Rowing through the gears of an 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S TDI’s six-speed manual transmission as we roll over the scenic two-laners of Virginia’s horse country, we marvel in the truth that we’re actually enjoy the fun. Yeah, fun. On a Jetta.
Never would we've got expected this back when Volkswagen first launched the present Jetta for the 2011 model year. Though it boasted increased space, son-of-Audi styling, and a more reasonable 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 Ancient with rear drum brakes plus a torsion-beam back suspension.
Since then, VW has made incremental and substantial enhancements for the North American bread-butterer, and with 2014, all U.S.-market Jettas featured four-wheel disc brakes with an independent rear suspension. Also for 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, with its midcycle update that brings new front and rear styling, upgraded interior components (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 vehicle Volkswagen must have been building since the beginning.
Typically, the most critical elements of a vehicle’s midcycle refresh are revised lighting and fascia factors, but in the 2015 Jetta’s case, these are arguably at least interesting of its changes. A brand new grille emphasizes the car’s wider, along with the new rear bumper, while new head lights give extensively offered LED daytime running lights along with the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. As well as the first time, maybe the least expensive Jetta drives on aluminum wheels. How much the modifications increase the Jetta’s looks is up to the viewer, nevertheless arguably it has become ever harder to tell the gap amongst the Jetta and the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, when one of the Jetta’s worst attributes, has become a convincingly nice place to spend time for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere and also the door panels are tough plastic, however the dashboard appears far classy, dressed which is with tunneled gauges and reflective piano-black trim sections. High-end material including navigation has trickled down from higher trims to low- and mid-grade ranges, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is actually larger than those of the navigation-equipped cars. And also the seats of the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were secure and helpful.
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