So I'm thinking about buying a VW TDI. What should I look out for?

Discussion in 'Volkswagen' started by 08EscapeHybrid, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I still haven't replaced my FEH from when it was totaled a few months ago. I've been unable to locate a decent FEH in my price range, but have seen several VW TDI's in my range. Looking at either a Jetta or Golf wagon. I can get a certified used one at a local VW dealer for under $10K. They have several to choose from. If I skip the VW Certified cars I can get one even cheaper, but without the VW certified warranty.

    So, here's my questions:

    What's the difference between the Jetta and Golf wagons? They kinda look the same to me.

    What should I look for when looking at these cars? Any red flags that would tell me to stay away from a particular car?

    Ideally I want a new FEH, but it will be a couple years before I can get one of the new 2020 FEH's at a nice off lease deal. I'll probably be in the VW for at least 3 years, but hey, maybe I'll like it and I'll drive it till the wheels fall off.
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  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    VW took turns putting different names on the same car. Another example of bad marketing.
    I don't know the exact model year , but I think the wagons with those names made after 2009 were all the same.
    Hope you get a good one !
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  3. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Well, that would explain why they look the same to me then!
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  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I really like the Sportwagen , especially with the 1.4 TFSI engine. I believe this engine is standard on the Golf , Jetta ,
    and Sportwagen.
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  5. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    What year Golf? The 2010-2014 Golf wagon is a facelifted Jetta wagon with a different name, but I thought it still had the Jetta name for the USA. The 2015 and newer Golf wagon is a new platform compared to the earlier models and is what you rode in for our Northwest Rally. It has the newer EA288 engine with SCR, so it should be more efficient than the older, non-SCR engines.

    I would only consider buying the manual transmission models. The DSG is nice but needs fluid changes every 40k miles, which cost a few hundred dollars. I remember seeing a few posts about cracked particulate filters on the previous generation EA189 engines. Vehicles that have had the emissions scandal fix should have an 11-year / 162k mile warranty, so that may cover you, depending on how long you plan on keeping the vehicle.

    I haven't visited TDIClub much after buying my Civic, but the people there were generally knowledgeable about the cars and potential red flags and problem areas. If you make a post over there, you'll probably get some good information.
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  6. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Unfortunately I don't think I can daily drive a manual. I had injured my knee several years ago, and driving in stop & go DC traffic would be miserable. As far as year is concerned, I'm trying to limit myself to 2009 and newer, but the VW Certified cars would be a few years newer.

    As a general rule, I'm looking at under 10 years old, under 100,000 miles, and under $10,000 US.
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  7. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

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  8. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Ok, I'm still shopping. The local VW dealer has several TDI wagons with 2 year unlimited mileage warranties in my price range. Depreciation has hit these real hard, which makes them very attractive to me because I don't want to spend a lot... I wasn't planning on buying for another couple years when the FEH was totaled. Looks like I can get a nice low mileage one for $10K or less. Is there a spot to check where they tend to rust first? I know on the FEH if your rear wheel wells were free of rust, there likely wasn't any rust anywhere else. I'm also thinking about selling the pickup truck. It runs and drives so well, but I guess I really don't need it if I get the wagon, because we still have the 1 ton van.
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  9. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    It used to be that VWs were made out of "zincrometal"? steel that was galvanized on both sides. They seemed to NEVER rust.
    Think about it. When's the last time you saw any VW less than 25 years old with rust ? But I'm not sure that's what they use these days.
    They don't seem to offer an exceptional rust warranty now. Maybe it's all part of their long-term plan of "cheapening" the cars they sell here.
    To me, that was a big selling point. Now , with the cutback on their fantastic post-Dieselgate warranty , they are a little less attractive.

    There is a beautiful Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6MT sitting in our parking lot at work these last few days. Someone said it belongs to someone on
    our 2nd shift. Not sure why he left it here, perhaps it doesn't run. But it can't be too old, right ? Possibly a 2013. I want it.

    My friend Linda just picked up the reason people don't buy station wagons anymore : a 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
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  10. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    My local dealer has several with manual transmissions. I would get one, but my left knee is weak, and it feels awful when I get stuck in slow traffic on the motorcycle. This car will be one that primarily gets driven at work. I'll have to settle for the 6 speed dual clutch automatic. My FEH cost me $0.25/mile for fuel/depreciation/maintenance. My company reimburses me $0.40/mile. Since the FEH was totaled and I've been driving a company vehicle, it has been like me losing a paycheck per month. If I get one under $10K my expense account should be able to pay for both the payment and the fuel each month. After some research on the EPA's website, there's a bump of about 3 MPG for the 2015 model. My local dealer only has one, it is fully loaded, and they're asking almost $16K. I think I'm passing on that one unless they are willing to deal a bit.

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  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I worry that my days of driving a manual may be over. I haven't driven one since I bought my 2008 Civic with 5AT. Both my knees are kinda fragile. If I only drive weekends
    and avoid bad traffic ( meaning when I retire , which is actually not so far in the future ) I think I could operate one. For the long,gruelling commute I do right now...….no.

    It's tempting , isn't ? I hope you find a nice automatic car.
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