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..

General Comments:

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

14th Sep 2009, 16:22

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.

2005 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 from North America


VW should have paying more attention to the detail


Several problems:

1. It creates a tapping noise from the fuel line. According to the service department of the dealer where I got the car, it is the vacuuming process to get the air out of the tank. But I'm not satisfied with this answer. I mean, this is a pretty high-tech car. So having that tapping noise for the first several minutes of running a car is kind of uncomfortable. It makes it feel like I'm driving a junk car.

2. When I drive over 60 mph, it creates air noise. Again, according to the dealer, it is caused by the air movement inside the side-mirror. But again, it really doesn't make sense if you look at it from a scientific perspective. I have even tested the side-mirror design using my school's aerodynamics lab facility.

3. It creates a diesel-like noise when starting the car (when the engine is cold). It smoothens up after 20 seconds. It gives you the feeling that the car is old-junk.

General Comments:

It is a nice car, without the problems that I mentioned above. Good power, environmentally-friendly (Partial Zero Emission Vehicle), and good handling. But after experiencing all of that, I don't think I am interested in buying VW for my next vehicle. I owned Japanese cars before, and they really gave me almost zero problems. They won't have the prestige and class that German cars have, but they sure do give the comfort and satisfaction while owning and using them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd May, 2006

23rd May 2006, 10:17

I guess VW STILL hasn't fixed quality control problems on their cars...

Kinda sad actually, esp since you easily spent a premium over its Japanese counterpart.

23rd May 2006, 22:33

Did anyone even read the "gripes" the original poster had to do with quality control?

The wind noise is hardly a quality control issue, and the loud diesel-like startup noise on the 2.5 engine equipped Jettas has been discussed ad nauseum. The noise is NORMAL!