Wednesday, November 14, 2012

VW Jetta GLI test Drive Part two.

The 2.0 Liter Turbo/DSG seems pretty familiar to me now.
As I have experienced it in the GTI and Beetle. Now in the Jetta.
So I have pretty much the same observations. The DSG is still one of the worst behaved automatic out there.
It is almost never smooth. Shifting is pretty abrupt and rough, and it gets worse in the "S" mode.
As I said before, it is best to use the fake manual mode and decide for yourself when to shift.
This also seems to do away with some of the lag at take off.
In the normal "D" mode, the lag is even dangerous. In situations, like intersections, when you do need power right away.
I have to say, VW is not alone. As similar transmissions in the Ford Focus and Fiesta behave the same.

The engine itself is noisier and rougher than the 2.5 Liter. Although once you push it, it does sound pretty sporty.
In normal driving it often sounds and feels like it is about to stall...

Interior is a step up from lesser models. Soft touch dashboard and sportier seats are the main differences.
But at over $28 000 (For my loaded GLI), it is also more than $10 000 over the base model.
Again, the Fender/Panasonic stereo is one of the best I have tested. It is truly a pleasure to listen to music in this car.
A nice detail is the keyless access that works by just touching the door handle.
Although it didn't work all the time during my week.
I often ended up sliding my thumb over the door handle many times with no effect.
Which can be frustrating and actually takes longer than just getting a key out of your pocket.

I must say that I did get used to the engine after a few days. Like I always do...
Most of my problems are still with the DSG.
I will do my best to drive a manual version next time.
Which could solve most of the problems.

In general, the GLI still behaves like a more comfortable sedan with big wheels than a sports car.
Once you push the car a bit, you can tell the suspension is still too soft and the steering still too light for anything really sporty.
Which, I guess, is fine for most buyers.

During my weekly drive I got 20MPG in the city using the S mode.
But 27 in the regular D mode. Quite a difference. (Official number is 24)
And I had no problem getting 38MPG on the freeway.
Which is much better than the 32 official rating.
And a great number for a quick, powerful car.

5 comments:

Carl said...

Your review made me chuckle, keyless entry did not work, imagine that!

Matt said...

In my 2012 GTI with DSG, I've only noticed lag with the AC on. Turn it off and try again. My DSG is one of the smoothest transmissions I've every used. If you putt around, it will hang back and behave. Stab the throttle from a stop and the DSG is right there to fire off shifts faster than any other automatic. Rev that engine and it sings. Love it!

Matt said...

In my 2012 GTI with DSG, I've only noticed lag with the AC on. Turn it off and try again. My DSG is one of the smoothest transmissions I've every used. If you putt around, it will hang back and behave. Stab the throttle from a stop and the DSG is right there to fire off shifts faster than any other automatic. Rev that engine and it sings. Love it!

BostonMike said...

Vince - how do you calculate your MPG numbers when testing a car?

Anonymous said...

This yet again confirms my concerns with DSG. I'll take a regular auto or manual please.