2009 Volkswagen Jetta

MSRP ?

$17,515 - $26,065
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Engine Engine 2.5LI-5
MPG MPG 21 City / 30 Hwy
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2009 Jetta Overview

2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery The car as we know it is being redefined. Hybrids have reintroduced electrons to the driving experience, and the rumble, shake and shimmy of the internal combustion engine is being muffled and, in some cases, even silenced by cars like the Toyota Prius, 2011 Chevy Volt and Tesla Roadster. For us to continue harnessing the energy of combustion under our hoods, we need to go much further on a gallon of fuel. Enter Volkswagen and the diesel-powered passenger cars it's been selling in the U.S. since the late '70s, the latest of which is the 2009 Jetta TDI. Follow the jump to find out how VW's newest diesel fares against the electrified future of the automobile. %Gallery-44135% Photos copyright ©2009 John Neff / Weblogs, Inc. Most U.S. customers have largely ignored VW diesels. Early examples had their quirks, including an engine rattle that sounded like a Peterbilt and the propensity to puff out black smoke like a coal miner. Still, they could go twice as far on a tank of diesel compared to gas-powered cars and their engines lasted for hundreds of thousands of miles. A cult following has kept them going and many have been converted to run on vegetable oil and other bio-fuel blends. It will be years before we know if the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine powering the Jetta TDI is as bulletproof as its predecessors, but we can tell you that its fuel efficiency is as impressive as ever. The EPA has rated the car at 30 miles-per-gallon in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. VW felt the EPA test cycle wasn't accurate and hired an independent company called AMCI to run more real world tests that yielded even better results: 38 mpg city/ 44 mpg highway. We had the opportunity to take our TDI tester, which was *ahem* obviously provided by BOSCH, on a trip from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. We were specifically curious to find out if achieving similar highway fuel economy numbers as the EPA and AMCI required a hypermiler's touch, or if our lead-infused feet could manage equally respectable numbers. Long story short: Our best average fuel economy was 46.1 mpg on the highway. The current fuel economy champ in the U.S. is the Toyota Prius, which the EPA rates at 48 mpg city/45 mpg highway. What makes the Jetta TDI so impressive is that it doesn't require a complex hybrid drivetrain to achieve similar results. The straightforward design of Rudolph Diesel's engine and an interstate, highway or autobahn is all that's required. In fact, the Jetta TDI doesn't even require a cross-country trip to show its stuff. Hop on the highway and within minutes the trip information display will report an average of 40+ mpg. Though high-speed cruising is when this powertrain is most efficient, we also achieved results in the mid to high 30-mpg range while running errands around town. We didn't resort to drafting …
Full Review

2009 Jetta Overview

2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery The car as we know it is being redefined. Hybrids have reintroduced electrons to the driving experience, and the rumble, shake and shimmy of the internal combustion engine is being muffled and, in some cases, even silenced by cars like the Toyota Prius, 2011 Chevy Volt and Tesla Roadster. For us to continue harnessing the energy of combustion under our hoods, we need to go much further on a gallon of fuel. Enter Volkswagen and the diesel-powered passenger cars it's been selling in the U.S. since the late '70s, the latest of which is the 2009 Jetta TDI. Follow the jump to find out how VW's newest diesel fares against the electrified future of the automobile. %Gallery-44135% Photos copyright ©2009 John Neff / Weblogs, Inc. Most U.S. customers have largely ignored VW diesels. Early examples had their quirks, including an engine rattle that sounded like a Peterbilt and the propensity to puff out black smoke like a coal miner. Still, they could go twice as far on a tank of diesel compared to gas-powered cars and their engines lasted for hundreds of thousands of miles. A cult following has kept them going and many have been converted to run on vegetable oil and other bio-fuel blends. It will be years before we know if the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine powering the Jetta TDI is as bulletproof as its predecessors, but we can tell you that its fuel efficiency is as impressive as ever. The EPA has rated the car at 30 miles-per-gallon in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. VW felt the EPA test cycle wasn't accurate and hired an independent company called AMCI to run more real world tests that yielded even better results: 38 mpg city/ 44 mpg highway. We had the opportunity to take our TDI tester, which was *ahem* obviously provided by BOSCH, on a trip from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. We were specifically curious to find out if achieving similar highway fuel economy numbers as the EPA and AMCI required a hypermiler's touch, or if our lead-infused feet could manage equally respectable numbers. Long story short: Our best average fuel economy was 46.1 mpg on the highway. The current fuel economy champ in the U.S. is the Toyota Prius, which the EPA rates at 48 mpg city/45 mpg highway. What makes the Jetta TDI so impressive is that it doesn't require a complex hybrid drivetrain to achieve similar results. The straightforward design of Rudolph Diesel's engine and an interstate, highway or autobahn is all that's required. In fact, the Jetta TDI doesn't even require a cross-country trip to show its stuff. Hop on the highway and within minutes the trip information display will report an average of 40+ mpg. Though high-speed cruising is when this powertrain is most efficient, we also achieved results in the mid to high 30-mpg range while running errands around town. We didn't resort to drafting …Hide Full Review