Welcome Back, VW

These days, everyone is miles-per-gallon-conscious. Sam recently purchased a CNG-powered Honda Civic and has been very happy with it.

I’ve been researching the possibilities of a new vehicle to replace my tiring ’95 Jetta (my fifth beloved oil burner). Sadly, the fuel economy of the latest VWs have been less-than-impressive. I’m not sure why the TDI Jetta was discontinued after the 2006 model. I had given up on VW.

This has steered my focus towards the Prius and Sam’s Civic. I’ve never really been a fan of the toy-like handling of Hondas and the Prius is just too pricey. (Anything over $20k is too high.) I’m also interested in a vehicle with more cargo room for trips to the (un-named) hardware stores, IKEA, etc. Dad’s Corvette has more trunk space than Sam’s new Civic. To make matters worse, this winter has heightened my awareness of the virtues of 4-wheel drive (something I’ve never had).

As far as fuel efficiency, I’ve set my targets on 40+ mpg. I’d also like to be able to fuel up in remote areas which aren’t equipped with CNG fueling stations.

Gather all of those requirements, and it is nearly impossible to find a vehicle on the market that fits my needs…until now…

VW Sportwagen frontIt hasn’t hit the market yet, but the new Jetta Sportwagen TDI certainly looks promising. The turbo-charged fuel injected diesel engine touts about 55 mpg on the freeway (most of my driving). The sporty tiptronic transmission and 4-motion traction system takes care of winter driving concerns (climbing out of a snow-packed ravine at Bear Lake). It has more cargo room than our Honda Odyssey and Sam’s old Pathfinder. It even has a nice rack.

Fueling up the sportwagen won’t be an issue, either. Diesel is readily available just about everywhere. (Previous TDI models have also been known to perform well on bio-diesel fuel should the need arise.)

I’m interested to see if it can tow a (very) small trailer with a snowmobile on it without too much extra effort. No, I don’t have one, but I think I need one.

I would also need to retrofit a reverse-facing seat in the way-back. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a stationwagon–right? Plus, then I could convince Laura that she needs one so she can dump her gas-guzzling Tahoe.

Some claim the tail end of the car is less visually appealing than the rest of the car. I’ll have to agree on that one. Maybe a really tall wing on back would spice it up.

The VW site does not have any information on pricing or availability, but rumors put it under $20k and the TDI version should hit the market towards the end of 2008 (as a 2009 model).

I need one.

5 Responses

  1. Whoa, whoa, whoa. One must first understand the original reason for purchasing the Tahoe was to be able to fit 3 carseats side by side once the twins were born. And even now, I’m still going to have to put 3 carseats in the middle row. I suppose I could put one of the twins in the back with Isaac, but for now what we’re doing is working for us. Besides, I hardly ever go anywhere and only fill up twice a month at most. So there.

  2. Good Choice!

    I am certainly disappointed in the trunk space of my CNG civic, but $4 fill-ups have eased that pain. I have been looking at getting an old truck to fulfill the same needs you mention for hauling cargo.

    Its about time more car companies start focusing on fuel efficiency. Nothing bugs me more that car commercials bragging about 28 mpg like its a good thing.

  3. Will you let me borrow it every once in a while? Cuz it pretty much rules.

  4. Only if you don’t drive it to Gymboree.

  5. Hey Adam, this is your long lost cousin. That car is really cool, I think I need one too. And we all should get together again.

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