Rowing with the gears of a 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S TDI’s six-speed manual transmission since we roll over the scenic two-laners of Virginia’s horse country, we marvel on the reality that we’re actually having fun. Yeah, fun. On a Jetta.
Never would we've predicted this when Vw first launched the existing Jetta for that 2011 type year. Though it boasted increased space, son-of-Audi styling, along with 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 which had regressed into the Dark Ages with rear drum brakes along with a torsion-beam back suspension.
After that, VW has made incremental and substantial improvements to the North American bread-butterer, and by 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. Enter the 2015 Jetta, with its midcycle update which brings new front and rear design, improved 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 should have been building since the beginning.
Usually, the most significant aspects of the vehicle’s midcycle refresh are modified lighting and fascia factors, but in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they are arguably at least fascinating of its changes. A new grille focuses on the car’s wider, along with the new back bumper, as new headlamps give more widely obtainable LED daytime running lights plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. But for the first time, even the cheapest Jetta rides on aluminum wheels. To what extent the adjustments increase the Jetta’s appears depends on a viewer, but arguably it is now ever harder to see the difference amongst 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 the door panels are hard plastic, though the dashboard appears far classy, covered since it is with tunneled indicators and refractive piano-black trim sections. High-end material including navigation has trickled below higher trims to low- and mid-grade ranges, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is in fact larger than that from the navigation-equipped cars. And the seats from the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were secure and helpful.
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