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J

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http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/LongTerm/articleId=124737

It's a 2005, not a 2005.5 but they're holding it for a year. It should be an interesting article. They've already noticed that it gets more than EPA highway ratings :)


News flash: Diesels — clean ones — are coming to America. The ethanol/E85 fire is starting to dwindle in the face of reality, and with gas hitting $4 per gallon (plus that whole global warming thing), efficiency is at the forefront of people's minds.

But the new wave of clean diesels with urea-injected particulate filters isn't here yet. Still tearing their way through the red tape that's keeping Americans from 40 mpg, these new diesels won't be hitting our shores for another few months (or is that 20 months?).

We couldn't wait. We wouldn't wait. We wanted to experience the day-to-day realities of living with a diesel passenger car. So we bought one. It's not the newest of the new, but it's one of the most recent diesels offered to the American public that doesn't come with an 8-foot cargo bed.

So we'll spend the next 12 months putting 20,000 more miles on a 2005 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI to test the validity not only of owning a diesel car in America but also the usefulness of the certified pre-owned program nearly all manufacturers offer these days.

What We Bought
The guy who bought this 2005 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI in Texas back in 2005 had very good taste. This Jetta is loaded with the GLS package, a top-of-the-line equipment package for the '05 diesel. It has a sunroof, a cloth-upholstered interior and, most important, a five-speed manual transmission. Our new-to-us TDI is equipped with a turbocharged 1.9-liter inline-4 that makes peak power at 4,000 rpm and peak torque at 2,000 rpm. Of course, being able to stay in the power band is absolutely essential when your diesel makes only 100 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

Being able to choose our own gear with a five-speed manual transmission keeps us from falling asleep while driving. It also helps the TDI achieve an EPA rating of 39 mpg on the highway. In fact, we can report that we've already managed to get 44 mpg on one road trip that featured a lot of freeway mileage.

The VW diesel's 100-hp output might seem low, but we suggest that you compare it to our 2007 Honda Fit. The Honda makes 109 hp, but the engine's torque peaks at 105 lb-ft at a comparatively scorching 4,800 rpm. The VW's engine's 177 lb-ft of torque so low in the rpm range gives the Jetta TDI a seat-of-the-pants thrill. Of course, the test numbers hotly contradict this impression, as this car feels much faster than it really is.

As a bonus this Jetta also has a Monsoon stereo with at least one blown speaker, a funky interior smell somewhere between wet dog and burned hair, and some hazy purple window tint. Hey, we bought it with 51,000 miles on it. What'd you expect?

Timmons Volkswagen of Long Beach had the car we wanted. A few numbers were lobbed back and forth (read about the buying experience on our Strategies for Smart Car Buyers blog) before we settled on a fair price of $17,200 for this car, which qualifies for VW's certified pre-owned program.

Not everyone can afford a new car. Many of us just don't want to swallow that initial depreciation. In any case, used cars are big business. There's an entire industry built around the assumed failures and sleaziness of the used car trade. Lemon Laws, shade-tree mechanics, Carfax, Edmunds True Market Value® — all designed to protect consumers from potential used car disasters.

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programs help the car manufacturers take part in the used-car world. Basically CPO programs have been designed to help carmakers flush cars that are coming off lease programs through their dealers in a way that benefits everyone. A dealer rounds up the best cars on the used-car market, executes a detailed car-prep protocol, then backs up every sale with an extended factory-backed warranty (and sometimes cheaper factory-backed financing). Everybody wins.

With that we begin our 12-month test. As we take the measure of the world of modern diesel cars and (more important) the world of the infrastructure meant to support diesels, we'll also be testing one of the most highly promoted CPO programs in the country.

Current Odometer: 52,829
Best Fuel Economy: 43.8 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 36.5 mpg
Average Fuel Economy (over the life of the vehicle): 40.0 mpg
 

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"clean diesels"??? Hey, it's not like I'm standing here with soot covered overalls!

IMO, the price they paid was in the middle. If Long Beach is in CA, the price they paid was fair due to CA markup.
 

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Sounds good, now tell them to do he 5th gear swap.

How about trying biodiesel and writing a segment about it? A lot of people who are into performance cars don't know about diesels.
 

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IMO, 51,000 mile is low for any car. The hazy purple tint isn't VW's fault, it's the fault of the previous owner's cheap tint.
 

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$17k for a stinky car with faded purple tint, a blown speaker, and torn seats? AND it was a certified pre owned car??? I have to get into selling VWs in CA...or else VW's certified program means jack squat.
 

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Most CPO programs don't do very much. It's worth it if you can get an extended warranty for the car though.

I would rather save the money and pay for repairs out of pocket and take a chance since I can work on the car myself.
 
J

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Lol, my budget is well below CPO priced cars. Besides, if they tell you that the timing belt is okay, that could mean that the car needs one in 5,000 miles. What a $1500 shock in 3 months that would be.
 

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$17k for a stinky car with faded purple tint, a blown speaker, and torn seats? AND it was a certified pre owned car??? I have to get into selling VWs in CA...or else VW's certified program means jack squat.
It's CA:p

I was reading about a passat tdi 04 or 05 that sold for over 20k when it was in bad condition and worth about 15k.
 

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IMO, the diesel inflation craze is coming to an end. It really spiked after Katrina and I am guessing that VW's new diesels and diesels from other makers will control market prices. I know the acura won't be here a few years but it's a matter of time. Plus, the price of diesel is no longer low compared to gas. It's still cheaper to drive the diesel but it's no longer a win-win-win situation.
 

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Lol, yeah, maybe a fair-win-fair. Before the VW was like your little secret. People thought that you were a little strange, why not buy a toyota camry?
Diesel is over $3 now, it'll continue to be more expensive and diesel cars will no longer be the base strippers that VW had in the past.
 

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The VW will come in the summer but won't be fully stocked at most dealerships for a month after it's introduced. The acura isn't coming for a few years. I say that it's no different than it was a few years ago during the craze. Supply --- demand.
 
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