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    Thread: Buying an used JSW - what years/engine? what to look for?

    1. Semi-n00b
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      09-01-2020 09:56 AM #1
      I am in a market for a wagon and I am considering buying an used Jetta SportWagen. I know that they were offered only up until 2014 so my goal would be to find one closer to that year with as low mileage as I can (hopefully below 80K) unless earlier years are more reliable. The car will be used as a commuter car (mostly short distance mixed driving). Are these cars reliable considering that the youngest one would be 6-7 years old? Anything I should be aware of when going to check the car out? I have seen some with 2.5L engine and some 2.0T diesels. Are diesels worth the extra money (and more expensive fuel)? How are the transmissions? I would be interested in automatics only. I did search and read some posts but buying advice info from 2015 may be outdated in 2020. Any help would be appreciated.

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    3. Member quaudi's Avatar
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      09-01-2020 12:23 PM #2
      Simply put, look for the lowest mileage 2.5 with your transmission choice you can find. Rock solid, reliable, simple. I've owned three 2.5s, the most trouble free cars I have ever owned. The 2013 on up have the multi function steering wheel if you're into that, otherwise they are all pretty much the same except for goodies relative to model, S, SE or SEL. Try to stay away from Pano roof models unless you absolutely insist on a sunroof, prone to mechanized sunshade and leak problems. Keep in mind doing this on a 2.5 may only relegate you to the S model. If you like fabric upholstery over vinyl, than S is the only model. Maintenance history is a real plus but it should be pretty short for any 2.5 under 80K. Good luck...and yes I am not a diesel fan given the VW situation.
      2015 Jetta SE Tech Edition
      2017 Touareg Wolfsburg
      2012 Jetta S SportWagen 5 speed: SOLD
      2004 VW R32 DBP: SOLD

    4. Junior Member
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      2013 JSW TDI
      09-01-2020 10:11 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by drabina View Post
      I am in a market for a wagon and I am considering buying an used Jetta SportWagen. I know that they were offered only up until 2014 so my goal would be to find one closer to that year with as low mileage as I can (hopefully below 80K) unless earlier years are more reliable. The car will be used as a commuter car (mostly short distance mixed driving). Are these cars reliable considering that the youngest one would be 6-7 years old? Anything I should be aware of when going to check the car out? I have seen some with 2.5L engine and some 2.0T diesels. Are diesels worth the extra money (and more expensive fuel)? How are the transmissions? I would be interested in automatics only. I did search and read some posts but buying advice info from 2015 may be outdated in 2020. Any help would be appreciated.
      I love, love, love my 13 JSW TDI w/DSG. One of the best vehicles I’ve ever owned. My wife loves to drive it as well, she calls it ‘peppy’ and I get incredible fuel economy. I literally can’t say enough good things about it. It’s a great vehicle. The transmission is super smooth shifting, can’t tell it’s shifting, really a smooth ride. I highly recommend them. The diesel is great, I get about 400 miles to a tank on a 10 mile commute, round trip. Typically it’s about $30 to fill the tank. This year, I’ve gone thru it and replaced/ordered almost all the suspension components and bushings and mounts and it’s become even better to drive.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    6. Semi-n00b
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      09-02-2020 11:25 AM #4
      Thanks guys. So I got one vote for gas and one for diesel engine. :-)

      I think the S trim would be fine as I prefer cloth seats and no sunroof. I am still considering diesel but worrying a bit about higher cost of repairs (if anything goes wrong) and finding decent mechanic. Also, with diesel more pricey than regular gas, the savings are not as good as they are on paper.

    7. Member
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      09-02-2020 12:20 PM #5
      I wouldn't rule out the diesel. The extended warranty on the EPA compliant models is transferable to subsequent owners. I had an EGR go bad, which was replaced under that new, extended warranty.

      I currently own a diesel Sportwagen, but previously owned a 2.5L MK5 Jetta. That motor stretched a timing chain. If you go the 2.5 route, you absolutely NEED to have the maintenance records. Putting off service to that engine, going to long between oil changes, etc... can lead to some pretty major issues with that motor. But that is true of any motor, honestly.

      If you prefer leather and no sunroof, it is going to be pretty difficult to find that in anything other than a 2.5 equipped car though.

    8. Member quaudi's Avatar
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      09-02-2020 12:50 PM #6
      Sorry dude, but you absolutely need records for any car if available. More so for any VW diesel than a 2.5. I've owned three. a first model year 05.5 sedan, a 12 JSW and a 13 JSW. I went 140000 miles on the 05.5 before I checked chains, and this on the only model known to have chain/guide issues. What was found were slightly worn guides, chains were in spec sold it at 180000 for over $4K as it was really taken care of. The only maintenance on the JSWs were oil, coolant and brake flushes, plugs, filters. Granted I sold them prior to 80000 miles but that is not a lot of maintenance. I keep records of everything done and all receipts and those go with the sale. Prior to purchasing my first 2.5 I really thought I wanted a diesel. But after doing research and following the VW TDI site for over a year I decided against it...and lo and behold after that wise decision Dieselgate occurred. Besides the additional routine crap you have to deal with owning a diesel did not appeal to me, DPF, ad blue, cold weather, a more acute awareness of contaminated non regulated fuel sources, possible hpfp failures and owning a car, regardless of how "cool" it is still has a stigma in most eyes besides enthusiasts (diesel enthusiasts). Besides, I really do not drive enough anymore to treat it as it should be treated. Short consistent bops around town are not the healthiest of conditions. Aside from my personal opinion regarding fuel type, the JSW is a versatile, relatively comfortable mode of transportation which offers a good range of features in whatever rattle free package you choose. Too bad this car has been discontinued as I think there is a market for them gas or diesel. Drive both, look into maintenance intervals and associated costs and pick what YOU prefer. Good luck and have fun looking.
      2015 Jetta SE Tech Edition
      2017 Touareg Wolfsburg
      2012 Jetta S SportWagen 5 speed: SOLD
      2004 VW R32 DBP: SOLD

    9. Member JaxPlanet's Avatar
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      2012 JSW 2.5
      09-02-2020 08:46 PM #7
      +1 to the JSW 2.5 (07K engine). Faster, lighter, easier to maintain, and more reliable than TDI. The biggest challenge will be finding a young, healthy one.

    10. Semi-n00b
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      2012 Jetta Wagen 2.5
      09-03-2020 02:15 PM #8
      TDI costs several thousands more than the 2.5 with same miles and condition. It would take you years to recoup the fuel saving with TDI over the 2.5. A big factor for me when choosing the power planet was no need about that turbo going bad or more frequent DSG fluid changes. I have no regrets about the 2.5, so many overwhelming positive experience from reviewers with the 2.5.

    11. Junior Member
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      2013 Jetta Sportwagen 2.5L S
      09-12-2020 11:31 PM #9
      the 2.5l I5 gasoline engine is solid. I love the manual transmission, the cloth seats and a real key for the ignition.
      I had one strut spring break, but otherwise the JSW has been awesome.
      It's been 8 years - it looks like I'll be keeping mine for another 10+ years.

    12. Semi-n00b
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      2012 Jetta Wagen 2.5
      09-14-2020 02:02 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by interactive3 View Post
      the 2.5l I5 gasoline engine is solid. I love the manual transmission, the cloth seats and a real key for the ignition.
      I had one strut spring break, but otherwise the JSW has been awesome.
      It's been 8 years - it looks like I'll be keeping mine for another 10+ years.
      How many miles on your ride?

    13. Member jellowsubmarine's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 03:43 AM #11
      The biggest thing that kept me from a 2.5 is VW recommends premium until 2016. How much different is premium at the pump than diesel? The actual mph average on fully.com is around 36mpg for diesel and gas is much less. So which Really cost less to drive?

      Repair type maintenance can be more expensive long term, say over 120k+ miles but a bought right low mile 2014 CPO TDI has LOTS of miles and reasonable time covering just about everything. The usual wear and tear items like tires, brakes are really the same gas or diesel up to the warranty expiration date. The question to ask yourself is will you own it past warrrenty or not? The purchase price of gas engine is less but also is resale or trade in. If you just want a short term grocery getter the gas would be more practicle in the way of no concerns. The diesel can be a great long term car but without proper "understanding/handling" you may feat issues. Although the CPO covers amazingly well (while your under the unusually good coverage)

      I bought a loaded 2011 CPO TDI 6 Speed manual a year and a half ago. The dieselgate recall basically put it back to a new car with actually better than some new warranty coverage. I got a like new car in and out with low miles (69k) . Brand new brakes and tires. Brand new DPF. Basically a new car for 10k out the door. Runs and drives great. Any mixed driving gets 35 to 38 and if freeway only it will do up to 50 mpg. The TDI comes with more std features than most passers unless they are the upper modes. The leatherETTE LIMO$ much more durable and personally it last better than real leather. Would I buy a TDI again? Absolutely
      Last edited by jellowsubmarine; 09-15-2020 at 03:49 AM.

    14. Member JaxPlanet's Avatar
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      2012 JSW 2.5
      09-15-2020 02:58 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by jellowsubmarine View Post
      The biggest thing that kept me from a 2.5 is VW recommends premium until 2016. How much different is premium at the pump than diesel? The actual mph average on fully.com is around 36mpg for diesel and gas is much less. So which Really cost less to drive?

      Repair type maintenance can be more expensive long term, say over 120k+ miles but a bought right low mile 2014 CPO TDI has LOTS of miles and reasonable time covering just about everything. The usual wear and tear items like tires, brakes are really the same gas or diesel up to the warranty expiration date. The question to ask yourself is will you own it past warrrenty or not? The purchase price of gas engine is less but also is resale or trade in. If you just want a short term grocery getter the gas would be more practicle in the way of no concerns. The diesel can be a great long term car but without proper "understanding/handling" you may feat issues. Although the CPO covers amazingly well (while your under the unusually good coverage)

      I bought a loaded 2011 CPO TDI 6 Speed manual a year and a half ago. The dieselgate recall basically put it back to a new car with actually better than some new warranty coverage. I got a like new car in and out with low miles (69k) . Brand new brakes and tires. Brand new DPF. Basically a new car for 10k out the door. Runs and drives great. Any mixed driving gets 35 to 38 and if freeway only it will do up to 50 mpg. The TDI comes with more std features than most passers unless they are the upper modes. The leatherETTE LIMO$ much more durable and personally it last better than real leather. Would I buy a TDI again? Absolutely
      2.5 can run on 87 octane, there are members in this forum and others that have run over a 100K using it with no issues. If this was actually stated by VW, they were wrong, like recommending 10K oil changes, which has caused wear problems in both the TDI and 2.5 engines.

      If the OP is planning to sell the car when the warranty is up, the car's reliability and cost to own are not a major factor in their decision. That leaves them to choose between the TDI's fuel efficiency or the 2.5's acceleration and handling. However, if they have enough money to swap cars when a warranty expires, saving money at the pump is probably not a priority and might consider leasing instead.

      If they want the car to last as long as possible with the lowest cost of ownership, the 2.5 is still the best choice. The lower cost of ownership will outweigh any savings at the fuel pump.

      Regarding trim, unlike the TDI, the 2.5 was offered in several trim levels so you could choose your trim level. OP can have leatherette seats, if they choose the 2.5 SE or an S where the original buyer had them installed. They can also avoid the trouble-prone panoroof, which was mandatory in the TDI.

      This site covers some of the standard trim levels for reference: https://www.cars.com/research/volksw...ta-2010/trims/
      Last edited by JaxPlanet; 09-15-2020 at 03:01 PM.

    15. Member jellowsubmarine's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 04:35 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by JaxPlanet View Post
      2.5 can run on 87 octane, there are members in this forum and others that have run over a 100K using it with no issues. If this was actually stated by VW, they were wrong, like recommending 10K oil changes, which has caused wear problems in both the TDI and 2.5 engines.

      If the OP is planning to sell the car when the warranty is up, the car's reliability and cost to own are not a major factor in their decision. That leaves them to choose between the TDI's fuel efficiency or the 2.5's acceleration and handling. However, if they have enough money to swap cars when a warranty expires, saving money at the pump is probably not a priority and might consider leasing instead.

      If they want the car to last as long as possible with the lowest cost of ownership, the 2.5 is still the best choice. The lower cost of ownership will outweigh any savings at the fuel pump.

      Regarding trim, unlike the TDI, the 2.5 was offered in several trim levels so you could choose your trim level. OP can have leatherette seats, if they choose the 2.5 SE or an S where the original buyer had them installed. They can also avoid the trouble-prone panoroof, which was mandatory in the TDI.

      This site covers some of the standard trim levels for reference: https://www.cars.com/research/volksw...ta-2010/trims/
      A lot of good points

      If the 2.5 will run o.k. on reg. and the miles put on are average + then I could see a noticeable $ savings value. The dieselgate repairs and warranty (CPO) was what sold me on my "refurbished" $10k OTD like new car. OFTEN the warranty saves thousands on repairs. (my 11 emissions has until 2/21 left with until up to 2/23 on another 3 warranties) It already has saved over $1500+ on some items like glow plugs, radio, a/c. These are JSW issues diesel or gas.

      If the 2.5 had a timing chain and if VW didn't recommend premium (and they do) it would have been a serious contender for me.

      Although the type driver that one may want to just gas and go the 2.5 will most likely will give more trouble free life. There are several expensive repairs that can come from an around town on the TDI. Gas-n-go type drivers usually don't pay attention to the DPF regeneration needs for example.

      Send a college girl out in a TDI? NO... Commuter car YES. Where in between depends on your needs and ability to understand/moniter the cars operation. Want to pay more upfront with CPO warranty or less without? resale/trade in value?

    16. Member JaxPlanet's Avatar
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      09-16-2020 02:29 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by jellowsubmarine View Post
      If the 2.5 had a timing chain...
      I think you are referring to the old 2.5, which had a timing belt. Issues with the belt are why it was replaced with a chain in the newer 2.5 engine. VW also did some other tweaks to the newer 2.5, which made it even more reliable and added 20HP.

      In the USA, they started using it in the last of the MK5 Jettas (2008-09) and in all MK6 Jettas (2010-2014). It was also used in the Beetle, Rabbit, Passat, and Golf.

    17. Member
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      09-16-2020 02:42 PM #15
      ^ My old 2005.5 Jetta with the 2.5L had a timing chain. I believe all the 2.5L had timing chains. It is my understanding that the early version of this motor was prone to having the chain guides wear, causing the chain to stretch. This was fixed in later year 2.5L, which should be the case in any JSW.

    18. Member quaudi's Avatar
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      09-16-2020 03:42 PM #16
      I.ve had three 2.5s, all ran on 87 which is clearly seen on the fuel door sticker. One was close to 100K miles when totaled, one was sold at about 66K and one was sold with 166K miles. Chains and guides replaced on this one, first model, at 130K. Other than that only routine maintenance needed on all three. Cannot beat the 2.5 for cheap to keep VW.
      2015 Jetta SE Tech Edition
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    19. Member JaxPlanet's Avatar
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      09-17-2020 12:29 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by lamsv View Post
      ^ My old 2005.5 Jetta with the 2.5L had a timing chain. I believe all the 2.5L had timing chains. It is my understanding that the early version of this motor was prone to having the chain guides wear, causing the chain to stretch. This was fixed in later year 2.5L, which should be the case in any JSW.
      Thank you for the correction. It was the 2.5 AAF/ACU that had a belt and the guides were the issue in the 2.5 BGx/BPx.

    20. Junior Member
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      09-17-2020 01:05 PM #18
      Picked up a CPO 2014 JSW TDI last year (39K on the clock, dealer had performed the DSG service) and I absolutely LOVE it!
      I sourced a steering wheel with paddle shifters and that was a huge improvement - looking forward to replacing the shocks & rear swaybar soon and then wheels & tyres.

      Quite a few road trips from So Cal to Vegas, the car is rock solid - 400m+ / tank of gas, even when I keep it in S mode for around-town driving.

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