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Is The Volkswagen Jetta Diesel?

Is The Volkswagen Jetta Diesel?

The Volkswagen Jetta has long been a beloved and trusted vehicle choice for Canadian drivers, renowned for its exceptional blend of reliability, efficiency, and practicality. With a storied history dating back decades, this compact sedan has earned a well-deserved reputation for delivering a driving experience that is both enjoyable and economical.

While the Jetta lineup offers a range of gasoline-powered variants, this in-depth review will focus specifically on the diesel models available in the Canadian market. Diesel engines have gained significant popularity in recent years, offering impressive fuel economy and low-end torque that translates to a responsive and engaging driving experience.

The purpose of this comprehensive guide is to provide Canadian consumers with a thorough and unbiased analysis of the Volkswagen Jetta diesel. We’ll delve into various aspects, including performance, fuel efficiency, pricing, trim levels, ownership costs, and more. By the end, readers will have a clear understanding of whether the Jetta diesel is the right choice for their specific needs and preferences.

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Diesel Engine Options for the Jetta in Canada

When it comes to diesel engine options for the Volkswagen Jetta in Canada, there have been a few different choices over the years. The most recent diesel offering was a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (TDI) that was available from 2009 to 2015.

This 2.0 TDI engine produced 140 horsepower and an impressive 236 lb-ft of torque. While the horsepower figure may not seem overly impressive, it’s the torque output that gives diesel engines their characteristic punchy, responsive feel. The 2.0 TDI was paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed DSG automatic transmission.

In terms of fuel economy, the 2.0 TDI Jetta with a manual transmission was rated for 7.7 L/100km in the city and 5.0 L/100km on the highway based on Canadian estimates. With the automatic, those numbers were 8.2 L/100km city and 5.7 L/100km highway. This gave the diesel Jetta a significant efficiency advantage over its gasoline counterparts.

Prior to the 2.0 TDI, Volkswagen offered a smaller 1.9-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder in the Jetta for the Canadian market. This engine produced 100 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque and could be had with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. Fuel economy was excellent, rated at 6.7 L/100km city and 4.8 L/100km highway with the manual transmission.


Performance and Driving Dynamics

One of the standout attributes of the Volkswagen Jetta diesel models in Canada is their lively performance and engaging driving dynamics. While diesel engines were once associated with sluggish acceleration and noisy operation, modern turbodiesel units like those found in the Jetta have shattered those preconceptions.

The Jetta diesel’s 2.0-liter TDI engine produces 150 horsepower, which may not seem impressive on paper. However, it’s the torque output of 236 lb-ft that truly sets this engine apart. This abundant low-end torque translates to exceptional responsiveness and passing power, making the Jetta diesel feel remarkably sprightly around town and on the highway.

Acceleration from a standstill is brisk, with the Jetta diesel capable of reaching 60 mph in the low 8-second range. More importantly, the wave of torque available from just off idle means you’ll never be left wanting for mid-range punch when you need to merge or overtake other vehicles. The dual-clutch automatic transmission’s lightning-fast shifts further enhance the Jetta diesel’s sense of urgency.

While diesel engines have a reputation for clattery noise, Volkswagen’s TDI units are remarkably refined. At idle and low engine speeds, the 2.0-liter diesel in the Jetta is barely audible from the cabin. It’s only when pushed hard that you’ll notice the familiar diesel clatter, but even then, it’s well-damped and not obtrusive. Overall, the Jetta diesel offers a smooth, quiet driving experience that belies its oil-burning nature.


Fuel Economy and Cost of Ownership

One of the biggest advantages of the Volkswagen Jetta diesel models is their exceptional fuel economy. The diesel engines offer a significant improvement in miles per gallon compared to their gasoline counterparts, translating into real savings at the pump over the long run.

The latest Jetta diesel models equipped with the 2.0L TDI engine are rated at an impressive 7.9L/100km (36 mpg) in the city and 5.6L/100km (50 mpg) on the highway according to official estimates. However, real-world testing by automotive journalists and owners often shows even better numbers, with some reporting highway mileage in the mid-to-high 50s.

To put these fuel economy figures into perspective, let’s compare the Jetta diesel to its gasoline-powered counterpart over a 5-year period. Assuming an annual mileage of 20,000 km, with 60% city and 40% highway driving, the diesel model would consume approximately 1,500 liters (396 gallons) of fuel per year. In contrast, the gas model with a 1.4L turbocharged engine rated at 8.6L/100km (27 mpg) city and 6.4L/100km (37 mpg) highway would require around 1,900 liters (502 gallons) annually.

With current Canadian average fuel prices of $1.40 per liter for diesel and $1.35 for regular gasoline, the diesel Jetta would cost approximately $2,100 in fuel each year, while the gas model would set you back $2,565. Over a 5-year period, that amounts to a staggering $2,325 in fuel savings with the diesel variant. And if fuel prices rise further, those savings would be even greater.

As for maintenance and repair costs, diesels do tend to be slightly more expensive to service compared to gas engines. However, the difference is relatively minor for routine items like oil changes, brake jobs, and other wear items. The real potential added cost comes from the diesel emissions system components like the particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, which may require more expensive repairs or replacements down the line. That said, Volkswagen’s modern diesel engines have proven quite reliable overall when properly maintained according to the schedule.


Trim Levels and Pricing for the Jetta Diesel in Canada

When it comes to the Volkswagen Jetta diesel models available in Canada, buyers have a few trim levels to choose from, each offering a unique blend of features and value. The trim hierarchy starts with the Jetta Trendline, followed by the Comfortline, Highline, and finally the range-topping Execline.

The 2023 Jetta Trendline diesel kicks things off at an MSRP of $25,495 CAD. Key standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a rearview camera. While relatively basic, the Trendline still offers a compelling blend of features and efficiency for the price.

Stepping up to the Comfortline trim, which starts at $28,295 CAD, adds creature comforts like heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, blind spot monitoring, and rear traffic alert. The Highline, from $31,295 CAD, further enhances the experience with 17-inch wheels, upgraded interior materials, an 8-inch touchscreen, and adaptive cruise control.

For those seeking the ultimate in Jetta diesel luxury, the range-topping Execline demands $34,795 CAD but rewards with niceties like leather upholstery, a digital instrument cluster, ventilated front seats, and a premium Beats audio system. While pricey, the Execline represents significant value when you consider the long list of premium amenities.

Compared to their gasoline-powered counterparts, the diesel Jetta models command a premium of around $3,000 – $4,000 CAD across the various trim levels. However, this cost is quickly offset by the remarkable fuel efficiency and lower operating costs of the diesel powertrain. Over several years of ownership, the diesel models can potentially save thousands in fuel expenses, making them an excellent value proposition for cost-conscious buyers.


Interior Space and Practicality

One of the standout strengths of the Volkswagen Jetta diesel is its impressive interior space and practicality, making it an excellent choice for Canadian families. Despite its compact sedan proportions, the Jetta offers generous passenger room in both the front and rear seats.

In the front, the Jetta provides ample head and legroom, even for taller occupants. The seats are supportive and comfortable, perfect for long road trips. The rear seats are equally spacious, with plenty of legroom and headroom for adults. The Jetta can comfortably accommodate up to five passengers without feeling cramped.

When it comes to cargo capacity, the Jetta diesel shines with its generous trunk space. With 510 liters (18 cubic feet) of volume, the trunk can easily swallow multiple suitcases, strollers, or a large load of groceries. The wide trunk opening and low liftover height make loading and unloading a breeze.

Beyond its impressive passenger and cargo dimensions, the Jetta diesel also excels in overall practicality and versatility. The 60/40 split-folding rear seats allow you to extend the cargo area for larger items, while still accommodating rear passengers. The cabin features numerous storage cubbies, cup holders, and pockets, ensuring everything has its place.

With its roomy interior, flexible cargo capacity, and thoughtful design, the Volkswagen Jetta diesel proves to be an exceptionally practical and family-friendly vehicle. Whether you’re running errands around town, embarking on a road trip, or simply tackling your daily commute, the Jetta diesel offers the space and versatility to handle it all with ease.


Ride Comfort and Handling

One of the standout aspects of the Volkswagen Jetta diesel models is their impressive balance between ride comfort and handling prowess. The suspension tuning on these vehicles is designed to deliver a smooth, composed ride quality while still providing the driver with a connected, engaging experience behind the wheel.

The front suspension utilizes a strut-type setup with lower control arms, while the rear employs a multi-link independent suspension design. This configuration helps to minimize body roll and maintain composure during spirited driving, while also soaking up bumps and imperfections in the road surface with ease. The result is a ride that feels planted and stable, yet still compliant enough to provide a comfortable journey over long distances.

The electric power steering system in the Jetta diesel models is well-weighted and responsive, providing the driver with a direct, communicative feel of the road ahead. This level of feedback and precision makes the Jetta a delight to navigate through tight corners and winding roads, with the chassis displaying minimal understeer and a willingness to change direction with confidence.

While the Jetta diesel isn’t necessarily a sports car, it does offer a surprising level of driver engagement and fun factor, especially when equipped with the more powerful engine options and in the sportier trim levels like the SEL. The combination of the torquey diesel engine, well-tuned suspension, and precise steering make for a genuinely enjoyable driving experience, whether you’re tackling a twisty backroad or simply commuting through city traffic.


Long-Term Ownership and Reliability

One of the biggest advantages of the Volkswagen Jetta diesel models is their reputation for longevity and durability. Diesel engines are known for their robust construction and ability to rack up high mileage with proper maintenance. The Jetta’s diesel powerplants, sourced from Volkswagen’s reputable TDI lineup, are no exception.

With routine service and care, it’s not uncommon for these diesel engines to surpass the 200,000 km mark without any major issues. Their strong low-end torque and relatively simple design contribute to their impressive lifespan. Many Jetta diesel owners report reaching incredibly high mileages, sometimes over 500,000 km, with just basic maintenance like regular oil changes and filter replacements.

That said, there are a few common issues that Jetta diesel owners should be aware of. One potential problem area is the high-pressure fuel pump, which can fail prematurely on some models. Issues with the diesel particulate filter (DPF) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems have also been reported. However, these problems are often resolved with software updates from Volkswagen.

In terms of projected repair costs, the Jetta diesel models tend to be more expensive to maintain than their gasoline counterparts, especially as they rack up higher mileage. Over a 10-year period, owners can expect to spend an additional $2,000 to $4,000 on maintenance and repairs compared to a gas-powered Jetta. This includes more frequent oil changes, fuel filter replacements, and the potential for more costly repairs like injector or turbocharger replacements.

However, these added costs can often be offset by the impressive fuel economy and longevity of the diesel engines. With proper care and maintenance, a Jetta diesel can easily provide over 10 years of reliable transportation, making it a wise investment for many Canadian buyers.


Buying a Used Jetta Diesel in Canada

If you’re in the market for a used Volkswagen Jetta diesel in Canada, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you get a reliable and well-maintained example. With proper care, these diesel engines can rack up high mileage, making a used model an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers.

When shopping for a used Jetta diesel, the ideal model years to target are typically between 2015 and 2019. These more recent examples benefit from Volkswagen’s advancements in diesel technology, offering improved fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and better overall reliability compared to older models.

In terms of mileage, a sweet spot for a used Jetta diesel would be between 50,000 and 100,000 kilometers on the odometer. At this range, you can often find well-maintained examples that have plenty of life left in the engine and major components, while benefiting from a lower price tag compared to nearly-new models.

During your inspection of any used Jetta diesel, pay close attention to the maintenance records. A vehicle with a comprehensive service history, especially one that has adhered to Volkswagen’s recommended maintenance schedule, is a good sign that the previous owner took proper care of the car. Also, check for any outstanding recalls or technical service bulletins that may need to be addressed.

Other areas to closely inspect include the condition of the engine bay (looking for any signs of neglect or leaks), the integrity of the suspension components, and the overall interior condition. A used vehicle history report can also provide valuable insights into any past accidents or major repair work.

By being diligent in your search and thorough in your inspection, you can increase your chances of finding a well-maintained used Volkswagen Jetta diesel that will provide reliable and efficient transportation for years to come.


The Jetta Diesel vs Competitors

While the Volkswagen Jetta diesel may not be the first vehicle that comes to mind when considering compact sedans in Canada, it offers a compelling alternative to mainstream rivals like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. With its efficient diesel powertrain, the Jetta stands out from the crowd, delivering a unique blend of performance and fuel economy that few competitors can match.

Compared to the gasoline-powered Civic and Corolla, the Jetta diesel boasts significantly higher torque output, resulting in a more responsive and engaging driving experience. The low-end grunt provided by the diesel engine makes the Jetta feel more eager off the line and more composed when merging onto highways or overtaking slower traffic.

Where the Jetta diesel truly shines, however, is in its fuel efficiency. With highway ratings in the low 5L/100km range, the Jetta diesel can potentially travel hundreds of kilometers further on a single tank compared to its gasoline counterparts. This translates to substantial savings at the pump over the vehicle’s lifetime, offsetting the typically higher upfront cost of diesel models.

On the other hand, the Jetta diesel does fall behind its competitors in certain areas. Its interior, while well-built and spacious, lacks the upscale materials and modern design found in the latest Civic and Corolla models. Additionally, the diesel engine’s clatter and vibrations can be more noticeable than the smooth and refined gasoline engines in rival vehicles.

Overall, the Volkswagen Jetta diesel presents a compelling option for Canadian buyers prioritizing fuel efficiency and torque-rich performance in a compact sedan package. While it may not lead the segment in areas like interior refinement or cutting-edge technology, the Jetta diesel’s unique blend of capabilities makes it a formidable competitor that deserves serious consideration.


Should You Buy a Jetta Diesel in Canada?

After an in-depth look at the Volkswagen Jetta diesel models available in Canada, it’s time to summarize the key strengths and weaknesses to help you decide if this vehicle is the right fit for your needs.

One of the biggest advantages of the Jetta diesel is its impressive fuel economy. With ratings as high as 6.0 L/100km on the highway, you’ll save significantly at the pump compared to gasoline-powered alternatives. This makes the Jetta diesel an excellent choice for those who frequently drive long distances or want to minimize their environmental impact.

Another strength is the diesel engine’s low-end torque and responsiveness, which translates to a more engaging driving experience. The Jetta diesel feels lively and confident when merging onto highways or overtaking slower traffic.

On the downside, diesel fuel can be more expensive than regular gasoline in some regions of Canada, potentially offsetting some of the fuel savings. Additionally, the higher upfront cost of the diesel models may not be recouped through fuel savings for those who don’t drive extensively.

In terms of ideal buyer profiles, the Jetta diesel is an excellent choice for commuters, road trippers, and anyone who values efficiency and low operating costs. Its spacious interior and ample cargo room also make it a practical family vehicle.

If you decide to purchase a Jetta diesel, the Comfortline and Highline trims offer the best balance of features and value. The Comfortline adds desirable amenities like heated seats and a sunroof, while the Highline brings more advanced tech and safety features.

Ultimately, the Volkswagen Jetta diesel is a compelling option for Canadian buyers seeking a well-rounded, fuel-efficient sedan. Its blend of performance, practicality, and long-term ownership benefits make it a strong contender in the compact car segment.



The Volkswagen Jetta diesel models offer a compelling package for Canadian buyers seeking a fuel-efficient, practical, and enjoyable driving experience. With its punchy yet frugal turbodiesel engines, the Jetta diesel delivers impressive performance and remarkable fuel economy figures, translating to significant savings at the pump over the long run.

Beyond just fuel savings, the Jetta diesel’s spacious and well-built interior, composed ride quality, and capable handling make it an excellent choice for daily driving duties. Additionally, its high-mileage durability and relatively affordable maintenance costs contribute to a low overall cost of ownership.

While the higher upfront cost of diesel models compared to their gasoline counterparts may give some buyers pause, the Jetta diesel’s value proposition becomes increasingly compelling the more miles you rack up. For those with longer commutes or frequent highway driving, the diesel’s superior range and fuel efficiency can quickly offset the initial premium.

Looking ahead, Volkswagen has not announced plans to discontinue diesel offerings in Canada, though the company’s focus has undoubtedly shifted towards electrification. As emissions regulations tighten and consumer preferences evolve, the future availability of diesel models like the Jetta remains uncertain. However, for the time being, the Jetta diesel remains a viable and attractive option, especially for pragmatic buyers prioritizing efficiency and long-haul capability.

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Questions About Diesel Volkswagen Jettas

No, Volkswagen currently does not sell any diesel models of the Jetta in Canada. They discontinued diesel options a few years ago. All Jetta models sold in Canada today come with gas-powered engines. The 2023 Jetta in Canada has a choice of two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines: a 1.4L or 2.0L.

The 2023 Jetta is available in Canada in 5 main trim levels: Trendline, Comfortline, Highline, GLI, and GLI Autobahn. The base Trendline trim comes decently equipped with features like heated front seats, automatic headlights, and a 6.5” touch screen. Higher trims add options like leatherette seats, larger wheels, dual-zone climate control, and more.

The 2023 Jetta starts at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $23,795 CAD for the base Trendline trim. The top GLI Autobahn trim has an MSRP of $36,095. With options, taxes and fees, expect to pay between $25,000-$40,000+ CAD for a new 2023 Jetta in Canada depending on the trim and packages added.

The mid-level Comfortline and Highline trims are typically the most popular with Canadian Jetta buyers. These offer a nice mix of features and options without going overboard on price. The Comfortline adds dual zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and more over the base Trendline. The Highline includes leatherette seats, larger alloy wheels, Fender audio system and other upgrades.

No, at this time Volkswagen does not offer the Jetta with all-wheel drive capabilities in Canada. All Jetta models sold in the Canadian market use front-wheel drive. This helps maximize interior space and keeps costs down. For Jetta shoppers wanting AWD, Volkswagen does offer it on some trim levels of the Taos and Tiguan compact SUVs.

The most fuel efficient 2023 Jetta engine option in Canada is the turbo 1.4L 4-cylinder. This engine achieves 8.4L/100km in combined city/hwy driving on regular gasoline, according to Volkswagen. Opting for the 2.0L turbo engine will use a bit more fuel over the 1.4L. Real world fuel economy will vary depending on driving style and conditions.

The Jetta has built a reputation as a reliable compact sedan over its many years in the Canadian marketplace. Long term quality and dependability is good, although not best-in-class. In recent years, Volkswagen Canada has also boosted the Jetta’s factory warranty coverage to 4 years or 80,000 km (whichever occurs first) to give buyers added peace of mind.

No, regular 87 octane gasoline is recommended for all Jetta engines in Canada. There is no requirement or need for more expensive premium gasoline grades when fueling a Jetta. This helps save on ownership costs compared to some competing models that recommend premium fuel.

No, there are no major changes to the Canadian-spec Jetta for 2023 vs. the 2022 model. It continues with the same engines, trims and options. Volkswagen did make some minor feature adjustments to standard and optional equipment with certain packages. This follows a more significant update to styling and technology that the Jetta received for 2022.

The Jetta is very competitively positioned against Canada’s top selling compacts like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The Volkswagen offers comparable interior space, technology, fuel economy and driving refinement. Where the Jetta excels over rivals is its European styling inside and out. The Jetta also offers more engine and transmission choices compared to the Civic or Corolla lineups.

Some popular Volkswagen accessories that Canadian Jetta owners frequently add either from the factory or dealership include: all-weather floor mats, trunk liners, roof racks for extra cargo capacity, winter tires for cold weather traction, mudflaps to protect the bodywork, and chrome exhaust tips for style. Volkswagen also offers technology accessories like wireless phone chargers, tablet holders and upgraded speakers.

Yes, the 2023 Jetta does come standard with Volkswagen Canada’s Carefree Maintenance plan. This covers the first four regularly scheduled maintenance visits within the first and second years of ownership or up to 24,000 km, whichever comes first. Items covered include oil & filter changes, inspection services, tire rotations and more.

For the 2023 model year, Volkswagen Canada provides a 4-year/80,000 km bumper-to-bumper warranty on new Jetta models, along with a 5-year/100,000 km powertrain warranty and 12-years/unlimited km against corrosion perforation. There are also 2-years of included regular maintenance under the Carefree program. This good warranty coverage adds peace of mind.

Yes, factory-installed remote start is now included with most new 2023 Jetta models purchased in Canada. Lower Trendline trims still come standard with key start only – remote start is an option. But mid-level trims and above have Volkswagen’s remote start feature integrated into the key fob, allowing owners to warm up or cool down their Jetta from a distance. This convenient feature is becoming common now with most new vehicles.

Based on market analysis, the 2023 Jetta is predicted to retain around 45% of its original MSRP after a 5-year ownership period in Canada. This means a $30,000 new Jetta should be valued around $13,500 at trade-in time. Compact sedans tend to depreciate faster than SUVs, but the Jetta should perform average for the segment. Proper maintenance and lower mileage helps boost resale value.

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