Rowing through the gears of an 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 on the reality that we’re actually having fun. Yep, fun. On a Jetta.
Never would we've got predicted this back when Volkswagen first introduced the current Jetta to the 2011 model year. Though it boasted improved space, son-of-Audi styling, along with a more reasonable price, the Jetta was soundly criticized for its utter dearth of character, relentlessly cheap-feeling cabin, gruff five-cylinder base engine, and chassis which had regressed in to the Dark Ages with rear drum brakes along with a torsion-beam back suspension.
Since then, VW has produced incremental and significant enhancements to the North American bread-butterer, and with 2014, all U.S.-market Jettas featured four-wheel disc brakes and 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. Enter the 2015 Jetta, with its midcycle update which brings new front and back design, enhanced interior materials (including-at last-a soft-touch dash top), plus a new EA288 diesel engine in TDI models. Alas, it would appear that the Jetta has now become the car Volkswagen ought to have been building forever.
Typically, the most critical parts of a vehicle’s midcycle refresh are modified lighting and fascia factors, but in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they're arguably at least interesting of its upgrades. A new grille focuses on the car’s wider, along with the new rear bumper, while new head lights offer extensively offered LED daytime running lights along with the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. And for the first time, perhaps the least expensive Jetta rides on aluminum tires. How much the adjustments improve the Jetta’s appears is up to a observer, yet arguably it is now ever harder to tell the difference amongst the Jetta and 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, though the dashboard appears far classier, dressed as it is with tunneled indicators and refractive piano-black trim sections. High-end content such as navigation has trickled below higher trims to low- and mid-grade levels, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is actually bigger than that of the navigation-equipped cars. And also the seats on the S, SE, and SEL models we drove were secure and helpful.
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