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Sunday, November 29 Front Page >> Random Rants >> I *love* my new TDI Jetta Sport Edition!

Jul 05, 2004, 2:50pm

WARNING. This is a full throttle bragging post. If you're the type of person who doesn't like to read people talking about how happy they are with their new toys, move on, go read some news or something.

Damn, I love the new Jetta TDI. And I'm already getting spoiled by it. I just rolled 2000kms (I have 2102kms on the Odo as of this writing, some 33 days after purchase), and I'm constantly discovering cool new shit about the car, or getting used to some luxuries.

Stuff I shouldn't get too used to...

... cuz many other cars don't have these features as standard equipment! Seriously, the VW is spoiling me... if I ever, in the future, have to scale down on my next car purchase and not drop so much dime on a new vehicle, I may be setting myself up for disappointment here:

  • Three pronged anti theft system. Yeah, I know many other cars in the + $20K range (and some under) come with anti theft, but this is the first car I've bought that has it standard. It has three measures - a factory level anti tampering system, a full blown immobilizer (even if someone manages to overcome the anti tampering) and radio keycodes in the fancy smance switchblade key. All standard. Sweet. Even the built in music system has its own theft deterrent secrets.

  • Switchblade key I thought these were reserved for Audis and Mercs, but nope, the VWs have a fancy switchblade key system (looks like a slightly bulky wireless remote, but press a button and shiiick - the key pops out). Tres cool. People constantly check it out and like the gadgetry.

  • Kick Ass factory 8 speaker stereo system. Standard with the car is a CD / Deck head unit, two mid range, two tweeter, and four big base speakers that crank out the low end (and everything above it) better than a $400 Monsoon desktop system I have with a subwoofer. My car doesn't have a subwoofer, but my passengers think it does. Beastie Boys never sounded so good - and it's all factory standard equipment. The trunk's prewired for a CD Changer, and has a bay for it. Mine's filled... with a Phatnoise 40gb MP3 player (plays OGG too!). The head unit controls the approximately 2,200 songs I have in the trunk.

  • Power... well, everything!. This is the first car I've ever bought that had power doors and windows. Remote keyless entry. Remote trunk. Even power mirrors. Sweetness. And standard.

  • Air conditioning. Okay... I'm a hypocrite. I was (and sorta still am) anti air conditioning in a car. Stems back to the days when CFCs were used, and sort of carried on. It also uses more fuel. But wait, lemme justify - I get amazing mileage because it's a diesel, and even with the aircon on, I'm still getting way better mileage (less emissions, mucho less fossil fuel being burned up and used) than almost all gasser cars. That said, I've only used the aircon about a half dozen times. It's been bloody hot here in Vancouver! I'm scared I could get used to this. And get this - rear passengers aren't left out in the cold... er heat - under the two front seats are vents that feed the back seat passengers with aircon or heat for their own comfort level. Oh... almost forgot: standard!

  • Sunroof that doesn't suck. Okay, this was an option. But I've had a car with a sunroof before, and lemme tell you, it was a cludge compared to how this one works on the Jetta - nice features like multi stage opening, "extreme" open option, and venting option. Whisper quiet activation. And a privacy screen. Optional, but tres cool none the less.

  • Electronics through the ying yang... but with backups and manual controls in case things go wrong. Two examples - the system has a powerful on board computer and diagnostics system that you can plug your PC into and use a program called VAGCOM to control almost every function in the car and engine. But if the system fails, there's a backup emergency program that will take over and keep the car going. Another example - all the locks on the car, including trunk, diesel cap, and even the hood are electronically controlled. But the trunk and the driver door and hood have a manual bypass system that your key can still access should all electronics go blooey - including your remote keyless entry system.

  • Pinch protection!! All of the windows on the car have pinch protection - if an arm or hand is in the window while it's being raised, the system will automatically roll the window back down. Even the sunroof. As someone who got their hand bruised by a power window on a GM car once, all I can say is sweet! Standard, of course.

  • Power Outlet in the trunk A cigarette lighter thingie is in the trunk as well as in the car. Veddy cool. I only wish the car has a 110V converter built in

  • Reading lights for passengers, including back seat drivers - every passenger (except for the poor sod who may end up in the middle of the back seat) has their own accessible reading light that is designed to not interfere with the driver's vision at night. Standard!

  • Heated seats - both front passenger and driver - with individual controls. And the entire seat heats, not just the bum pad. My saleswoman called this "the chick's standard feature". It's true - women love the option. Guys just go "my ass feels hot and wet". Standard, of course.

  • Speed controlled intermittent wipers. You can set one of four speeds for the intermittency. The car's speed further refines it. Damned sweet, and natch, standard equipment.

  • Heated mirrors Cripes - my two side mirrors have heating systems. Never had a car with this before. Standard stuff on the VW. And get this - when I adjust my left mirror, the right mirror will also adjust using an algorithm that matches the left viewing angle. Or I can adjust the right mirror on its own.

  • Dash vents Are so cool... the vanes on the front close flush, giving them a retro-roller-desk like finish.

  • The owner's manual is a leather binder... complete with self-contained and removable booklets covering every aspect of the car. In the glove box, there's even a purpose-built slot for the manual! Heck, the Tracker came with a coil-ring book, and no place to put it!

  • Tiptronic. Developed by the Porsche Labs. Featured in Porsches, Audis, and now VWs. Manual shifting with electronic babysitting for engine strain. No clutch. Better mileage. Very cool.

  • Automatic with fuzzy brains As standard equipment on the automatic gearing system with the Tiptronic is a transmission that has fuzzy logic programming. It has economy modes, and "sporty" modes if you're feeling frisky with the go pedal. (diesel owners call the "gas pedal" the go pedal).

  • Cruise Control. Standard... on every VW, even the CL series cars. And very intuitive and one hand-controllable. This is my first ever car with cruise control. And I won't use it for the first 10,000kms - because I can't baby a diesel engine during its break in!

  • Electronic Differential Lock. Standard equipment. From the manual: "with the aid of the ABS sensors, the system monitors the speed of the driven wheels. At speaks up to 40km per hour, if a difference of approximately 100rpms in the speed of the driven wheels is detected, ie,one driven wheel is on a slippery surface, that wheel will be automatically braked in a controlled manner, and more of the engine's power will be directed to the other wheel via the differential to achieve maximum traction." Woah.

  • It's the little things that add up. There's so many little bits of "wow, great engineering and product design!" on this car that show some serious thought going into it. From the fuel warning light (standard), to the sliding rear seat cupholder (giving more storage space) to the three way adjustable front sport seats (standard) to the telescoping and adjustable steering wheel (standard), to the valet key (non radio, only starts engine and unlocks driver door - no access to trunk, engine, gas cap, nada). There's a fuel cap open indicator - may be standard on more and more vehicles, but this is the first one I've ever bought that had it. And everthing moves so smoothly in the car - even the "oh shit" grips for the passengers (those handles near the roof line) are on silicone mounts, and they smoothly fold back into place when released. The glove box does the same thing. Something really nifty - the washer jets for the front window are heated! And one more thing - this car can't be overcranked - if the engine is running and you turn the key to activate the starter again, the key safety interlock system prevents it.

Okay enough about that. What about performance? Only one thing to talk about this post... the car drives as if it's on rails. Three factors influence this car's amazing corning ability: H rated grippy Continental Sport tires; Sport tuned suspension; and ESP (Electronic Stabilization Program, and option I had installed). How much on rails does it drive? In Richmond, when you drive east on Westminster Highway, there's an entrance ramp to go south on Highway 91. It's a 90 degree tight turn entrance with slight banking. Advised speed is 35km per hour. I've taken it at 82km per hour, with nary a squeak from the tires. The G Forces are something else.

Damn, this car is cool.

Okay, brag mode is off. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

13 comments | reply

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