2005.5 Jetta V TDI Impressions

Posted By on April 28, 2005

I had a chance to test drive a new 2005 Volkswagen Black on Black Jetta V TDI today. This was the first opportunity to see the new reskinned TDI Jetta and I was very impressed. This new Jetta is not just sporting a new skin; its most definitely a totally new car with a bunch of well earned improvements.

Jetta 5 TDI at FairfieldVW, OH

I received an email this morning from Stew Williams, Sale Manager at FairfieldVW, and believe he was as excited to let me know the new TDI had just arrived as I was to take the test drive. 🙂 I didn’t disappoint him, as I cleared my afternoon schedule and BIO -dieseled over as soon as I could. I grabbed Jerry Lewis an experienced sales rep that knows his VWs and had him fill me in on a bunch of the Jetta V improvements. Some I knew about an others I didn’t.

Jetta 5 TDI and Jerry Lewis under the hood

The PumpeDuse TDI started quietly and it was hard for me to believe it was ‘our’ 1.9 diesel? The diesel ‘jiggle’ is non-existent and the new larger and extremely comfortable interior was hushed far better than my current A4.

Jetta 5 TDI Under the Hood

Under the hood some changes have been made. The battery placement and weight has been moved back, the fuse box greatly improved and a new monster looking fuel filter. (No ‘Mickey Mouse Clip’ 🙁 )

Jetta 5 TDI Fuel Filter

Jetta 5 TDI Oil Filter

Fuse and Maf

The seats were firm and VW German and are as comfortable as ever, IMHO. The $24,000 sticker 5 speed Package 1 car that I was testing had the ‘leatherette’ seats and the steering wheel had a little bit of a plastic feel. I think I’ll hold out for the leather seats, wrapped wheel, wood trim and powered memory seats. (Package 2) I don’t think we’ll be seeing much movement on the price for a while so make your current car last a bit longer.

Jetta 5 TDI Interior

I loved some of the subtle improvements like the duel climate controls, self dimming mirrors, info cluster, turn signals on the door mirrors, safety improvements everywhere and all that rear seat leg room! 🙂

Jetta 5 TDI Rear Seat Room

And those riding in the rear will appreciate the added flow of air!


Anyway … enough gushing about the comfort inside this new Jetta … time to take it for a ride! The first think I noticed was that the 5 speed gearbox reminds me of a BMW or Audi. Short, tight and solid … oh and smoooooth! I was impressed with that. The new all electric power steering was a tad different although much appreciated at slow speed backing and turning. There was plenty of power, but perhaps a slight loss of road feel as your speed increase … so I’ll dock it 1 point. 🙂

Jetta 5 TDI Drivers Seat

The PD TDI engine puts out adequate power and appropriate economy for a mid-sized diesel powered car. The new Jetta is no longer small in my book.

EPA Economy Numbers for the Jetta 5

I eased the “Black on Black” beauty out of the dealer lot and thankfully had a chance to try a few things. Idling at a light the inside cabin was very quiet, the car felt very well built and as solid as could be. No rattles or squeaks, no body roll or clunky feel over bumps. I accelerated throught the gears quickly and Jerry suggested I keep my speed up over some rough railroad tracks … unbelieveably solid. I know that my steel skid plate on my A4 Jetta would have taken a bite of pavement, but the new Jetta V hardly dipped. Some real improvements in the stock suspension … it was noticeable.

Jetta V Wheels and Tires

Next I took a few tight corners and the Jetta V and it acted just like a German car should … nice and tight, even though the car has Mexico written all over it. 🙂 Off for some highway cruising and as with other TDIs this is where our little diesels shine. The Jetta V was no exemption and did not disappoint.

Sadly my test drive came to an end and although I entertained taking this ‘grown up Jetta’ home, I justified the need for a few more optional appointment and will wait for another day.

One last thing … this is all that I could find indicating the ‘diesel inside.’

Diesel tailpipes

TDI Badge

For additional independent ‘owner-based’ information on Volkswagen diesels and in particular TDIs, be sure to check out Fred’s TDIClub.com and the Greater Cincinnati area group at CinciTDI.com.


  • Chuck Collins

    Thanks for the write-up and thanks for all the photos. This review was exactly what I’ve been waiting for!
    Cleveland, OH

  • James Carsner

    Great job on the write up and great photos! I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard before typing. I understand your decision to wait for the ammenities offered by a package 2. It is about time VW offered all the options with a TDi. Hopefully one will be available to you soon.

  • Raymond W

    Outstanding … Thanks for taking the time to share your impressions.
    Raymond W.
    Dayton, Ohio

  • Jeff Parren

    Nice post Rich. Well written and not to TDI biased!

    I cannot wait to drive the new TDI but I love my A4 and I will stick with it for a while.

    See you soon.


  • Rubaiyat

    Thanks for an informative write-up!!

  • Mike

    I bought a new Jetta V TDI last week and have to say that I couldn’t be happier! Thus far I have been getting 54mpg on the highway and 42mpg in the city. The car feels solid and handles well. I am also very happy with all of the standard features, some of which are new to me (e.g. the grocery bag hooks in the trunk…no more rolling around the car).

  • Al Andreoli

    I am an seronautical engineer by training, drive an 84 Jetta turbo diesel and ready to replace with a new TDI powered vech. when I am able to do so, live in Calif. Probably will have to buy used, 7500 plus miles on odometer, to register in Calif.
    I am very grateful for the information that you posted because it helped a great deal, very nice job. Do you have any sugestions where I may find the technical information I am looking for. I tried VW and they are worthless.
    I noted your aviation interest. What are you building?
    I also noted you biofuel interest and thought you might be interested in a research report done at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado. http://www.oilendgame.com Deals in part with the future of lighter automotive design and more.

  • Dan

    I have a 2005.5 TDI and while it’s definitley not the fastest car on the road, check out the 0-60 times, it is definitely the funnest to drive. Every turn I take gives me the same theme park roller coaster feeling I get right before the roller coaster starts because I know it’s going to be fun. It’s really fun on wet roads with the ESP, go into a 25 MPH turn at 50 mph, in the rain, and hold on. IT WON’T spin out. You might get a little four wheel drift but you’ll be in control the entire time. I saw a demo on TV of a BMW with ESP and the car remained in control on wet track with ESP on. They turned ESP off and at the same speed on a particular turn the car spun out. I love my TDI. Nice write up by the way. When you’re ready to do your own oil change check out this page I threw together https://home.comcast.net/%7Eperrondb1/Jetta_TDI_OilChange/Index.htm

  • Updating the blog and hoping to save comments section?

  • patrick ching


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.