Consumer Union weighs in on 2015 Golf Sportwagen TDI

ezshift5

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
Location
West Coast
TDI
2013 JSW TDI (Enroute BB).......2017 Jetta 1.4 turbo 5M ....................
Teeing up the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI

Thanks Dana (CU seems somewhat critical of the DSG - and the 150 HP TDI 4-cyl too.

I would agree on the automatic (but I have a manual shift 2013 JSW and it's not gutless.

again, thanks for the article


ez
 

LarBear

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Location
Billings, MT
TDI
2013 Jetta TDI DSG
Don't have a JSW, but our '13 Jetta TDI with DSG keeps up with traffic with no problem, and if I want to accelerate I put my foot down and it goes. It's not a rocket-ship by any stretch, but if the morons at Consumer Distorts, er, I mean Reports, knew half as much as they think they do about most things they'd really have something. In Sport mode the DSG shifts faster than anyone can shift a stick, and in manual mode it's like a manual without a clutch except for faster shifts. I'd suggest that if they want to shoot into holes in traffic that they try either of those modes, but if they want to just drive along and not be baiting the traffic cops D mode works fine.
 

dwfdiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Location
Muskoka Ontario Summer Lecanto FL winter
TDI
2006 Golf & 2012 Golf wagon, 1998 GMC 6.5 with 310,000km
This paragraph here is just wrong

"Unfortunately, the DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI doesn’t play well with the 2.0-liter, 150-hp turbodiesel. It's gutless and lazy. The DSG feels as if it’s in the wrong gear when you want a power surge—say, when you spot an opening in traffic. You really need to floor the gas pedal to get a downshift. And the VW diesel’s clatter was rather old-school compared to newer, more refined offerings from other automakers."
 

jhinsc

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Location
Coastal SC
TDI
2014 Passat TDI SEL Premium
This paragraph here is just wrong

"Unfortunately, the DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI doesn’t play well with the 2.0-liter, 150-hp turbodiesel. It's gutless and lazy. The DSG feels as if it’s in the wrong gear when you want a power surge—say, when you spot an opening in traffic. You really need to floor the gas pedal to get a downshift. And the VW diesel’s clatter was rather old-school compared to newer, more refined offerings from other automakers."
Agree! Just like a manual, you have to anticipate what you're going to do BEFORE doing it, except you don't have to play with a clutch pedal and gear shifter! They said nothing about the other modes you could use to avoid what they said; Sport and Manual.:rolleyes:

I also loved their comment about it being priced like an Audi - have they priced Audi's lately? My 2014 Passat TDI SEL is about the same price as an Audi A3 TDI, comparably equipped.
 
Last edited:

atc98002

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Location
Auburn WA
TDI
2014 Passat TDI SEL Premium (sold back), 2009 Jetta (sold back), 80 Rabbit diesel (long gone)
Yeah, I can light the tires up at slow speeds if I'm not careful. At least, until traction control kicks in!
 

dubStrom

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Location
Kansas City Missouri
TDI
2003 A4 Jetta (sold), 2010 JSW (sold), 2013 Passat 6MT traded for 2014 JSW with 6MT-TOTALED in November 2016, 2003 ALH 5MT conversion (sold), NEW 2015 GSW/DSG and an '07 Ram 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel quad-cab Laramie 4x4 p'up
Agree! Just like a manual, you have to anticipate what you're going to do BEFORE doing it, except you don't have to play with a clutch pedal and gear shifter! They said nothing about the other modes you could use to avoid what they said; Sport and Manual.:rolleyes:

I also loved their comment about it being priced like an Audi - have they priced Audi's lately? My 2014 Passat TDI SEL is about the same price as an Audi A3 TDI, comparably equipped.

There is NO delay when you control the clutch with your foot-I am not sure what you mean by "Just like a manual". The delay/anticipation thing that DSG does when you press the accelerator is exactly why I traded my 2010 JSW DSG. It is not bad once you are rolling, but the transition from foot on brake to foot on throttle is followed by a variable pause in DSG. Stark contrast with a 6MT...when I control the clutch, I lift my left foot, and the car instantly goes.
I disagree with their comment about downshifting though. Maybe they didn't know about tiptronic control(?). It is there if you need it!

Look at post 261 in this thread, and all of the ruckus that followed!

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=240333

Yes, you can learn to anticipate when DSG starts to go, but I found it to be variable, which made tight merges from a stop a little unnerving. I had to go back to the kind of clutch that I control. In tight traffic situations, brief delays in acceleration from a stop can cause near misses and scary situations merging into aggressive traffic.

But for less aggressive traffic situations, I really enjoyed the DSG.
 
Last edited:

dwfdiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Location
Muskoka Ontario Summer Lecanto FL winter
TDI
2006 Golf & 2012 Golf wagon, 1998 GMC 6.5 with 310,000km
There is NO delay when you control the clutch with your foot-I am not sure what you mean by "Just like a manual". The delay/anticipation thing that DSG does when you press the accelerator is exactly why I traded my 2010 JSW DSG. It is not bad once you are rolling, but the transition from foot on brake to foot on throttle is followed by a variable pause in DSG. Stark contrast with a 6MT...when I control the clutch, I lift my left foot, and the car instantly goes.
I disagree with their comment about downshifting though. Maybe they didn't know about tiptronic control(?). It is there if you need it!

Look at post 261 in this thread, and all of the ruckus that followed!

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=240333

Yes, you can learn to anticipate when DSG starts to go, but I found it to be variable, which made tight merges from a stop a little unnerving. I had to go back to the kind of clutch that I control. In tight traffic situations, brief delays in acceleration from a stop can cause near misses and scary situations merging into aggressive traffic.

But for less aggressive traffic situations, I really enjoyed the DSG.
you are right about the hesitation from brake to accelerator But I guess it could be shut off the hill brake that is which causes the hesitation
 

LarBear

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Location
Billings, MT
TDI
2013 Jetta TDI DSG
I upset the boss lady the other day when I shifted into Sport at a light with a line of traffic in the other lane. Put my foot down a bit as soon as the light changed and we were GONE, no wheelspin because I didn't floor it, and no delay either. Since I shift into neutral at red lights there's a little delay when I shift into gear, but there is with any auto. Otherwise smooth and when it's wanted as quick as I need.

I've got to wonder how many break in miles their JSW had too. If they just bought it and drove it for a few hundred or even a couple thousand miles they could be disappointed I guess, if they drove it someplace with mountains they'd come to appreciate the TDI and DSG. No hunting for the right gear or downshifting because 6th is the right gear with the TDI for anything on an Interstate at 60+ mph.

Before we bought the TDI we drove some other cars, and although the TDI has a different sound than a gasser I don't find it unpleasant and it sure beats the sewing machine sounding gassers that come close to the same fuel mileage and performance. I guess an engine that sounds like a sewing machine and doesn't have enough torque to pull the skin off pudding is okay to CU testers though.
 

dubStrom

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Location
Kansas City Missouri
TDI
2003 A4 Jetta (sold), 2010 JSW (sold), 2013 Passat 6MT traded for 2014 JSW with 6MT-TOTALED in November 2016, 2003 ALH 5MT conversion (sold), NEW 2015 GSW/DSG and an '07 Ram 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel quad-cab Laramie 4x4 p'up
you are right about the hesitation from brake to accelerator But I guess it could be shut off the hill brake that is which causes the hesitation
No. Hill brake has nothing to do with it. There is a delay with DSG when you lift your foot off the brake and push down the accelerator. Mechatronics have to interpret your intent. Happens on level ground without the hill brake. Try it. In fact, lift your foot off the brake on level ground WHEN YOU DO NOT WANT TO MOVE FORWARD and DSG will start moving you forward. That's what it does. NO automatic transmission works properly (does what you want it to) all the time. Automatic transmissions are convenient, but there are compromises. But a clutch is a slave, and does exactly what you want to with no delay.

I like the hill brake on my 6MT. I count on it. It makes getting going from a stop easier for me when the car would otherwise roll back down a hill. But hillbrake does NOT engage unless the car wants to roll back when you lift your foot off the brake. So, if your entry to a fast paced road happens to be on a hill and your car wants to roll back, the hill brake will work. In my experience, hill brake will disengage when I lift my foot off the clutch, and there is NO delay. Maybe there is a delay with DSG. Yet another compromise with DSG?
 
Last edited:

jhinsc

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Location
Coastal SC
TDI
2014 Passat TDI SEL Premium
There is NO delay when you control the clutch with your foot-I am not sure what you mean by "Just like a manual". The delay/anticipation thing that DSG does when you press the accelerator is exactly why I traded my 2010 JSW DSG. It is not bad once you are rolling, but the transition from foot on brake to foot on throttle is followed by a variable pause in DSG. Stark contrast with a 6MT...when I control the clutch, I lift my left foot, and the car instantly goes.
I disagree with their comment about downshifting though. Maybe they didn't know about tiptronic control(?). It is there if you need it!

Look at post 261 in this thread, and all of the ruckus that followed!

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=240333

Yes, you can learn to anticipate when DSG starts to go, but I found it to be variable, which made tight merges from a stop a little unnerving. I had to go back to the kind of clutch that I control. In tight traffic situations, brief delays in acceleration from a stop can cause near misses and scary situations merging into aggressive traffic.

But for less aggressive traffic situations, I really enjoyed the DSG.
In a manual, you can't just take your foot off the brake and press the 'gas'pedal' from a stop. You're right that there's no delay in a manual if you rev the engine and 'drop the clutch' so you don't stall, but from a typical stop, you don't do that. Do that too many times you'll have excess tire and clutch wear. From a normal stop, the DSG acts just like a manual but you only use one foot. While there is a slight hesitation under those circumstances, it's the same with a manual. That's why on many new cars today, auto trans are actually faster 0-60 than a manual trans. What people are expecting how a DSG operates is what they expect from a torque-converter automatic transmission. Until software and technology improves, a DSG driver should drive as if they had a manual. Is the DSG perfect? No, but neither is a traditional torque-converter auto. But a DSG is the perfect combo of both in real world driving and allows for more efficiency in the drivetrain than a traditional auto trans.
 
Last edited:

BeetleGo

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 1998
Location
Cambridge, MA
TDI
5-door, 5-speed Golf GLS replaced BeetleGo.
Before we bought the TDI we drove some other cars, and although the TDI has a different sound than a gasser I don't find it unpleasant and it sure beats the sewing machine sounding gassers that come close to the same fuel mileage and performance. I guess an engine that sounds like a sewing machine and doesn't have enough torque to pull the skin off pudding is okay to CU testers though.
I couldn't agree more. The sound of gas-with-infinitely variable transmissions is REALLY annoying. The disconnect between engine speed and car speed is awful. The sound of a TDI on the other hand is silent at highway speed (and gutsy on the way there). RPM IS 1000 lower than the gasser and pulls away in the 70-110 range, smoothly, powerfully, and with authority.
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
While I am not complaining about my VWs with the DSG, they do behave differently than the auto in my daughter's corolla. In her car, I lift my foot off the brake and the car starts moving. I give it gas and it moves somewhat faster. I try to push it, and I swear the car starts laughing at me. In either of our VWs, I take my foot off the brake and the car will also start rolling. However, if I try to push it from a dead start, there is a slight hesitation. (It reminds me of the mid 70s Mopar products I learned to drive in.) If I really want to get into it, there is more than enough power. I have learned to adapt, most of the time.
 

Jeta Life

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Location
NJ & North Pocono
TDI
2009 Jetta TDI DSG Auto
Learning to adapt to DSG is easy, just hit the gas with authority and blow by the Civic or Corolla at the traffic light and watch them in your rear view mirror.

Even better if you put the DSG in Sportmode and listen to the engine. The key to understanding the DSG is found in the right foot.
 

Powder Hound

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 25, 1999
Location
Under a Bridge, Crestview, FL, USA
TDI
'00 Golf 4dr White 5sp, '02 Jettachero 5sp, Wife's '03 NB Platinum Gray auto(!)
CU and integrity are mutually exclusive items. How they ever rated highly a car without a Toyota or Honda badge is a head scratcher in and of itself. But, after reading about the Suzuki Samurai debacle, any claim they have for integrity was immediately discounted. I have said this many times, and so far, CU has done nothing to prove me wrong: What CU does not know about automobiles very closely approximates the sum of human knowledge on the subject.

That's my story, and CU makes it easy to stick to it.

PH
 

ddorrer

Veteran Member
Joined
May 19, 2010
Location
WVa
TDI
2015 GSW Tdi, 2012 JSW Tdi DSG (Sold w/80k miles), 2010 Sportwagen TDI 6spd (Traded)
I must say I just bought a 2015 GSW Tdi out of state and drove thru the mountains. Plenty of power and handling all the switch backs. Used 1/4 tank for 175 miles.

I owned a 2012 JSW Tdi, but the GSW is larger. Push Button start/stop and no keys for ignition or doors is something to get used to. I put 80k miles on my 2012 in 2.5 years. No problems at all. Even had original brake pads on it and only two sets of tires.

Before that I had a 2010 JSW Tdi 6MT until my knee gave out of me.

I ran a Banks Exhaust and Racechip on the 2010 and 2012 (184HP). Looking for the same on the 2015 and upgrade to 18in wheels.
 

frugality

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Location
Spring Lake, Michigan
TDI
none, 2016 GTI
I put 80k miles on my 2012 in 2.5 years. No problems at all. Even had original brake pads on it and only two sets of tires.
I'm at 177,000 miles on my original brakes -- 2010 JSW. Wore out 2 sets of all-season and 1 set of snow tires, working on subsequent sets of each.
 

CNdiesel

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Location
Sarnia Ont. Canada
TDI
2011 Jetta TDI DSG
I think the DSG is the best thing about my Jetta. Its the best "automatic" transmission I have personally ever owned, my wife will not drive a manual. And it if you don't think it shifts fast, check the 0-60 times on the new Golf R , the DSG kills the manual no matter who is shifting it
 

dubStrom

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Location
Kansas City Missouri
TDI
2003 A4 Jetta (sold), 2010 JSW (sold), 2013 Passat 6MT traded for 2014 JSW with 6MT-TOTALED in November 2016, 2003 ALH 5MT conversion (sold), NEW 2015 GSW/DSG and an '07 Ram 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel quad-cab Laramie 4x4 p'up
In a manual, you can't just take your foot off the brake and press the 'gas'pedal' from a stop. You're right that there's no delay in a manual if you rev the engine and 'drop the clutch' so you don't stall, but from a typical stop, you don't do that. Do that too many times you'll have excess tire and clutch wear. From a normal stop, the DSG acts just like a manual but you only use one foot. While there is a slight hesitation under those circumstances, it's the same with a manual. That's why on many new cars today, auto trans are actually faster 0-60 than a manual trans. What people are expecting how a DSG operates is what they expect from a torque-converter automatic transmission. Until software and technology improves, a DSG driver should drive as if they had a manual. Is the DSG perfect? No, but neither is a traditional torque-converter auto. But a DSG is the perfect combo of both in real world driving and allows for more efficiency in the drivetrain than a traditional auto trans.
I think you misunderstood me...

When I really need to be poised to GO in tight traffic situations, I do lift my foot off the brake and rev the engine a bit, just before the window in traffic opens up. So I don't have a delay and it does not cause excessive wear on the clutch. No I don't pop the clutch or break the front tires loose, skidding.

If you lift your foot off the brake with DSG, it will start to go even if you don't press the throttle. Doesn't happen with 6MT, but you can be ready to go.

Traffic is not always that tight. But I sure like having that precise control when I need it. You don't have to spin the front tires to be assertive in traffic, but going exactly when you want to makes it easier to get in safely in tight traffic. And I also like the additional few mpg I get as well with the 6MT. I did own the DGS in my 2010 JSW. Aside from that unavoidable delay getting into traffic sometimes, there were times when it got confused and up, then downshifted, then upshifted again. There was one corner where it did this invariable. I could not figure out how to avoid it besides going faster than I wanted to!

DGS is fine, especially in casual traffic. I liked it a lot. I just missed that fine control I have with the clutch, so I am back in a 6MT.
 
Last edited:

jhinsc

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Location
Coastal SC
TDI
2014 Passat TDI SEL Premium
You can do nearly the same thing if you lift your foot off the brake pedal and pause for a sec before pushing down the gas pedal. It's just like engaging the clutch in a manual without a clutch pedal. Is it exactly the same? No. But there are tradeoffs/pros and cons between manuals and auto/DSG's.
 

nkgagne

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Location
Kitchener, Ontario Canada
TDI
2015 Sportwagen 6M, 2006 Golf GLS TDI (sold)
There were times when it got confused and up, then downshifted, then upshifted again. There was one corner where it did this invariable. [sic] I could not figure out how to avoid it besides going faster than I wanted to!
Put the transmission in manual/tiptronic mode, perhaps?

I don't own a DSG-equipped car, but if I did (especially if it had shift paddles), it would live permanently in Tiptronic mode except when N, R, or P were employed. I can operate + and - paddles quite capably, and would quite willingly. D would be reserved exclusively for when my [less fanatical, but still manual-capable] wife were driving. If she can stomp & go, she's a happy camper.

Tiptronic has the added benefit of letting you lean on the torque in the 1800-2800 RPM range like a manual while you're 3/4 on the throttle whereas most computer controlled shift logics have you in the 4000+ RPM range at that pedal position, which is a detriment to economy.
 

atc98002

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Location
Auburn WA
TDI
2014 Passat TDI SEL Premium (sold back), 2009 Jetta (sold back), 80 Rabbit diesel (long gone)
I often drive in Tip mode. Occasionally I forget and pull away from a stop and wonder why the car hasn't shifted :). Then my wife says "why didn't you just get a manual?". Because the SEL didn't offer one!:(
 

dubStrom

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Location
Kansas City Missouri
TDI
2003 A4 Jetta (sold), 2010 JSW (sold), 2013 Passat 6MT traded for 2014 JSW with 6MT-TOTALED in November 2016, 2003 ALH 5MT conversion (sold), NEW 2015 GSW/DSG and an '07 Ram 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel quad-cab Laramie 4x4 p'up
Put the transmission in manual/tiptronic mode, perhaps?
I don't own a DSG-equipped car, but if I did (especially if it had shift paddles), it would live permanently in Tiptronic mode except when N, R, or P were employed. I can operate + and - paddles quite capably, and would quite willingly. D would be reserved exclusively for when my [less fanatical, but still manual-capable] wife were driving. If she can stomp & go, she's a happy camper.
Tiptronic has the added benefit of letting you lean on the torque in the 1800-2800 RPM range like a manual while you're 3/4 on the throttle whereas most computer controlled shift logics have you in the 4000+ RPM range at that pedal position, which is a detriment to economy.
That would do it. I could have put it in tip mode until I went through that intersection where it got confused, then push the shifter over to drive.

By the way atc980... I had a beautiful BMW 335D for about a month, but hated the auto trans and paddle shifting mode, because it overrides your tiptronic choice (shifted anyway). It was as if it resorted to sport mode. A reasonable technological solution, but it overrided tip mode way before redline.
 
Last edited:

Diesl

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Location
Chicago
TDI
'78 Golf Diesel (long gone); 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI w/ DSG
I often drive in Tip mode. Occasionally I forget and pull away from a stop and wonder why the car hasn't shifted :). Then my wife says "why didn't you just get a manual?". Because the SEL didn't offer one!:(
The DSG will shift on its own even when in manual mode before hitting the red line. Just put it in first and try it. I think sport mode will give better acceleration though.
 
Last edited:
Top