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.