New Car Reviews

2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI – Four Seasons Update – April 2009

Long-Term 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Update: Spring 2009 ( 1 of 5 ) Miles to date: 0

Months in Fleet: Seven
Mileage to Date: 16,507

The Jetta TDI has traveled only about 1000 miles since its last update, but we’ve still been enjoying the company of this innocuous torque-monster. The original-equipment Bridgestone all-season tires recently replaced the Continental winter shoes that ably pulled us through a snowy Midwest winter, inspiring executive editor Joe DeMatio to scribble: “The Jetta should make a good road-trip car for summer travel, what with its comfortable cabin and huge trunk. With 16,000 miles, it’s holding up pretty well. The interior is wearing fine, the car itself feels quite solid.”

Not completely solid are the slightly spongy brakes that we previously noted. They haven’t gotten any better or worse, but we’ll definitely have the binders inspected when the car goes in for service in a couple thousand miles.

In the meantime, friend of the magazine Traci Ringwelski has driven the Jetta a fair amount, commuting to various volunteering engagements in metro Detroit.

“The stick shift is smooth and well-placed,” she wrote, “although it is a little light and could benefit from a more solid feel when changing gears. The lack of power in low gears can be annoying around town, too, but the amazing fuel economy is easy to get used to.

“The seats are comfortable and easily adjustable,” Ringwelski continued, “and these heated seats set the standard. Also, the steering wheel has a nice grippy feel to it and is the perfect thickness.”

Our new road test coordinator, Mike Ofiara, succinctly summarized our general consensus after his first drive in the TDI: “The Jetta is a good car. And for about $23K, it’s a great car.”

Let the vacations begin!

TDI Loyal Edition

  • Base Price: $23,090
  • As Tested: $23,090
  • Options: None
  • EPA Fuel Economy: 30/41/34 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Powertrain:  
  • Engine: SOHC 16-valve turbo-diesel I-4
  • Power: 140 hp @ 4000 rpm
  • Torque: 236 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Drive: Front-wheel
  • Tires: Continental ContiWinterContact
  • Tire size: 205/55HR-16
  • Weight: 3230 lb