Rowing with the gears of a 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S TDI’s six-speed manual transmission as we roll along the scenic two-laners of Virginia’s horse country, we marvel on the fact that we’re actually wonderful time. Yep, fun. In the Jetta.
Never would we've got expected this when Volkswagen first released the current Jetta for the 2011 model year. Though it boasted improved space, son-of-Audi styling, plus a more competitive price, the Jetta was soundly criticized for the utter dearth of character, relentlessly cheap-feeling cabin, gruff five-cylinder base engine, and chassis that have regressed into the Dark Ages with rear drum brakes plus a torsion-beam back suspension.
After that, VW has created incremental and significant enhancements to its North American bread-butterer, and by 2014, all U.S.-market Jettas featured four-wheel disc brakes and an independent rear suspension. Furthermore 2014, another EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged base four-cylinder engine forced the cantankerous 2.5-liter five-cylinder into retirement. Enter the 2015 Jetta, with its midcycle update that brings new front and back styling, upgraded interior materials (including-at last-a soft-touch dash top), and a new EA288 diesel engine in TDI models. Alas, it appears that the Jetta has now become the vehicle Volkswagen should have been building forever.
Generally, the most significant parts of a vehicle’s midcycle refresh are modified lighting and fascia aspects, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, these are arguably at least interesting of the changes. A new grille emphasizes the car’s wider, along with the new back bumper, as new head lights offer extensively accessible LED daytime running lamps along with the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. And for the first-time, perhaps the cheapest Jetta drives on aluminum wheels. How much the modifications help the Jetta’s looks is up to a viewer, yet arguably it is now ever harder to tell the gap regarding the Jetta and also the one-size-up Passat.
The cabin, once one of the Jetta’s worst features, has turned into a convincingly nice place to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere and the door panels are hard plastic, however the dashboard seems much classier, dressed which is with tunneled indicators and reflective piano-black trim sections. High-end material like navigation has trickled below higher trims to low- and mid-grade levels, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is in fact bigger than that from the navigation-equipped cars. And the seats on the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were firm and helpful.
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