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.