Volkswagen Jetta TDI Reviews & Ratings

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Volkswagen Jetta TDI (27 Reviews)
Excellent car, just passed 100,000 miles in its 10th year. This manual diesel engine is just getting started. Consistently delivers 45-50 miles to the gallon and 550-600 miles to a tank.
I have a 2011 Jetta TDI, turbo went out at 103,000 cost ~$1100 the particulate filter is about to need replace, cost near ~$1200 for just filter, timing belt kit ~250-$380 w/ water pump, recommended. All this only estimated cost. The labor cost for these works approximately $4000. So all together you are looking to pay about $7000-$8000 for these services. These issue my come one after the other closely after the 100000 miles. Before this millage point no single issue with my car. I would say this mileage your car worth about $9-12K I am not sure how anyone can justify paying these high maintenance cost, which comes after each other or altogether. VW does not document all this hidden expensive services. I would say if the car was originally was about $100K this maintenance cost might be expectable, but not for this category car. I have not mentioned the $300-$400 cost every 40KMiles forth e transmission. So think twice before you buy these and might be other VWs. I would recommend looking Toyota or Honda. Good luck.
260.000 miles on this commuter car,bought in 2010 with 81.000 miles on it. We are on the 3. turbo replacement, 1. one died at 120.000 2. one died at 220.000 miles.Replacement cost for both about 4,500$. Computer on steering rack died at 250.000, 2,500$ repair.Driver door wiring harness broke at 90.000 miles cost 500$.All in all it is sad the all the $$ we save in fuel have been spend on repairs that should not have had occurred. Our little 96 Vw Golf is still running strong with 250.000 miles on it.Never had those kinds of issues. It seems that the newer the model for VW the lower the quality of construction. It is disappointing because we thought we bought German quality engineering...
2010 Jetta TDi has 102300 miles. Just replaced the a/c compressor. Just had timing belt & water pump replaced. Just had transmission serviced. WOW! So much for saving on fuel costs? The maintenance costs are killing me with the VW schedule. Will re-think the idea of buying another TDi. Also have to replace the inside driver's door panel, the whole thing, because the door handle broke, made of plastic. But you can't buy just the door handle, need the complete door panel??????
Canadian model, 2004 have 465Km, still going strong
Absolutely trouble and maintenance free for 40k mi,then after battery removal and reinstall for top fill of transmission ,engine code and battery failure,traced to shorted glow plug.unplugged all glow plugs(FL) and runs fine but will always show an engine light.tip:remove glow plug 50 amp fuse when disconnecting the battery,the sparks meant for some reason they were energized and subsequently fried.Once the gremlins are unleashed you either compromise or leave a child at the dealership.If I get 100,000 miles without too much pain I will give it 6 stars,the other 4 will be spent wondering if I will get stranded as almost nobody has knowledge of these cars.VW lost their edge when they lost their simpicity.Brutal,honest truth.
I purchased the car new in 9/2009. My wife drives the car commuting to work - 50 miles/day - current mileage 124,000.
Overall its been a great car for my wife's daily commute. All recommended service work has been done at the local dealership.


Great "diesel mileage" averaged 40+mpg for the life of the vehicle.

Amazing torque from the 2.0 liter diesel! I've noticed that the transmission doesn't downshift even when going up moderate hills at highway speeds. The 200+ pounds of torque just keeps pulling - gasoline engines downshift 1 or 2 gears in the same situation!

Have not serviced the front brakes since the car was new - the rear brakes were serviced at 100,000 miles. At every oil change I make sure to ask about the need to service the brakes but the dealership keeps saying they're good. I assume this has to do with the fact that the majority of miles are highway miles. Still, this is amazing.

We love the heated seats - We live in Minnesota - need I say more?


The radiator developed a small leak at 85,000 miles requiring topping off the reservoir every 2 weeks - my wife would get freaked out every time the low coolant warning light would come on. Replaced the radiator...cost $788.85. I am 53 years old and I have owned several vehicles until they reach 150k-200k miles and I've never had to replace a radiator.

This car seems to go through more bulbs (front, rear & license) than other cars I've owned.
At 112k miles the "fuse box under the hood melted" (quoted from repair invoice). Cost to replace $490.92. No explanation was given to me why this happened.

Side Mirrors:
At 114k, as I walked by the passenger side mirror I bumped it with my hip and it snapped off. The mirrors are designed with an aluminum pivoting assembly. The internal mechanism that is supposed to pivot was corroded to the point where it would not move. Upon inspecting the driver side mirror, I discovered the same issue. I called the dealership and I was quoted over $600 to replace my side mirrors. I consulted with an independent mechanic and he advised me to speak with the service manager at the dealership about any possible defects/recalls relating to the mirrors. I contacted the service manager and there were no recalls but he contacted Volkswagen America and got them to cover the cost of the parts, I had to pay the labor bill - $292.00

Warm-up issues:
If the car is parked outside in temperatures below 15 degrees for 6+ hours, the car does not reach full operating temp during highway driving. This results in a 50% reduction in fuel mileage (about 20mpg)

Turbo surge:
When at a dead stop it can be difficult to accelerate moderately while turning with out engaging the turbocharger - this results in wheel spin.

Expensive recommended service:
At 110k miles, VW recommends replacing the timing belt and the water pump at a cost of $1100 - ouch!
my 05.5 same as 06. bought new and now has 279000mi only 2 sets of brakes.1 dualmas flywheel and 2 timing shocks. all front end parts still good.changed oil at 10000mi.mis diagnosed turbo I havent had any trouble with cam shaft. I drive my car easy and still get 50+mpg. the corola doesn't ride as good,not as good mpg and don't know of any that have this mileage.if you are looking for one of these tdi's be sure to get all service rec.must have the proper oil.
Before you buy a Volkswagen really check into the cost of the up keep. Also make sure you understand and read everything they say that they have done to your car at the dealership...they lie and will take your money. They say they have done things to your car that they haven't done. I have no problem with the car but the way they line out the maintenance program is to cost you, the buyer an arm and a leg. I had to buy tires from the dealership and a few weeks later, it was time for a checkup. The guy doing the work reported my car as having low tread..needing new tires( I just bought them) I needed new windshield wipers (mine were broke)they check off that mine were good. They couldn't have even turned them on or they would have seen mine were broken. The maintenance program is a scam. I won't ever buy another Volkswagen again, I will not recommend one to anyone either.
2005 130000 miles on it, and the camshaft and lifter are worn out. this will be about a $5000 repair. I thought diesels were to run forever. I change oil regularly with the VW syn. What you save on fuel you spend on repairs.
Bought my 2009 Jetta TDI wagon new, had 3 door lock actuators replaced and the exhaust flap, also had the tranny issues others have had. When I needed the exhaust flap and 3rd door actuator replaced I was out of warranty and they wanted $$$ for it, not gonna happen!! I eventually got them to cover 75% of the costs and I am now getting the other 25% back from the exhaust flap recall. Overall the VW BRAND is diminishing,the sunroof deflector is a STUPID design, mine is ripped on both sides now (100k miles)
The product is now assembled in MEXICO!!...Need I say more?!?!?!

Canadian car. using the 90210 code :)
Bought my 2009 Jetta TDI used. 1 month afterward, the engine light came on (but it still ran). It was under warranty, so they systematically replaced just about everything that had to do with the fuel injection and filtration. I thought they finally got it fixed after $6,000 of repairwork and 4 visits in a year, but it only lasted 6 months. engine light came back on again! replaced exhaust pressure sensor and it was fine ($385). one month later engine light was back on and the muffler light. diagnostics says it is the exhaust temperature sensor now. Also, just got a letter from VW this week saying the exhaust flap on these cars are no good and if you need it rrepaired, they will cover it, Obviously, these cars have a problem with the entire exhaust system and should be recalled! Oh yeah, also had to have the air fixed. My car now has 85,000 miles. as a diesal, it should just be getting broken in. VW 's looked good, but buy another brand if you don't want to always be repairing!
Bought a 2003 VW TDI (Diesel) brand new. Today, the car has 170,000 miles. All went well until it reached about 100,000 miles (which is just breaking in for a diesel). What happened next between 110,000 and today:

- Relays under dash start blowing (they ain't cheap either). they are also VERY difficult to get to. Should be a recall!!!

- Wiper motor will start stopping intermittently; don't replace the motor as most mechanics will tell you because it still does the same thing no matter what all you replace...relay, motor etc. Should be a recall!!!

- Glow plugs will send a false engine light every few months. Your glow plugs are fine; it is a money gimmick. Bypass the engine fault (there are several videos on how to do this one the I-net). Should be a Recall !!!!

- VERY DANGEROUS- Brake switch is JUNK! which will cause your brake lights to stay on going down the road. The switch is made of plastic and wears out in the "brake on" position. Should be a recall!!! Easy and rather cheap fix IF you know about it before someone rear ends you and kills your family!!!!

All in all, the body and engine are sound. The electrical SUCKS!!!! And for those of you who don't know electrical, it is the most expensive to repair.

I bought my 2005.5 Jetta TDI in June 2005. I now have over 150,000 miles on it. I just took it in for a timing belt replacement. Except for broken wire in the drivers door which caused the window to not work, the car has been perfect! It still looks and drives like new. I change the oil every 11,000 with Castrol Syntec and fuel filter every October. I am still on my 2nd set of tires and 20,000 miles left on them. I changed rear brakes only at 103,000. Original fronts still on car with half pads left. I just got 54.2 MPG hwy on 400+ mile trip 2 days ago. This is an exceptional car. Just keep clean oil in it.
iritating interior air to nose &throat,changed filter no looked every thing over couldnt find A problem
Volkswagen Jetta is sharp and stylish on the outside, spacious and versatile inside, it combines comfort, safety and reliability in a package that is affordable and economical.

Just bought the car.....seems ok as far as I can tell.
I have the manual 6 spd and have driven the car almost 8,000 miles in 6 mos. I love the way this car handles and accelerates. Great torque. I'm getting roughly 33 mpg around town and 44 mpg on the highway. Gotta love it considering a gallon if deisel is almost $4 in the mid-atlantic. No complaints.
Worst car we've ever had, bought it new. 2005 VW Jetta TDI. I love the car for looks and mpg, but it's constantly something wrong with it, and it's EXPENSIVE to fix. 200 miles after warranty was off the drive train went out (60,000 mi), seat belt on passengers side quit working and they said it wasn't covered (60,000), clutch went out (70,000), passengers window will not roll up or down, passengers door will not lock/unlock,
with about 80,000, new cat. converter, new rack and pinion, multiple batteries, rotors redone, new turbo, glowplug controller replaced, bad smell from A/C, interior finish peeling, new glowplugs, new trunk latch, new trunk latch bracket. MIL constantly on, but I now regard that as a sign that the battery still has a charge. Reliability, as you might guess, has been terrible. I will never, never, never, never, never, buy another VW again. Love the TDI, but that is the only thing that hasn't blown up on me.
problems with arm rest cover have replaced times2X, groveblox door replaced. Mat holder broken (all).
This is my third Jetta second of the 98 model. 260000 miles averaging between 46 and 52 mpg without thule rack with rack drops by 4 mpg. When i purchased it 60,000 miles ago it needed a front end alignment. That solved all wheel wear problems. The clutch on the ac is going but 260 000 miles i think is still fairly acceptable for the clutch.
I have noticed some issues with the pep so doing a major tun up this fall. The only thing really wrong at this point is that the power mirrors do not work other than that very happy.
My 92 jetta i gave away at 345000 so i am sold on the jetta I believe I will be a jetta driver for a long while.
Well, after 318,000 miles, all I can do is give accolades to the TDI. The engine continues to work hard for its Master and continues to get approx 49 mpg which means thousands of dollars to my pocket. A glow plug change here and a timing belt change there and oil changes every 8K miles has been the key. Plus manual xmission to avoid any problems that come with automatics. So what if the cupholder is useless and the glove box door is broken - or let's just say not there anymore. VW just needs to put the TDI engine in all of the vw and audi models!
Best car I've ever driven/had.
I actually have the sportswagen TDI. It is an OK little car. I would love more rear leg room and headroom too.
Wonderful car. I recommended this Diesel to my lady friend since I have had Diesel Mercedes for 30 years. The only draw back I can see after 4 years is, try to keep break lights in this car. It seems to blow out brake lights regularly. Brakes squeal when cold.