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Owner Review: Treated as a "second wife" - My 2013 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4TSI Twincharger

Tony · Jun 27, 2021 12:00 AM

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Owner Review: Treated as a

Basic information

2013 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4TSI Twincharger

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Reason why I bought this car

Because it's a good family sedan that offers good FC, has a good top speed and is adequately powerful especially to overtake cars. And I just love VW for many other reasons despite its notoriety, especially its gearbox.

Car selection process

  • Budget : A car that I can pay less than RM1.5k per month
  • Models that I have considered include: Mazda 3 MPS, a used Subaru Impreza STI, VW Passat, a used Merc C200 and including an SUV (Nissan Murano)

Owner Review: Treated as a

The reason why I choose this car

I want a fast family sedan since I love driving at high speed and overtaking cars, but not to the extent of endangering other road users of course. I drive fast but in a very cautious manner. Sounds strange, yet that's how I put it. And I want a fast car but affordable too. Plus with good FC. My late father used to own a VW too (Beetle) but too bad it was sold to a Datuk. So at the same time, I maintain the legacy of my father as well. Yes this car is clearly not as powerful as the Impreza or Mazda 3 MPS, but the comfort it offers is good enough for me. And its performance is not bad either. Twincharger is pretty limited as its successor and all other turbocharged VW reverted back to a single turbo for better reliability.

Owner Review: Treated as a

User experience

  • I have already done 83,904 km
  • My average fuel consumption is 12.8~17 km/L

Bought in July 2013, the car has served me very well indeed for 8 years already. Before letting go of my Nissan Sentra SG 1.6 VTC, I did a lot of research about cars I listed as potential successors to the Sentra. The Sentra was good and very reliable, but it lacked punch, pretty underpowered (115bhp & 143Nm) and because of that alone, I made up my mind to look for another car with more power. It all began in early 2013, and my lists of potential next cars were so ambitious that I even included Subaru Impreza STi (used) and Mazda 3 MPS (new) among others.

Owner Review: Treated as a

I also included a Merc C200 W203 (used) and strangely, a Nissan Murano too. But as a mama's boy, I asked my mother if she would allow me to buy a fast car like the Impreza STi or Mazda 3 MPS, and as expected, she rejected it. A foregone conclusion. The Jetta wasn't in my list initially but somehow it entered my lists after seeing a few of it on the roads at that time. 

Subsequently, I went to test drive a few cars, and it was love at first sight after testing the Jetta. A Twincharged 1.4L (Turbocharged and Supercharged) sounds pretty awesome. Although it churns out only 160bhp and a mediocre 240 Nm of torque, obviously it's so much better than my Sentra and it pretty much suits my budget too. All CBU Jetta have paddle shifters as standard, but it's the 280kmh speedometer that really caught my attention although I knew that in reality, it could never reach that speed. After 5 months of searching, I guessed I've found the right car for me and my family (had only 2 kids in 2013). A fact not known to many Malaysians is, Jetta CBU was not made in Germany but Mexico.

Owner Review: Treated as a

Yes, I have to admit that to own a VW, I should expect a more frequent visit to its service centre since this was the reputation of VW cars as told by many owners in many forums. But this is not really the case for my VW as I was pretty lucky to own an improved version of CBU Jetta. Most CBU Jettas you could see on the roads are made before 2013, therefore most of them use CAV engines (CAVC & CAVD). These versions are very problematic especially their pistons (always cracks) and including its famous DSG gearbox, of course.

Most VW cars you could see being towed to VW service centres are VWs with CAV engines. My Jetta uses an improved version -CTHD engine. This engine was released with upgraded pistons and piston rings, oil squirters, a superseded timing chain tensioner and a few other tweaks and from my personal experience, I only have ONE mechatronic problem and thus, only once so far being towed to VW SC. And mine uses a 7-speed dry clutch.

Owner Review: Treated as a

This, however, is never intended to assert that my car is a perfect car. NO, it's not. It did occasionally have minor problems and gremlins especially with regard to its speed sensors. To most VW owners, speed sensors are the most common problem they have to face, far more than that notorious DSG but that alone does not change our love for cars. Some call it "love hate relationship", but that's their opinion based on their own experience which surely differs from one to another.

After nearly 8 years owning this car (July 2013June 2021), I'd say that I'm pretty happy with the car and it's still going strong where I have no intention to sell it in near future. A few relatives and friends did ask if I wanted to sell the car because they knew how well I took care of the car but perhaps my love for the car at that time was stronger than their interests, so here we are...still happy together that I even called my car as my 'second wife', and my real wife acknowledges it. At least a car as a second 'wife' is so much better than having a real second wife isn't it? Up until this day, I still take good care of my car as if it was purchased this year. I wipe it almost everyday which I just did a couple of hours before writing this story. Its colour is Tempest Blue, which is pretty rare for a Jetta and that colour was only offered in CBU Jetta. You don't even see Tempest Blue Jetta once in every month.

Owner Review: Treated as a

As a matter of fact, these days many Jetta owners do some modifications and tweaks on their engines including remapping, which of course improves its performance and top speed. I once saw a Jetta owner try his car's top speed and he managed to reach 261kmh, pretty impressive for a 1.4L car. If you ask me if I wanted to modify and remap my car, well my answer is NO, THANK YOU. Yes mine is never the fastest car on the road, but I once did 230kmh (recorded in my phone) and I asked myself, "how much faster do I want from a family sedan?". 230-40kmh top speed for a stock 1.4L car is good enough for me. I prefer longevity & better reliability than higher performance but with reduced reliability. I did ask a few friends including experts who owned workshop specialised for VW cars, they themselves admitted how tuning and modifying VW cars do reduce its reliability, predictably.

Owner Review: Treated as a

I now have 6 children and 5 of them really love my car because they always say "kereta baba laju". So I can sum up that they love their "baba's" car just because they like it when I floor the pedal where they could feel its acceleration. But I only bring my kids in my car for a short trip, never for a long journey because it's no longer comfortable to carry more that 4 passengers and we normally use our Toyota Estima for long journey. The discomfort is due to its suspension (not yet changed after almost 8 years) plus the sound it makes on bumpy roads especially after changing my rims.

But I still love every bit of driving it alone especially, where I prefer to drive without using the A/C and with slightly open window (my side) to hear the sound from its engine. It's not loud but still sounds like a small blow-ff. And I've been doing this since day one owning the car until this very day. I'm still waiting to do Walnut Blasting Decarbonizer after learning the many benefits and great feedbacks from those who have done it. And so far, I've done only a few upgrades on the car especially its braking system by changing all four disc rotors to Brembo with Brembo brake pads. (Slotted for front and cross drilled for rear).

Owner Review: Treated as a

During the narration of this story of my car, I tried my best not to exaggerate anything because VW Jetta is, realistically an average car for average people. And this is my very first time telling a story about my car, so my apology should this story sounds a bit dull and uninteresting. My bad.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Decent twincharged engine, marginally faster than other turbocharged cars with similar specifications such as Peugeot 408 @ 508 THP, even Civic 1.5T (personally tested myself and other Jetta owners too).
  • Quiet engine when idle. Sometimes you don't hear your engine running a few minutes after it's started.
  • The DSG gearbox seems intelligent enough that you really don't have to use 'Sport Mode' like its counterparts. D is good enough to overtake cars on busy roads (where quick overtaking is crucial).
  • A good 7-year warranty offered by VPCM (5+2) where the 2 year additional warranty is known as Goodwill warranty to give owners peace of mind that covers DSG / Mechatronic and especially to those who use problematic CAV engines.
  • Decent FC where I tried once, filling RON97 in my tank until very, very full and only after 180km of travel that the fuel meter showed a slight reduction from F (full).
  • Good quality interior especially its dashboard where its soft touch material stays intact even nearly 8 years of ownership.

Owner Review: Treated as a

Cons

  • Problematic speed sensors and very expensive although the items' size is no bigger than your thumb. One can cost around RM450-M570 (depending on which tyre).
  • Unreliable door latches / lock. Changed almost all doors (3 doors were changed FoC because still under warranty). Now my front passenger door latch has a problem with its lock and the price is RM900++. Very expensive and because of the price, I still haven't changed the latch.
  • Sometimes there are strange sounds emanating from the engine, not permanent and only for a few seconds. They come and go but as an owner, there is always a concern if it comes from its mechatronic or other parts that can result in the car stalling out unexpectedly.
  • For those who consider RV, Jetta and Passat are among VW models that depreciates in value quite badly in Malaysia unlike Golf GTI or Golf R. Honda Civic when it comes to RV, wins hands down even the previous FD has better resale value.
  • Its aircond is good and reliable, but not that cold or strong compared to other cars of similar price. If I use my A/C, I always use 24°C but the coldness is not as good as my other cars, especially Toyota Estima and Toyota Sienta (also set at 24°C).

Ratings

Total Score: 4
Performance: 4
Quality & Features: 3
Space: 3
Ride Comfort: 4
Fuel Economy: 4
Price & Cost: 3

Owner Review: Treated as a

Summary

As an owner of 2013 CBU VW Jetta for nearly 8 years, realistically speaking, this car is never a dream car for anyone. It's an ordinary car for ordinary people like me, and I honestly believe most Malaysians can afford to own one, especially used Jettas. And this car is neither the fastest nor the best car in its class (C-segment). It's unfortunate that Jetta GLI never made it to Malaysia and especially MK7 Jetta too, was never introduced here for several undisclosed reasons. But I assume due to low demand in this country therefore VPCM refused to take any risk.

But despite its status as an ordinary C-segment car with average technology if compared to other brands with their newer models, I'm still more than happy to own a Jetta in 2021. It never felt outdated or obsolete. And as a 1.4L family sedan packed with a Twincharged engine, uses DSG and has a decent torque (240 Nm), plus a top speed around 235kmh (stock), surely this car is not that bad either comparing to some of the latest models within its segment even though it lacks some of the latest techs such as ASA, Park Assist, Lane Change Assist etc, it still packs a punch and can still outrun many newer models on the highway.

Owner Review: Treated as a

Some interesting events

I can't recall any interesting things or events that happened to my car, but all I know is...because of my car, I've been suffering from a syndrome. A syndrome known as OCD. I became allergic to dust. And I mean dust on my car. I'd wipe the car almost everyday whenever I see dust on it, or even handprints of my children.In my boot alone, I reckon that there are like 15 different types of cleaning towels. And in my boot also like a Doraemon's Magic Pocket. Every important thing I keep in it.

Secondly, I never let my car's fuel gauge move at all from 'F' (Full). I always make sure the dial stays at F forever, even if I had to go to a petrol station twice or more in a single day. And my Jetta has never tasted RON95 since 2016...only RON97 goes in it regardless of its price.This is one of many proofs of my unconditional love for my second 'wife'. This is not a fairy tale where we'll live happily ever after...but at least be good to me until I'm done paying for her instalment at the bank.

Owner Review: Treated as a


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