I took a whif near the tailpipe of the Candy White 2009 Jetta TDI Sportwagen and detected zero odor. Only a little wisp of humid air purred forth from the twin pipes.
VW has a storied history with fuel-sipping diesels; from the old Rabbit diesel that kicked just about every other econocar in the pants with its unbelievable economy up to the most recent 1.9-liter TDI that still enjoys a cult following, VW diesels are long-lived and legendary. They had no choice but to get this new engine perfect on the first try.
I think they did a fantastic job. Number one, the characteristic clatter is gone. The engine thrums its four-cylinder hum a bit louder upon cold warmup, but once underway is no louder than a last-generation Honda four-cylinder. In fact, it sounds for all the world like a gasoline four except at idle, where combustion is noticed mildly but hardly rates as annoying.
Source: The Car Connection