Rowing from the gears of an 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S TDI’s six-speed manual transmission since we roll across the scenic two-laners of Virginia’s horse country, we marvel on the reality that we’re actually enjoy the fun. Yeah, fun. In the Jetta.
Never would we have predicted this back when Volkswagen first launched the existing Jetta for the 2011 type year. Though it boasted improved space, son-of-Audi styling, and a more competitive price, the Jetta was soundly criticized for the utter dearth of character, relentlessly cheap-feeling cabin, gruff five-cylinder basic engine, and chassis which had regressed into the Dark Ages with back drum brakes along with a torsion-beam rear 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 plus an independent rear suspension. Also for 2014, a new EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged base four-cylinder engine forced the cantankerous 2.5-liter five-cylinder into retirement. Enter the 2015 Jetta, featuring its midcycle update which brings new front and back styling, enhanced interior materials (including-at last-a soft-touch dash top), plus a new EA288 diesel engine in TDI models. Alas, it appears that the Jetta has now become the car Volkswagen should have been building forever.
Typically, the most significant elements of a vehicle’s midcycle renew are revised lighting and fascia factors, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they are arguably the least interesting of its upgrades. A brand new grille emphasizes the car’s width, as does the latest rear bumper, as new headlamps offer extensively obtainable LED daytime running lights plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. And for the first time, maybe the lowest priced Jetta rides on aluminum wheels. How much the modifications enhance the Jetta’s appears is up to the viewer, however arguably it is now ever harder to tell the difference regarding the Jetta and the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, once one of the Jetta’s worst attributes, has turned into a convincingly nice place to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere plus the door panels are tough plastic, though the dashboard appears far classier, dressed since it is with tunneled indicators and refractive piano-black trim panels. High-end material such as navigation has trickled down from higher trims to low- and mid-grade levels, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is really larger than those of the navigation-equipped cars. Plus the seats on the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were firm and supportive.
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