Looking for a commuter. Turbo diesel?

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I'm taking a new position at the same company which requires me to travel more. I will get reimbursed for a new car payment and it's a flat rate for car payment, gas, and mantenence. I'm heavily leaning towards something diesel powered, specifically a Jetta turbo diesel. I think this make much more sense than a hybrid and coffin on wheels for 99% freeway driving. Any opinions on a freeway cruiser or any specific problems with the Jetta?
 
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I want a jetta diesel too. 50 mpg is great! Just look at a manual transmission, the autos are junk.
 

JHZR2

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I'd look for a low mileage older MB diesel. Parts are cheap, they are super reliable and with BITOG-quality service, are guaranteed to go 300-500k miles without issue. You wont find a more straightforward, good quality car than a w123 or w126 chassis MB. There are good ones with low 100k-miles on them that are great deals. You will have no issue going another 2-300k so long as you look after the fluids.
 
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The rule of thunmb I've heard is that if you're doing a lot of highway miles, a diesel is the way to go, if you're heavy-city, a hybrid will probably be better. Can't give you specifics on the Jetta, though. Second-hand info that I have is love-hate, so I'll just stay out of that part of the conversation.... ;\)
 
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It has excellent reviews and seems like a comfortable car for trips with more power than any Hybrid or 4 cylinder econo box will ever give you on the highway. Beware of expensive parts and questionable reliability. Some people get lucky with VW's and never see problems outside of routine maintenanace while others spend more time at the dealership shop for repairs than they do on the road. Are you retiring your TL? Why not make that a commuter and bank the money your job gives you?
 
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 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
Any opinions on a freeway cruiser or any specific problems with the Jetta?
You may want to pm volvohead and see how his new jetta tdi sprotswagen is doing. Also, if you can stand all the really negative people there, you may want to ask the opinions of people on tdiclub.com My opinion on the new tdi diesel is that it will be a great car in terms of reliability on the engine and with a manual tranny. I would guess there will be problems in the long term, maybe 150kish??? with the complicated emissions system that engine has. 3 cats, lots of 02 sensors, exhaust valve etc. That is just an educated guess however, not based on any research or things I have heard about the car at all. I would defer to those guys on tdiclub that have long term experience with vw diesels. I would bet it would be a pretty fun car to own and drive. My policy on VWs has been to avoid the dealer unless there is no other choice. I believe they usually do more harm than good. The golden rule is that a VW that never visits the dealer is a happy VW (that includes the "free" maintenance they offer). For me one of the most important factors is "do you like to drive it?". Having done tons of traveling myself, there are cars that I wouldn't give a second thought to driving 5-8 hours in because they are fun to drive and I like driving it. There are other cars that are so boring or uncomfortable that a 1 hour drive is a nightmare (honda civic hybrid is an example) and you will be hating life. So if you can get a car you really like to drive and it happens to get great mpg and looks like it is going to be pretty reliable, you can't beat that! You may also want to try the new GTI (Mark VI) that comes out in September or you can get a great deal on the remaining 09 mark V's (look for the newer TSI engine under the hood). Talk about fun to drive! It's worth a test drive just to compare to the TDI jetta. Try one with 18" wheels for handling or 17" for ride. It will only get about 34 mpg on the hwy but they really have the fun factor. My old boxster S was better on the track but for day-to-day driving I actually preferred the GTI to the boxster.
 

BuickGN

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Thanks guys! This love hate relationship sounds a lot like my GN. Not what I want in a commuter. I like the thought of the diesel mileage and lots of torque down low, not requiring a lot of downshifting. But reliability has to be there and it sounds like VW may not have the best. What I want out of it is reliability, decent mileage, no ultra compacts, no hybrids, and something I can use on weekends that I'm not embarassed to drive but is cheap enough that I don't worry about where I park it and the inevitable door dings. I'm trying not to use the TL anymore even though it's a great cruiser. It already has 77,000 on it. I have another year of payments and I want there to be something left of it when the payments are over. Just had the entire front of the car repained due to freeway damage. With the tires I have on it, I would be lucky to get 20,000 freeway miles out of them.
 
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Probably does not meet your timeline but the Subaru boxer diesel is supposed to be here in mid 2010. Undoubtedly it will have more emissions stuff than the subi diesels currently running around Europe though. I have heard 50 mpg on those cars. If it doesn't have the CVT tranny, this could be a pretty amazing combo. 4x4, wagon utility, subaru reliability, diesel reliability (assumed! ha ha). I may buy one if it doesn't have the CVT. Too bad they don't offer the civic diesel here, that would be something. If you are looking for reliability over fun, I would definitely go Japanese.
 
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Honda Fit Sport. Keeps it in the family, fuel mileage is far better than the EPA ratings with 40 mpg highway tanks regularly and 34-35 mpg with some town driving thrown in, acres of interior room, great forward visibility, and it can park anywhere. Downsides are the headlights only illuminate 50 feet in front of the car in stock form, and the lack of engine power makes for some scary situations when you don't plan ahead.
 
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I dunno, my take on it would be to put the high mileage on the vehicle you are already running, that already has fairly high mileage. If you buy another, new car, and start racking up miles on it right away, then you end up with two high-mileage vehicles that lose value. If you like your TL, 'use this one up' and then buy yourself a newer one you can keep the mileage down on.....
 
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I would get a 4 or 5 year old 4 banger Accord, manual trans, if you don't have too much stop and go traffic. You can still have some vtec fun, look professional, but pocket most of your car allowance... I guess you could also off load a diesel VW pretty easily at the 100K mark so you don't have to worry about the possible(maybe probable?) VW issues. There is always someone with TDI stars in their eyes...
 
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 Originally Posted By: addyguy
I dunno, my take on it would be to put the high mileage on the vehicle you are already running, that already has fairly high mileage. If you buy another, new car, and start racking up miles on it right away, then you end up with two high-mileage vehicles that lose value.
He's getting reimbursed for a new car payment. The way I read it is the company will reimburse him if he buys something new, but not if he keeps driving his existing vehicle.
 

BuickGN

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 Originally Posted By: saaber1
Probably does not meet your timeline but the Subaru boxer diesel is supposed to be here in mid 2010. Undoubtedly it will have more emissions stuff than the subi diesels currently running around Europe though. I have heard 50 mpg on those cars. If it doesn't have the CVT tranny, this could be a pretty amazing combo. 4x4, wagon utility, subaru reliability, diesel reliability (assumed! ha ha). I may buy one if it doesn't have the CVT. Too bad they don't offer the civic diesel here, that would be something. If you are looking for reliability over fun, I would definitely go Japanese.
That would be worth waiting for. Great mileage, and I could carry stuff in it. I could use the TL for a year if I had to. It's just that it's in nearly new shape still and I don't want to go through or pay for getting it painted again. Once I stopped using it for a commuter, I went through and replaced everything that showed wear including a few interior components. A year is fine but I don't want to end up with a 400,000 mile car in 6 years. I'm not worried about depreciation. I plan on using them up to where the flatbed has to haul it off to the junkyard. That's why I want to make a good choice, I have no plans on selling. I will get a flat rate regardless of what I buy, meaning I could keep the TL and pocket the money but I would rather get a dedicated commuter that I never have to wash and I don't have to worry about door dings.
 
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Don't hold your breath for any diesels on the horizon. We've been promised oilburners from everyone, Ford in 1/2 ton trucks, Honda accords, etc. I'd love to see a diesel subie... on a showroom floor, with 2wd for lower drag. Will believe it when I see it. You sound handy enough the expensive timing belt services could be DIY. You'd want a wheel/tire package that takes reasonably priced tires etc. Are they selling the "good" diesels in Cali? For a time we couldn't get them in Maine, or register them with under 6000 miles.
 

BuickGN

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 Originally Posted By: eljefino
Don't hold your breath for any diesels on the horizon. We've been promised oilburners from everyone, Ford in 1/2 ton trucks, Honda accords, etc. I'd love to see a diesel subie... on a showroom floor, with 2wd for lower drag. Will believe it when I see it. You sound handy enough the expensive timing belt services could be DIY. You'd want a wheel/tire package that takes reasonably priced tires etc. Are they selling the "good" diesels in Cali? For a time we couldn't get them in Maine, or register them with under 6000 miles.
Wow, can't register them with under 6,000 miles? What's the reasoning behind that? By good diesels, are you talking about non/less emissions? A co-worker just bought a Jetta turbo diesel but I'm assuming that's not one of the good ones. Timing belt will definately be a DIY. No way I'm paying someone else I don't trust to touch the car. I've spent too much money keeping it like new to have someone mess it up. Besides, I'm too broke to pay someone. In Cali, my neighbors make fun of me for washing my own car, but I would rather keep my $20 than pay someone money for something I can do in 30 minutes of my time and do a better job.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
but I would rather keep my $20 than pay someone money for something I can do in 30 minutes of my time and do a better job.
Out here, $20 gets you a car wash and a ton of swirl marks. That's why I don't let anyone wash my car.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
Wow, can't register them with under 6,000 miles? What's the reasoning behind that?
6,000 miles qualifies it as a used car so it only has to meet the emission standards of the state it was originally sold in.
 
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If I were doing a lot of driving on the company dime, I would get a larger car with an automatic trans, and comfortable seats. A jetta doesn't sound fun to be putting serious miles on it. Something like a sonata would be the bare minimum..
 
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