Recently, I had the chance to interview Tim Jackson, President of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), about his long-term driving experience of the 2009 Green Car of the Year or the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. To make this a little more interesting, I am going to include the interview as it happened below in a question and answer format.

Q: How long have you been driving the 2009 Jetta TDI?

A: We picked up the new 2009 Jetta TDI on December 20th, last year.  I was instantly impressed with the acceleration and torque for such a fuel efficient car.

Q: What is the longest trip you have taken the car on without stopping?

A:  Unfortunately, I haven’t yet driven very far in a single trip.  Denver to Colorado Springs is the longest trip so far; 62 miles each way.

Q: After that trip, what impressed you about the car? What sticks out the most?

A:  We made that trip as part of the Green Car Convoy ahead of the 2009 Denver Auto Show, so it was a very enjoyable drive.  Everybody wants to drive my new Jetta TDI so I wasn’t even able to keep control of the wheel for that exciting trip.  The Jetta is popular and attractive and attracts a lot of attention.

Q: What sticks out as the worst part of the car after that trip?

A: Hey, if there is “worst part of this car,” I haven’t yet found it!

Q: Do you know what your average miles per gallon has been while you have been driving the car? Is that city and highway or just one of the two?

A:  The MPG on this car is simply amazing.  So far it has beat 30+ miles per gallon in the city, where I both live and work.  On the longer trips, such as the one to Colorado Springs or Northern Colorado, 46 MPG is very doable.

creative commons - flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/markusschoepke/70144576/

creative commons - flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/markusschoepke/70144576/

Q: As a consumer, what would draw you to the 2009 Jetta TDI?

A:  Consumers will love the Jetta TDI for various reasons, all worthwhile and attractive.  It is extremely peppy, easy to drive, fun to drive, fuel efficient, easy on the eyes and popular.

Q: If you were in the market for a new sedan, how would you compare the Jetta TDI to the new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid?

A:  Good question, yet a fair one.  It is difficult for me to say anything negative about either of the two cars you offer to box me in!  Since I have already said something about the many great aspects of the Jetta TDI, let’s drill down a little on the amazing new Ford Fusion Hybrid.  I think the Ford Fusion Hybrid is destined to become one of the best, if not the best, green car in production by a US automaker.  It is very well made and drives and handles like a champ.  The fuel economy is the best in its class.  The Fusion Hybrid is destined to be a remarkable car, in my humble opinion.   

 

Q: Which one do you think you would choose if given the choice to own only one of those two cars?

A: Tough question!  I think I would have a tough time choosing between the two.  I would be forced to take one of each. (Editor’s Note: I would have the same problem!)

Q: How do you feel about the performance of the Jetta TDI? Does it merge well onto the freeway? Good passing power? How is the in-town driving experience?

A: One evening recently, I was taking a State Senator to a dinner meeting in downtown Denver.  When a red light turned green at an intersection we had waited for the light change, I decided we should see how the car performs while at the same time showing off the technology to a respected public policymaker.  I gunned the TDI pretty good just to see how hard we could throw the heads back.  The Senator was impressed; very impressed.  About that time we pulled up to another red light.  As the light approached time to change, I asked, “Do you want to try that again?”   The Senator bounced a hairpin trigger response, “No Tim, I believe you!  No need to go for a whiplash award, I am convinced and impressed with the torque and power the TDI offers.   

Q: In a sentence or two what would you tell a relative or close friend about the Jetta if they asked you honest opinion?

A: The Jetta TDI is a car for our future; encapsulating style, power, speed and incredible fuel economy.  Get one, you will like it!

Q: How do you feel about the price point of the Jetta TDI--- Too expensive for the class of car, a so-so price, inexpensive and a good deal?

A:  I think the price point on the Jetta TDI is about right.  It is affordable without being cheap, powerful without being dangerous, attractive without being gaudy or eccentric and highly efficient without being a hybrid.

Bottom-line—The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI has been winning award after award in the green car circuit and has proven itself as a superior diesel automobile. The real question is, can it hold off the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid? For now we will just have to wait and see. If biodiesel becomes readily accessible, it might just continue to be the greenest car on the market.

 

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