March 11, 2019
I specifically wanted the MK VII TDI as it was the last year and pinnacle of its design. I found one as a VW buyback at Findlay Volkswagen in Flagstaff. It had 27,000 miles and was Certified Pre Owned so it has a valuable warranty that came along with VWs Settlement warranty extension to 160,000 miles on emissions related items. I had driven the earlier Jetta Sportwagen with the DSG which is an automated manual rather than a true automatic and am glad I got the 6 speed manual instead. The pano roof convinced me I would be forever worried about leaks, justified or not, and got the S model without it.
In essence this car is as elegant in design as the emissions settlement will alllow. It’s complexity is pretty limited to emissions controls and Adblue retrofit but otherwise it’s a car without a lot of unnecessary bells or whistles. No remote power lift for the hatch. Electric seat controls for recline only.
Driving it from Flagstaff to Phoenix was a joy whether on the interstate or twisting along off the beaten path. Up and down fairly long steep grades and I never needed to downshift out of 6th gear, there just was no lack of torque. Onboard mileage tracker showed average fuel mileage of 52mpg, but take that for what it’s worth. I’ll find out with the next fill up in a few weeks.
If you know you want a comfortable car that is practical and still makes you proud to own it, and you’re willing to keep up with regular maintenance, a carefully vetted buyback Golf Sportwagen is a phenomenal value for money. Look for one stored in a dry climate for as short a time as possible before getting the mod done. Watch for tire dry rot and rodent damage from sitting. That’s where the CPO value lies. The warranties take away much ( but not all) the trepidation associated with a buyback TDI. I am still a diehard Subaru fan, but I’m prepared to let this TDI impress me and maybe even change my mind.