Rowing with 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 at the fact that we’re actually wonderful time. Yep, fun. In the Jetta.
Never would we've got predicted this back when Vw first released the existing Jetta to the 2011 model year. Though it boasted improved space, son-of-Audi styling, and a more competitive 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 into the Dark Ages with rear drum brakes and a torsion-beam back suspension.
Since then, VW has made incremental and substantial improvements for 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, a new 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 gives new front and back styling, improved interior components (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 must have been building since the beginning.
Usually, the most important parts of the vehicle’s midcycle renew are modified lighting and fascia factors, but in the 2015 Jetta’s case, these are arguably at least interesting of the upgrades. A brand new grille focuses on the car’s wider, as does the new rear bumper, while new headlamps give extensively accessible LED daytime running lights along with the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. But for the first time, maybe the least expensive Jetta drives on aluminum tires. How much the revisions increase the Jetta’s looks depends on a viewer, however arguably it is now actually tougher to tell the difference regarding the Jetta and also the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, once among the Jetta’s worst attributes, has turned into a convincingly nice area to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere plus the door panels are hard plastic, though the dashboard appears far classier, covered as it is with tunneled indicators and reflective piano-black trim panels. High-end material such as navigation has trickled below higher trims to low- and mid-grade ranges, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is really bigger than those of the navigation-equipped cars. Plus the seats of the S, SE, and SEL models we drove were secure and helpful.
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