Jetta Value is easy on wallet, fuel
Diesel-powered cars save on fuel, but many won't save you any money.
That's because they cost thousands more to buy, compared with gas-powered models. Many automakers offer diesel only in combination with pricey standard features.
So it can take years — if ever — to make up for those upfront costs through savings at the pump.
That's what makes the latest addition to Volkswagen's growing diesel fleet, the Jetta TDI Value Edition, so intriguing. It offers the same diesel engine used across VW's lineup in a stripped-down package with an aggressive price: $22,115 with a manual transmission and $23,215 with a dual-clutch automated manual.
That cuts more than $2,300 from the price of the standard Jetta TDI and makes it by far the least expensive diesel car in America. It undercuts VW's other diesel models — including the Golf, Jetta Sportwagen and Passat — by an even wider margin. The Value Edition stands out for its rare mix of a premium drivetrain with basic standard features, a combination we'd like to see more of across the industry.
The pairing of the TDI engine with VW's standard-setting dual-clutch gearbox is among the best in the industry at blending fuel economy — 30 miles per gallon in the city and 42 mpg on the highway — with driving fun.
The engine is VW's 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel with a modest 140 horsepower but gobs of torque, at 236 pound-feet. The torque translates to impressive power at the lower end of the rev range, making it shine in city driving and freeway passing.
But what you give up for the sake of value is quality of interior materials. Every surface in the interior is a cheap slab of black plastic.
The cheapening extends to the steering wheel, which loses the leather wrapping and chrome accents on more upscale Jettas.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Airlines offer small conveniences to counter higher fees, less space
- Consider these factors before opting for longer-term auto loan
- Air control stickiness a real puzzler
- McDonald’s localizes menus to battle growing competition
- Longer, roomier, ritzier Sedona upgrades minivan to 1st-class
- National Day Calendar lends legitimacy to pseudo-holidays
- Aetna to buy rival Humana for $35B
- Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal
- U.S. calls Fiat Chrysler recall record dismal
- Pending home sales in U.S. climb to 9-year high
- Halliburton to close Indiana County office