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Back in Black
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Comparing the Jetta TDI to a Turbo Beetle is a stretch in form and function. But I just traded my Jetta in for the Beetle, so here goes.

Fuel Economy:
I traded my '12 Jetta TDI to get this car. I did all the math on MPG before buying the '13 Turbo Fender Edition and accepted the fact that it will not even be close. Still, it really took the wind out of my sails having to fill up after just 382 miles. I regularly got 600+ on the Jetta. Too bad they don't make a TDI Fender edition.

Comfort:
The larger 18" low profile tires on the beetle make for a taught ride on smooth roads. Not as smooth as the Jetta, but totally fine. The big improvement is really on bumpier roads. The Jetta was actually quite harsh on the rough roads. The beetle seems to be less harsh and hence makes the overall ride better than the Jetta.

Front seats about the same. The Jetta rear seats beat everything in it's class, let alone the beetle.

Performance:
The handling is by far superior on the beetle turbo. I'm not a sporty driver, so can't comment much more than that.

Although the Beetle's numbers are better, the Jetta felt stronger. I drive for best mpg, so again, I really can't comment much more than that.

Gauges:
Hands down the beetle has better gauges, particularly the MFD. The Jetta TDI had a tiny MFD with limited function. The beetle's MFD is easier to read and shows more info at the same time.

A nice large center speedo and a real needle for the gas gauge make this feel more like a car inside. The LCD fuel gauge on the Jetta was just weird to me.

The only down side to the beetle gauges are the three on top of the dash. They point straight and not angled towards me, so I can't really see them properly.

Ergonomics:
It's a tie. Everything is where it should be. Buttons, dials, pockets, cup holders. No other car manufacturer comes closer to perfection than VW.

Only caveat on the beetle: the door pockets are not really pockets, but they still hold my umbrella and gloves.

Overall there is less space to put things, but then that keeps me from cluttering the car. Some people (like my mom) on the other hand buy pockets for pockets and can get enough pockets and cup holders.

Function:
Nothing beats a hatchback.

Turbo Fender Edition specific:
The wood dash is gorgeous! I just can't get over how beautiful the interior of this beetle is. It is the sole reason I got it. You lose the signature glove box, which is a shame. I've seen fender editions online with the glove box, and it looked fine. Oh well.

Planned mods:
Chrome door handles to match the mirrors. A chrome "Fender" badge on the rear instead of "Turbo". The interior needs a touch more wood and chrome where the hvac controls are. Chrome "Fender" badges on the elastic door pockets. Chrome "Fender" door sills. Yeah, I like chrome.

Wish they kept:
I would have loved the tube amp looking thing on top instead of the gauges (the gauges are just about as useless anyway) and the old style looking radio I saw in the preliminary pictures of the "Fender" edition. Finally, a 1/4" plug for my guitar on the speaker in the trunk.

Stuff that doesn't matter:
There are several little things I'd change. Replace the stop watch for a clock, replace the xenon lights for halogens, use a real key rather than kessy and key fobs, have the trunk lip flush with the bumper, etc... I'll always find something I'd change regardless of the car.

I just wanted to share my thoughts so far after only 4 days of ownership. I'm really excited to be back in a Beetle and very grateful I can afford the only car that's caught my attention in a very long time.
 
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