Rowing with the gears of a 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 fact that we’re actually enjoy the fun. Yep, fun. In a Jetta.
Never would we've got expected this when Volkswagen first introduced the present Jetta for the 2011 type year. While it boasted increased 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 to the Dark Ages with back drum brakes and a torsion-beam back suspension.
After that, VW has made incremental and significant improvements 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, another EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged base four-cylinder engine forced the cantankerous 2.5-liter five-cylinder into retirement. Enter the 2015 Jetta, featuring its midcycle update which brings new front and rear styling, 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 car Volkswagen should have been building forever.
Typically, the most important elements of a vehicle’s midcycle renew are modified lumination and fascia factors, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, these are arguably at least fascinating of the changes. A new grille focuses on the car’s size, along with the new back bumper, as new headlamps give more widely accessible LED daytime running lights along with the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. But for the first-time, perhaps the lowest priced Jetta drives on aluminum wheels. To what extent the adjustments increase the Jetta’s looks depends on a observer, but arguably it is now ever tougher to tell the gap regarding the Jetta and also 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 plus the door panels are hard plastic, but the dashboard looks far classy, dressed as it is with tunneled gauges and refractive piano-black trim sections. High-end content including 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 that of the navigation-equipped cars. Plus the seats on the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were secure and supportive.
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