Well although a week ago I said it stuck out like a sore thumb, later tonight I will be driving home in my new 2006 Jetta TDI. In the end there were a couple of reasons I went with the Jetta:
- As a former Saab owner, I do like having something that not everyone and their brother has. This was one of the things that killed the Camry for me…great car, very reliable, but I would grow tired of trying to find my car in the parking lot. VW’s aren’t that rare, but TDIs are and I like the “clubby” feeling.
- The technology is proven and I was swayed by the “higways are good for diesels” argument. The hybrid technology is great, but it is only 5 years old in real use. Diesels have 100 year track record. Also, carrying 500 lbs+ of batteries with you everywhere you go seems like a big inefficiency.
One odd thing about my quest: I called 9 VW dealers within 125 miles of Cincinnati. None of them had any Jetta TDIs available, save one, which had 7 (Northland VW)! Obviously you know where I ended up going.
I got an artic blue Jetta with Package #1 (Sunroof, Leatherette, XM Radio) and added the floormats/mud guards and an extra set of rear airbags (it has side airbags in the rear, but this option added a second set at the torso level). I’ll post a report of mileage and driving experience after a few days.