Car News

2011 VW Jetta TDI Long-Term Test: Olga vs. Jane

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Certified 2011 Volkswagen Jetta
$8,175
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 2-Door
Used 2011 Volkswagen Golf
$9,577
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta
$7,720
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan
Used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta
$8,009
RELATED READING
See all Volkswagen Jetta, 2005 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader May 2011

My 2005 Volkswagen Jetta was a gift from my dad for my 18th birthday and high school graduation. In the six years since, little Jane the Jetta (one of the last Jetta IV models) has seen virtually every state in the Southeast, hauled pretty much everything I own and covered about 125,000 miles.

These days, Jane is often messy, with me (only sort of) joking that I take my life for rides in my car. But she is as comfortable to me as my home. I feel completely at ease with her, knowing exactly how big her blind spots are and precisely how small a parallel parking space she can squeeze into.

Olga, our 2011 Jetta TDI, retains many of the things I love about Jane, plus a large number of upgraded features. Olga is slightly bigger and sportier, with tighter steering and a ton of torque from the turbo-diesel engine. She also has a rockin' sound system, Bluetooth connection, steering wheel controls and an easy-to-use navigation system, though the screen is a bit on the small side.

Olga's best feature is in those three little letters in her name: TDI. Her little diesel engine goes a long way on a single tank of fuel. Jane gets decent gas mileage – nearly 30 mpg on the highway – but she can't hold a candle to the 40.6 mpg I got while driving Olga to my parents' house last weekend. And while a lot of people think diesels are noisy and smelly, I haven't found Olga to be significantly louder than regular gasoline vehicles – or noticed any unpleasant smells emanating from the exhaust.

But there are a few areas where Jane still wins out. I noticed some minor jerkiness when driving Olga, particularly when going 10 mph or less. This is a common complaint of dual-shift gearboxes (DSG) like the one found in Olga. DSG transmissions offer better performance, but generally aren't as smooth as traditional automatics.

I prefer the softer interior materials in my 2005 Jetta, which have largely been replaced with shiny plastic in the 2011 model. And while diesel fuel offers hybrid-like fuel economy, not all gas stations carry it. In the middle of a big city like Atlanta – away from highways frequented by semis – it can be downright hard to find.

Perhaps the biggest compliment I could give Jane, my 2005 Jetta, is that she has been an excellent and enduring road trip car, perfect for a football-following college student and travel-happy young adult. I think the 2011 Jetta TDI's significantly better fuel efficiency and extra room could carry on Jane's road-trip legacy nicely – plus economically handle my daily commute now that I've graduated and joined the workforce.

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Certified 2011 Volkswagen Jetta
$8,175
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 2-Door
Used 2011 Volkswagen Golf
$9,577
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta
$7,720
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan
Used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta
$8,009
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 VW Jetta TDI Long-Term Test: Olga vs. Jane - Autotrader