VW has slowly winded down the free maintenance program, from it's most generous program debut in 2009 of 3 years or 30k miles of free maintenance service for this vehicle. After the 2014 model year the subsequent model years one would enjoy just a year, or 10k miles of covered maintenance.
Because this was on my dime, this first service is a great place to start. The oil change was done by a local mechanic, since the nearest VW dealer wanted more money and was a 4 hour roundtrip drive for me. My mechanic, who specializes in European cars charged $92 for the recommended synthetic oil and filter change. The tire rotation, also suggested every 10k miles, was skipped this time around due to tire wear. This wasn't a shock, as these were soft factory tires placed on a torque heavy, front wheel drive car. Two new front tires were ordered from Walmart.com for $210, for matching Original Equipment tires. In the future I plan to rotate tires every 5,000 miles, rather than the called for 10k miles. However, these tires should last as long as I own the car as my lease ends with less then 30k miles left and I won't be charged anything extra for turning the car in with bald tires.
Some Facts and Figures:
Expenses thus far on Repairs- $0. No repairs to speak of at this point, outside of a warranty covered A/C recharge.
Maintenance/ Oil Changes: $92 Total for the first 30,000 miles
Two New Tires for @ 31k miles = $210, plus mounting and balancing
Problem areas: The fuel lid was a bit sticky and sometimes required a credit card to assist it with opening, on a few occasions. I had the same problem with my Toyota Sequoia and my Subaru Outback, so this issue may be in-part, caused by careless gas station attendants. It required me to very slightly tweak it back into a better fitting form.
The A/C seemed to stop working a few times, while on longer drives. I always drive with it on, all year round. The dealership recharged the AC and it appears to have resolved the issue.
The Jetta TDi now has just over 31,000 miles on the odometer. On average the fuel consumption has been between 25-30 mpg in the city and 47mpg-52mpg on the highway, actually 47 steady, on highway or on freeway, with me typically averaging 7mph over the posted speed on highway/freeway. This figure does change however as more people ride in the car. On paper if I were to average the worst city mileage with the best highway mileage I would get about 38.5 mpg, combined. In reality however, when I leave my fair city of Coos Bay and drive on the highway/freeway for 2 hours to Eugene and return to my fair city I always end up averaging 47 mpg, even with the AC, lights, seat heaters, radio (and a heavy foot on in passing lanes) on all the way. I find I actually get better mileage if I don't try to conserve and just drive (speed safely) as I normally drive.
Since this Jetta replaced our old Subaru Outback 4 cylinder and a new Subaru was in competition with the VW for lease consideration, I think it's fair for me to calculate the differences between the two cars. I had owned several Subarus up to the point I purchased and leased my VW Jetta TDi's.
Our 2002 Subaru Outback had a really anemic SOHC, 4 Cylinder gasoline powered engine. We averaged 13-15 mpg in city and 25-28 mpg highway. If those numbers are averaged, it works out to be 20.5 mpg averaged. If one did the math you would see that I spent about half as much on fuel as we did before on our Subaru. The newer model Subarus do promise better miles per gallon, but in reality (with my driving of a new Forester a few hundred miles) return the same figures as my previous 2002 Outback. There should be no real surprise since the Subaru 4 cylinder engine is basically the same 2.5 liter as always and ethanol is ever present (Yes, despite an improved Subaru transmission).
I am 6'2 and I feel the 2 Jettas and my previous Passat's seats are a step-up in comfort over my previous Subaru Outbacks or Legacy, with more cushion and better support (my Passat W-8 being the comfiest). Subaru has improved the seat issue somewhat, over the previous generations of Outbacks that I have owned. My longest trip to date with our 2014 Jetta TDi was around 15 hours to Disneyland with the family. The trip distance to Disneyland from my house was just below 900 miles, one way, of course we drove many more miles then what's on the map, as we visited other tourist destinations along the way. I believe we had around 2500 miles added to the odometer after the trip was completed.
As we traveled up and down thousands of feet in elevation at passes in our very loaded down Jetta TDi, (complete with an over loaded, coffin sized cargo box above) I was happily amazed at how smooth and dignified the turbo diesel traversed the passes without any sign of struggle; and the cruise control kept speed quietly, effortlessly and without any drama, as we blissfully passed other vehicles stricken with the increased challenges of diminished oxygen saturation and gravity. This was a much different (better) experience then I have had in my previous (non-turbo diesel) cars on the same hill.
The first 30,000 miles have been very pleasant and very frugal in the Jetta TDi. The car is still holding tight and quiet, with no rattles, tinny sounds, shimmying or even brake issues to speak of. I am happy to report that the car, although very frugal continues to be very enjoyable for me to drive. I am actually looking forward to another long drive to Disneyland or somewhere even further, (Utah, Colorado?) next time around.
The next long-term report should be at around 50,000 miles, unless anything noteworthy happens sooner.