2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI side view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front bumper

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI logo

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI headlight

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI wheel

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI side mirror

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI logo

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI logo

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI taillight

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI taillight

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI badge

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI badge

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI badge

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine detail

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI interior

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI interior

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI steering wheel

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI interior

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI steering wheel

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front seats

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front seats

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI seat detail

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI seat detail

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI steering wheel

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI steering wheel controls

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI gauges

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI tachometer

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI gauges

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI touch screen

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI audio system display

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI audio system display

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI navigation system

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI audio system settings

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI climate controls

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI climate controls

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI shifter

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI shifter

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine start button

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI dash

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI door handle

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI side mirror controls

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear seats

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear seats

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI trunk

Two months with our long-term 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI is enough for me to know that history will not look back kindly on this generation of VW's long-running compact sedan. As has been covered, rather exhaustively I might add, the 2011 refresh of the Jetta brought with it a significant reduction in interior fit, finish and overall quality. Sadly, the more time you spend in the Jetta, the more its interior bits and pieces wear on your senses, as does the dour black color palette.

Perhaps the interior deficiencies of the 2011 Jetta wouldn't be so noteworthy if Volkswagen hadn't set such a heady precedent in past models, offering an upscale alternative to its competitors at a slightly higher price. As you're likely aware, VW's latest strategy puts its products on an equal footing with more mainstream brands while boasting a highly competitive price. Based on the brand's recent profit margins and record sales, the plan is working to perfection.

We hate to harp on the point, but have to wonder if moving downmarket will have long-lasting repercussions with diehard VW fans.

Keep your eyes locked on the official Autoblog Facebook page for the majority of our updates, as well as the official Autoblog Twitter account (@therealautoblog, look for the #ablongterm hashtag).
As much as I hate to sound like a broken record, there are a few more bugaboos that bear repeating, the most irritating of which (not to mention potentially dangerous) is the Jetta TDI's propensity to stall at the most inopportune time possible ... at intersections, usually just before turning across oncoming traffic. And it's not just me – each driver we've handed the diesel Jetta's keys to has come back with a similar story.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine detail

Our Jetta has officially scooted past the 20,000-mile mark while in my possession, and that meant it was time for another oil change and check-up at the local dealership. Appointment set for the lunch hour, I went to the parking garage to take the Jetta in for service, and it wouldn't start. The culprit? A dead battery. I checked the headlight switch, and it was indeed in the 'off' position, so we're not exactly sure what drained the battery. Regardless, a helpful driver gave me a jump and the Jetta made it in for service with no further issues.

Since then, the Jetta has performed admirably, lodging nearly 50 miles per gallon in everyday driving with me behind the wheel. Without meaning to, I've noticed myself skipping second and fourth gears from time to time, as the diesel's commendable power band pulls higher gears without so much as a whimper.

It seems that I'll be keeping the keys to the Jetta for another month, so stay tuned for another long-term update from sunny Phoenix as the weather begins to warm ... but don't worry, it's a dry heat.

Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own – we do not accept sponsored editorial.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 85 Comments
      Brian Hague
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is a tsb for the stalling issue. you're a journalist, call vwoa and get an appointment already.
      MJC
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's time to stop whining about the interior. I have a 2009 Jetta and while I do agree that the interior has gone downhill, the fact is that VW sales have jumped dramatically, illustrating that the average customer just doesn't care about touching their dashboard. I'd happily buy another Jetta as the new one is a much larger and IMO better looking car for the same or less money. They just need to upgrade the 2.5, which is happening very soon.
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess if you want the upscale interior you'll need to buy an Audi.
      djrroar1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Want the "Old Jetta" buy a GLI for the same money as previous models, otherwise enjoy the new Jetta.
      alchemy10
      • 3 Years Ago
      I understand VW's changes to increase their volume in the US market. I just wish they would offer more options to customize their models. If someone is willing to pay more money to add options that are available in Europe, they should be able to get them. I drive a 2010 Jetta TDI. Fortunately, there are websites that sell parts for the European Jetta models that work on the US version. I was able to add the LED tail lights and visor with Homelink. Both of these options were not very expensive but for me it makes the car a nicer experience. I wish VW would make the SEL models a more high-end experience to make it a better upgrade from the SE or at least offer more add-on packages for the SEL. If you price the GLI and the SEL, the prices are not that different. Seems like the upgrades in the GLI are more valuable than the price difference of the 2 models.
      stoveraxel
      • 3 Years Ago
      Stalling at intersections? If it's the car in the picture (stickshift), rest assured: with a little practice and developing that feeling for the clutch, that problem will go away. Happens to me when I switch back and forth between gas/automatic and diesel/stick. The diesel stick needs a little practice when first accelerating.
      xmailboxcancerx
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting. A neighbor just bought a new black-on-tan Jetta TDI and got to spend a little time with it around the neighborhood. I actually quite liked it – it felt well put together, the Fender audio system was wonderful, comfortable yet compact, and the touch points felt acceptable to pleasing (depending on what surfaces I went to). I bet though that if I had experienced the previous generation Jetta, I would have been disappointed. So Jeremey, I think you're definitely right ... you wouldn't have harped on the car as much if you didn't have any experience with the well-loved previous version Jetta TDI. I would argue and implore everyone to try and find some good things about'em – they're more affordable, they look attractive (especially in the higher trims), they're nice daily drivers, and the TDI is just as frugal as the last one.
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      MPG on this car is great but I would put my extra money on a Passat TDI for the added room and equivalent mileage
      zesign
      • 3 Years Ago
      quit whining about such superficial softness. the design is still light years ahead of the competition. i have a 2011 tdi and love to drive it. had a 2009 until a tree uprooted and crushed it. while the old model was quite nice and i had expected to keep it forever, i find the size and comfort of the new model to be just about perfect. do i miss the soft dash? only when its mentioned. other wise the car is great. and i bet the dash will last longer than the soft one. infact i bet the new model has lower long term maintenance. plus my adult friends prefer the larger back seat when traveling with me. sometimes when i punch it, the tdi feels like the camaro 350 v8 i drove in hs. torque - try that in a hundai! in fact when that hundai looks old in a few years you may change your tune about the jetta. they are selling a storm too!
        jz78817
        • 3 Years Ago
        @zesign
        "quit whining about such superficial softness. the design is still light years ahead of the competition." If by "competition" you mean a 2007 Camry, then OK. The current Jetta is an uninspired, bland griefbox.
        donnieorama
        • 3 Years Ago
        @zesign
        'the design is still light years ahead of the competition.' That's bunk.
        Rob
        • 3 Years Ago
        @zesign
        What is all this about a "soft" dash? What are you going to do, sleep on it? That is actually the problem with most people these days...they are too soft.
        Poobis
        • 3 Years Ago
        @zesign
        I agree completely. While it's a bit of an overstatement to say that it's *light-years* ahead, comparing it to the competion, the Jetta TDI definitely comes out ahead on nearly every front. Which is why after driving all of the competition's offerings, I traded my 08 Civc EX for an 11 Jetta TDI. I feel the Jetta is quite a bit more for the money. For only 1K more than I paid for the Civic, I get on-par interior, more space, nearly double the real-time MPG, and torquey goodness. I still marvel that my 60 mile commute costs $100 a month less than it did with the Civic. My only beefs with the car thus far are the stalling issue, and the rear suspension. I'd have gladly paid extra for IRS. I would not have paid extra for a softee feely dash. I prefer to let the professionals worry about such things.
      Heinz Richter
      • 3 Years Ago
      I find the constant complaints about the Jetta interior rather childish at best. Whenever there was anything written about the previous models, one constant complaint was that the car was too expensive for a VW. Now VW has followed that consensus and downgraded some of the features to offer a car that is addressing the complaints about the previous models and the automotive world has switched to complaining about the cheap interior. Damned of you do and damned if you don't comes to mind. I guess if there is nothing to complain about, some people have to make something up. First grader mentality!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        you guys shouldn't answer to this guys trolling. he is one of the most frequent trolls on this site..just don't take him serious
        vc-10
        • 3 Years Ago
        They do. Their TSI petrol engines are excellent. But they can hardly keep up with demand for them in Europe, let alone adding in sales elsewhere. The 1.8TSI is coming to the US soon, replacing the 2.5. The 2.0TSI is already available.
        John G
        • 3 Years Ago
        They do sell efficient petrol gasoline engines. But mostly outside of the U.S where people don't always complain about the lack of power compared to a V block engine.
      Herman
      • 3 Years Ago
      LOL, the "HIPSTERS" here at Autoblog don't know how to drive cars with a clutch, so they "claim" the Jetta stalls at intersections.
        jz78817
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Herman
        if it's that easy to stall a DIESEL, there's something wrong.
        JeremyABG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Herman
        Ha! I've been called a lot of things, but Hipster is a first. I've never bought a car with an automatic transmission, and literally have hundreds of thousands of miles driving a stick under my belt. It's not the driver, it's the engine programming. There is an extremely abrupt cut-off on this engine that will cause it to stall well before the driver expects it to, with no warning.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X