TDI gas mileage is incredible. But that’s not the only reason to buy a Volkswagen TDI model. In October of 2011 I purchased a 2011 Jetta TDI. What a charming vehicle. Not only does its 14 gallon tank provide me with an average range of over 600 miles, it is a pleasure to drive. The TDI, as most of you know is a diesel-based platform, which churns out a seemingly tame 140 horsepower. What is lost in horsepower is more than made up for in torque. This little 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder motor cranks out an eye popping 236 ft. lbs. of torque at 1750 rpm.
1750 rpm! This thing is a little four cylinder barrel of fun. But unlike most other cars that fall into the barrel of fun category, this one averages 45 mpg. The fun to fuel mileage ratio is through the roof on this car. I would hazard a guess that you can’t say that about your Prius. It is decidedly peppy around town. Third gear is a blast. Shift into third at around 35 mph and you’ll find yourself with a heck of a lot of response as you enter the sweet spot of this motor, right around 3400 rpm. It is very capable on the highway as well. The Jetta handles solidly and maintains an 80 mph cruising speed, mainting revs around 3000 rpm.
Now that we know this thing can go, is the TDI gas mileage really all it’s cracked up to be? In a word, YES. Here is a quick run down of my last three fill ups:
TDI Gas Mileage:
1/17/2012 – 41.72 MPG
1/24/2012 – 44.85 MPG
2/6/2012 – 45.26 MPG
There are a handful of TDI Forums that provide a ton of information from other Jetta TDI owners on their real life gas mileage results. I find that the MyTurboDiesel and TDIClub TDI forums are really informative and provide a ton of useful information to novice and future owners. I have no affiliation with these, fyi.
So let’s talk about the creature comforts. I went with the TDI w/NAV, 6-Speed M/T, Sunroof and Leatherette seats (no, I didn’t cheap out, this is the highest grade option). The Navigation system is pretty intuitive. I seem to prefer the clean look of a factory NAV versus the wired mess that you get with one of the portable GPS units. It has gotten me to my destination every time and I’m happy with it overall. My only gripe is the fact that the volume control is finicky, and can only be controlled while speaking. This becomes a real pain when you inadvertently turn it all the way down.
The TDI is also equipped with a hands free Bluetooth system built into the stereo. What a nice feature. It’s great for me, but my family says that I come through a little fuzzy for some reason. Still a nice feature. The steering wheel is thicker than most, which gives it a nice solid feel. Incorporated into the left side of the wheel is an easy to access button console which controls speaker volume, station presets and hands free voice control. Nicely spaced and proportioned and quick to respond. I do however find that my hand hits the handsfree button from time to time…a minor annoyance all things considered.