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So - I'm close to purchasing a TDI Sportwgen to replace a much beloved yet aged Legacy GT wagon, and I've got a few questions, such as...
-Does the heater work effectively in northern new england winters?
-I'm a 30+ year manual shifter - Should I stick w/ the manual or give the dsg a go?
- Given the relatively winding roads and hills of this region, any recommendations as to tire/wheel size? How will the larger tire effect the ride/handling?
Thanks for your time!
dfreed
 

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Yes.

My opinion is that the manual will be better in the long run especially since you're a committed manual driver. It's more reliable, less maintenance, and better fuel economy. However, if you want an auto or want the convenience, it couldn't hurt. Keep in mind that the DSG is still a relatively young technology and some teething problems have popped up. Look through the DSG FAQ article for more details.

I personally think 16" wheels with 205/60 tires is a good size for bad roads. It's the same width as stock but 1 size taller. It will raise the car very slightly and increase rolling diameter of the tire. Depending on the tire, it could soften the ride as well which might not be what you want. Having had 17" wheels on the mk5 Jetta (same basic chassis as the sportwagen) I wouldn't have done it again unless the roads are good and where I live, they're not. I upsized the tires 1 size taller and my opinion is that it increased the rolling diameter a little beyond where I wanted it. See this thread for pics. http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2293

And since this is really specific to the mk5/mk6 wagon, I moved it to the mk5 subforum.
 

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Concerning the heater question... I purchased a 2010 sportswagon TDI in November and driven it extensivly in Michigan and Canada this winter ( currently have 34K miles!). The heater worked great. Not as fast as your legacy probadly, but VW actually designed a filament pre heater to gently heat the air until the engine heats up. This, along with the heated seats, kept me warm on even the coldest sub zero days.

Also- love the manual trans and it makes it a fun car to drive.
 

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I've never heard of a heater not working well on any new car. Diesels aren't the cars from 30 years ago, they actually start and run well without a cloud of black smoke!
 
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