Volkswagen Jetta/Bora
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Kinda sorta considering a Jetta SportWagen

Old 12-29-2015, 08:30 AM
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Default Kinda sorta considering a Jetta SportWagen

Edit: this ended up being longer than anticipated, TL: DR at the end

Hi everyone. As the title says, I'm considering getting a used Jetta SportWagen, possibly another VW but JSW is the top contender. I'm really looking for a long term reliable car that is cheap to run (but who isn't?). Right now, I have a 2005 Subaru Outback with the H6 3.0 The engine is fine, very reliable and 250hp is definitely enough for the size of the car. The handling of the car is mediocre at best and the fuel economy blows. Around DC, it can't break 13 mpg and on a long highway journey, 23 mpg is the best you can hope for if you keep your speed low and use cruise control. Oh, and it really requires premium fuel. The car seems to be a bit parts intensive, but nothing too bad and I can do most of the work myself. I came to own the Subaru after getting rid of a 2002 BMW 3-series that was about to need major engine and exhaust work, probably in the 6k range. Even the BMW could manage around 23 in the city and 30ish on the highway on regular.

I’ve had the Subaru for just over 2 years and that brings us to today. I just got done a 2k mile trip from DC to FL and back. Car was fine, but did 22.5 mpg of straight I95 driving and I don’t enjoy any of it. I knew I loved the BMW, but just didn’t realize how much I would miss enjoying every drive I took. So that brings us to today. I’m looking for a car that handles better (or inexpensive handling upgrades), gets significantly better city MPG, and is reliable. I’ve been reading up on the last gen JSW and it may have what I want but I’m not sure. Initially, I was all in on finding a JSW TDI but now I’m not so sure. From what I gather, TDI = fun, awesome gas mileage, diesel fiasco is actually driving prices down very heavily, reports of needing major fuel system work in the 6-8k range (YIKES), DSG is awesome but not reliable once you get near the 100k club

I’m having a harder time finding out reliability information on the other JSW engine and transmission variants as the TDI seems to be the one people are most interested in. I’d also like to know some real world experiences on MPG from owners of the gasoline engines. EPA numbers are nice, but as my Subaru proves, they don’t line up with the real world. Also, with the less powerful gas engines, are there safe tuning options to up the power a bit?


I have a 2005 outback, I don’t like it, want to know what the most reliable engine/transmission is for the JSW, what is real world MPG, and are there safe tuning options for the gasoline engines.
Old 12-30-2015, 06:28 AM
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