2009 vw jetta tdi 009 1Reliability, care
2009 vw jetta tdi 009 1Enlarge Photo
Like many vehicles, the Jetta TDI has been subject to a recall over the last few years. In this instance, all Volkswagen and Audi TDI models were recalled for a fuel leak issue. It applies to all Jetta TDI models built between May 2008 and September 2011.
The NHTSA also had to investigate a series of Volkswagen diesels stalling due to a fuel pump issue. The issue will now have been dealt with, but it's worth checking with your Volkswagen dealer to make sure the car you're viewing has had any necessary work carried out.
Otherwise, the Jetta TDI should prove fairly reliable. Volkswagen recommends servicing and oil changes every 10,000 miles, and changing it any earlier is really just a waste of money. These engines will do huge mileages--they're popular with taxi drivers in Europe, and it's not unknown for them to do hundreds of thousands of miles with only routine maintenance.
All Jetta TDIs will still be under their 12-year, unlimited mileage corrosion warranty, and some will still be under the five year, 60,000-mile drivetrain warranty.
2010 VW Jetta TDI DSG AutomaticCost
2010 VW Jetta TDI DSG Automatic
For a 2009-2010 Jetta TDI, you can expect to pay between $20,000-$22,300 if buying a low-mileage car from a dealer, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Cars sold privately or at non-franchised dealers will cost less, and we found 2009 models on eBay from around $18,000.
If you go for an older Jetta TDI, before the model disappeared for a few years, you can spend much less--a 2006 model will cost you around $10,000-$11,000.
As far as fuel costs are concerned, you shouldn't pay too much. The EPA's fueleconomy.gov website estimates $1,800 a year in diesel over 15,000 miles, at an average diesel cost of $4.09 per gallon. However, with most owners achieving comfortably better MPG, you can expect to spend less than this for the equivalent mileage.
The Jetta TDI appeals to a different sort of buyer than the other green cars we've been covering in this series. It's more fun to drive for a start, which will immediately appeal to some buyers over others.
It won't match hybrids for fuel efficiency in the city, and really diesels aren't particularly suited to inner-city use--it takes longer for the engines to reach their most efficient operating temperature, where gasoline-electric hybrids can be fully up to speed in a matter of minutes.
However, if you regularly do longer highway journeys, a Jetta TDI is well worth considering. Highway economy is excellent--generally better than the EPA figures suggest--and you'll get to appreciate the torquey motor and strong performance.
You can also read a full review of the Jetta Sedan on our sister site, TheCarConnection.