My Jetta is Gone for Real, Forever this Time

I’ve brought it back from the dead many times over the years, once said goodbye for 7 months, but this time I signed the green ownership paper, it’s official.

Didn’t make it to my goal of 300,000 km, look how close I was too.

Because that’s miles, so – 288,450 km

That car was a big part of my life since 2007. My co-star in my 80-episode series about Canada.

Here’s the theme song I wrote for said show.

Not proud of the amount of attachment to an intimate object I’m experiencing right now.

But it’s impractical, putting a couple thousand into a car that I paid $5,000 for 8 years ago, and has severe electrical problems. So off it went this week.

I don’t wanna talk about it anymore.

RIP Jetta XO

Blog tag = Jetta



Hands Up if you Think my Jetta is So Beautiful

So beautiful, my Jetta.

It’s a 1999 VW Jetta, Wolfsburg edition.
A 2.0 L 5-spd manual, outputting 115 hp and 122 lb.ft.

Hit this milestone this week.

That’s miles, so therefore: 286,101 km.

Well, almost hit.

2 miles away from a great photo for a blog header, that my airhead self totally forgot to take, until I was 30 miles too late.



VW’s All-new 1.8L Turbo in the 2014 Jetta

Driving in Napa Valley CA looks like this.

[another video: Driving Elation]

I was with Volkswagen, to test their all-new 1.8L engine, and the 2014 Jetta.

Plenty of kick, handles precise and direct, nice note.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta

1.8L TSI Turbo – 170 hp & 184 lb.ft

Note: to get the new 1.8L engine, you have to bump up to the 3rd trim level, Comfortline. The base 2.0L Jetta is starting at $14,990, the 1.8L Comfortline is +$7,000-ish, totalling about $22,000.

Do it, never mind the old 2.0L engine, spend the money with an art-of-long-view.  Here’s my full review on


Yes I’m yelling, it’s that rare. And that tipped me over: I’d buy this car, this model year. I’ll guess this will be one of the last times that a Jetta can be ordered without a screen.

Plus, the new 1.8L engine; VW’s ergonomic elegance; and an exterior styling that will wear well over time, because it too, is minimal. No GPS; barely any aids, with cruise control being the fanciest; and available in manual.

Then tada – this would be my car for the next 15 years. An great commuter between test vehicles, and a fun week-off car.  And I’d seriously consider the diesel.

It was maybe my best-test-day to date.

They had 50! cars lined up, more than half were manual, rare; and also rare was, there were more cars than journalists, so I was alone all day… no passenger time, no passenger.

Called this video, “Driving Elation”.



Yesterday’s Car Breaking Adventure

Monday is Car Swap Day.  My Jetta had been sitting for 3.5 weeks, it was dead, so I went looking for a jump.

The security guard gave me a safety vest, and sent me into the Chrysler warehouse to look.

Sure we can help, they said. And then they let me gawk around.  Such a massive building. No matter which corner I looked down, it kept going.

So cool. And so the exact opposite of my business – an 11″ laptop + blog.

Hop on the back of this little yellow cart, Keri.


Doesn’t take much to make me happy, eh.

Off to the journalist parking lot, boost, it turns over, thank you bye now! But then the engine stopped again.  Now it won’t turn over.  Huh.

Wait, a pickup truck appears, who’s this? It’s the owner of the detail shop that cares for the Chrysler fleet, Andrew Ross, and Danny Smith, hi guys!

Please yes, don’t know what’s wrong. We all call people, and hold our phones inside the engine… wait wait… pull off the distributor cap… ahHA.

It’s the world’s most burnt-out distributor cap.

No spark, no engine.

Come on Keri, let’s go look if there’s a replacement at the shop. Okay!


Non-car nerds: the odds of there being this part, for a 1999 Volkswagen, are ridiculous. The math on that is astronomical, winning-the-lottery odds.

Wizard auto shop.

Go too: Mississauga 905 567-6644

(if you’ve never been to one, I wrote a column, “When going to a detail shop, do this“)