Rowing through the gears of an 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 in the fact that we’re actually wonderful time. Yeah, fun. On a Jetta.
Never would we have expected this back when Vw first introduced the current Jetta to the 2011 type year. As 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 basic engine, and chassis that have regressed into the Ancient with back drum brakes along with a torsion-beam rear suspension.
Since then, VW has produced incremental and substantial improvements to the North American bread-butterer, and with 2014, all U.S.-market Jettas featured four-wheel disc brakes plus 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, having its midcycle update which brings new front and rear styling, enhanced interior components (including-at last-a soft-touch dash top), and a new EA288 diesel engine in TDI models. Alas, it would appear that the Jetta has now become the car Volkswagen should have been building forever.
Usually, the most important aspects of a vehicle’s midcycle renew are modified lumination and fascia elements, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they are arguably the least interesting of the upgrades. A fresh grille emphasizes the car’s size, along with the latest back bumper, as new head lights give more widely obtainable LED daytime running lamps plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. As well as the first time, maybe the least expensive Jetta rides on aluminum wheels. How much the adjustments help the Jetta’s appears is up to the observer, yet arguably it has become ever harder to tell the difference amongst the Jetta and the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, when one of the Jetta’s worst features, has turned into a convincingly nice place to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere plus the door panels are hard plastic, but the dashboard seems far classier, covered which is with tunneled indicators and reflective piano-black trim panels. High-end material like navigation has trickled below higher trims to low- and mid-grade levels, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is really bigger than that from 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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