2011 VW Jetta TDI Test: Getting a Little Frosty
I don't really like cold weather. If I could wear shorts everyday of the year, I would. Lately, the temperature here in Atlanta has dipped into the mid 20s. Thankfully, our Jetta TDI handles the cold weather really well.
Since it's a diesel, I assumed starting it on a cold morning would mean waiting a few minutes. Granted, there was about a four second delay as I fired up the diesel Jetta on the coldest morning, but it was barely noticeable.
I love the Jetta's push-button start, but I wish it were the kind that fully engages the starter until the engine is running. With that type of push-button start, you just quickly hit the button and the car starts. The Jetta (and a few other cars) requires you hold the button down until the engine is fully engaged, it's a little less convenient but is probably a minor complaint considering how much we like the car overall.
Our 2011 Jetta TDI also has heated seats. They have three levels of heating, and they work very well. The heat comes on quickly and warms evenly - no cold spots, no hot spots. Also, the rear window defroster works well. Like the seats, it heats up quickly and was able to turn a somewhat thick layer of ice into water within two or three minutes (although I really didn't time it).
Finally, the 2011 VW Jetta TDI has a low temperature warning. In the middle of the instrument panel, just below the speedometer and tachometer is an outside temperature display - most modern cars have this. But if the outside temperature dips into the high 30s, a chime sounds (similar to the fasten seat belt reminder), a small snowflake symbol appears next to the exterior temperature and both flash for about two seconds to make sure the driver knows there could be ice on the road. Many other cars have this feature, too. For example, the Chevrolet Tahoe gives a display screen warning with text when the temperature drops.
Many cars have cold weather packages and heated seats but all these cold-weather friendly features are especially compelling in the Jetta TDI considering that it costs about $26,000 and sips fuel like a hybrid.