Looks like Volkswagen will finally start selling its fuel-efficient diesel-powered 2009 VW Jetta TDI sedan and Jetta TDI SportWagen station wagon models on the North American market. Of course, the public perception of the technology is still marred by stinky, fuming motors from the 1970s and the American motorists are still lagging whole decades behind Europeans when it comes to understanding how efficient and clean a modern oil-burning can be, but I have feeling that constantly rising fuel prices will educate public faster than dozens of hours of educational videos.
Although almost $3000 more expensive than the gasoline powered model and a little higher maintenance costs, the VW Jetta TDI will still be a better choice for those who travel tens of thousands of miles per year. Also, their low-displacement turbocharged engines will make driving a lot more comfortable if you happen to live in a mountainous area where even a huge, but naturally aspirated 5.7-liter mill will lose a great deal of power and will struggle trying to bring you over yet another pass.
EPA tests show that the U.S.-spec VW Jetta TDI features quite an impressive fuel economy rating of 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, while AMCI experts who have conducted a real world testing of the car suggest even better numbers of 38 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway.
VW plans to charge $21,990 for the sedan and $23,590 for the Jetta TDI SportWagen version of the car.
These are base prices and you’ll have to pay more to get a DVD-based satellite navigation system, rear side airbags, iPod adapters and more exclusive wheels.
A six-speed Tiptronic transmission will cost you $1100 more.