Rowing with the gears of the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S TDI’s six-speed manual transmission since we roll along the scenic two-laners of Virginia’s horse country, we marvel at the reality that we’re actually wonderful time. Yep, fun. In a Jetta.
Never would we've predicted this back when Volkswagen first launched the latest Jetta to the 2011 model year. As it boasted increased 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 base engine, and chassis that had regressed in to the Dark Ages with rear drum brakes along with a torsion-beam rear suspension.
After that, VW has created incremental and significant improvements to its North American bread-butterer, and with 2014, all U.S.-market Jettas featured four-wheel disc brakes and an independent rear suspension. Furthermore 2014, the latest EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged base four-cylinder engine forced the cantankerous 2.5-liter five-cylinder into retirement. Go into 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 seems that the Jetta has now become the car Volkswagen should have been building forever.
Generally, the most important parts of the vehicle’s midcycle refresh are modified lighting and fascia factors, but in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they are arguably the least fascinating of the upgrades. A brand new grille emphasizes the car’s wider, as does the latest back bumper, while new headlamps give more widely available LED daytime running lights plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. And for the first-time, maybe the cheapest Jetta drives on aluminum wheels. To what extent the modifications help the Jetta’s looks is up to the viewer, however arguably it has become ever tougher to see the gap relating to the Jetta and the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, once among the Jetta’s worst attributes, has turned into a convincingly nice place to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere and also the door panels are tough plastic, though the dashboard seems much classy, dressed which is with tunneled gauges and reflective piano-black trim sections. High-end material such as navigation has trickled down from higher trims to low- and mid-grade ranges, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is in fact bigger than that from the navigation-equipped cars. Plus the seats from the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were firm and supportive.
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