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I'm in the market for a new car. Decided the C-class is a waste due to the low quality interior and horrid MPGs. Then I came across the Jetta TDI. I've owned a Jetta MkIV GLX VR6 and it was the worst car I've ever owned - it still has my personal record for the shortest period of car ownership at 9 months.

But I'm impressed with the interior of the new Jetta. It's much nicer than the C-class. And I like the economy of the TDI. But I do have some questions:

1) DSG - I'm 50/50 on this. I've driven two DSG TDI's and have discovered that the "lurching" is quite similar to slowly letting off the clutch at idle. I'm not sure this is a big concern, but the 40k mile maintenance (and it's cost) is a HUGE problem. I've yet to call a dealer to ask what the cost of DSG service runs, but I've heard $400-$900. My local dealer doesn't have any manual TDI's in stock for a test drive. So... is the manual the BEST CHOICE? How does the clutch feel? My '00 Jetta was a stick and it had 1st gear synchro issues. Has VW improved this?

2) Wheels - I'm fine with the stock wheels, but the cheap Bridgstones make a lot of road noise. The optional 17" rims are wider and have Conti's. I haven't driven a TDI with 17's. How does the car feel with 17's? Is the MPG a little lower because of the wider tires? Does the road feel and tire noise change with the lower profile tires? Is there better grip with the Conti's? Is the $450 cost of the 17's worth it?

3) 2009 vs. 2010 - It looks like the 2010 is going to get the steering wheel from the CC and the instrument cluster from the MkVI Golf. I think the cluster is hard to read at night when it's light up as blue/red - the new cluster is going to be white. I also noticed that the front bumper won't change, but the seats might. The stereo will also change. Can anyone elaborate on the 2010 changes? I also think the wing mirrors will also be restyled and the windshield will be slightly thicker. There will also be new door seals - all in the name of making the cabin quieter. Does this sound right?

4) Sunroof - I drove two TDI's. The first TDI had a sunroof that would make wind noise at highway speeds (when closed), the other TDI was hardly noticeable. It sounded like a bad seal between the glass and the roof. I'm thinking about not getting the sunroof because of the wind noise. Has anyone else noticed this noise? Closing the shade helps, but it was still annoying.

I've been searching high and low for more TDI info, mainly trying to find problems - and I can't find much beyond DSG concerns and crap dealer service departments. Is there anything I should know about with the current Jetta body?
 

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The mkiv was a big step up for the Jetta. $900 for a DSG service!!! For 1 hour's work and $100 of fluid? No issues with the manuals and better mpg too.

17's rider harder but it's not that bad. Thinner tires rider harder, no way around it. Other factors contribute to low mpg, I stay with the 15's.

From the myturbodiesel FAQ, it says only the Golf gets the thicker windshield and new body, the Jetta is just getting the new door cards and seats.

IMO, I got an early Jetta and I love it! By now, they've worked out all the problems. I was going to look at a Passat but I ended up with this because of the TDI. Go for it!
 
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Manual FTW! If you live in a very cold area then on a cold engine, the DSG transmission can creep. It's because the fluid is too thick and the car moves. Tires with shorter sidewalls are heavier because they have to be built thicker and the tread pattern/rubber are normally more aggressive so they give lower fuel economy. The pano sunroof is fun but I prefer no sunroof - the possibility for leaks and because people get enough sun exposure. VW actually recommends the Jetta now so they must have changed something. The Jetta is a good seller too. The next gen Jetta isn't for a few years so no point in waiting.
 

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Manual FTW! If you live in a very cold area then on a cold engine, the DSG transmission can creep. It's because the fluid is too thick and the car moves. Tires with shorter sidewalls are heavier because they have to be built thicker and the tread pattern/rubber are normally more aggressive so they give lower fuel economy. The pano sunroof is fun but I prefer no sunroof - the possibility for leaks and because people get enough sun exposure. VW actually recommends the Jetta now so they must have changed something. The Jetta is a good seller too. The next gen Jetta isn't for a few years so no point in waiting.
I've driven a DSG TDI on a test drive and also the 6 speed stick. Even with a partially torn lateral meniscus (old lacrosse injury) I'll take the stick any day of the week. Thought the same thing when I test drove the MKV GTI's back in '05. Got in a DSG, was impressed with how fast it shifted, always hit perfectly rev-matched downshifts (as opposed to my pathetic granny shifting) and how incredibly smooth it was. Also thought it was the most boring thing I'd ever "driven" in my life and enjoyed the manual GTI 1,000 times more. $0.02. Rowing my own = driving. DSG/slushbox takes all the fun out of it for me. :p
 
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