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So I am looking at replacing my wifes 00 chevy Malibu in about a year or so. want to start looking for good quality car (no GM or Chry). I´ve been looking at the dieseals. The malibu get 26mpg highway on a good day. With a TDI you can get more than that around the city.

We are looking at used, one possibly three to four years old. Does anyone have any knowledge (good / bad).

While I´m in Spain I´ve been talking to my bro-in-law who works at a junk yard and says they are great vehicles but cost a lot here. I´ve been browsing ebay for them to see what is out there and they don´t seem all that bad on costs. I also want to know areas of maintenance issues too.

What I really like about Nissan in the Factory Service Manual and working on the truck is easier. All the specs, size, weights, amps, etc are all in the manual.
 

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I've been reading a lot into the VW turbo diesels of late. Visit myturbodiesel.com if you'd like some good reading material. I'm eyeballing a jetta sportswagen down the road because of my driving habits and need for torque vs hp as I drive up and down mountains around here. I read somewhere on that site that they've had some experiences of gaining up to 290 torque with a a chip reprogramming. They also make a compelling argument on why it's a better deal and overall better driving experience than hybrids like the Prius.

I drive long distances a lot here in Cali and the more I read about them, the more it makes sense to my habits and needs. I'm not sure how easy it's to find a used turbo diesel 'cause it sounds a like a niche vehicle that has a good following. I'm waiting around for 2011 when the new mkVI version of the sportswagen TDI rolls out. Good luck on your search and hope this helps!
 

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jetta TDI (This is good thought out fuel efficiency)

& hybrids are simply put, not for people who have even considered "driving experience"

hybrid = rip-off for dumb people.

i.e. if you figure the price difference and really just drive around town so you use the electric you will just pay off to start saving gas around the time you need a new set of batteries.
 

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Well, we got my wife's Jetta tdi brand new in 03. It now has 75k miles on it, is paid off, and KBB says its worth about 10k. So far, we have only had to do routine maintenance on it (fluid, filters, tires once, and battery). Never touched anything else on it, even has original brakes on it still. Timing belt will need to be done at some point between 80-100k. It has been very reliable, and she loves it. Averages 37 or so mixed hwy, city driving and 43-45 on the highway. It is an auto, so those numbers would be higher on a manual.

We are only considering replacing it just to get something a little bigger. I really wish VW would bring the Tiguan with the tdi like they have in Europe. That would be perfect for us.
 

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I loved my buddies TDI. We live in the bay and does mixed commuting. Freeway mostly, but also mixed stoplight traffic and avg 45 - 50 mpg in his I think it was an 2004.

I would pass on the Passat and get a TDI for sure.
 

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TDI sportwagon FTW. I did a clear bra install on on a couple weeks ago. GETS UP and goes!
 

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I used to own a 2000 Passat B5 GLX V6. I will never own another VW again. My experience with it was negative. Perhaps the diesels are a different story, but don't count on it. There are a lot of good diesels out there to choose from.

The Good:
Comfortable ride
Extremely comfortable interior. A true driver's car one might say.
Quality "monsoon" sound system
Intuitive sunroof
Engine had pep (30V V6 - not VR6 - IIRC 197HP, 204 lb/ft @5000 RPM)

The Bad:
Plagued by electrical problems, error codes constantly going off.
Transmission was ready to fail after 120k mi
Low quality plastic used in headlights, yellowed early
Emissions control errors, brake control errors
Secondary water pump replaced twice
Fluid-filled motor mounts failed
ABS controller failed
02 sensors replaced, but actually cats were a problem
useless "bellypan" (flex plastic skid plate) held on by stupid plastic clips prone to falling off. In my case it fell down on the highway driving it home the day that I had bought it, simultaneously giving an error of "STOP: Brake Fault"!
Engine lasted to only 120k miles (then I sold it and bought a Nissan which had no problems)

I did not drive this car hard at all. I take meticulous care of my vehicles (religious oil changes and maintenance all replacement parts at normal intervals) but this was just a POS. If you're going to buy used, make sure there is some kind of warranty!

You can get what you want, but I have to warn you. Don't be like me and fooled by the test drive. Like I said, they are really comfortable cars, but don't get stuck paying a lot for needless maintenance down the road. I thought that it was a nice car when I had bought it, but in the long run it was a bad idea. Don't be like me.
 

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I agree 100% no name.. i have a 03 Golf and before that a jetta.. i will never purchase VW again. Just didnt want to bring it all up since it wasnt one of the options haha...

My buddy has no issues with his TDI so far tho..
 

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I used to own a 2000 Passat B5 GLX V6. I will never own another VW again. My experience with it was negative. Perhaps the diesels are a different story, but don't count on it. There are a lot of good diesels out there to choose from.

The Good:
Comfortable ride
Extremely comfortable interior. A true driver's car one might say.
Quality "monsoon" sound system
Intuitive sunroof
Engine had pep (30V V6 - not VR6 - IIRC 197HP, 204 lb/ft @5000 RPM)

The Bad:
Plagued by electrical problems, error codes constantly going off.
Transmission was ready to fail after 120k mi
Low quality plastic used in headlights, yellowed early
Emissions control errors, brake control errors
Secondary water pump replaced twice
Fluid-filled motor mounts failed
ABS controller failed
02 sensors replaced, but actually cats were a problem
useless "bellypan" (flex plastic skid plate) held on by stupid plastic clips prone to falling off. In my case it fell down on the highway driving it home the day that I had bought it, simultaneously giving an error of "STOP: Brake Fault"!
Engine lasted to only 120k miles (then I sold it and bought a Nissan which had no problems)

I did not drive this car hard at all. I take meticulous care of my vehicles (religious oil changes and maintenance all replacement parts at normal intervals) but this was just a POS. If you're going to buy used, make sure there is some kind of warranty!

You can get what you want, but I have to warn you. Don't be like me and fooled by the test drive. Like I said, they are really comfortable cars, but don't get stuck paying a lot for needless maintenance down the road. I thought that it was a nice car when I had bought it, but in the long run it was a bad idea. Don't be like me.

The V6 cars were plagued with issues the diesels didn't have. If you buy a TDI VW right now there's supposed to be a $1300 tax credit you can get. I think the Audi TDi's qualify for it too.
 

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i have heard great things about the jetta tdi.
 

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I'm on my second TDI and have had no issues whatsoever. Though both were with the newer PD motor, so 2005 to 2008. Lots of accessories are available for VW, they hold their value well, and the old days of electrical gremlins are gone - they've been using the same company as Toyota for their wiring harnesses since 2004.

Here's my daily driver:

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all for the input. I think we are thinking 2006 or greater. like I said this is probably going to be a next year purchase.

Zedbra - that is sharp looking.


how easy are they to work on?
 

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I definitely prefer the space and feel of the MkV over the MkIV. The Jetta's went through a lot of changes in a few years. My car shown is a 2005 (MkIV body style). There was also a 2005.5 Jetta that came out with the newer body (MkV). The 2005.5's had more options in them than later models of 2006, 2007, and then 2008. VW kept stripping away little 'extras' to save a few bucks. I had a 2006 and loved the extra cab space and the suspension was great.

Working on them is easy, though they do need some special tools for basic things such as brakes, etc. However, parts are cheap and the aftermarket availability is endless.

For all your answers, go to the Vortex forum. One of the best car forums running, in my eye. VWvortex.com
 

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I Work As A Detailer For VW. I Personally Prefer The Passat, But The TDI Is Also A Good Choice. Yu Really Cant Go Wrong W Either Car. But Whatever You Do... DO NOT BUY EITHER W A BEIGE/TAN INTERIOR!!! VW But Really Crappy Rugs In Their New Models. The Rugs Can Be Cleaned But Do Show Every Bit Of Dirt. I Highly Recommend You Dont Get A Beige Interior, Because The Material Use For The Arm Rest Area And Handle Are Very Absorbent. Day In And Day Out, I See Brand News Cars W The Handle N Steering Wheels Black As Night From The Owners Hands, Dirt, Oil, ECT. Solvent Will Make This Less Noticeable But Not Perfect.

In Short,
Either Car = Win
Beige Interior In Either = Fail
 
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