Tech editor Febbo has been hogging our Jetta TDI like a fat kid holding onto his Holloween candy. I stole the key off his desk and left a fistful of milk duds in thier place. Hopefully that will keep him busy for a spell.
Now I understand why he's been so selfish. The TDI Jetta is a freakin riot, a proper tire-smokin Euro that knows how to handle itself.
The meat of its powerband is freakishly low, almost like an electric motor. A few seconds on the throttle and the Jetta will ping off its 5000 rpm rev limiter. You can pretty much start this thing in third gear and find its 230 ft-lb of twist in 80 feet.
For a while I thought the DSG tranny was bad—it kept upshifting too quickly. Nope. That's just the way it is. Forget about winding this thing out—it's ready to go right right now.
VW got the suspension right! I can't believe it. For years we've bitched about US-spec VW suspensions. I guess they listened to us.
It handles like a genuine sport sedan. The ride is firm with just enough "give" to handle the extra rough parts. And given the right canyon, I bet this Jetta could give a BMW 330i a run for its money.
Smart people will "get" the TDI Jetta. They understand the incredible potential of turbo diesels and have most likely already purchased their Jetta TDI. I'm already trying to figure out how to buy this car from VW. With 36 mpg and this much performance, the Jetta TDI is a keeper.