Saturday, May 4, 2013
What with all the talk of my 240D dying I took some time today to visit the VW dealer. Angie announced yesterday that she might like a new VW diesel so I figured I ought to check one out. I've heard talk of difficulty with Toyota and VW dealers but this one in Keene, NH is actually quite nice. The attitude I got from him was that he didn't really give a crap if I bought a car or not as somebody else would come along but he seemed to really know his stuff and was quite willing to stand around and BS with me as long as I wanted. I'm not really familiar with car dealers and I guess acted a bit like a kid, I was rather pleased when he finally offered for me to take a new 2012 Jetta TDI holdover (black on grey, 6spd manual) for a ride. I was doubly pleased when I left alone... A couple impressions: Its bigger than I thought, even with the front seat pushed back beyond where I was comfortable I could still sit in the back seat reasonably comfortably. The trunk is a HUGE cavern, I was frankly amazed. There is a glowplug light that comes on very briefly when you first turn on the key, the salesman says it always just pops on briefly even at -20F. Its FAST, seriously fast, like my Dakota with a v8 was fast. As the salesman says the 158hp rating will fool you, diesels are all about torque. The shifter was smooth and crisp, the steering was nice and crisp, the suspension stiff enough for good handling but compliant enough for a comfortable ride. In fact it reminded me a bit of a well sorted 190D with boatloads more power and slightly heavier steering. One thing that I didn't think of until just now is that its a front drive car that behaves very much like a rear drive car which is to say there was no torque steer. It feels funny to write that because it didn't occur to me at all at the time. Overall I very much enjoyed it, if I were to point out any deficiencies it would be that the turn signal and wiper control stalks felt very cheap... One thing I was pleased with in the discussion of the car was the 12 year rust warranty. The salesman attributed that to "laser sealed seams" which when you look at the doors in particular are very neat and tidy and present no obvious places for water and thus salt to collect. If it weren't for the $23k price tag (I suspect as this one was a 2012 it could probably be had for more like $20k) I'd have jumped on it. I love my old MBs don't get me wrong but I find myself running around with my pants on fire all the time with broken down cars. My plan right now is to fix the 240D and go through the summer socking some cash away so maybe around the first of the year I can go into looking for one with a nice down payment.