Back in December I wrote about buying a slammed and bagged Volkswagen Jetta TDI wagon that was more or less the antithesis of everything I normally love about cars. Since then, I’ve come to enjoy the experience of rolling around in a lowered car.
I’m a sucker for a diesel wagon. I just keep buying the things. This Volkswagen Jetta TDI is a bit different than the rest, owing to the fact that it’s been widened and slammed to the ground. I don’t normally go for cars like this, but it drew me in. Maybe it was the combination of the sweet Rotiform wheels, manual transmission and the car’s blue hue that’s close to the Golf R32.
One of this Jetta’s standout modifications is its Airlift Performance 3P air suspension. Air suspension is way cooler than simply putting a car on lowering springs. The system has a wide range of height adjustment. Set the bags to about 50 PSI and the car has a normal ride height. Set them to 90 PSI and the car gets a bit of a lift.
I’ve yet to scrape on anything because the air suspension can essentially put the car on stilts if I need it to. And when I park, I can air out the bags to make the body completely sit on the tires:
Driving this thing is a little weird. The detachable steering wheel is about as big as you’d get in a go kart, which doesn’t feel right in a road legal vehicle.
As readers noted in the previous post, these seats sort of suck, too. They’re perfectly comfortable, but when the power kicks in the seatback feels like it could fold at any moment.
Turning this Jetta is fun if you think of it, and that tiny steering wheel, as an enlarged go kart. The car’s widened stance makes it feel really stable and it’s surprisingly nimble.
The soundtrack the wagon makes is also quite delightful. The turbo’s whistle is clear and the exhaust note is low, but raspy.
The car was noted as having a boost pressure issue when I got it. Finding and solving that issue was actually pretty easy, as the problem was a boost hose no longer making a good connection.
It’s funny how much pressure you can lose out of a loose coupling. The car hauls pretty well with good boost. Its Malone Tuning Stage 1.5 tune, which kicks the car’s stock 100 horsepower up to 130 horsepower, makes it boogie a little better. It’s far from fast, but the extra ponies give it some nice pep. I also can’t argue with the car’s fuel economy returns of 50 mpg.
I got to chat with the person that built this car and found out that it’s a Florida car that made its way up north. That explains how clean it is. Most Jettas of this age in my area are rotting out while this one barely has surface rust.
Of course, cars like these have a number of drawbacks. The biggest one for me is the deletion of a number of features and safety equipment. The go kart-sized wheel means no airbag and no cruise control or a horn without further modification. The custom seats also mean that the heated seat dials do nothing.
The car’s suspension components don’t seem to be too happy with the giant two-inch spacers hanging off of the wheel hubs, either.
Oh, and those stretched tires in the back? They’re terrible. They leak air and seemingly take on noticeable damage with every pothole. The tires also fail to protect the expensive wheels, which show curb and pothole damage. Those tires are getting put into the trash.
This car is a fun experiment into slammed car culture. It turns a bunch of heads and weirdly, is quite economical. I’m not sure if I will keep this wagon, as I’d like to have working airbags in a car like this; but it definitely changed my mind on slammed cars. I wanted to hate it, but it makes me laugh.