Do yourself a favor and go through internet sales at Niello VW in Sacramento. No pressure, internet price, and they'll even deliver the car to you in the bay area.
So, I go into the local dealer tonight, and I tell them that I want to see a CW TDI they have listed on the website, and the salesman tells me, "oh, that car won't actually be here until the end of August." I look at him like "WTF?", ans ask why the hell do you list it then?" He said he had no idea why the marketing department does that. So I ask him what they do have. They had a black one. I said OK, well, I have a quote from the internet sales department at Stevens Creek VW, and can you match it. He goes to the manager and says, no, because they added the factory nav system at the dealer, and it is more expensive that way. I asked why anybody would pay more for a car with a unit installed at the dealership insteasd of the factory? He said it didn't make sense to him either.
Fast forward to about 15 minutes after I leave the stealership, and the internet manager calls me. He then spends 20 minutes telling me why I don't want a TDI, and I definately don't want a sunroof. Both are wayyy to much trouple, and the TDI never actually pays for itself. He says what I want is a plain jane 2.5. I told him that in that case I don't want a VW at all. I then mention that I'll be going up north tomorrow and I'll check out what they have, but thanked him for his time. I then met my wife and kids for dinner, and through the whole dinner, this same "sales manager" sends text after text telling me that I really don't want to buy that car, but what I want is a strippy... or he can get me a deal on any other car that their network of dealers sells.
Now, someone please tell me about this trouble prone sunroof.
what he meant was "we make more money on this 2.5.. so you should buy that one instead"... or something like that
The dealer is clearly acting in his best interests, not yours. But that doesn't mean that he's wrong.
VW has the best information on what fails (and how often) regarding sunroofs. They don't have to share that info and probably won't. Anecdotally, what fails is the sunscreen, drainage, and the glass itself. My family has two pano-equipped JSWs. One has been problem free, while the other had bad rear drain lines. A fixed steel roof won't have any problems, nor will it have the rewards of view and ventilation that come with a pano.
I don't use the roof all that often. I've got a sunshield in place all summer because even with the factory screen you get plenty of light and heat coming through the top. The sunscreen comes off in the fall.
Whether a TDI is right for you depends on what you want and how you drive. I bought a TDI JSW because I wanted a diesel. It's a great car and the engine has loads of torque. It gets better mileage than a gasser. But it's not astonishingly better the way I drive it. I figure where I get 40 mpg that a 2.5 would get about 30 mpg. The 2.5 has better HP, but less torque. Some find it "rough." But the 2.5 is much less complex, since it doesn't have a diesel HPFP, nor a diesel particulate filter in the exhaust, nor a turbo. So those expensive parts will never break down on a 2.5.
There's also the matter of driving patterns. The gasser is more tolerant of shorter drives than a diesel is, since diesels really benefit from getting up to operating temp and then staying there. I generally won't take my TDI out unless I expect the engine to run continuously for 30 minutes or more. The 2.5 is better on short trips.
Get the car that's right for how you drive, not what the dealer tells you. But the 2.5 isn't junk. For some people it's probably a better choice than the TDI, even with the TDI's better MPG. But you're in the best position to figure out what's right for you--especially when you know the relative strengths and weaknesses of both engines.
It seems he was figuring his margin was a lot better with selling me an S, instead of matching another dealer's price on a TDI.
I get 23 mpg in my 2.5l. Pretty pathetic. I got 38 mpg with the same driving style in my old golf Tdi. As long as you take a weekly highway trip the diesel is fine. My commute is 3 miles, but on the weekends I drive 100 miles.
Last edited by Outrider6; 07-29-2012 at 11:37 PM.