The Jetta is one of those cars that gained the majority of its popularity in the early ‘90s and has been building on it ever since. One of the models that really changed the way American’s looked at diesels was the TDI offered in the Jetta, an engine that disappeared between 2006 and 2009 due to changes in the emission regulations. In 2009, the Jetta TDI returned to much praise from the media and a handful of awards. The improvement that was the talk of the town was the clean diesel—meaning that the emissions coming out of the tailpipe were very little and didn’t exhibit the classic black smoke that diesels were known for.
2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Street Edition

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Street Edition

Recently, we took a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup model out on the track. Now we do have to say that we drove a lot of cars as part of the Rocky Mountain Driving Experience, including a 2010 Corvette Grand SportCamaro SS and Challenger SRT8, so we had to take a step back when comparing the speed of the Jetta TDI. We also drove a 2010 VW GTI, which provides a better level of comparison. The Jetta TDI Cup model is THE diesel to have if you are in the market for a new Jetta. The Cup model adds the firmer GLI suspension, larger anti-roll bar, larger brakes and a graphics package. Even better, the Cup model only adds around $2K to the base models MSRP of $22,830.

As we mentioned, the Jetta TDI has the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that puts out 140 hp and 236 foot pounds of torque. Just as a comparison, the 2010 Kia Forte Koup has 156 hp coming from a 2.0-liter gasoline motor. This leaves the Jetta TDI feeling a little sluggish, even with the turbo. The question is, does the 41 mpg on the highway and a pretty remarkable 30 mpg in the city (manual transmission) make up for the lack of acceleration performance? The answer is: it depends. If you are using the car for commuting and you are looking for a four-door that gets exceptional highway mileage, then this might be the right car for you, especially with the crisper suspension (helps in the corners to keep up your momentum) and larger brakes. If you are looking for a pocket rocket with the same handling characteristics and the “green” aspect isn’t as important, then you might check out Wolfsburg edition with the 200 hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder.

Bottom line—the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup may not be for everyone, but it is well appointed, handles well and gets an A+ for fuel efficiency.

Read the full 2010 Voklswagen Jetta Review here.