It is only fitting on this day of glorious green racers competing at the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans , that we introduce you to the newest member of our Top Speed Test Fleet. Although its not quite the same as the Audi R15 running laps around La Sarthe, our new Volkswagen Jetta wears the same TDI apparel.
The Jetta TDI is surprisingly different than what you would expect to find from what should be the most economical option in for the automaker’s entry-level four door. Our Jetta TDI seems to be entranced with the spirit of the original GTI . The ride is very sporty; the suspension is stiff, which is great around corners, but a little harsher than you would like when out on a date.
The combination of turbocharged diesel power plant and a double clutch continuously variable transmission may be an optimization for fuel economy when cruising at highway speeds. When passing, the combination falls flat on its face before throwing you back in the seat the Jetta TDI has more speed than you would expect from your sister’s car. The needle on the tachometer moves around more like a tire pressure gauge than something connected to a traditional internal combustion engine, very odd.
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From the outside, the car is your basic MKV platform Volkswagen with room for five and a trunk. The power train that the engineers put in this car make us wonder who exactly VW is marketing their new Jetta TDI to; a guy who wants a sporty ride and can still pick up women at an environmentalist rally, or the dad who wants to buy a new car for his daughter and want the gas bill to be affordable. Either way it’s worth a test drive at your local dealer, but see if they have a manual instead. By the way, the Jetta’s 2.0 Liter turbocharged engine is the only diesel on the road today that meets the strickt European CO2 emissions regulations without the help of a urea additive, like AddBLUE. Now that’s green.