2005 Volkswagen Jetta TDI TDI turbo diesel from North America
Fun car until it breaks
This car has been in the shop several times for various things:
First problem we had was the XM sat receiver went out and had to be replaced, failed again and they had to replace both the radio and the receiver.
Second this car has the climatronic dual zone climate control. Since it was new it has had a problem where the defrost vents don't close all the way allowing very cold AC air to escape the vents. What this does is cause condensation and fog on the outside of the windshield. They say the system is working normally.
These cars are very expensive to maintain. Heed this warning if you want to buy this car to save money. The oil changes are expensive, something like 60-70.00 USD, but only need to be done every 10K. The really bad one is the transmission. The DSG, or "Direct Shift Gearbox" is actually a standard shift transmission that shifts automatically. Sounds really cool and probably is on a fast car, but on a TDI it seems a waste. The bad thing is it costs nearly $400.00 every 40K to have serviced. By the time you balance out your maintainance you could be driving a regular car.
This brings to the current problem. Several times the car would lose power. It would feel like the turbo would shut down as the car would have to be floored to get moving and had a hard time maintaining 50 mph. We took it in and they found nothing wrong, but said maybe the 40K< service would fix it. Okay..800.00 later we have a 40K and trans service. The car seemed to not have the problem again until we took it on a road trip from Texas to New Mexico. The problem became chronic and we had to limp it to Santa Fe. They checked it out and said the "megatronics unit" is bad. (one guy said it was the brains of the transmission and the other guy said it is the double clutch pack) Well we find out the parts are not available ANYWHERE.. Not even Germany.. This was a Friday we find this out.. I told them we had to be back to work Monday, but they wouldn't even approve the rental car until monday so the service guy made some calls and they approved the rental. We had to drive back to Austin and the car still sits in Santa Fe..
The car is cute, well appointed and fun to drive and overall seems well put together. The biggest problem with the car is dealer service. Because of this problem we will have to take several days off to get the car back. VW has consistenty been unsupportive with problems with this car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 16th July, 2007
A agree that the service department at most VW dealerships is unsatisfactory, and it appears that when a problem surfaces, the car sits at the dealer for a long time. I stumbled onto the VW CARE center (customer support on the VW website), in which you call a VW representative and explain your problem and they will assign you a case manager... I would advise this method as I was fed up with my service department, and the case manager was able to step in and get everything fixed.
I change the oil on my Jetta TDI, and have not voided any warranty and the oil isn't overly expensive, but it's not something that I would trust your average Joe to do.
As for the DSG, I'm not a fan and opted for the 5-speed, although I recently drove an 09 with the 6 speed manual and that is one smooth and precise manual.
Yes, the fuel mileage gauge always reads high, but my economy is pretty good. I commute 300 miles every-other weekend on country highways with the speed limit of 55...so I drive 63mph and have derived 58 mpg (actual, not by the gauge as it was reading 62mpg). Usually I get between 42 and 47 miles to the gallon.