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Shopping around for a new vehicle of a different type than I've previously owned (current car is a BMW 325i, previous to than an Audi A4), the Sportwagen TDI looks like a perfect match for my current requirements. The only drawback that I see is that there are a number of amenities that I've become quite used to and would really miss.

I can do without the power seat, I suppose, but it's been years since I had a car with manual climate control and manual headlights. My wife's Mazda3 hatchback has both, and a power seat to boot.

So is there any chance that VW (or VW of America, if it's their decision on what to import) might ever upscale this car a bit? I'd definitely be willing to pay a couple $K more for some more features. Or are those features simply not available at all on this platform? My actual timeframe for purchase is probably a year from now, so maybe something will change for the 2012 models.

The other wagon on my list to check out at the upcoming auto show in Detroit is the Acura TSX Sportwagon. Definitely flashy-looking and has the equipment that I'm used to, but of course not nearly the fuel mileage, wants premium gas, etc.

Anyway, this is my introductory post in this forum. I'm sure I'll be back as I continue with my research.
 

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Technically, the climate control is semi-manual. Instead of having a red/blue dot on the knob, it has temperatures. It really does control the temp but compared to climatronic auto climate control, it doesn't have the sun sensor, dual zone, fan control.

Strangely enough, the Sportwagen is built in Mexico right alongside the Golf variant (Euro name, same exact car) yet they can't just put a custom build one on the truck to the US instead of the boat to Europe. You can option everything on the Euro builds but not the North American cars. That's just the way it is.

There are no plans to upscale the car but you can add some things like xenon headlights (expensive so I suggest aftermarket projector headlights). Auto headlights and auto climate control is also labor-cost prohibitive but it can be done. Power seat - if you find a power seat from a 2005.5-2006 Jetta I don't see why it can't bolt in. I don't think the memory function will work but the power should if you give the seat power. I believe there was a slight difference in the airbag connector plug but you should be able to de-pin it and fix it. (Not cut-splice, I wouldn't want to do anything funny with the airbags).

I like Acura and the upscale features but I hate their exterior design language. Just a personal opinion.

One more warning: once you're used to getting this kind of fuel economy in a daily driver you won't want to get anything else. I don't mind not owning a Prius, getting 15% better fuel economy than the TDI isn't worth the trade off for a car I don't want. However, most people wouldn't mind the Sportwagen and it gets 80-100% better fuel economy than most cars. Spoiled for life :)

welcometomyturbodies
 

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If you don't mind not having a manual transmission, you might take a look at the Audi A3 TDI. Considerably higher trim level, albeit more money and less cargo room.
 

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Shopping around for a new vehicle of a different type than I've previously owned (current car is a BMW 325i, previous to than an Audi A4), the Sportwagen TDI looks like a perfect match for my current requirements. The only drawback that I see is that there are a number of amenities that I've become quite used to and would really miss.

I can do without the power seat, I suppose, but it's been years since I had a car with manual climate control and manual headlights. My wife's Mazda3 hatchback has both, and a power seat to boot.

So is there any chance that VW (or VW of America, if it's their decision on what to import) might ever upscale this car a bit? I'd definitely be willing to pay a couple $K more for some more features. Or are those features simply not available at all on this platform? My actual timeframe for purchase is probably a year from now, so maybe something will change for the 2012 models.

The other wagon on my list to check out at the upcoming auto show in Detroit is the Acura TSX Sportwagon. Definitely flashy-looking and has the equipment that I'm used to, but of course not nearly the fuel mileage, wants premium gas, etc.

Anyway, this is my introductory post in this forum. I'm sure I'll be back as I continue with my research.
What about the Touareg or Q7? Those have as much room and luxury but they're also more expensive.
 

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If you don't mind not having a manual transmission, you might take a look at the Audi A3 TDI. Considerably higher trim level, albeit more money and less cargo room.
The A3 still doesn't have a power seat which is absolutely sad. Also, the pano roof is missing obviously. Plus for over $10K more for a car with the same exact options, but no manual and no Quattro, is the A3 really worth it?
 

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The A3 still doesn't have a power seat which is absolutely sad. Also, the pano roof is missing obviously. Plus for over $10K more for a car with the same exact options, but no manual and no Quattro, is the A3 really worth it?
No, it's not worth it. That's part of why I have a Golf.

But then again, I don't miss most of the stuff that other people complain about - indeed, given the choice, I don't want that stuff at all. I'm very pleased that my Golf's seats are not power. I prefer non-auto climate control. I don't want my car deciding when to turn on my lights for me, in fact I turned off the DRLs and bought a normal headlight switch within weeks of buying the car. I prefer cloth over vinyl or leather. I can't imagine ever wanting nav. So while I support the questions, I don't personally understand the sentiment.
 

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The A3 still doesn't have a power seat which is absolutely sad. Also, the pano roof is missing obviously. Plus for over $10K more for a car with the same exact options, but no manual and no Quattro, is the A3 really worth it?
The premium plus model comes with a power driver's seat and you can also option the skyview roof, their pano roof. Yes it's shorter than the sportwagen because the a3 is also shorter than the wagon. There are a few options that you can have that are no longer available from the factory on the VWs, like dual zone climate control, 5" high resolution nav system (Audi's version of RNS510 but different interface), xenon headlights, auto headlight/rain sensor/auto wipers, standard block coolant heater (in US, block heater is std in Canada VWs).

And of course, looks are subjective but many people like the way it looks too. And some people want an Audi vs. a VW and are willing to pay the premium.
 

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And of course, looks are subjective but many people like the way it looks too. And some people want an Audi vs. a VW and are willing to pay the premium.
You're preaching to the choir. I traded in my 6 year old S4 on the JSW and I'm definitely an Audi guy. There's a lot that I'm missing from owning an Audi and I will definitely be another owner some day. It's just, dollar for dollar, I couldn't justify price of the car and the options I was looking for in the A3 vs the JSW.

When I get bored and trade this in for a B7 S4 Avant? Now we'll be talking.
 

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FYI, I just got press info on the new 2012 VW Passat TDI and it will have many of the features the OP is missing. This is WORLD EXCLUSIVE information on the car, VW just released this literally, about 10 minutes before I did, and since it's late Sunday night, nobody else has released it.. This won't be released until the Detroit auto show tomorrow.

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f9/breaking-news-new-nms-will-still-2012-vw-passat-tdi-specs-5138/

It has many of the features you said you wanted but at this time, it's unknown if there will be a wagon. Only the sedan specs are shown.
 

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JSW: Stripped Down but Better than Most

I had a mini cooper with xenons and rain sensing wipers and auto temp controls......I had a mini van with 8 way power seats in passenger and driver as well and also with memory and leather. I do miss the power seats etc. but you know dollar for dollar the JSW really is a wonderful car and you will get spoiled getting 50-55 mpg on the road. The 67.9 cu feet of storage is unmatched and almost as much as the outback wagon. Consumers gives this car an 81 rating which beats 95% of the cars they rate.

I will drive it for a few years and hopefully move up to a larger Passat TDI wagon if there is such a car in 2012 or 13. Until then driving the JSW is a great way to pass the time and the re-sale value will be tremendous to boot!
 

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Man I love my manual controls but I'm suprised you don't get the quattro option on the A3. I would've thought the vag company would realise it snows in places other than europe.

Isn't prius a swear word Chitty? and also you only get about 15-20 mpg if you give it some boot so not really an economical car to build or drive in my opinion. Just more jumping on the green bandwagon. (These are my personal opinions)
 

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Man I love my manual controls but I'm suprised you don't get the quattro option on the A3. I would've thought the vag company would realise it snows in places other than europe.

Isn't prius a swear word Chitty? and also you only get about 15-20 mpg if you give it some boot so not really an economical car to build or drive in my opinion. Just more jumping on the green bandwagon. (These are my personal opinions)
I won't argue that the costs and environmental impact of building a Prius are less green than its image, but you'd have to try really, really hard to get 15-20 MPG; hard enough that you'd probably deplete the battery quickly enough that you're "fun" (can you have that in a Prius?) wouldn't last long. I have quite a bit of seat time in a friend's 2nd gen Prius, and even lead-footed driving returns mileage well over 30 MPG...that is until you slowly catch up with traffic and have to back off, at which time the average mileage quickly gets back into the 40s.

If I drive that way in my TDI (admittedly 2000 miles young), I'll get lousy mileage as well, and it'll take much, much longer to bring averages up once the fun is over.

The fact is that a Prius simply uses less fuel than a TDI in most driving situations. Of course, we all own TDIs instead of the Prius because everything else about the Prius is pretty much inferior. Except maybe reliability.
 

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Still slightly offtopic2. They did a test with the prius on top gear (not the most scientific) where they raced the prius around their track and followed it with an m3 4.2l v8 bmw and the prius did 17 mpg while the bmw did 23 mpg. It was maybe the 1st gen though. The moral of the story at the time was about not what you drive but how you drive it because people were selling their bigger cars at a ridiculous loss and buying smaller cars. I drive my car fairly hard quite often but being an older tdi I still get 40-50mpg thankfully. I do think the whole electric car thing is a bit hyped. It seems that companies just jump on the enviromental bandwagon to sell stuff that isn't enviromentally that good which for me is one of the reasons I don't like the prius but it's just my opinion.:)
 

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Still slightly offtopic2. They did a test with the prius on top gear (not the most scientific) where they raced the prius around their track and followed it with an m3 4.2l v8 bmw and the prius did 17 mpg while the bmw did 23 mpg. It was maybe the 1st gen though. The moral of the story at the time was about not what you drive but how you drive it because people were selling their bigger cars at a ridiculous loss and buying smaller cars. I drive my car fairly hard quite often but being an older tdi I still get 40-50mpg thankfully. I do think the whole electric car thing is a bit hyped. It seems that companies just jump on the enviromental bandwagon to sell stuff that isn't enviromentally that good which for me is one of the reasons I don't like the prius but it's just my opinion.:)
I think top gear is a bit biased against the Prius.:p

I put my opinions on the Prius in the buying guide - I am open to buying a hybrid if they make one I want at a price I can afford. The Fisker Karma looks nice but it's $$$, can't be serviced anywhere, has been delayed for years, and you can pretty much forget about manufacturer support. Give them a few more generations of development and they'll look much nicer.

I started EVWAudi.com, a VW-Audi hybrid forum and FAQ and the Touareg hybrid, Audi A6 hybrid, and Q5 hybrid look like pretty nice cars. The only problem is that they're way overpriced. With the Touareg, the fact that there's a Touareg TDI is the main problem. VW-Audi is taking a different direction with their hybrids by giving them better efficiency and a lot more performance instead of being all out efficiency cars.
 

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I started EVWAudi.com, a VW-Audi hybrid forum and FAQ and the Touareg hybrid, Audi A6 hybrid, and Q5 hybrid look like pretty nice cars. The only problem is that they're way overpriced. With the Touareg, the fact that there's a Touareg TDI is the main problem. VW-Audi is taking a different direction with their hybrids by giving them better efficiency and a lot more performance instead of being all out efficiency cars.
VW-Audi isn't alone in that - pretty much all hybrids other than the Prius, Insight and maybe Civic are using the hybrid to add power to a moderately powered vehicle, rather than go for max efficiency.

The short answer for me was that I don't like the batteries on a hybrid (both eco-issues with mfg and future recycling, and packing around all that weight), and none of the hybrids I've driven drive and handle as nice as I want my cars to. The Golf TDI was the only high-mileage car that met my requirements. My wife and I both love it.
 

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luv my TDI

In response to gordonwd; I had many of the same concerns when shopping a year ago but have to say I don't miss any of the upscale features. Just the manual lights are a bit annoying since I drive other cars that have automatic lights and it is not 100% habit going back to manual. But if it is your main ride you will get used to it. My wife also has a Mazda 3 grand touring and while the Bose stereo rocks, the car feels like a toy compared to my JSW. Comming from a BMW you would feel right at home in the very germanic handeling characteristics of the VW. This car is solid and well engineered. The engine is a total gem. There is plenty of power. I am averaging 36 MPG's in real world driving. One would average closer to the low 40's if you would take it very easy. I don't see how the 50's would ever be realistic. Where this car shines is on long stretches. The seats are very supportive, the heaters work great, and the pleather is just as nice if not better than the real thing. As far as value for the money and practicality, nothing beats this car. I now have 13K + trouble free miles and I love this car more than when it was new. I would also recommend the 17" wheels and tires for a tighter more controlled ride. The new Passat looks promising, but order now since you are going to wait for a TDI version a long time if they will even be availiable around the launch. Good luck. As a note to Chitty - thanks for this forum - great job!
 

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We have a new Passat TDI, absolutely GREAT car. 2nd tank of fuel - 693 miles, 16.4 gallons, 400 miles were on the freeway but traveling at 75+. At times on just the freeway holding constant 70 MPH the car was constantly recording 50+ MPG. Now that is a hybrid!!! Viva VW. Only complaint, NO individual options without pricey packages that have a bunch of stuff I don't care about. That is a BIG complaint, I do not know if I would recommend the car to someone else, at least I would inform them of they very limited selection or the big $ price tag to get memory seats (the option I wanted).
 
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