~2 month review - 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI (CPO)

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So it was ~2 months ago I picked up my CPO 2012 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI so have had some wheel time to get a feel for her (named her Heidi). Fuel Economy: Being a TDI I figure this would be the most imperative talking point. The revised figures after the fix are 29/37 and it is easy to see these numbers. The shorter freeway trips I have taken (25-30 miles each way) I typically am sitting ~39-40 MPG. I can hit the 29 city under the proper conditions but living, working and driving in the core of Atlanta is complete opposite of conditions conducive to hitting EPA #'s so my current Fuelly average is 25.1 MPG. Considering I was seeing 12-13 MPG average tanks (per trip computer) in my E350 4Matic and saw as low as a 9.8 MPG tank in my MB C300 running E85 I am pleased with the double in fuel economy. My work commute sucks - its 3-4 miles depending on route and can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour depending on traffic, there are days I could probably walk home faster. Ride and Drive: The Sportwagen rides on the older MKV platform (2005.5-2009 Jetta), it was just mildly facelifted in 2010 to look like the MKVI Golf (front fascia and interior dashboard). I had a 2006 Jetta 2.5 for ~4 years, hopping in my 2012 Sportwagen it feels like hopping into an old friend. Even the ride and handling were familiar to me. Handling is very competent and even in wagon form it is a very tossable car, for a front wheel drive car with a relatively heavy engine sitting up front it feels surprisingly balanced. Drivetrain: 140 HP and 235 ft/lb torque. Not exactly a barn burner but with a 0-60 in the mid 9 second range it is entirely competent, its mainly highway passing where I miss the brute power of the 3.5 V6 from my E350. Lower speeds and around town is where the TDI shines with the strong torque right off idle. My car has the DSG gearbox and I have to say it is pretty amazing how it snaps off shifts that are pretty much imperceptible, the only bad about the DSG is taking off from a stop where there is a slight delay while the computer tries to modulate the clutch - sport mode it is a bit more aggressive so I am finding myself sliding it down into S when I have a maneuver to pull. Warranty: VWoA is desperate to recoup some $$$$ by unloading these cars so the CPO program has been flexed for TDI vehicles. 2 year/unlimited mileage bumper to bumper CPO warranty and the TDI emissions warranty will cover my car until 2023 or 48k miles from purchase, the emissions warranty covers entire fuel system, entire engine long block and entire exhaust system - basically anything that will turn on a CEL will be covered. My ~8 year old 2012 is CPO and my other half ~9 year old 2011 is CPO. Now to the bad. Some of these fixed cars have been stored for lengthy periods of time (mine sat for ~1.5 years, my partners sat for ~1 year) which we all know non-use can create its own set of issues so if you decide to look I would strongly suggest going CPO route and check the tires over well. Ours were stored in the Southeast (guessing both of ours stayed in Georgia as they were both Georgia cars with the first owners) so stayed sun drenched most of the summer - don't know how cars react to being covered in snow for months on end for the northern stored cars. Despite being CPO both of our cars have storage related issues - the panoramic sunshade on mine was broken but replaced under CPO warranty (that is a $1500+ repair), guessing it was dry rotted from sitting unused in the sun for 1.5 years. The 2011 the headliner is starting to come loose around where the sunvisors sit - we are holding on bringing that in until the 2 year CPO is about to expire as its not bad at all right now and barely noticeable. Overall: Large part of my satisfaction is the deal that these can be had at. My 2012 w/66k miles was $9500, my partners 2011 w/46k miles was $9900 - so for ~$22k OTD we got two very gently used Jetta Sportwagens that are covered for 2 years bumper to bumper and 4/48 emissions warranty. I have always been a fan of Volkswagen's and this will be my 4th VW and my partners 3rd. We were so happy with the 2012 we went 2 weeks later and picked up the 2011 because my partners '03 BMW 325i was not going to pass emissions without major repairs - he test drove both a 1.8T Jetta Sedan and the TDI, shockingly coming from the BMW he liked the TDI better and said the 1.8T felt under powered (I didn't ask ? on that observation). I am glad to know I have probably one of the last generations of TDI that will ever see these shores as I doubt VW/Audi will ever sell a TDI ever again in the US.
 

gathermewool

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Sounds like you and your partner are pretty smart dudes! Congrats and nice write-up! Please keep us up-to-date on any major repairs or other storage-related issues
 
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Good to hear it's working out. It's unfortunate having to deal with the "storage" issues. Heat and humidity aren't kind to headliners.
 
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These are pretty old cars for any manufacturer sanctioned CPO program. Fuel economy post-fix doesn't seem all that good. Still, if you're both happy with these cars, then that's all that matters. You two didn't exactly break the bank on purchase cost either, although I do wonder how hard you pushed when you bought these cars. Overall, if these were what you wanted then I'd say you did okay. I wish you both many happy miles in these two Jetta wagons. It's nice to see some alternative to Japanese and Korean cars, with the American competitors in this class being no more than a footnote. It's also nice to see two people buying wagons and not CUVs.
 
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We were so happy with the 2012 we went 2 weeks later and picked up the 2011 because my partners '03 BMW 325i was not going to pass emissions without major repairs - he test drove both a 1.8T Jetta Sedan and the TDI, shockingly coming from the BMW he liked the TDI better and said the 1.8T felt under powered The diesel low end torque makes the car seem more responsive than the equivalent gasser.
 
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OP/pezzy669 , Congrats on both! Now: 1. It's a wagon 2. with seats down, it levels FLAT (My GSW does not do that) Re, DSG S mode: My GSW AT is working better after it learned my style. S was kind off jerky for me (On-Off traffic around big airport) I wonder if an early weekend morning trip to Nashville and back would clear that out?
 
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It sucks that the MPG aren't better on those. The 1.4T beats it. Not surprising that they weren't going to fight bringing them back. Always glad to see more VW owners on the board.
 
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Interesting as these cars are going for under 10 grand with under 40,000 on the clock. I wonder what the longer term reliability on these vehicles is and what the maintenance is like?
 
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Originally Posted by JustinH
Interesting as these cars are going for under 10 grand with under 40,000 on the clock. I wonder what the longer term reliability on these vehicles is and what the maintenance is like?
Get on your local craigslist/cars dot com/ faceboof marketplace/autotrader /etc etc for a range of 500 miles. Check the newer samples with the highest mileage how they are looking. Also check for dealers/independents around you.
 
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Good update. I picked up a 2013 Golf TDI about 6 months ago. CPO, 69K for $9900. Came with Nav a sunroof etc. Can't beat that 2 year unlimited mile warranty. I also really enjoy mine. Like you stated, the instant torque really moves these around up to about 60MPH and soak up the highway miles. The fit and finish and ride is great in these. the interior is so much nicer than any other similar sub 10K car than I can think of. I have 76K on mine now and average 34.5MPG with 60% city and 40% highway. On my longer highway trips I've easily cracked into the high 40's. Mine came with new tires and brakes. It's been into service one time for a oxygen sensor code 2 days after I picked it up. They recalibrated the sensors and cleared the codes, nothing else since then. I just ordered all the parts from fcp euro to do my 80K service in a few months. Pentosin Long Life lll and a OEM filter are going in as well as a DSG service kit, fuel and air filters etc. Hopefully these last a long time even with the "fix"!
 
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pezzy669

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Originally Posted by FordBroncoVWJeta
It sucks that the MPG aren't better on those. The 1.4T beats it. Not surprising that they weren't going to fight bringing them back. Always glad to see more VW owners on the board.
1.4T meets it on paper, real world may be a different reality. After my '03 TDI and now my '12 TDI I find that on the freeway they will meet EPA figures but under city conditions the gas engines suffer much worse. Hope you are enjoying your 1.4T!
Originally Posted by JustinH
Interesting as these cars are going for under 10 grand with under 40,000 on the clock. I wonder what the longer term reliability on these vehicles is and what the maintenance is like?
1 year or 10k oil changes are ~$95-$120, DSG oil changes are ~$400 every 40k, brake fluid every 2 years (lets say $150), cabin filters are called for every 2/20 and I think air filter is every 4/40. Nothing crazy. I think the first "major" service on the TDI is the timing belt at 130k miles.
 

pezzy669

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Originally Posted by pandus13
OP/pezzy669 , Congrats on both! Now: 1. It's a wagon 2. with seats down, it levels FLAT (My GSW does not do that) Re, DSG S mode: My GSW AT is working better after it learned my style. S was kind off jerky for me (On-Off traffic around big airport) I wonder if an early weekend morning trip to Nashville and back would clear that out?
I folded them flat for an easy desk move this last weekend - did not realize they laid flat. Going to have to go take a look. Trip to Nashville may have to happen - see how Heidi does in the pass. smile
 
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Originally Posted by pezzy669
Originally Posted by FordBroncoVWJeta
It sucks that the MPG aren't better on those. The 1.4T beats it. Not surprising that they weren't going to fight bringing them back. Always glad to see more VW owners on the board.
1.4T meets it on paper, real world may be a different reality. After my '03 TDI and now my '12 TDI I find that on the freeway they will meet EPA figures but under city conditions the gas engines suffer much worse. Hope you are enjoying your 1.4T!
Originally Posted by JustinH
Interesting as these cars are going for under 10 grand with under 40,000 on the clock. I wonder what the longer term reliability on these vehicles is and what the maintenance is like?
1 year or 10k oil changes are ~$95-$120, DSG oil changes are ~$400 every 40k, brake fluid every 2 years (lets say $150), cabin filters are called for every 2/20 and I think air filter is every 4/40. Nothing crazy. I think the first "major" service on the TDI is the timing belt at 130k miles.
I changed DSG fluid in VW CC in VW Gossett, Alpharetta for $250. I think Gossett is closed now, but ask around.
 
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Originally Posted by pezzy669
1 year or 10k oil changes are ~$95-$120, DSG oil changes are ~$400 every 40k, brake fluid every 2 years (lets say $150), cabin filters are called for every 2/20 and I think air filter is every 4/40. Nothing crazy. I think the first "major" service on the TDI is the timing belt at 130k miles.
I suppose those prices aren't that bad, but I got tired of it after a few years--I might not have had the DSG to deal with, but I did have a 80-100k TB at $700 a pop to do every 3 years. Did like the car though, sometimes I think about going back.
 
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Originally Posted by pezzy669
... Trip to Nashville may have to happen - see how Heidi does in the pass. smile
If my mazda5 could do it (loaded), Heidi could do it for sure.
 
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a fellow worker was complaining about his "poor" 45 mpgs with his 2002 jetta TDI, says well in to the 50's in pennsylvanias summer but not in the winter!! drove a 2001 new TDI golf but opted for my 200 thou at trade 2001 jetta 1.8T, good power stock 34 mpg + after mods 30 mpg + 250 hp + 275 tq to put a smile on my face
 
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