> So, while shopping for one of these VW's, I keep getting enticed by the gas
> powered Turbo Beetles. So, I need two things. Slap me back to reality
> regarding fuel economy on these cars.
I have a 2002 Jetta GLS 1.8T. This is the same engine that is in the
turbocharged Beetles. Note, however, that there are different versions of this
engine. Prior to 2002, this engine, when installed in Jettas and Golfs, was
rated at 150HP. For 2002 and later, the rating is 180HP. I note on the VW web
site that they are using both the 150 and 180 HP versions in the Beetle.
I really like my Jetta. It's comfortable and sporty (mine has the Sport/Luxury
Package which included the 17" wheels and "sport" suspension). It's also a
blast to drive...once you get it moving. The engine doesn't make much torque
below 2000RPM, so it's easy to bog if you don't launch it correctly. Note that
with the Anti-Slip Regulation traction control feature turned off, you can do
burn-outs with the car because the _Electronic_ Differential Lock uses the ABS
computer to apply a brake to the spinning wheel thus transferring torque to the
non-spinning wheel. With the ASR turned on, if the EDL can't control the tire
spinning, ASR back off the throttle (drive by wire). There's a switch on the
dash for the ASR, so it's pretty easy to control. When I autocross the car, I
leave the ASR turned off unless the course is really slick.
I only have two negative comments about the car. There's not much room in the
back seat...figure on using it for kids only. On the other hand, the trunk is
cavernous. Secondly, mine has the Monsoon sound system which has gone bonkers
thus draining the battery if I let the car sit for a day. I haven't had a
chance to get the car in for service on this problem since it cropped up, but
it should be a warranty item.
I get 25-32 mpg with the car depending on how I drive it. VW recommends premium
fuel, but doesn't require it. Rumor has it that running regular instead of
premium costs you about 10% in horsepower.
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