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VW TDI or Focus Titanium for high mileage driving? Manual or auto?


adamsad1
11-28-2011, 04:27 PM
I'm currently driving a leased Fiesta as my commuter car. Unfortunately I way under-estimated my miles and will be turning it in soon. I currently drive around 35k a year (90% highway), and am looking to buy a car next time and keep it through at least 200k (5 or 6 years, assuming my drive doesn't change).

I'm considering a base model Golf or Passat TDI (have driven both a Golf and Jetta TDI; have not driven a Passat TDI, yet). I do, however, get a Ford employee discount through my father-in-law, so I could get a loaded Focus Titanium hatch for the same price (roughly $25k) as a base VW. I can't really place it, but the VWs were a bit more enjoyable to drive, despite the lack of gadgetry. Also I'd avoid the "You paid WHAT for a Focus?" comments that I'd inevitably get from everyone (lol). The fuel economy on the VWs is more or less canceled out by the higher prices in my area ($3.20 for regular vs $4 for diesel). Not sure which I should go with.

What could I expect the maintenance and repair costs to be on the Golf/Passat TDI versus the Focus, through 200k / 5-6 years (I don't do my own work)? How would the maintenance on the VW compare when looking at manual versus DSG? I've heard the DSG requires transmission fluid changes every 40k what's the interval on a manual? Other than the that and the clutch, are there any other differences in manual vs automatic (never owned a stick before)? At ~35k miles a year maintenance can add up to a LOT.

Thoughts?

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