Volkswagen Jetta TDI commercial directly attacks the Prius, and I LOVE IT

It’s no secret. I love german cars, I love sports cars, I love manual transmissions, and I’m waiting for the day someone can make a highly efficient car that also doesn’t sacrifice on performance or fun.
Which is why this Jetta TDI makes me so happy.
50 miles per gallon
0-60 in 8 seconds (not super fast, but much better than the Prius’s 10)
Oh, and this car goes vroom vroom with a manual transmission.
And before any Prius owners start complaining about diesel cars being dirty… Both the Jetta TDI and Prius put out the exact same amount of carbon emissions, around 0.6 pounds of CO2 per mile.

Congrats on a great car, VW. I’ll be recommending this to everyone I know shopping for a new car.


  1. That’s such a common thing in Europe to have manual transmission :-). You can "feel" your car.I just bought a VW Scirocco!!!Diesel is now available in the U.S.? Or at least is it common?

  2. Yeah the complete lack of feedback in a soft, cushy, disconnected, automatic car makes it undrivable for me :). But autos are surprisingly common around here.VW Sciroccos are badass! congrats on the purchase.New, cleaner diesels are coming into the US now. I have a friend really looking forward to the new 335d/535d. Should be pretty sweet

  3. As you mature you be more interested in numbers than noise. The odd thing here is I owned a diesel powered VW Rabbit back in the 80’s that got 60 to 70 MPG. Makes me wonder how much R&D money VW burned through reinventing something they already had produced.

  4. The "clean" diesel of today is different than the diesel of the 80’s. That’s why it took so much time and effort to bring the engine back to market.

  5. Great post on the TDI! It’s definitely true that in America we tend to overlook diesel passenger cars, while in Europe they’re the norm. I wanted to chime in on the dirtiness of diesel. While both diesel and gasoline have the same greenhouse gas emissions per gallon, diesel is definitely dirtier in terms of other tailpipe emissions.Most importantly, diesel vehicles emit much more particulate matter – small particles of soot & heavy metals – than gasoline vehicles. Not only does PM cause cardiopulminary problems such as asthma and heart attacks, diesel PM in particular is very carcinogenic. These health effects are a real problem if you live close to freeways with lots of diesel trucks, like in Long Beach near the Port of LA!Diesel vehicles also emit much more smog than gasoline vehicles, which causes additional lung problems.That being said, you can use new technologies to clean up diesel exhaust. In Europe, diesel cars have advanced tech to reduce pollution, but I’m not sure about the penetration stateside. Since Europe has higher emission standards, they have better pollution tech.

  6. Also, you might be a little off on the fuel economy. it looks like the TDI only gets 30 mpg city / 41 mpg highway, which is a bit lower than the Prius’ 51 city / 48 highway. But it’s definitely a better price point! TDI is $22k while Prius ranges from $22 – $27k.

  7. Mr Cheeks, thanks for the comment. You really are the expert in this field.I’m not sure what exhaust cleaning tech is in this car, but I know it’s definitely something that these manufacturers are looking into.I’m guessing since this car is 50 state legal, it’s employed something new and powerful to clean it up

  8. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">yeah i was a bit confused about the mpg numbers. but from what i can tell, the stated numbers are a bit conservative and people are actually getting closer to 50 in real world use. The commercial even claims a "record breaking 58 mpg" whatever that means<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  9. I thought the commercial was pretty funny. But for California residents, one thing the Prius has over the TDI is carpool lane stickers (if you can still get one)… 😉

  10. Sachin, I understand your love for a manual transmission, but you should test drive a VW that has a DSG automatic transmission. My DSG jetta gets better gas mileage than the manual and the transmission is incredibly responsive, although I do miss having complete control of my gear changes.

  11. Yes, we like a lot of diesels, they bring cancer and so many good things.Help to reduce the population buy a diesel car!!!

  12. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Huge, HUGE fan of the fisker. thanks for the post!<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  13. @Luke my love for the manual is not about ease of driving or fuel economy. it’s about full control of the car and complete feedback and connection with the road.the DSG is an amazing transmission and I’m sure I will own a car with it in the near future. But for now, i want nothing more than a six speed manual with short shifts 🙂

  14. I have had a TDI since 03, wonderful car, the mexican made ones are shite tho for workmanship, ideally VW has made these in Deutscheland like the Rabbit and shipped it over.Great mileage, wonderful response except above 85 km/h (i only have the 90 HP not 140), amazing pull the doors off a honda torque, a bit slow to start in winter but who isn’t in -25 Toronto :Poverall in the words of a Mr. F. Bueller, "if you have the mean you should definitely pick one up, it is so choice" –

  15. The Clean TDIs don’t release the particulate matter that is created when the diesel fuel is burned. The Jetta Clean TDI has a particulate trap that captures the matter as it passed through the exhaust. Every several thousand miles, the car goes through a "lean burn phase" that heats up the particulate filter until it the strapped material is incinerated.No particulate matter is released into the air. The new Touareg Clean TDI uses a larger 3.0L V6 diesel engine that the particulate filter application doesn’t lend itself well to. With the larger engine, a urea-based injection system is necessary to neutralize the larger volume of exhaust gases.The Jetta TDI is much safer than the Prius. It is also a blast to drive. Check the insurance rates on the Jetta and you’ll start to see the bigger picture that is TDI ownership. Check out to find out what it’s all about.For those of you who enjoy being transported about the earth in a Prius, enjoy. But for those of you who are still driven, the Jetta TDI offers a lot of fun for those who seek it with this fuel-efficient German gem.I don’t know anyone that drives a Jetta, Golf, or Beetle TDI that reports getting under 40 MPG. Most owners indicate 45+ MPG as the norm. The EPA estimates are overly kind (misleading) for the Prius and extremely conservative for the Jetta TDI (you’ll always outperform their estimates).

  16. Does the Jetta TDI Wagen really get 50mpg – 58mpg?? Who did the testing? If it’s true, I’m off to the VW dealer! Can someone also tell me how the Jetta TDI handles in snow and ice? Thx.

  17. With front wheel drive they’re not too bad in the snow. Better than most cars with front wheel drive since they seem a little heavier. With good snow tires the only thing I see as an issue is the clearance. Definitely check out That’s where I got all my info before making a purchase.

  18. The brand new Jetta TDIs are going to offer fuel economy approaching 50 MPG (running 50-60 MPH) and will return at least 42 MPG (running 70-75 MPH) on the Interstate. The in-town figures vary depending on the level and stop and go traffic, but most figures I hear are in the mid-30s (MPG) around town.The longest trip I made in a new Clean Jetta TDI was approximately 55 miles in mostly flat (but somewhat hilly) terrain. With little stop and go traffic, I averaged 47.6 MPG. That is the best I’ve personally experienced, but I frequently hear TDI owners talk about getting 50 MPG pretty regularly (after the engine’s early friction is reduced).The 58 MPG would be hard to achieve without having some drivers behind you ready to take you off the road. With the pep the Jetta TDI offers, I can’t even imagine taking off slow from all stops to get the extra 10 MPG or so (but to each his own).If you’re looking for a highly efficient vehicle with extremely low emmissions (and like the idea of receiving a $1,300 Tax Credit), the Jetta TDI is definitely worth a drive!Good luck with your searches and enjoy!

  19. haha i love this:"With the pep the Jetta TDI offers, I can’t even imagine taking off slow from all stops to get the extra 10 MPG or so (but to each his own)."I can’t help but stomp on the gas either. It’s just more fun that way 🙂

  20. We live in Colorado and get a little bit better mileage at altitude. So, we’re taking that into consideration as well. Will check out TDIClub.comThx.

  21. Ya I work at al johnson vw/volvo in dalton ga i had a girl come in yeasterday and drive this same car and she said she had to drive the toyota. I hope she saw this commercial last night it was so funny. Think you volkswagen for bringing such a good car to the tabel.

  22. Just bought the TDI Sportwagen in Feb. I commute almost 200 miles each week and get over 40mpg in heavy, stop-and-go highway traffic. We almost got it to 50mpg on a 2 hour drive to OBX (state highways, so 60mph the whole time). City driving and short trips kill the mpg to 30-35 but still much better than those horrible SUVs and giant trucks that are everywhere! It’s my 2nd VW and I LOVE it. Who knew a station wagon could be so much fun?

  23. I thought you guys would enjoy this…In the latest Car and Driver, there’s a comparison between the Prius and the Insight. The Prius gets a *terrible* write up.It also gets only 42mpg in the 600 mile test, matching a 1998 Chevy Metro.The review ends, (about the Prius) "Otherwise, what it offers is a smug sense of frugality and an expansive view of nearby motorists having way more fun."

  24. 58mpg?! so then Toyota should advertise their Prius as "someone was able to get 150mpg with the Prius!" In the US we have the EPA setting the mpg standards, and VW is not sticking to it. Sounds like false advertising to me.

  25. Well I must have the new World Record as my 2010 Prius just made 60.7MPG from Marlborough,MA to Nags Head, NC on one tank of gas (640 Miles). This was at speeds of 50-75MPH.

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