat in Mexico and getting them into the US. That could take right up to August for the first batch.

The 2010 is relatively the same unchanged car (minor tweaks here and there - but the same as 2009). So there's no learning curve for the assembly line to pump out the Jetta.

So if you frequent a dealer who tells you he's going to run out of 2009 TDI's next week - and it will be 6 months until the 2010 gets there:
1 - you're not going to get $2k below invoice on the TDI like everyone else
2 - the dealer would not have any Jettas to sell (TDI's are creeping up to 50% of all Jetta sales these days).
3 - have no remorse for the dealer - because if he's confident they'll be sold by next week, it sounds like he has plenty of buyers already - and you're not one of them.

But I plan on visiting the NC dealer in a few weeks time - to see how many 2009's are left, and how many 2010's are sitting there as well.

These cars are appliances. They're great - don't get me wrong, but the dealer who pressures you with b.s. is someone you don't want to buy a car from in the future.

Just wait till the 2010 comes in August and go to a different dealer to buy it.

I know this from experience, because on August 13, 2000 - I purchased a 2001 Jetta GLX VR6 without any problems - I simply walked onto the lot of a dealer who's never seen me. They were happy to get a deal going. I regret purchasing the Mk IV Jetta - but that's a whole other story!
 

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Manual much better than DSG (for me)

I test drove both an 09' JSW TDI in manual and DSG. The DSG was okay but when you slow down in city driving there is major engine breaking so you can't just glide to a stop like normal auto trans cars. With the manual it was a much more engaging driving experience and I liked having the ability to to shift to neutral when slowing for a red light. When you consider the unknown reliability of the DSG, less MPG, higher maintenance costs (fluid change every 40k miles), and the $1,100 more upfront it was an easy decision for me. I know some people need or want an auto transmission so if you can live with the negatives and potential for huge repair bills I would say go for it.

I'm waiting for a 2010 JSW TDI and I found a dealer in N. CA who will place an order at $500 under MSRP for exactly what I want.
 

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I'm waiting for a 2010 JSW TDI and I found a dealer in N. CA who will place an order at $500 under MSRP for exactly what I want.
Nice deal. I think that the redesign is the cherry on top of the sundae for those who want a wagon. If it's exactly how you want and at that price you got the sprinkles and whipped cream, too, LOL.
 

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My $.02 about DSG vs Manual.

I have 300 miles with the DSG on a new Jetta TDI and it starts to become more fun, I believe it is adapting to my driving style( and/or maybe the other way around:) ). It started to gear up at 2300rpm to 1600rpm (as I would do with a manual). Also the stop and gos became quicker ( and safer, it does not go into the 1st gear anymore). Still working on jumping in traffic.

What I don't like are the occasional clunks in changing 3rd to 2nd or engaging the 1st. Also a minus for the engine brake that I believe stresses the engine and the timing belt (I just believe, not sure).

I've driven TDI + manual in Europe for a long time and I like the combination very much. Manual is the way to go for a TDI if everybody using the car is comfortable with it.

Jetta sedans are going for well under invoice (at least around here in the DC/Baltimore area). Dealer in PA was selling at -$1,500 below invoice.
last week: invoice + dsg + factory options + destination=23.3k, I paid 21.7k. DC area.
 

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What is the deal with the DSG investigation? 12 people doesn't seem like a lot and from reading boards I know there are more people who have had DSG problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What is the deal with the DSG investigation? 12 people doesn't seem like a lot and from reading boards I know there are more people who have had DSG problems.
I think the DSG problem is very basic... the people who complain about DSG have probably never driven a stick before.

When you let off the brakes from a standstill in DSG, the car "lurches" forward and does/doesn't creep like an automatic. This is the same effect you would get if you were to slowly let off the clutch in a manual at idle. I think DSG is effectively trying to engage 1st gear at idle without stalling the engine.

When you hear about complaints of a light clutch for the manual tdi, you'd have to think that it's light because diesel engines produce massive torque at idle.

So a light release of the clutch in either manual or DSG would produce the same "lurching" results. Although, I think the dual-mass flywheel in the manual is an attempt to resolve some "biting" issues on a hard takeoff.

Either way you look at it, a $400+ DSG service at 40k mile intervals and a huge sticker price increase just doesn't pencil out on a diesel - which is supposed to be efficient all around.
 

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I heard about those problems but I'm talking about the other problem with the false neutrals - the transmission shifting into neutral by itself and not coming out.
 

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From what I've picked up, there are a number of issues which may not be related.

There is the hesitation from a stop. This is a slight delay from power requesting and power delivery. It's considered normal and once you're used to it it's not a bother, just a quirk of DSG.

Then there's the hesitation on a hill or random hesitation during cruise. For whatever reason, at a certain point at accelerator pedal request, the engine power delivery hesitates for a second. This is not normal and is not experienced by everyone. A tuner claims to have solved it but he doesn't want to give any details or explanation how it was solved. I don't doubt that they did find the cause and fix it, but because they are keeping their trade secrets, they could be effecting something else and causing another related problem.

These can be strange since a manual transmission, the power response is more immediate.

Then there's the false neutrals. This is the problem that probably resulted in the NHTSA investigation. It's not normal. This is not driver error and the amount of subjective observation errror is very low. Either the transmission went into neutral by itself or it didn't.

In the DSG FAQ I included common problems such as sensor and mechatronic errors. The number of mechatronic replacements is higher than average because they aren't replacing individual components on it, they're just replacing it as a unit. I also included a mention of the NHTSA investigation but as of right now, the only conclusion which I think one can make is that the NHTSA has determined that there is something worth investigating. Is it a problem beyond the statistically expected defective parts? I don't know but I do know that the DSG is a relatively new technology and that some people are having problems. Is it any more than the number of problems with the 01m auto transmissions? Maybe not but it's at least worth further investigation. I will wait until there is more information before including it into the FAQ.

PS, I don't think a light clutch pedal has anything to do with the low end torque of a diesel. It has more to do with the actual clutch pressure plate and clutch hydraulic system.

Changing the lever arm on the clutch pressure plate changes pedal feel. Changing the clamping force of the pressure plate, changing the lever arm on the clutch pedal, changing the master cylinder diameter, etc., these will also change how the clutch pedal feels.

I've also heard that a diesel doesn't need any gas when letting up the clutch because of the low end torque, this is also false. It's because the engine RPM is electronically controlled and because of the heavier flywheel on a TDI. This is the same reason when you turn on the air conditioning you don't feel the sudden drag on the engine - the ECU compensates for it.

In other words, when you lift the clutch pedal without touching the RPM starts to drop, the ECU sees it and adds fuel to avoid a drop in engine RPM. The heavy flywheel also helps sustain RPM.

Here's a test you can do to try it out. Stay in 5th gear on the highway when you're slowing down. Stay off the accelerator pedal. When the engine RPM gets to a minimum point, you can feel the ECM add fuel to keep the engine running and not stall.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What average mileage do these problems crop up?
I've seen complaints after the first 900 miles. There were a few more at 2,500, but most were after 10k.

I drove both DSG and Manual TDI's. I think some DSG complaints are from drivers who've never driving a manual before, and have no concept of DSG - and are therefore complaining about certain aspects of DSG that are common in manuals with bad/novice drives.

The scary parts of the DSG are the 40k service, followed quickly by the "flashing lights and coasting in N on the highway."
 
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