2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Test drive and review

29 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Test drive and review отключены
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

VW’s 40 MPG sporty sedan


I have what could charitably be described as a love-hate relationship with the Volkswagen Jetta. Ever since the current version came out in 2011, I’ve been praising it for its roomy back seat and trunk and excellent driving dynamics while simultaneously castigating it for its downmarket interior and bait-and-switch pricing structure. I’ve driven the regular Jetta. the cheap Jetta. the hybrid Jetta and the racy Jetta. and I have yet to develop a consistent opinion.

There’s one Jetta I hadn’t driven until now, and that’s the diesel-powered Jetta TDI. Understand that I am a sucker for diesels. To me, the diesel engine is the automotive equivalent of bacon: It makes everything better.

We have a long-term diesel-powered Passat. and as far as I’m concerned, its the best family car on wheels.

So what happens when you put my favorite Volkswagen engine in my least-favorite Volkswagen car. Short version: You get an excellent family car with a cheap interior. Here’s the long version.

Diesel details

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI engine

Let’s talk about the diesel engine (link goes to photo): As you’d expect, I like everything about it. The Jetta’s 2.0-liter 4-cylinder TDI turbodiesel develops 140 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, same as it does in the bigger Passat, but with 200 fewer pounds of car to lug around. My test Jetta had a six-speed manual transmission, and man, was it ever zoomy! (Granted, ten months of driving the Passat TDI has taught me how to squeeze the most out of this engine.

The trick is to shift a thousand RPM or so short of the redline and ride the wave of mid-range torque.) The clutch felt a little heavy, but unlike other VW TDIs I’ve driven, there wasn’t much vibration passed back through the pedal.

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

The Jetta TDI is EPA-rated for 30 MPG city and 42 MPG highway for both manual and automatic transmissions. Diesels almost always exceed their EPA estimates, and the Jetta was no exception: I averaged an even 43 MPG, with low-to-mid 30s in town and 50.6 on one 150-mile highway trip. I was aided by the Jetta TDI’s upshift light, which encouraged me to pick a higher gear than I normally would — at a steady 40 MPH, the Jetta suggested 5th instead of 4th. A little experimentation proved that this did make a difference, and as long as I kept the engine above 1,200 RPM or so, acceleration wasn’t a problem.

With a 15.5 gallon fuel tank, the Jetta TDI will easily go 600 miles on a tank, nearly twice the range of most gasoline cars.

Keen eyes will note that the Jetta’s EPA MPG is in the same neighborhood as the diesel Passat’s estimates of 30/40 for the automatic and 31/43 for the manual. Chalk this up to the nature of the diesel engine (weight doesn’t seem to affect fuel economy as much it does with a gasoline engine) and a different emissions system (while the Passat requires AdBlue fluid, the Jetta does not; for more on Adblue and the selective catalyst reduction (SCR) emissions system, go here .) Smaller vehicles are generally more fuel-efficient, but with diesel cars, that isn’t necessarily the case.

But there’s still that interior.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI dashboard

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

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