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Author Topic:   Jetta Sport Wagen
tarracott posted 02-09-2009 12:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for tarracott   Send Email to tarracott  
I am looking at purchasing a Jetta Sport Wagen TDI. I can not find any information on the towing capacity. Does anyone on this site tow a Montauk with one?
chopbuster posted 02-09-2009 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster    
You could "voogle" it or contact a "VolksVagen" dealer.
chopbuster posted 02-09-2009 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster    
Like this;

Tohsgib posted 02-09-2009 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
My Jetta TDI sedan was rated at 2k bt I never put a hitch on it since I had a SUV.
20dauntless posted 02-09-2009 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
I remember seeing some pictures of European Whaler owners towing some fairly large boats with small VW's, perhaps one of them will chime in. However, and this is important, I would guess the VW USA does not rate the towing capacity nearly as high as their European counterparts. If you get involved in an accident and you are over the towing capacity for your car, even if the European version is rated to tow more, you could still be liable.

BTW, German wagons are great vehicles, especially if you can get diesel power. We have three (including an '07 Passat) and they are all great vehicles and they rarely, if ever, go in for any service other than routine maintenance. They have lots of space for gear and make superb utility vehicles, and there is a lot more sport in most wagons than in most SUV's. Now if only VW, Audi, BMW, or MB would make one with all wheel drive AND a diesel...

decoys4me posted 02-09-2009 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for decoys4me  Send Email to decoys4me     
bmw diesels are here in u.s. for '09!

including an x5 diesel. 3-series diesels as wekk, but i've not seen the 3-wagen as an option...yet.

they also have a 1-series diesel that gets 54 mpg.

20dauntless posted 02-09-2009 02:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
All of the German automakers now offer at least some of their SUV's in diesel, and if I were to buy one I would certainly buy the diesel.

Mercedes is apparently going to offer their wagon in diesel with the E320 Bluetech, but you can't get it with AWD. BMW doesn't let you choose the diesel in a 3 or 5 series wagon, Audi doesn't offer it in the A4 or A6 (in any configuration) and VW only offers it on the FWD Jetta Wagon. Hopefully as more people experience what these new, clean, powerful, and efficient diesel engines are like, they will become more popular.

pglein posted 02-09-2009 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
According to, the towing capacity for all models of the 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagon is 2,000#.

According to CW's Reference section, a classic Montauk hull weighs 950#. An old 2-stroke OMC cross-flow V4 weighs in around 300# give or take 20# depending on model and age. An appropriately sized trailer will generally weigh anywhere between 500# and 700# depending on the type. Toss in 72# for 12 gallons of fuel, and at least another 100# of gear and electronics, and you could easily be over 2,000#.

Bottom line is, it really depends on how your boat is rigged and equipped. 4-stroke motor? Forget it, you'll be way over.

Regardless, I don't think it's advisable to tow a boat that size behind such a small car unless it's just up the road to pull it in and out once each season.

kynimrod posted 02-10-2009 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for kynimrod  Send Email to kynimrod     
I have the new Jetta TDI Sportwagen and yes I have a 1981
Montauk with same year 90 Evinrude(300#), and yes I ave towed the boat. It has plenty of power to pull, but is a bit hard on the clutch when pulling it out. I may revise my method of pulling out, by turning off traction control and spinning tires a bit going up the ramp. Tires are easier to replace than clutch. Be advised hat my owners manual only(ONLY) shows that the manual transmission can be used for towing. I figure my entire setup ways about
1750lb. I have an aluminum trailer which is about 2/3 the wight of steel trailer.

On a different note, the car is really a blast to drive, and gets mid 40's mpg on the road at 70 mph( without the Montauk in tow).

nytugcapt posted 02-10-2009 07:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for nytugcapt  Send Email to nytugcapt     
My 2000 tdi Jetta needed a new transmision at 49,000 miles (under Waranty) and had never towed anything. I love the 40+mpg's I get around town but if I tow anything it is with my 5.9 liter Durango. I am sure the manual trans. is a better way to go.
where2 posted 02-14-2009 09:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I've got a pair of 2006 MkV VW Jetta TDI sedans in my driveway. I wouldn't hesitate to put a hitch on them and put my 15' whalers behind them. The 2009 Sportwagen has more HP and more torque than what I've got... When pulling up the ramp, it's all about torque and how much you can make at how low an RPM. The 2009 VW Diesels are capable of 236lb-ft of torque at 1,750rpm. Unlike a other auto-makers 4 cylinder gas engines, you don't have to wind out a 4 cylinder VW Diesel to make power.

As for reliability of the VW transmissions, I have 35k on the 5-speed manual transmission, and 49k on the DSG (yes, I have a TDI with each). I haven't seen any great abundance of self destructing transmissions on the MkV VW's on There were a few early DSG's that had problems, but I daily drive the DSG, and haven't had any issues since it was new. The 40k service on a DSG transmission will set you back $450, so recognize that before you pick it over the 6-speed manual.

Buy it, drive it, love it... We drove my wife's 5-Speed (manual) TDI from South Florida to Maine last summer. The 2006 EPA window sticker for this car was 41mpg highway (37mpg by 2008 EPA calculation methodology at We were getting 46mpg, with a high of 47.6mpg on one tank. I'm getting 44mpg on my daily commute with the DSG. It runs 550 miles on 12.5 gallons, so I refill it every 10th day.

I have a hitch on my 1990 VW Corrado_G60. I've towed and launched my 15' Whaler with it on many occasions. The whaler was actually easier to tow than a 4'x6' utility trailer we had at my office that had a mesh ramp tailgate. The boat is aerodynamic. The mesh tailgate was like a huge parachute at 70mph...

68 WhaleR posted 02-17-2009 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for 68 WhaleR  Send Email to 68 WhaleR     
I had a 03 Jetta TDI Wagon that i used to pull my 1961 Westfalia camper trailer around. with all the gear it weighed around 1500lbs. I pulled it up the mountains in NC a few times no problems. Now my car had 90hp and the newer wagons are bigger and more power so you should be fine. I now pull my 13 ft whaler with my 01 Jetta TDI sedan and can get around 32 mpg pulling it! LOL! Still trying to find a way to get a bigger boat.
Royboy posted 02-17-2009 10:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Buy American.
PeteB88 posted 02-17-2009 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
kynimrod - Try using your hand brake coordinating throttle, clutch and hand brake for less strain on clutch and engine. It takes some practice but what you are trying to do is to hold the mass of the entire rig for a couple of seconds as the you engage the clutch. Trick is engage engine and drive train first and then release the hand brake. It works.
kynimrod posted 02-17-2009 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for kynimrod  Send Email to kynimrod     
Thanks I'll give that a try. Just averaged 43 mpg on my last tank.
And ROYBOY yea that's what the problem is ....don't think so. Plenty of foreign made vehicles are quite capable of towing this boat and much larger ones, as are domestic vehicles. It's just there are none but this one I have that CAN pull this Montauk AND get 43 mpg.
But you probably shop at Walmart and don't blink an eye at buying Chinese products, which, by the way last I read 80% of what they sell comes from there. So if I buy an American truck and it gets 15 mpg doesn't that add to the problem of 75% of our oil if imported, so our dollars are going overseas to our enemys who than finance terrorist who try and attack us. At least I am doing my part and not using as much fuel. Isn't that a good thing? Show me an American vehicle that comes close to what mine does(tows up to 2000lb. and can get 43 mpg) and I would buy it.
Wasatch Whaler posted 02-17-2009 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wasatch Whaler  Send Email to Wasatch Whaler     
I don't know squat about Volkswagens, but when I went to VW's website I saw that this is a front wheel drive station wagon.

Depending on your use for the vehicle, that's not a bad thing.

But, for towing a boat (that's right at the towing capacity of the vehicle) up a steep, slippery ramp it strikes me as the wrong vehicle for the job.

Every so often there's a thread on CW about boat ramp buffoonery... I can picture a VW burning the clutch, spinning the tires and going nowhere.

68 WhaleR posted 02-18-2009 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for 68 WhaleR  Send Email to 68 WhaleR     
The low rpm Torque of the diesl motor will be fine pulling it up the ramp. Now if it is really steep and wet well you might have a problem but give it a try. Still worth it with the MPG you get. What is American? Toyota, BMW, Mercedes are all here in the US? Fords Farm out parts to other countries. As a American we have the rigth to buy what we like, Freedom baby! LOL! Anyway I would love to buy a American car if it could get Better than 50 mpg and pull my whaler. Name one other car and I am all about it.
We do have a Town and Country so there you have it, great American Family Van! LOL!
68 WhaleR posted 02-19-2009 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for 68 WhaleR  Send Email to 68 WhaleR     
here are some examples of towing with smaller vehicle.

pglein posted 02-19-2009 01:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
I have no particular loyalty to any automaker based on the nationality of the leadership or where their stock happens to be traded (which is all that really defines a company's nationality anymore), or even where the automobiles are assembled.

I do, however, recognize several problems with the idea of towing a boat with a VW Jetta.

First and foremost is Volkswagen's poor reliability history. This is not just anecdotal (though there is plenty of that kind of evidence out there. Consumer Reports has repeatedly rated VW's cars lower than similar and less expesnive competitors. As I mentioned before, there is ample anecdotal evidenced to support this. VW's are Europe's Hyundais. Here in the US they are spiced up with clever advertising and touted for their "German Engineering" (as though that makes a difference), and targeted to uppity urbanites who drive an average of less than 5,000 miles a year.

But also of particular concern is the inherent danger and difficulty of towing a boat that is nearly at, or possibly over, the maximum capacity of the front-wheel-drive vehicle. Boston Whaler's are designed with what they call "reserve buoyancy". You don't NEED to load up a Whaler with 9,000# of gear and pull the plug, but it's reassuring to know that it can. You buy the boat because you want to know that it's up to the task, no matter what that task will turn out to be. To then go and tow that boat behind a car that just barely meets the capacity requirements (or possibly doesn't) is rediculous to me. It shows a disconnect of logic. On one platform, you demand extra capacity. On another, in which safety is equally important, you do not. This escapes me. My Tahoe has a towing capacity of 6,000#. My boat, engine, trailer and gear can not possibly exceed 4,000#. I would not tow anything larger than my boat with my truck. And I feel that I should upgrade to a larger truck to really feel safe and comfortable towing over long distances.

Front wheel drive, though primarily employed by engineers as a cost-savings measure, has excellent advantages in some driving situations. Pulling a boat up a launching ramp is NOT one of them. Sure, you can sit there and play with the clutch, spin the tires, and fiddle with the e-brake if you want, but why? Is it really worth it? If you tow regularly, you will appreciate the ease with which a heavier 4wd or even rwd vehicle will perform this task, and it's not like it doesn't come with other benefits as well. Any true driving enthusiast will tell you that rwd performs better on dry pavement than fwd. And although fwd performs well in icy conditions, 4wd or awd performs even better.

If you tow only occasionally and over short distances (definitely not on the freeway), I suppose the small, fwd Jetta could be employed. However, when you consider that an older rwd or 4wd Chevrolet S-10 or Ford Ranger can be had for only a couple thousand dollars, and can cost less than $10 a month to add to your insurance policy as an extra low-mileage vehicle with liability-only coverage, AND can get as much as 30mpg, AND can be used for trips to the dump, hardware store, etc....

...I just don't see why you wouldn't at least consider the alternative.

gnr posted 02-19-2009 02:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr    
Boston Whaler's are designed with what they call "reserve buoyancy". You don't NEED to load up a Whaler with 9,000# of gear and pull the plug, but it's reassuring to know that it can. You buy the boat because you want to know that it's up to the task, no matter what that task will turn out to be. To then go and tow that boat behind a car that just barely meets the capacity requirements (or possibly doesn't) is rediculous to me. It shows a disconnect of logic. On one platform, you demand extra capacity. On another, in which safety is equally important, you do not. This escapes me.

There are many things that come up here from time to time that leave me shaking my head but this point leads the pack.
Guy's that wouldn't think of leaving the dock without every scenario covered for safety think nothing of towing with undersized vehicles.
Whether the rig can pull the boat up the ramp or not is maybe third on the list of priorities for a two vehicle.

VW's were the choice of the majority of the yippie, save the world types I work with a couple years ago. Most had problems now they're all driving Hondas.
I don't know about the rwd handling better on dry roads then fwd thing though. Once that rear end breaks loose the ability to throttle out of it is nice to have in my experience.

Tohsgib posted 02-19-2009 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Wife had a 2002 TDI sedan but we never towed with it. Loved the 48mpg and the ride it a mini Benz. At the time I had a Caddy STS that I did tow my Newtauk with and it had no problems on ramps with FWD. I now have a Jeep Diesel Liberty with 4WD but I never really use it on ramps, she does fine with just the rear wheels pushing. Don't believe the hype with 2wd cars not being able to handle ramps, I towed my 19' with a 04 GTO and a 6spd. I have seen more 2wd trucks that could'nt due to the lack of weight back there.
68 WhaleR posted 02-19-2009 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for 68 WhaleR  Send Email to 68 WhaleR     
Well the question is can a New VW Sport Wagen pull a Montauk. Yes. Would a bigger truck pull it better, Yes. If he is looking at the Jetta he is looking at a car that will do what he wants with it. Haul small family and some gear with killer fuel milage. Now with reliablity, VW is hit or miss, I did well with my vw's. A few friends have not. It would be nice to have a 2nd truck that can do the dirty work for you but somepeople can't do that do to various situations. We moved up to the 06 Town and Country van with 3500lb towing as the family got bigger from my 03 TDI Wagon. I miss the mega MPG with that wagon but it just could not do what we wanted and I had to keep the wife happy. Hopefully in the future I can find a Whaler loaded down under 3500lb. I still am keeping my 01 TDI as I I get 700 miles per tank and only fill up 2 times a month or less.
Yippie with 68 Boston Whaler 13
61 VW Single Cab.
63 VW Double cab towtruck with dual motors
66 VW Panelvan
66 VW Deluxe Bus
68 Steyr Puch Haflinger
73 VW German Army Radio Type 181 (thing)
01 Vw Jetta TDI
06 Chrystler T&C
I kind of like vw's
20dauntless posted 02-19-2009 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    

I think you are a little off base with your comments about VW. In my experience they drive really well, better than most Japanese or American cars, especially at speed. They are extremely stable and track great at speeds that really are not advisable. They generally handle twisty roads very well. They don't have the vault like construction of an MB or the cornering ability of a BMW, but they cost a lot less than a comparably sized and equipped model from either of those manufacturers.

As for reliability, I understand that they have received poor marks. Our 07 Passat 3.6 4motion has been nearly flawless, but so has our 04 MB E320 4matic. Perhaps we just have gotten lucky since both of these models (especially the Mercedes) have gotten very low marks from CR.

The European wagons are difficult to compare to other manufacturers cars since there really isn't much competition. Honda and Toyota don't make any wagons and neither does GM. Ford makes, or at least used to make, the Focus wagon. The only real competition is Subaru, which also makes a good car, although I have no personal experience. Sure, there are lots of good, less expensive, and more reliable small sedans from Japan and America, but the wagon design is more versatile. Yes, there are lots of small SUV's from all over, but wagons drive better, get better fuel economy, and when equipped with AWD and ESP typically outperform those in the snow.

Perhaps consumers will realize all of the benefits of the wagon design and compel the big, non luxury automakers to build more. I think an Accord/Malibu/Camry... wagon would be a terrific car and could sell well if people can get over the stereotypes. I haven't driven all those cars, but I have read reviews of them and they generally do well. Not quite as well as the VW Passat though...although the VW costs quite a bit more.

Spuds posted 02-20-2009 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Spuds    
When I bought my 17 Nauset back in '81 I pulled it with a Subaru Wagon 4x4 1.8L engine. Then one day as I was taking the Whaler out the trailer dropped of the end of the ramp. No problem, I just shifted into 4WD Lo Range, or so I thought. I almost pulled the hitch out of the uni-body!

We have owned a '96 Passat TDI for 13 years now and it is the best car we've ever owned. GREAT highway car! But I've always had someething else for a two vehicle.

I would think it wouldn't be a problem pulling a 13 foot BW with a TDI Sportwagon.

beleau posted 02-20-2009 05:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for beleau  Send Email to beleau     
I have a 2003 jetta turbo and continually pull my 76 sport 15 easily. I regularly go up to the mountain lakes (nc/sc) and have absolutely no problem at all even with the hills, been doing it for three years now.

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