Unlike inexpensive cars of yore that provided great economy wrapped in a body sourced from a sardine cannery, the Jetta delivers a driving experience significantly more sophisticated than its $23,090 price point would suggest. The 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo diesel thrums along smoothly and quietly, at some RPMs sounding exactly like a Subaru boxer engine. The Jetta TDI’s numbers are 30 city, 41 highway, figures that other journalists have bettered (our average was nearly 36 mpg for mostly urban driving over snow-clogged roads). Its performance is far from anemic thanks to the 236-lb-ft of torque, but it takes some time to get use to the narrow rev band (red line is 4,500 rpm), so making 4,000 rpm gear changes—for the driver used to gasoline engines—feels like you’re short-shifting the six-speed manual all the time. And even when the mercury was solidly in the single digits, the diesel started quickly and ran without a hint stink or soot.
Source: The Car Connection