Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI Compared to Toyota’s Prius V Three

In July, Edmunds’ Inside Line looked at the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI compared to Toyota’s new Prius V Three wagon. Both are billed as eco-friendly, high-efficiency upgrades—the Prius as a gas-electric hybrid and the SportWagen as a turbo diesel. The VW Jetta SportWagen TDI was the clear winner of Edmunds’ head-to-head challenge. Here’s why:

Body

These two cars are designed to appeal to space-conscious, eco-conscious families who still want some bang for their buck. The VW 2012 SportWagen has a lower, sportier profile than the Prius while sacrificing only 0.4 cubic feet of space with someone in every seat, and only 1.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seat down. The VW is a crossover made for eco-conscious families that still want to feel the power and adaptability of a real “car.”

Brains

In the Edmunds’ comparison, the VW’s inner workings blew away the Prius when it came to handling and power. According to the Edmunds’ comparison, “the Prius V feels slow nearly all the time, while the Jetta SportWagen never feels underpowered, even on hills.” The VW’s 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine and six-speed automated double-clutch manual transmission give it a feel that’s “more like a car and less like a driving appliance.” The Prius V does get slightly better fuel economy, but its continuously variable transmission (CVT) gives it an odd feel and “rubber-band” response. Add to that the Prius’ loud, unmistakable drone at highway speeds below a 70-mpg cruise (louder than the VW at full throttle by 2 decibels), and the VW is the clear winner.

Business

The Prius V Three will be priced at $27,165, just over Edmunds’ estimated value of $27,000 back in July. In their estimate, it would take about two years to recoup the higher cost of the Prius over the VW, even with the Prius’ lower gas mileage costs.

According to Edmunds, the VW Jetta SportWagen TDI is “simply more rewarding to drive in every situation.” With a better bottom line, better performance, and a body built with the family in mind, it’s time to accept it – diesel’s back!

We want to keep you and your car in one piece. If you’re looking to hop in the seat of a new or used car, see our large selection of vehicles at Lewisville Volkswagen. For more tips, along with huge specials and promotions, follow us on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page.

Our State Rolls Out the New Texas Driving Laws

Lewisville VW is proud to be a Texas-based VW dealership. The new Texas driving laws were rolled out starting at midnight on September 1. Now that we have had some time to watch the changes take effect, here’s the lowdown on exactly what changed – and what the changes mean for you.

Speed Limits

A barrage of new speed limit laws went into effect with the new traffic policies. Speed limits on beaches were lowered to 15 mph. School buses with commercial vehicle inspection stickers will now be able to go 60 mph on highways, while school buses without those stickers will be allowed a maximum speed of 50 mph. Large trucks and school activity buses will now be able to travel the same speed as cars on the highways, while lower speeds for large vehicles will continue to be maintained on back roads.

Perhaps the most widely-reported change is the new maximum highway speed limit of 85 mph. TxDOT is in the process of conducting a speed study and will raise the speed limit on appropriate roadways where it is deemed safe. If you’ve got a new (or new-to-you) VW to test, that higher speed limit could be just the ticket. Just be safe out there!

Expect to see changes made over the next few months. Keep a close eye on speed limit signs in your area, as many of them could change from one day to the next. You’ll see minimum speed limit signs changed and nighttime speed limit signs removed across the state. Remember that a higher speed limit does not equal permission for dangerous or unsafe driving practices.

 Seatbelt Laws

Previous seatbelt laws were extended in the new provisions to include every child in the vehicle, no matter where they are seated. Any child younger than the age of 15 must be restrained in a manner suitable to their size and weight. No exceptions! Children over 12 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall may graduate from booster seats to seatbelts as long as that seatbelt fits them securely – across the upper thighs, not across the stomach.

Other Tidbits

Legislation to increase the driving age was introduced but not passed; the legal driving age remains 16 in the state of Texas. The DWI threshold has been dropped from 0.10 to 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration. Vehicle inspection fees have been increased; and new driver’s license and ID cards will include a writeable surface where card holders can fill in an emergency contact number, along with space for physician instructions and/or drug and allergy warnings.

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Car Travel With Children

At Lewisville VW, we know that many parents dread car travel with children. With a long car trip ahead, parents worry about balancing family time with electronic distractions and arriving as a family that still loves one another. Here are a few tips for keeping kids engaged during long rides in the car:

Infants/Young Children

The key to a successful trip with a small child is timing. If possible, leave in the early afternoon so that your infant or toddler can have his or her usual afternoon nap on the road. Plan to stop for dinner so that the little one(s) can have a little time out of the car seat. Stop regularly to change diapers and feed snacks – a child who is clean and well-fed is more likely to stay in a contented mood. Your child will most likely fall asleep again after dark, so plan to drive late into the evening – but be sure to stop for the night while you’re still alert and awake at the helm.

Resist the temptation to feed an infant or young child a bottle or snack foods on the road. These are a guaranteed distraction, but the reward is simply not worth the risk. If your baby chokes, the chances that you can pull over, get into the back seat, and remove your child from the safety harness in time to deliver the Heimlich maneuver are slim to none. Though snacks are a great distraction for older children, they simply aren’t a viable option for young infants and toddlers.

Bring a few beloved toys along for the ride and keep them at the ready. Offer them one at a time so that each one receives your child’s full attention. Hold a favorite toy or stuffed animal in reserve in the front seat as a last-ditch comfort mechanism when nothing else works.

Older Children

Once the afternoon nap is a thing of the past, it’s less likely that your kids will sleep for a substantial portion of the trip. The least expensive option for entertaining your children is finding a car game that engages the whole family – such as “I spy” or “Spotto.” You can find suggestions for such games at how to save money.

Let older kids pack a small bag of books and activities for the trip that they’ve chosen and that they enjoy. If you have a little money to spend, consider investing in audiobooks that the whole family can enjoy. The iPhone “Audiobooks” app is an excellent, cost-effective option.

As a last-ditch option, consider the purchase of a DVD player or video game player for the car. DVDs are the ultimate distraction but will keep children from interacting with each other or with you. Consider the pros and cons carefully before installing a video game/DVD player, and you’ll have made a decision that’s best for your family.

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