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Old 05-27-2014, 09:49 AM   #1
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My wife is looking to replace her '06 MINI Cooper S with a small family car. I don't know of good forums for VW's yet so I thought I would ask opinions here.

Does anyone have any insight into Jetta's? I know they changed in the last few years. Are there models I should avoid? Comparable alternatives (Civic, Corolla)? Looking to stay under $21,000.

We need four doors for a reason. Got to fit child seat soon. Thoughts or issues with backseat space?

Any recommended VW forums?

Thanks.

PS Buy my MINI
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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I passed on a Jetta for a family car - they have removed the rear a/c vent for the back seats.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:03 AM   #3
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I have a VW GTI and like it. I have a toddler and the car seat fits fine. Check out the 4dr VW Golf they even have a TDI version.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:12 AM   #4
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Some VW dealerships have the ability to transform ownership into the ultimate nightmare. They can't service/repair what they sell.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
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It's funny this thread came up because I can not only address this but the concern that some people on this board have re: future Q5 production in Mexico. Three days ago, I bought a 2014 Jetta TDI Sportwagen with Sunroof, Nav and best of all--a 6-speed manual. This was a very difficult car to find and so far it appears to be well worth the effort. These cars are built in VW's Pueblo Mexico facility. Unlike the Jetta Sedans, the Sportwagen retains the more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, it handles very well and as you would expect gets very good fuel economy (EPA rated at 30/42 but know to do well above those numbers). It also retains the vents for the back seats and has plenty of leg and headroom. For those not familiar with this car, the sunroof is 12.7 sf and works identically to the sunroof in the Q5. In the 3 days I've had it (nearly 900 miles) I have found no rattles, no strange gaps in the panels and everything works perfectly. The car drives like a good German car ought to drive and so far I couldn't be more pleased with the quality of the vehicle.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:11 AM   #6
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I think the service at VW and Audi dealers probably varies in quality more than most. A recent experience I had with a VW dealer was very positive - after a winter of pothole dodging (and unfortunately hitting a few as well) the Q wandered a bit on the highway. As the Audi service couldn't take me for a week I called the VW service next door and they got me in the next day. The alignment tech took some time to talk to me after the service was done and it was clear from his briefing, and more importantly how well the car drove after, that this guy was a wizard. I've had mixed service results at the Audi dealership which was why I did not hesitate to try the VW service.
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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Any recommended VW forums?
Google is your friend, my friend.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:10 PM   #8
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Any recommended VW forums?
VWvortex.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:49 PM   #9
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Are there models I should avoid? Comparable alternatives (Civic, Corolla)?
Friends don't let friends drive Hondas
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:48 AM   #10
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Friends don't let friends drive Hondas
Of the Japanese makes, Honda seems the most "VAG-like" these days. Not that any really do it for me, but if you need a Japanese appliance vehicle, you can do much worse than a Honda as they don't seem completely devoid of a soul unlike most.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:16 AM   #11
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My sister has a 2010 Jetta TDi and it is a great car! Drives well. 63k miles later it is a bit beat up but nothing of a major issue. It handles like a german car and is so torquey, on the highway you don't know its a 4 banger. Way better than any Japanese compact. The new Jetta's have gone down in quality though.

I would still consider a jetta before a jap compact. If I did have to go jap, Mazda 3 series is looking mighty fine.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:20 AM   #12
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Of the Japanese makes, Honda seems the most "VAG-like" these days. Not that any really do it for me, but if you need a Japanese appliance vehicle, you can do much worse than a Honda as they don't seem completely devoid of a soul unlike most.
Perhaps it's just the type of people who drive them around here. Some feel entitled to the fast lane like Obama supporters to welfare. If that offends anyone, get over it!
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:12 AM   #13
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I would still consider a jetta before a jap compact. If I did have to go jap, Mazda 3 series is looking mighty fine.
This may be an unpopular choice here, but the Focus ST has retained quite a good portion of the Euro Focus' character despite Ford's past attempts at neutering. The A3 looks like a fine alternative as well.

and VWVortex is probably the biggest VW forum out there

Good luck
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:10 AM   #14
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I had a 2012 Jetta GLI Autobahn that I liked at lot. The VW nav sucks, so you can't really find that option, but it was otherwise loaded. Bought it new for $24K, just traded it after 2 years and 6K miles for $18.5K... so you could buy that car in amazing shape for under your price limit. It's basically a stripper A4 (stripped down, not something a stripper would drive). I would definitely recommend a Jetta in TDI or GLI trim. But as others have said, look hard at the dealer -- a decent VW dealer is harder to find and makes a big difference.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:12 AM   #15
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Perhaps it's just the type of people who drive them around here. Some feel entitled to the fast lane like Obama supporters to welfare. If that offends anyone, get over it!
Let's leave political references out of the forums
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:35 AM   #16
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Perhaps it's just the type of people who drive them around here. Some feel entitled to the fast lane like Obama supporters to welfare. If that offends anyone, get over it!
That's anyone in any car around here. (And no, it's not all the California transplants, native Texan drivers can be just as bad as us native Californians. Besides, San Diego traffic was refreshing compared to Austin.) If you made car-buying decisions based on the behavior of other drivers, you'd be unlikely to buy anything at all.

Coolieman reminds me that Mazda's a pretty decent choice, too. Looked at a CX-9 when I was upsizing from my Passat Wagon, and those things can fly despite being large! The 3's really small, though; a Golf would be a better choice in that segment unless your budget just won't allow it, since the Golf at least used to have a pretty cavernous interior for such a small car.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:14 AM   #17
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Let's leave political references out of the forums
Thank you!
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:49 AM   #18
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Thanks for the input. I like the TDI myself, the wife like SE w/ connectivity or SEL. We really want to stay away from sport suspensions. I just wish the quality of materials didn't drop in 2010. Looks like its going up starting in 2014 but that doesn't help the used car market too much.

(2008-2010 was bad for car manufactures...)
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:27 PM   #19
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I just bought a Q5 coming from a VW Golf. Forget about the Jetta - it's a cheap car that is cheaply made. Spend a little more and buy a Golf instead - it is smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside, MUCH more practical and the interior quality is night and day between the two.

I really loved my Golf and I already kinda miss it driving the Q5 - plus the new MK7 is coming out in June.

If you can afford a little more cash up-front consider the GTI and you'll have a fun rocket on your hands - it's an outstanding car!

I found this forum to be very good:

http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=1

VW Vortex is kinda a big mess.
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:34 PM   #20
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Oh I forgot - check out this thread for some pics:

http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1

That is one good looking car! And with the new 1.8T engines the Golf is going to be über fuel efficient and have plenty of punch (0-60 around 7s??).
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:34 PM
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