2.19.2010

Volkswagen Golf TDI Review


As good as the new Volkswagen Golf is...there are two three-letter combinations that can make it even better.

One is "GTI".

The other is "TDI".
                          

TDI is VW's clean diesel engine. And as much as we love it in the Jetta sedan,  it's a revelation in the new platform Golf.

It's the usual diesel attributes...tons of torque, excellent long-term prospects (diesels last longer) and killer mileage (the EPA says 30 city, 41 highway).


                       

And, in the Golf, VW moves to make TDI and "premium" synonymous. The base priceof $22,590 is $5,100 higher than the gasoline Golf...but the standard equipment level gets bumped up. As with the gasoline version, VW found only a few options left to put on it (Navigation, Sunroof, Cold Weather Package and Bluetooth connectivity)...running the bottom line with destination charge up to $26,514.

Ouch?

Yeah.

But do as I do...skip the $1,750 nav system...your cell phone or a portable GPS can do the job. Passing on that automatically kills the $199 charge for Bluetooth connectivity (get an earpiece). Though my wife disagrees, I've always thought sunroofs were overrated, a distraction and an unnecessary weakening of the car's structure, so blow that off and save $1,000. And the cold weather package? Heated seats and washer nozzles are nice...but you've done without them and been just fine, right? $225 falls off the sticker.

Now, with destination charge, the price is $23,640. And that's a great value for what you get.

The Golf TDI replaces the Jetta TDI on both the TireKicker Top 20 Cars (so far) and slots in just above it on the TireKicker Top 20 Fuel Savers. But the next-gen Jetta TDI is sure to bring its "A" game. We'll be waiting.

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