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VW Jetta TDI



  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    edited April 2010
    Volvo had a study few years ago and concluded that larger rims with low profile tires is just plain waste of money.

    However, they also concluded that in the U.S., that combination is popular and decided to follow marketing trends obtained from various consumers' clinics that they held in various U.S. markets. That is why you see most Volvos here with large rims/low profile tires.

    Size of wheels and tires was always a big "cosmetic" factor in this country. Cars so equipped definitely "look" better. You can try to see that "cosmetic" difference on very good TireRack interactive website.

    Not that many people realize that thin tires (for example) have much better traction in snow and on ice. In the 50s, Saabs were winning all these European rally races in Scandinavia because they had thin tires. Others then follwed. Thin tires produce much higher weight per square inch, where tire is in contact with the road surface, therefore a better traction.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Thanks for the study. Myself I like the looks of the 16" on the Jetta Sportwagen. The 17" do not look bad, just my experience in the 2005 Passat with 17" turned me off on them. The radical looking 18", 19", 20" tires and wheels look really $tupid to me. People with more money than brains. And more dangerous with our increasingly deteriorating roads and highways. Low profile wide tires give less traction on rain, snow and Ice.
  • dwpcdwpc Posts: 159
    After driving JSWs with both 16s and 17s, I found the ride on aging urban asphalt to be smoother and far quieter on the 16s. For me, road noise level is a big deal; a much bigger deal than .01g on the skid pad or a style statement.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    The rest results were predictable except for the braking. I would have bet that braking, too, would have deterioriated with the 19"s. I suspect the 3% is so small as to be statistically irrelevant--that is, given enough testing and enough cars, there would in fact be no braking advantage to larger wheels. Well, then there's the factor of comparing the compounds of the 15" vs. 19" tires. I'm skeptical about the braking improvements, at any rate and wouldn't put THAT in the plus + column.

    Also I don't think there is any price advantage of 16" over 17".


  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    Also I don't think there is any price advantage of 16" over 17".

    Aren't 16" just about always cheaper to buy than 17"s? And woudlnt the wheels, if necessary to replace, cost more too?
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    I fully agree with your response. The Popular Hot Rodding article also identified poorer braking and handling related to increased unsprung weight. Tire compounds and tread designs obviously benefited the plus-size tires in the Car and Driver tests.

    Looks like you are now making a case for "poofy" tires? Or are you standing firm that a 6% improvement in cornering on skid pad quality pavement is sufficiently significant to justify the multiple disadvantages of the plus-size wheel/tire setups? ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    No, not exactly that. I think my "case" is for that perfect "set of compromises" that constitutes a sweet spot for most of us in our daily driving.

    Poofy tires all by themselves give away too much. Low profile tires all by themselves give away too much.

    It's really about cost + ride +durability + dynamic effects + The Car Itself we are putting these on.

    Poofy tires on a Porsche are a crime. Low profile stickies on a Honda Fit are a waste of money IMO. 19" on a car driven on potholed streets is asking for big trouble.

    All that stuff.......

    As for the 16" vs. 17" argument---same idea---16" tire selection might not be good if you own a certain type of car. You'd be better off with 17"s in that case.


  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    edited April 2010
    Again, I fully agree with your response. Since we should be addressing the Jetta TDI as the applicable vehicle in this forum, I think the Car and Driver tests on a Golf are relevant. Most of us chose the Jetta TDI for fuel economy, comfort, handling, safety, and enough pizazz to provide some enjoyment in daily driving conditions at a reasonable price. I doubt that many forum members actively participate in the VW Jetta TDI Cup. The 16" stock wheels and tires on my '06 were way too harsh and noisy. After down sizing to a 15" setup, the ride and noise are tolerable and the handling is still stable and responsive. Now, if it was a Porsche 911or an Audi R8.... :)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Someting you did not meniton ... but may be improtant for folks looking for best MPG.

    It is a rule-of-thumb in drag-racing that each pound removed from a whee/tire (rotating mass) is equivalant to removing about 8lbs of static weight in the vehicle. Imagine traviling at 70 MPH on the highway with that 35% increase in rotating-mass.... this means the engine is working harder to keep those wheels spinning. (35% X 8 = 280% added engine load over the smaller wheels.)

    I cannot agree more... the 'trend' of using larger wheels just because they "look better" simply goes against my grain. It seems to me that the larger wheels simply cost more all the way around no matter how you look at it. I am not one to pay for glitz.
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    Good point regarding rotating mass. That was probably the primary factor contributing to the differences in fuel economy and acceleration times in the comparison test using the Golf. I'm no engineer, but I assume that larger wheels and tires also require more energy to stop rotation, thus contributing to increased brake wear. Could increased rotating mass also result in increased wear on CV joints and other power train components?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I think this is a good discussion.

    I am replying to my own append because I thought of ONE reason why larger wheels may be approprate/benifecial. An engineer can fit a larger brake-rotor inside a larger wheel. Even an inch more of rotor-diameter can provide MANYFOLD braking power.

    This is because the "swepd area" which the pads can act on has increased.. (Also due to additional "torque" the pads can apply by being further away from wheel centerline)

    Infact, I know that some vehicles with larger wheels CANNOT be fitted with smaller wheels because of clearance issues with the brakes.
  • rrollntdirrollntdi Posts: 52
    Hi All... I just thought I'd weigh in with my 17" wheel experience. My '09 TDI Sedan had Michelin 225/45/17 tires on it ($450 option). After 23K miles and only 2/32 of wear, I had two scraped wheels. The cost to get the wheels resurfaced was $105 each. A few weeks later, a buldge developed on the RF tire :sick: . Detroit roads aren't the best, Summer or Winter. The tire would have cost over $200 to replace. That's where I drew the line. I replaced all four with 205/55/16s Bridgestones and factory wheels. The dealer had some take offs that he provided at a great price (trade in my wheels and tires for a net cost of about $400). My wife used to complain about the rough ride on the 17s and I also heard more road noise. With the 16s, the road noise is less and she doesn't complain about the ride anymore. The price to replace the Bridgestones is about 50% that of the Michelins. The treadwear rating is only 200, so they will wear out a little faster, but at 2 for 1 compared to the 17" Michelins, who cares :P . I liked the looks of the 17s much better because they were more unusual, but the on going costs aren't worth it.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    You're right on about the wheel size scam, the bigger the wheel and tires the only net advantage, is the bigger the profit for the supliers. I have never liked the look of the OEM 2006 Jetta 16" wheels anyway, and decided to go with 195 65 15's, steelies underneath with nice wheel covers for both winter and summer tires.

    Just got back from a 3800 mile round trip to Lake Havasu Az and the $64.00 ea General Altimax HP's from Tire Rack handled everything from packed snow and ice over the mountain passes to slush and rain.

    The set of 4 General Altimax Arctics' take offs on rims are stacked in the corner ready for next winter.
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    The OEM 16" wheels on our Jetta were the 10 spoke (5 paired spokes) with polished facing and metallic gray paint on the rim and sides of the spokes. I agree, they looked out of place on a white Jetta. After one summer and fall of suffering the harsh ride, come spring I mounted the 15" silver alloys from our '04 Stonehedge Passat Wagon on the Jetta and the 16' alloys on the Passat. The improvement in ride on the Jetta was huge. The Passat's longer wheelbase and comfort-tuned suspension reduced the harshness of the 16" setup. I noticed no difference in handling in either car. An unexpected bonus from the swap is that the Jetta's OEM wheels' styling and color look great on the Passat.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    I think it was one of VW dumbest ideas of the decade to drop the Passat TDI wagon.

    It was the perfect classic wagon style that will still look good 10 years from now, nicely rounded where it needed to be but still a classic practical design for a mid size wagon. Looked great inside too.

    The chain driven counter balance shaft was a disaster, but that could have been avoided if they had kept the accountants out of the engine design meeting.

    For some reason the 15" Passat wheels have always looked great on that vehicle but the older 2005.5 to 2006 Jettas never seemed to look right. Limited aftermarket wheels in the 5 x 112 mm pattern for the Jetta leaves us few options.
  • dwpcdwpc Posts: 159
    We've had our JSW TDI for three weeks and are generally extremely satisfied with the car. We got 39 mpg on a 1200 mile trip mostly at 70+ without even trying. The TDI engine is amazing and responsive. Above 1500 RPM it pulls like a small V8. Our only significant gripe is that the std Bluetooth connection is hands-free only for answering calls; you must use the phone to place calls. Not a big deal for us but the brochure said it would be fully hands-free. The BT connection, though is robust. I'm not crazy about the touch-screen audio system but it's probably going to be replaced with a Pioneer NAV unit anyway.
  • rrollntdirrollntdi Posts: 52
    Thanks for sharing dwpc... :) I was wondering which Pioneer NAV system you were interested in??? Will it work with the steering wheel controls of the MFD?
  • My rear air vents on my 09 Jetta TDI sedan have become a little off kilter (probably from the kids hitting the back of the center console with their feet). The rear vent levers are fairly light grade. In any event, if I could get inside the the vent I could probably fix the thing. It seems that the back of the center console surrounding the 110V plug can be removed. Has anyone had occasion to remove this piece who can describe the method used?
    David C.
  • dwpcdwpc Posts: 159
    I'm interested in the Pioneer AVIC 920. I've still got to do my due diligence...I'm not sure whether the JSW wheel controls will function with it. It would be nice to keep that function, especially for using BT. I'm going to replace the speakers first and proceed from there; I'm not happy at all with the sound quality of the "Premium" audio that's std in the JSW TDI.
  • shriftyshrifty Posts: 255
    Currently I'm looking to get an ODB II code scanner for my car, however I have no clue of which one to get. I would like to get a middle-ground model, not the very basic, but nothing top of the line. Would the Actron 9180 be a good choice? I have an 09 TDI Sedan. Any advice would be appreciated. I also heard something about VAG-Com, but not quite sure what that is exactly.
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