Car and Driver reviews 2006 VW Jetta TDI

Posted By on May 6, 2006

2006 Jetta TDI
Car and Driver Magazine has a “Short Take Review” of the 2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI written by Tony Quiroga this month which does a fair job of detailing VW’s only current US diesel. To be fair, the photos posted were taken by Nick Say and are also displayed in a slide show fashion in Car and Driver’s online article.

The article is ‘fair’ since is doesn’t gloss over the challenges facing VW diesels in the US. Mr. Quiroga was upfront when comparing the $52K Mercedes E320 CDI and the $23K Jetta in so far as clean diesel technology goes. “Mercedes has shown us its particulate filter equipped and 2007-compliant E320 BlueTec, but Volkswagen hasn’t revealed what it’s doing to comply with the stricter standards.” This concerns those of us wanting to see Volkswagen continue to capitalize on their diesel powered vehicles in the US and fearing they may not have a diesel capable vehicle ready for the 2007 models. It would be sad considering VW has been the only small diesel car available continually for many years. (Mercedes stop importing diesels to the US for a few years)

TDI engineThe magazine article quickly gets to the diesels strength in its review as it points to the fuel economy they achieved on their test loop: 42mpg highway and 33mpg around town. (equipped with the DSG 6 speed automatic) I suspect that most owners of the grown up Jetta will average just under the 40mpg mark. This is shy of my 45 mpg lifetime average in my smaller 5 speed 2003 Jetta TDI … but they are no longer the same sized cars. The new Jetta is powered by the Pumpe Duse 100 HP TDI engine and was, as expected, slow off the line. The reviewer comment that there was a “trace of turbo lag from a stop, which can be seen in the longish 11.6-second 5-to-60-mph run, but a more aggressive launch reduces the time to 10.3 seconds.”
2006 Jetta TDI Interior
The larger 5th generation Jetta is well appointed and “sophisticated” compared to previous generations. Most old time VW owners remember more utilitarian versions, especially when reflecting on the diesel models bearing the same nameplate; the new 5th generation Jetta has grown up. It sports a very comfortable and quiet interior as well as feature not even available in prior generations. The author says “Don’t tell your passengers they’re in a diesel and it’s unlikely they’ll ever suspect there is anything unusual about your Jetta.”

TDIBadgeFor those who love diesels, the new Jetta isn’t so quiet as to be with out some of the startup noises. “When the engine is cold, a bit of diesel clatter can be heard from inside the cabin” states Tony Quiroga, “but once the engine is warm, there is mostly a mellow hum with only the slightest hint of the characteristic percolator-like gurgling.” He goes on to comment that the TDI versions is only slightly louder than the gas versions but at speed its background sound. After reading the comments, I still see the new Jetta an excellent buy and would gladly pay $25,000 for a well equipped Jetta over a ‘snooty‘ hybrid. (that jab was just to tease my friends over at
Jetta Driving
Specifications from Car and Drivers “Short Take Review”
Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door
Price as tested: $24,910 (base price: $22,235)
Engine type: turbocharged and intercooled SOHC 8-valve diesel inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 116 cu in, 1896cc
Power (SAE net): 100 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 177 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual with automated shifting and clutch
Wheelbase: 101.5 in
Length/width/height: 179.3/70.1/57.4 in
Curb weight: 3306 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 10.3 sec
Zero to 100 mph: .37.0 sec
Street start, 5–60 mph: 11.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 17.6 sec @ 77 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 114 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.81 g
EPA fuel economy, city driving: 35 mpg
C/D-observed fuel economy: 36 mpg

Photos used with permission.


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.
My Desultory Blog