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2011 Volkswagen Jetta



  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Of course the new version of the Jetta is somewhat of an unknown, but for it's predecessor CR predicted new car reliability was rated as "better than average" in their April 2010 issue. The imprezza was rated one notch higher (provided it is not a turbo) at "much better than average".

    Imprezza WRX was rated "worse than averge".
  • We test drove the 2011 S and SE.... Both are great, but since we want the 2.5L engine, the S is out.

    I asked the dealer about the model I test drove, and he told me it was the generic SE with alloy wheels (which seemed to have blue tooth and the audio aux-in port) :confuse:

    Now there is the following, but we are having trouble distinguishing what all the different options are:

    - SE
    - SE w/ convenience package
    - SEL
    - SE PZEV

    Can anyone shed some light as to the differences between the above? I think PZEV is just emissions, and if so, any pros/cons about that.

    ANY help is appreciated. :confuse:
  • minghiminghi Posts: 24
    just like the phrase 'google it' just 'edmunds it'. they review about the various trims and package details on the model's page.. gotto to love edmunds..
  • What should I get? What's the difference between these two cars? MSRP seems to be $1500 more for the SEL.

    My Concerns / things I'm not sure of:
    1. I don't really want the GPS (Garmin or an Android phones is probably better). - Is the screen the same size as the screen in the SE or is it actually smaller?
    2. Is bluetooth functionality for both cars the same?
    3. Is it worth it to have the rear disk brakes?
    4. Other thoughts comparing these two cars?

    Extra credit question: Should I figure out a way to wait (my lease on my current vw is coming to an end soon) and get the GLI for several k more?
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724

    I know that the lease prices between the SE and the SEL was huge. The lease cash wasn't available on the SEL and the SE had a better lease rate.

    SE/w conv- Has the entertainment package: 6 disc CD changer, Surius Radio, Bluetooth for phone and streaming music from Iphone or device. Traditional AUX jack input, Voice commands. Larger screen.


    SEL-Navigation: Similar features as SE, but allows use of navigation and directions. Same Bluetooth, Voice Commands. sunroof.
    Push buttom start option. You do not put the key in the ignition. You can have the key in your pocket and place thumb on car handle and open. Get in car and press button to start without the key. Key has to be on you though.
    Fancy, but yet not necessary.

    4 disc brakes- Perhaps ever so slightly stronger in performance.

    GLI: Will more than likely be worth the wait!! However- it will be a little more expensive. A bit more than the SEL. It is an SEL, but with added performance, such as the upgraded rear suspension, wheels, 2.0T engine. Slight interior upgrades, mainly cosmetic. It will be a very fun car! If you are willing to wait and pay more! However, don't plan to lease it. It will not lease too well.

    I see the SE/w conv with the biggest bang for the buck!! The SEL seems to be a bit overkill. Both SE and SEL have same bluetooth. Your really not getting much more. Push button, Nav-which I really don't need. Unless your pushing this car really hard, then the rear brake drums are not going to be an issue. I took forever choosing and I love my car. White Gold/cornsilk interior, Conv/sunroof. Chrome tipped exhaust. It is great!!

    So I would either decide on the SE or a GLI at this point. If your going to spend a little bit more, then go with the GLI! Though the price on the SEL isn't too much more, it was the lease numbers that kept me from getting the SEL. Making it too expensive and unnecessary.

    Good luck!!
  • Thanks bvdj84!

    Great tip on the differences in the lease rates. Perhaps I should head over to the lease forum and do some research on what the lease rates are for the two. Also, My plan now is to lease the car, so if the lease rates will not be good on the GLI then I either need to consider purchasing or go with the SE. Sounds like I may be going with the same thing you got.

    What's the scoop on color? Any colors that the dealer will put a higher premium on? I've never had a black car so i was kind of thinking of going all black. What's your thoughts?
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    Yes, really cannot go wrong with the SE. But, definitely look into the GLI, If you are going to go for upgrade, then opt for this trim. Otherwise, the SE offers a great balance in features. Loaded for the price. The SEL was going to set me back about $70 more a month, so does that justify the few extra features? No, not really. The push button and nav are not a deal breaker. Why do I have my fancy Iphone 4?

    I thought about black! It would look great with tinted windows. If your wanting black, then the Jetta looks really dark. Remember that it will need forever washing. The only color I see them having a hard time getting would be the Red or White Gold. But, do not see them putting any more of a price tag on though. It is just harder to get. Black and Red most likely come with cornsilk interior, it does look very classy! In my opinion a class up from the black interior. But, can't go wrong either way.
  • That red Jetta is really difficult to get. I ordered one with TDI + NAV last November, and the earliest they can deliver it is April. Darn, but I'm not going to settle for less.

    Good luck with your cars. Buy what you want and can afford.
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    That is true! I happened to see a red later after I leased my white gold. I was sorta bummed, I might have gotten the red. But, with Red I might get pulled over more. I do love my white gold! I am over it.

    Yes, always try to get what you want, but at a price that you can realistically afford. Most don't know that line and cross over it. The SEL is really overkill in terms of price and value. In terms of leasing too!

    The red would have looked really sporty! Tinted window with cornsilk interior!
    Oh well I am very happy with my choice! I can wait to really stretch out this spring and summer! I am getting the windows tinted and the dealer is going to officially deliver my car. Detail-wax, shine it all up. Since it is winter, I opted to wait for a better day.
  • How's White Gold compare to black in the "always looks dirty" area?
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    The White gold is almost like a silver, but has a metallic type gold tint to it. It changes in the light all the time. Cloudy days it has more of a tanish silver tint, and in the sun it looks more silver. If there is shadow on it, then it looks different too.

    The white gold looks cleaner when its dirty. The black will show everything. Dirt, dust, bugs, and you'll have to be careful not to create swirl marks on finish as it will reflect easily in the sun. But, if your like me, and wash, maintain your car then it will not be a problem having black. Keep it waxed using delicate cloths, then your black will look amazing!

    The white gold picture on the internet do it no justice. In person, it simply looked awesome! I liked that it is metallic!!
  • Wierd alternatives, right ? I currently drive an '02 Buick Lesabre with sport tuned suspension, 3.8L engine, and leather interior. She gets 30mpg at 65 mph with 130k miles on the odometer. I'd hang onto it but the transmission is starting to hard shift after 30 minutes of driving, and just finished spending $ 700 on power steering pump and rack. Frankly, I wish the Lesabre was still made, its hard to beat a full size car with the road feel, responsiveness and mileage combo I've got. oh well. So I'm thinking of staying with the Buick line, though Ii'm a bit concerned about what I've read on the new 6 speed automatic in the Lacrosse, and haven't found reliability info on the 3.6 VVT engine. Or, going back to my earlier days and getting a Jetta 2.5 with manual xmission. The most economical over the long haul would likely be a Sonata with the 100k, 10 year warranty. But they just dont' have the panache of the VW, or the appeal of the Lacrosse. Anyway, my question is: to the VW experts out there, how dependable is the 2.5, and what are the problems I'd face with the VW? I've seen that the Jetta had past problems with the window regulators - which I had with the Buick - and the parts seem to be much more expensive - $19 for a oil filter from Autozone - But the idea of the VW is tempting at 18-19k$ or so. Thanks for your thoughts.
  • I bought the 2011 Jetta SEL and have no idea where the temperature display is. I had the 2011 SE and saw it on the dash next to the mileage but for some reason it's not located in the same place for the SEL. Is there a certain button I need to press to display it? Please help!

  • I own three VW's (2008 New Beetle Convertible, 2007 Jetta, 2009 Jetta) that all have the 2.5 gas engine with the 6 speed tiptronic automatic transmission. Mileage is between 17,000 and 55,000 depending on the car. This engine / transmission seems to be rock solid. No problems, no oil burning, smooth transmission (and also the tiptronic is a blast to drive in manual mode or Sport mode on the twisty back roads).

    I also owned 5 GM cars with the famous 3.8 V6 that you have. It was a workhorse and I too got 30 MPG on each car on the highway. Alas, GM retired that engine.

    VW's currently come with 3 year free maintenance, so no cost to you. VW recommends synthetic oil at 10,000 mile changes. I have mine changed at 5,000 miles, and a synthetic oil change is about $60-$75 depending on the shop. I believe your higher price on an oil filter is because the use of synthetic calls for a special filter, which is designed for longer life (due to the higher mileage change times VW recommends). I may just be extra cautious on changing oil sooner, but I feel peace of mind in doing so.

    Try the Jetta - it is a great driving car, being very nimble and quick. I always look forward to a drive in one of my VW's - something I could not say of many of the cars I have owned over the years.

    VW's also hold their resale value well, but depending on how often you trade that may or may not be a major factor.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    edited February 2011
    What do you think of the 2011 Jetta compared to yours? I saw your other comment about the seat. If you have checked out a new one, have they stuck with the firm supportive seats? You said the 2.5 was no oil burner. Does the older 2.0 have that reputation?

  • Thanks for your comments, Belairguy. I read on some post that the 2.5 is known for it's longevity, ie a 300,000 mile engine - anyone have that experience ? Also, since the 2.5 is an older engine, is there any reason not to use regular oil, and change at 3k-5k? Having just read an article about the 2012 Passat which will have as base, the 2.5 and manual transmission, I might have to wait for that....
  • I have not owned the 2.0 engine, but from what I have read this is a long time engine that VW has used form years. VW also has a 2.0 Turbo, but I don't know if it is the same engine with a turbo bolted onto it. Our family has also owned Jettas and Rabbits from years ago with both gas and diesel engines. Those models (late 80's, early 90's) had good engine reliability, although I could not specify if those were the 2.0 gas engines.

    The 2.5 5 cylinder is a workhorse with many years of proven reliability. Don't know about using "regular" oil vs. synthetic oil in the 2.5, but certainly the VW mechanics could advise you. I would venture a guess that VW has specified synthetic just for the virtues of synthetic oil (does not lose viscosity or create breakdown products as it wears/ages) and the longer change times with synthetic oil. I have read a couple of studies done with synthetic oil in NYC taxicabs and analysis done on the oils after many miles of NY stop and go miles. Synthetics were virtually "new" after 15-20,000 miles. I change more frequently until we have a few more years of proven reliability of the synthetic oils in many cars and various engines.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • Sam - the 2011 has the same seats (glad VW did not change that). The dash is now made of hard plastic (not uncommon in many cars/trucks), and previously is was a soft touch plastic. While this has been knocked in automotive reviews, how often are you touching the dash each day?

    I did not check out the Base S model (2.0 engine), but if you want an automatic transmission and it has the Tiptronic 6speed, you won't be sorry. The Tiptronic has a "S" or sport mode, where shifts are held to a higher RPM setting. It also has a manual mode, where you can upshift and downshift yourself. Great fun on the back roads with lots of twisty curves!

    Check my other comments about the 2.5 / 2.0 engines. Both should be reliable as VW has produced them for years.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    Good to know they have maintained their usual standard in seating. The dash doesn't bother me as long as it resists cracking, doesn't squeak or give off a bad reflection on the windshield where you look down the road.

    I think when you mentioned turbo, that you are confusing the 1.8 turbo with the 2.0 non turbo. I hadn't considered the automatic. I guess I should drive one and see if I could live with it. Tell me, how does it handle downshifts if you were driving in a spirited fashion on a dirt road and you wanted a quick one or two year downshift to set up for a corner? Does the computer actually rev up the engine to gear and rev match? Seems like a lot to go wrong when they get older. Nice for city traffic though I guess.

    I thought I saw a comment somewhere here in a Jetta or Golf that gave the impression the 2.0 used to or still did burn oil, but I think they also were confusing the 1.8 turbo as it really did have an oil issue of some sort. If the diesel's emissions were not so complex which add further to their considerable cost, I would like one of those the most. But the next strongest for torque I would consider is that 5 cylinder one.

    Glad to hear you are having so much enjoyment from all your VW's.

  • fho2008fho2008 Posts: 393
    There is a 2.0 turbo, and the base 2.0 non turbo that are two entirely different engines.
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    So they have replaced the 1.8 turbo with a 2.0 turbo? Come to think of it that sounds familiar. For my use I would never buy that car with a gas turbo. If the TDI wasn't so complex and expensive that would be my choice, but I am trying to find out if the 2.0 gas engine (the old one that has been around for years) has any bad reputation with it in any way if anyone knows? I know that it is the slowest, but with a manual transmission it would probably still do the job. I think if you drove both it and the 2.5 spiritedly all the time, the 2.0 gas bill at the end of the year would be quite different. Maybe not a great choice if you had 4 people and A/C on in the mountains then the 2.5 would likely perform much better and maybe even on less fuel.

  • I have driven all my VW's with the Tiptronic automatic in both the manual mode and the "S" mode for spirited driving. The Manual does upshift and downshift just like a manual. The engine will rev up, and if you didn't know you weren't using a clutch, you could never tell. Of course for everyday driving, the regular "D" setting works well.

    I don't know if playing with the manual mode all the time would lead to problems down the road, but certainly the "S" mode would not, as that simply sets the shift points to a higher RPM level, as well as higher RPMs on the downshifts.

    Take a try in an automatic, before you decide.

    Good Luck.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    Good Points! Update: 2011 Jetta SE, conv, roof

    I love having all 3 options! Though, I haven't used the manual mode a lot yet. Your right, I am not sure if you used it all the time if it would wear down any more than just using the S mode or D. Though, it might if you were really rough with it. Now that I have the options, I am not sure how often I'll use them. I am pretty careful with my cars. Definitely more in the Spring and summer! Plus, with gas prices I want to conserve. :(

    The 2.5 is quite peppy! I came from an 08 G6 4cyl and the engine in the VW is night and day better!! I feel way more confident about the power. It is so much more smooth in its shifting. You barely tell when its shifting. Also, I hardly hear then engine other than a nice push in acceleration. The suspension is smoother, forgiving. I can honestly see how and why my mother has gotten pulled over for speeding. lol. Not on purpose, but when you look down it can easily be way over what you think it is!! She drives an 08 Jetta. My G6 never felt as much that way.

    I have noticed better mileage too!! It has lower RPM's when at 60. Though, it is a 5cyl and 6spd auto, so it is going to be slightly less. This engine is the reason I chose the Jetta over the Buick Regal! The GM 4cyl engine had 6spd, but still felt rough and lack of power at higher performance, it felt a bit numb! The VW engine doesn't seem exhausted like the GM 4cyl.

    Loving the bluetooth, the touch screen radio, and the cornsilk interior! The white gold is a great color! Such a classy looking car! I almost got the Regal and I am glad I got the VW. I am happier!
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    I test drove a new Jetta the other day. Very impressed with that car. I wrote a post about it in Midsize. (likely should have put it here but was continuing a discussion there)
    But :( yesterday I was looking over a service rate schedule for VW's routine service intervals. There were some anomalies that raised an eyebrow or two in the money going out department. The one that jumped out at me and would affect anyone who does fewer than average miles per year, was that all the servicing (oil and filter at $200 a pop! and even more depending on model) was for every 5000 miles or every 4 months, with those infamous words which ever occurs first. Just as an example, there would be no reason that for someone who drives a half hour to town to shop etc that had a fresh oil changed in May would not still be perfect with a couple thousand miles on it come Sept. In a gas or diesel. The charges were grouped into types (A through to H and repeats) and with some of those service rips, there were a big long list of inspections like "check condition of spare tire" and in no time some of these were over $600.00! A type H on a V8 Touareg was $850.00 at 32 months or 40000 miles. And lots of 200 to 600 ones to get there.

    Even if you do your own servicing and keep track of all your bills for the expensive oil and filters etc to ensure your warranty coverage, it still would add up pretty fast. And then expose you to the possible argument if you did have a legitimate warranty claim later. It reminded me of Hyundai to be honest, because if you missed or could not prove you did (correctly too no doubt) even one of the service intervals, they could use it to not honor the warranty.

    I think it is true that EU cars are more maintenance hungry than others. It sure was a nice ride though.

  • pbrazinapbrazina Posts: 2
    I was told by the dealer (and confirmed by the customer service number listed on that I only have to change the oil every 10k miles. I'm not sure I would want to do that as I'm in the old school w/ every 3 mo or 3k... since this uses synthetic oil, I'm thinking every 6 months. Like you, I don't drive much as my last car 2000 Saturn only had 70k miles on it.

    Unless a specialty (i.e something VW specific breaks), my service (after the included 3 years) will probably be at Pep Boys.

    There is no reason why an oil change w/ synthetic oil should cost more than $50. I am being generous in that figure as I'm in NY, so I'm sure other states may vary.

    If it matters, I have a 2011 Jetta SE.
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    Congrats on your new Jetta! Did you see my comments I posted about my test drive in Mid-sized cars I think is where I posted them. It is one fine car on many levels.

  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    Getting ready to take my first road trip to Florida! A 14 hour drive! Taking my car in today to get it inspected and have the tires inflated properly. This will be the ultimate test! I do think this engine is much more competent than the 08 G6 4cyl engine I had. I don't see this engine struggling like the G6 did. This car wants to drive faster too. I have looked down and see that I am so speeding!

    I should get better mileage. Anyone know if they use nitrogen in the tires? I have had the car since new years eve and they haven't seem to deflate yet. Even through all the winter issues.

    Looking like it is going to be perfect weather driving and all next week! Really warm weather too!!
  • mariobgoodemariobgoode Posts: 114
    That's one great opportunity to test the car's mettle. Good luck on the ride. Watch out for the speed traps in the Carolinas and in VA. Florida has a few of those, as well. Don't forget your sunscreen and sunglasses.

  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    Yes, it will be a great way to see what she is made of. There are a lot of speed traps down south! Especially highway 231 in Alabama. The speed limits change so quickly and they'll get ya.

    Yep, packing today and it looks to be sunny everyday next week. Around 80 mark once we get down there tomorrow in Alabama!

    Taking the car in today, making sure it is good to go, tires, etc.
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