The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI’s optional automatic transmission is one of its best features. While it doesn’t provide trendy paddle shifters, it does provide complete control with a Tiptronic slapstick shifter and six speeds that allow you to get the most out of the engine. While we normally prefer manual transmissions, the six-speed auto only added to the pleasure of reviewing the 2009 Jetta TDI Sportwagen.
With the transmission in drive, you’ll see shift points that hover around two thousand revolutions per minute (RPM) – give or take a few hundred RPM, when accelerating moderately. In the run shown in the video, shift points clicked in around 2400 RPM while on the throttle and just below 2000 RPM after letting off.
When you drop the transmission into sport mode, the engine will stretch its legs and wind out … up to red line if you’re really on it.
Push the shifter over into manual mode and the Tiptronic slapstick will allow you to pick your shift points, making it easy to downshift before a turn, power through it, and upshift on exit. It’s so smooth that you just might question ever buying a conventional manual transmission again … well, maybe not …
If you’ve left the transmission in manual mode and forget to shift, it will shift for you when you hit red line, saving that “whoops” moment. That said, it’s always up to you to short shift in manual mode.
The Tiptronic allows you to take complete control, whether you’re after more performance or better mileage. The bonus? No grinding gears, missed shifts, or left leg fatigue in traffic.
– by Daniel Gray