• Jul 2, 2010
2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Street Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

Since we took delivery of our 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Street Edition – henceforth know as the Jetta TDI Cup, for the sake of brevity – we've managed to rack up a little over 1,100 miles on our long-term Salsa Red tester.

We've bounced around the Bay Area, made it out to the coast, logged several trips into San Francisco and made the trek to Infineon raceway. In the process, we've experienced the normal post-delivery phases: honeymoon, discovery and finally, annoyance. On the whole, however, the Jetta TDI Cup has proven to be a perfectly balanced package, with a smattering of tech-rich amenities and a surprisingly sporty demeanor – diesel or not.

We mentioned in our review that the Jetta's offers one of the best tillers in the compact sports sedan segment. The electric power assist steering feels like it's been slightly tweaked compared to past Jetta models we've driven, although the 18-inch wheel package is surely helping the matter. While it's not as communicative as the GTI's, you get a good sense of what the tires are doing both on-center and while loaded up, and the rate of return when powering around corners is perfectly matched to the 236 pound-feet of torque being channeled to the front wheels. Our only gripe remains the number of buttons on the wheel and the placement of the paddle-shifters. Read on to see what we mean.




While the switches are the exact same units fitted to nearly every other VW product, they seem far too inboard, causing us to shift our wrists at an awkward angle when selecting gears. We'd chalk it up to stubby fingers, but our high school piano teacher would beg to differ – we've got some lanky digits.



Also, there's a host of connectivity features to port your tunes into the touchscreen stereo, including the aforementioned iPod connector nestled within the armrest, Bluetooth integration and an auxiliary jack on the center console, aft of the cupholders. The placement of the jack makes it easy to access, but if you're carrying two drinks, one of them is going to run into the 1/8-inch cable. It hasn't messed with the connection, but considering how close it is to the armrest, we don't understand why VW didn't just port it into the same area as the iPod jack.



On the topic of connectivity, our next update should include a video to see how long it takes to set up the Bluetooth audio and phone system – without reading the owner's manual. And since the majority of you asked in our introductory post, each Jetta TDI Cup update will include our average mileage. As of this writing we've averaged 38.2 mpg for the week in mixed but moderately enthusiastic driving. Be sure to check out our long-term hub for every Jetta TDI Cup update and look for bite-sized morsels of insight under the #ablongterm tag on our Twitter feed.


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  • 24 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Only a weenie or a girl would buy a two-pedal diesel....... Bruce
      • 4 Years Ago
      The TDI cup edition is only available with an auto
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can never understand the logic behind any car-maker that makes paddle shifters not mounted to the steering column (in this case floating around on the back of the steering wheel). That would be my only gripe with this car, especially because it tweaks your wrist long-term. But seriously... 38.2 mpg?! I don't see too much not to love.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nevermind the placement of the paddles... DSG (and similar) systems by themselves are terrible. I sold my '06 R32 after only about 8 months of ownership because it was so bad. Manuals only for me, from now on.
        • 4 Years Ago
        care to elaborate? DSG is the best non manual gear box ever put in volume cars. miss the feeling of a manual? that's understandable, but dsg is fantastic and multitudes better than cvt or traditional slush boxes, or smg for that matter.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I actually bought a TDI Cup series Jetta and after 5000 miles like most features a lot. The GTI suspension, steering and brakes make it very fun to drive and the TDI engine has lots of torque so getting up to speed is no problem. My issue is with the DSG transmission itself. I suspect that the gear box is OK but the computer control sucks. Even in manual shift mode the automatic function takes over from time to time; most often in a rolling stop situation. You can shift down to second gear but if you slow below 10 or 15 MPH the thing shifts itself (very roughly) down into 1st when you step on the gas then quickly back up to second. I have reported this to my dealer who says that's just the way it is and to VW directly but no response. The only option I guess is to shell out $500 for a computer reprogram to make the manual mode truly manual.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, is that a production model? The lower front grilles look like they're missing bezels or something. I drove a late model Jetta and found the steering uninspiring and the throttle laggy/lurchy. On the other hand, the torque/MPG combination of the TDI sounds appealing...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Get an AUX cable with a 90 degree connector to avoid the cup clearance issue.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They shouldn't have to get a special cable to make it work - the input should've been by the other jacks as they mentioned, or they could have just as easily had a flat/cutout/indentation so that the cable would come straight up...Straight connectors are far more common these days than 90 degree cables (thank the iPhone for this).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Could probably find one on the cheap at Monoprice.

        I want to see this TDI on a twisty road. I wish I would get one as a long term loaner. I'd post videos of it on twisty mountain roads, feedback on fuel mileage since I make a few trips from NEPA to NYC and back, and live about 20-25 minutes from town. Would show how it does in the winter in the country, in the hot summer, and would be able to give a ton of feedback about handling.
      • 4 Years Ago
      uh how boring interior... only germans...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The paddle-shifter issue can be corrected by opting for the more appropriate MANUAL TRANSMISSION. Why the hell would anyone specify a slushbox in a performance model????
        • 4 Years Ago
        Because 95% of the public doesn't want to use your stone-age technology.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How can clutchless shifting not be awkward?
        • 4 Years Ago
        >clutchless.

        >DSG

        >two clutches
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can see how moving the pedal shifters can complicate things... and I don't like having buttons on the wheel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So on the whole it feels pretty good?
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