Rowing through 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. Yeah, fun. On a Jetta.
Never would we've got predicted this back when Vw first launched the existing Jetta to the 2011 model year. Though it boasted improved space, son-of-Audi styling, plus a more competitive price, the Jetta was soundly criticized for its utter dearth of character, relentlessly cheap-feeling cabin, gruff five-cylinder basic engine, and chassis that had regressed to the Dark Ages with rear drum brakes plus a torsion-beam rear suspension.
After that, VW has made incremental and substantial enhancements to 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, a new 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 back design, improved interior materials (including-at last-a soft-touch dash top), and a new EA288 diesel engine in TDI models. Alas, it seems that the Jetta has now become the car Volkswagen ought to have been building forever.
Typically, the most important aspects of the vehicle’s midcycle renew are revised lighting and fascia factors, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they are arguably at least interesting of the changes. A fresh grille emphasizes the car’s width, along with the new back bumper, while new headlamps give more widely obtainable LED daytime running lights plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. But for the first-time, perhaps the cheapest Jetta rides on aluminum wheels. To what extent the modifications help the Jetta’s appears is up to the observer, nevertheless arguably it has become actually tougher to see the difference amongst the Jetta and the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, when 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 looks much classier, covered which is with tunneled gauges and refractive piano-black trim sections. High-end content like navigation has trickled down from higher trims to low- and mid-grade levels, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is really larger than those of the navigation-equipped cars. And the seats in the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were secure and helpful.
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