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More than the engine

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 5/26/2015 mwpainter

Preface: I've owned a LOT of cars. I bought a very clean, used VW Jetta TDI (2010) thinking I'd get a reliable car with great mileage. Well, mileage: yes! Reliability: no. VW engineering is--and I say this honestly--very strange. I think they design with the idea that nothing should fail. Very idealistic. But stuff DOES fail! That's real life! And boy did things fail. I replaced sensors, a glow plug, an intake manifold, a radio, bulbs, a battery...all in just two years on a car with not many miles. The little diesel is great, don't get me wrong. But reliable this car is not. And very expensive to maintain. I don't say this lightly: I will never buy another VW.

Favorite Feature : Car handled and drove great. Diesel has great torque and was reasonably comfortable. Designed more for cold weather than hot (think Germany), the seat heaters and heated mirrors were nice.

Suggested Improvement : VW made this car far too complex from a maintenance standpoint. Example #1: A very inexpensive sensor is integrated into the $800 intake manifold. When that little sensor fails, guess what you have to replace? That's right, the whole intake. Example #2: The exhaust system has a particulate filter with a finite life ("DPF", look it up). So is that filter accessible? No, absolutely not. MAJOR surgery to get to that filter. Just dumb engineering for a car that's got a motor that will run forever. If you get a VW you better enjoy working on it, because history tells us you will be doing that a lot. If you think this is the German version of the Civic or Corolla think again.

Average Rating : 2.75

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