Thursday, September 1, 2011

New car blues

"So, how do you like the Jetta?" My wife quickly replied that she hadn't formed an opinion; We had just driven the new car off the lot not five minutes earlier. And now we were stopped, pulled over in front of a furniture store and chatting with the fellow who had just rear-ended us.

That's right, we had not traveled five kilometres before the blush of new was banished from our baby, our new Jetta TDI.

The damage was slight: A small arced dimple from a top edge of a licence plate holder, plus a line of small indentations. Also, the impact had pushed the bumper slightly out of alignment.

The blue wedge is the misaligned bumper reflecting clear sky.
The repair will cost a little more than $400 and the fellow who hit us is picking up the tab.

This post marks the first of a series of posts that will look at the Volkswagen Jetta TDI and our feelings about our Mexican made car showing German roots.

To get an idea of the cost, go to the Volkswagen Canada website, click on Build and Price and then click on Jetta. The Jetta was simplified in 2011. Some say cheapened. The changes are most noticeable in the hard, black plastic found everywhere inside. Many are saying that the Jetta no longer has any claim to being a luxury car because of the cheapened interior. I'm not going to be so quick to damn my new car.

Before settling on the Jetta, I looked at the hybrid Lexus CT200h and the Toyota Prius. The Lexus fell from favour as it had a very long delivery time. The earthquake and tsunami affecting Japan were blamed. The Prius fell from favour for similar reasons. (Also, my wife dislikes the Prius look.) The Jetta came from behind to be chosen based on fuel economy (60 mpg or better cruising down the freeway), technical sophistication (a clean diesel engine putting out 237 ft/lbs of torque) and a six speed/five speed automatic transmission. There's more but we'll get to all that in a later post.

The deal maker was the trade-in value assigned to my aging 2003 Ford Focus. The value given was four times greater than that offered by the other Volkswagen dealer in town. The excellent trade-in brought the monthly payments down to $304 with one caveat: When the 60 month loan period is up, there will still be a balloon payment outstanding of about $7900.

Two other little financial perks applied to the Jetta: The first oil change and suggested maintenance visit does not occur until 15,000 kms and the annual bill from my insurer for the Jetta is less than what they quoted me for insuring a top-of-the-line Honda Civic.

Sunday my wife and I may drive to Burlington to a Morgan club meeting. We'll take the Jetta and report on the fuel mileage delivered by our new car.


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