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.

Continued after the jump.

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.

What do you think?
Show Comments


  (177) posted on 06.14.2009

The VW Jetta TDI Cup is a car racing series that runs only in North America. But news about it spreads to all over the globe. The entry fee could be a bit pricey but aside from the possibility of winning the $100K is the opportunity to sign a contract as a professional racing star.

  (116) posted on 06.14.2009

Interior wise. The interior looks mildly Spartan, but in a German, Hugo Boss way that softens the blow. Handsome gauges and shapely, supportive seats are familiar VW items. All told, the Jetta feels more sophisticated and comfortable than the Toyota Prius.

  (183) posted on 06.14.2009

The dual exhaust really complements its looks. Aside from the looks, the safety highlights of the Jetta are very incredible. It has an adjustable steering wheel, crash optimized front end and six airbags. I think that it would be enough to ensure everyone’s safety.

  (180) posted on 06.14.2009

The VW has actually confirmed its price. The Jetta TDI is tagged with 22, 270. This is not bad. The chrome grille would really give your car a distinct look among all the city cars.

  (289) posted on 06.14.2009

I must say compared with a docile Prius or Civic Hybrid, the Jetta is virtually a road warrior. The VW churns up all the passing power you’d want from 30, 50 or even 70 m.p.h. The steering is sporty and precise. Add a stiff suspension and sticky tires, and the TDI would be a credible Euro-style sport sedan, sacrificing perhaps 1 or 2 m.p.g.

  (137) posted on 06.14.2009

The Jetta has always been agile and zippy, but I think the new one with more powerful TDi gives more oomph, allowing more power through traffic and accelerate from stoplights with authority and a little bravado. Perfect for city driving.

  (231) posted on 06.14.2009

Although pricing hasn’t been announced, expect it to be within a few thousand of the current models (an estimated $18,000 to $23,000). We can’t wait for chance to spend some more time with the new TDi Jetta—and test its real-world feul economy.

  (318) posted on 06.14.2009

The Jetta will be using emission-cleansing technologies developed under the cooperative formed by Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen to make it 50-state legal

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