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Volkswagen revealed today that $21,990 will be the base price for its highly anticipated 2009 Jetta TDI, while the Sportwagen model will start at $23,590. This is extremely aggressive pricing on the part of Volkswagen that places the Jetta TDI in direct competition with the Toyota Prius, as eco-minded shoppers will surely cross-shop the two.

The TDI model will be the equivalent of the SE trim level for gas-powered Jettas. A 2009 Jetta SE 2.5L manual sedan starts at $19,990, which tells us that the high-tech, 50-state-compliant clean diesel engine is worth about a $2,000 premium. The Jetta TDI will, however, be available with either a manual or DSG transmission.

The EPA recently rated the 2009 Jetta TDI at 30 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, which were disappointing numbers for Volkswagen. It has since hired an independent, third-party certifier, AMCI, to ascertain what it refers to as the Jetta's "true fuel economy". AMCI came back with a better rating (surprise!) of 38 mpg city and 44 mpg highway. Whether or not you think it's fair for Volkswagen to go around the EPA in search of a higher fuel economy rating, we were just as surprised at how low the EPA numbers were. We're eager to get one in the Autoblog Garage ASAP for a review so we can test its "true fuel economy" for ourselves.

[Source: VW]

PRESS RELEASE

THE PEOPLE WANT BETTER FUEL ECONOMY WITH NO COMPROMISES
Volkswagen Jetta TDI starting at $21,990 and certified at 38/44 mpg

HERNDON, Va.-Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced pricing for their eagerly anticipated Jetta TDI sedan and SportWagen starting at $21,990 and $23,590, respectively. Fuel efficiency, performance and convenience all come standard with the 50-state compliant Jetta sedan and SportWagen TDI, which meet the most stringent emissions standards in California and the world. Both models will be available this August.

"Our clean diesel vehicles offer consumers a true value with the fuel efficiency that drivers are looking for while providing power, utility and performance," said Mark Barnes, COO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "The Jetta TDI's offer a no compromise alternative fuel driving experience."

While the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the Jetta TDI at an economical 29 mpg City and 40 mpg Highway, Volkswagen went a step further to show the true fuel economy of the Jetta TDI. Leading third-party certifier, AMCI, has tested the Jetta TDI and found it performed 24 percent better in real world conditions, achieving 38 mpg in the City and 44 mpg on the Highway.*

The Jetta TDI's come standard with Volkswagen's Prevent and Preserve Safety System, consisting of numerous standard safety features. Jetta TDI's include six airbags, with optional rear side airbags, and like all 2009 model year Volkswagens, Jetta TDI's also feature standard Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) for added safety.
Also standard for 2009 is Volkswagen's carefree maintenance program, with this program there are no charges for the scheduled maintenance described in the vehicle's maintenance booklet for the length of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty-three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first.


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  • 73 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now just make it in a two door coupe or hatch and we'll be in business.

      • 6 Years Ago
      My TDI is rated at 35/42, and I average about 40 in mixed driving. Highway I've gotten as high as 46 on a tank. I'm not surprised that their independent tests beat the EPA ratings. Even at that, I'd like to see higher mileage. All things equal I prefer diesel to hybrid, esp. for highway cars, but as an in town driver with the price of diesel significantly higher in many places one could almost forgive the butt ugliness of the Prius. Do we really loose that much MPG because of the different US standards?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is excellent. I hate the Prius. I think it's one of the biggest eyesores on the entire road even if it does get great city mileage. Everytime I see one, I think Wierd Al Yankovic
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xEzGIuY7kw

      Also, don't get hit in your Prius, because it's not even close to as safe as the Jetta. VW diesels last forever. I know of a few people who have gone 250-300k miles on their diesels. Bulletproof.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope they can stick at TDI in the next generation Rabbit!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well think of it this way:

        The Jetta's made in Mexico, while the Rabbit is made in GURMANAY.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I just checked with VW, we get the 1.9 TDI in Caneduh.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, this is a 2.0TDi, and the rabbit 2.0TDi will be coming soon at under $20,000 if the guys from VW runing the tech training for the TDIs are to be believed.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Isn't the one in the Jetta a 1.8L though?

        Could explain why if that's the case.
        • 6 Years Ago
        they already offer it with a 1.9 and 2.0 diesel engine.. it's just got a different badge on the back. and isnt in the usa
      • 6 Years Ago
      900+ km on a full tank in the city. You can do 200km/h on the highway in it and it's solid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We all know the EPA's numbers for fuel economy are crap anyway...might as well have it tested elsewhere and for ourselves as well
        • 6 Years Ago
        Going to a third party is the only way to get realistic mpg figures for diesels.

        The EPA has a feature on its website where people can sumbit the fuel economy that they get. Diesel drivers are getting 18% more mpgs than what the EPA quotes. Obviously the EPA test has ZERO validity for diesels.

        In fact, regular gas engines do better than the new EPA test by a little also. The new EPA procedures do work well for hybrids (less than 1% error for the Prius) But they fail with diesels.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I've owned many cars over the years, one of them a diesel. The diesel was the only one that actually returned epa numbers, and often did better. From my experience, the mileage on gasoline engines suffered more with adverse conditions (heavy foot, weather), whereas with the diesel it always returned great mileage no matter how i treated it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      TDI may be the star Stateside, but it's actually one of the WORST diesel engines available on European market. It's noisy, trashy, agricultural, and really lacks refinement and fuel economy of Italian or French diesel engines. It's better on fuel than a petrol engine, but before anyone rushes out to buy one, check out how mush is a liter/gallon of diesel and how much TDI costs - in Europe diesel models tendo to be 10-20 percent more expensive than petrol cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So, how does this compare to the Audi A4 diesel for fuel economy, and when do we get that car?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Audi TT diesel. OoOooo
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...and the Accord Diesel, the Subaru Boxer Diesels, etc.

        Boxer diesel....ummmmm.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The european figures for the 140hp Jetta TDI Wagon, or Golf variant as it's called here are 42mpg combined.
        For the A4 3.0 TDI quattro it's 34mpg combined, the 170hp TT TDI does 44.4 mpg combined.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well if the jetta with a 2.0TDI was supposed to get 55mpg and is now getting 44 and the A4 with a 3.0TDI was supposed to get high 30s and low fourties then I'd say the Jett will continue to get quite a bit more mpg vs the A4 TDI... which should debut for north america in september along with the Q7
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have a 2004 TDI Jetta, with over 93k miles, I WOULD NOT TRADE IT for a PRIUS, since I drive 90% highway and an average speed over 75 MPH. I average 42-44 MPG. A Prius is only viable for stop and go traffic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You'd think that. But I see Priuses hurtling along the highway at 70-80mph every day on my 48 mile (one-way) commute. They seem to stay with traffic just fine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. Even Edmunds agrees,

        Quote - "Like most hybrids, the 2008 Toyota Prius is best suited to drivers whose travels rarely take them farther than the city limits. Around town and in stop-and-go traffic, the Prius' electric motors and regenerative braking are optimized to provide superior fuel economy and optimal power delivery. It's OK on the freeway, but without consistent braking or coasting, the battery runs down, forcing the anemic four-cylinder engine to carry most of the load." -

        That's the 76hp, 82lb-ft gas engine mind you. Most of the power is available from the electric motor.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Duodenum - reread the post you are replying to, the issue isn't the prius' ability to maintain a high speed, no one is questioning that, hell the old tdi had no problems hitting it's gov at 125 after about 3/4 a minute on the gas, the issue everyone in this post it talking about is highway mpg. to date, diesels will continue to return better highway mpg when compared to hybrids, in any sized car or truck (ie the old lexus vs merc highway comparison a year or two ago).
        • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      A $21.9k price point is competitive considering it's made in ..."Mehico"!

      Heck, even gas is $2.50-ish down in TJ(Thx to subsidies c/o the Mex Gov't)...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does it come with a Coldplay CD?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sure, or an I-Pod nano pre-loaded with a live BMB concert. Just ask your sales rep.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. That's damn good. In SD we're paying about $4.90 for premium (I would normally opt for the higher performance 2.0T). Diesel is about $5.15.

      2.0T - 15k miles / combined of 25 mpg * 4.90 = 2940

      TDI - 15k miles / combined of 35 mpg * 5.15 = 2207

      That's using the EPA's numbers. My experience with the 2.0T (my wife has one) is that 25 mpg is about right. Going by the more popular higher TDI numbers (41 mpg combined) the gas cost gap jumps to 1885. That's 1100 a year in gas savings! And the 2.0T sportwagen starts at 26k (http://www.vw.com/jettasportwagen/pricelist/en/us/#/overview). Holy moly. You pay 2500 more and spend at least $700 a year more on gas. Wow.

      i was despondent about getting rid of my 2007 Mini Cooper S but the Sportwagen TDI may be in my future now.
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