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Jetta TDI to get $1300 tax credit

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Now that Toyota has sold so many Priuses that the popular hybrid no longer qhalifies for federal tax credits, and they are essentially sold out until the new generation cars show up next year, people might be wondering where to go for a high mileage vehicle. Volkswagen's new 50-state legal Jetta TDI is going on sale around about Labor day and our good friends at the IRS have decreed that people who purchase one will be able to get a check back from the feds for $1,300. The clean diesel Jetta qualifies under the Advanced Lean Burn Technology Motor Vehicle income tax credit. That would bring the price premium for the diesel to only $700 over a comparable Jetta with a gas engine.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/07/24/jetta-t...k-from-the-irs/

jetta-tdi-demo-450.jpg

This makes getting the diesel a no-brainer, assuming dealers don't mark them up.

I took a DSG sedan demo for quick drive, and my impressions were mixed. It sounds like a 100K mile 1.8T with a worn cam chain tensioner, there's still a good deal of turbo lag when accelerating gently from a stop, the DSG wasn't exactly transparent (in automatic mode, there was way too much engine braking, and at low speeds, you can feel the automatic clutch engagement messing about), and the brake feel seemed inconsistent. That all made for a less-than-smooth driving experience around town.

I wanted to see what sort of fuel economy it would get in normal driving, so I didn't test out its acceleration... don't think I ever gave it more than half-throttle. I averaged 24 mpg, not bad considering the engine was cold and I only drove two miles. I did the same route in my "warm" Passat and only managed 19 mpg.

On the upside, the engine was fairly smooth and quiet, and even if it sounds like a bag of rocks clattering away, the noises were muffled. The speed at which the DSG changed gear was impressive. With all the hype surrounding modern diesels and the advanced technology underneath the hood, I came away surprised by how ordinary everything felt. It was just a Jetta... with a bit more turbo lag and a lot more fuel economy.

The TDI is probably more at home on the highway, where its big torque and low revs will come in handy, and where its low-speed DSG operation and turbo lag won't be apparent. I look forward to trying one with a normal six-speed manual over a longer drive.

Initial Jetta TDIs will come with a free "Loyalty" package that includes sunroof and premium sound. The model I drove was ~$24K including destination and DSG, and it had all the right stuff - a nice leather-wrap multifunction wheel, semi-power leatherette seats, alloys, and ESP. Even without the tax credit and diesel resale value, this thing is a steal.

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Great... just last week I convinced myself out of the Jetta and back to the Astra, arguing that the time to recuperate the extra cost by gains in fuel economy was too long. I've been reading up on it at tdiclub.com, and it's a mixed bag when it comes to dealer mark-ups or not. Some people report "invoice +," some msrp, and a few with dealer mark-up.

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empowah, you're a tough nut to crack. keep it in perspective. this is an econocar!

i am so WOW at this. the tax credit is wonderful news. if diesel ever goes down to 3.75 or 3.50...OMG

it'd be so nice if VW can stick it to toyotas ass with this.

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test drove a TDI over lunch, will update later. Nice commuter, but if you drive the turbo after, you won't want the diesel.

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ok, the tdi with DSG

acceleration......at most speeds not bad. you gotta lay into the pedal......but its fairly responsive. the car needs a boost of throttle at higher speeds to keep from being slowed down by the wind. turbo and tranny kick down could stand to be faster. drive the turbo after and you'll think the TDI is lacking. do not drive the turbo and you'll think the power is just fine for most commuting.

engine for a diesel is quiet and fairly smooth but to be honest its not velvety in comparison to lots of other 4 and 6 cylinders today. and there is some mechanical noise that is not isolated out from the engine. its not much, but like i said compared with the turbo its noticeable.

ride, handling, all good. the jetta rides more solid to me than the undertired base passat i drove too. the jetta feels like a well planted mid size sedan on the road. the interior is well laid out and there is good space.

i don't get the DSG. its a little funky at first. then you understand the shift feel. what i don't get.....i had it in sport mode and it was still upshifting for me. WTF? I want to shift it myself!

the price was great.

the mission of this car is great fuel economy as an alternative to the strange prius. in this regard the tdi is a very good commuter and blows away the prius in classiness. i would advise to pay attention to the diesel and really try to understand if you are comfortable with it. it was more responsive than many economy 4 cyl cars. However, the DIC only registered 32.5 when i was driving it and to be honest, i would need another 10 mpg before i consider it worth it. I am glad i can check the TDI off my list, however, the Jetta Sportwagen with BAMR in the showroom really hooked me. What a nice package that is and you can get a TDI sportwagen if you want.

Jetta is a nice car. Sterile and bland inside but German feeling all the way. I cannot blame anyone for liking this car. Its pretty cool. The BAMR by itself may just be enough to hook me.

Edited by regfootball
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ok, the tdi with DSG

acceleration......at most speeds not bad. you gotta lay into the pedal......but its fairly responsive. the car needs a boost of throttle at higher speeds to keep from being slowed down by the wind. turbo and tranny kick down could stand to be faster. drive the turbo after and you'll think the TDI is lacking. do not drive the turbo and you'll think the power is just fine for most commuting.

engine for a diesel is quiet and fairly smooth but to be honest its not velvety in comparison to lots of other 4 and 6 cylinders today. and there is some mechanical noise that is not isolated out from the engine. its not much, but like i said compared with the turbo its noticeable.

ride, handling, all good. the jetta rides more solid to me than the undertired base passat i drove too. the jetta feels like a well planted mid size sedan on the road. the interior is well laid out and there is good space.

i don't get the DSG. its a little funky at first. then you understand the shift feel. what i don't get.....i had it in sport mode and it was still upshifting for me. WTF? I want to shift it myself!

the price was great.

the mission of this car is great fuel economy as an alternative to the strange prius. in this regard the tdi is a very good commuter and blows away the prius in classiness. i would advise to pay attention to the diesel and really try to understand if you are comfortable with it. it was more responsive than many economy 4 cyl cars. However, the DIC only registered 32.5 when i was driving it and to be honest, i would need another 10 mpg before i consider it worth it. I am glad i can check the TDI off my list, however, the Jetta Sportwagen with BAMR in the showroom really hooked me. What a nice package that is and you can get a TDI sportwagen if you want.

Jetta is a nice car. Sterile and bland inside but German feeling all the way. I cannot blame anyone for liking this car. Its pretty cool. The BAMR by itself may just be enough to hook me.

Sport mode = delayed upshifts, earlier downshifts

You need to push the lever to the right to get Tiptronic mode.

It does upshift on its own if you hit the rev limiter, which in a diesel, is pretty soon. But if you floor it, it won't downshift unless you hit the toggle underneath the pedal.

Edited by empowah
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