Rowing with the gears of an 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S TDI’s six-speed manual transmission as we roll across the scenic two-laners of Virginia’s horse country, we marvel at the fact that we’re actually enjoy the fun. Yep, fun. On a Jetta.
Never would we've got expected this when Volkswagen first introduced the present Jetta for the 2011 type year. Though it boasted improved 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 basic engine, and chassis which had regressed into the Ancient with back drum brakes along with a torsion-beam back suspension.
After that, VW has produced 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, featuring its midcycle update which brings new front and rear styling, upgraded interior components (including-at last-a soft-touch dash top), and a new EA288 diesel engine in TDI models. Alas, it appears that the Jetta has now become the car Volkswagen must have been building since the beginning.
Typically, the most important elements of the vehicle’s midcycle renew are modified lumination and fascia factors, but in the 2015 Jetta’s case, these are arguably the least fascinating of the upgrades. A brand new grille emphasizes the car’s size, along with the latest rear bumper, as new head lights give extensively obtainable LED daytime running lamps plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. But for the first time, even the least expensive Jetta drives on aluminum tires. To what extent the adjustments help the Jetta’s looks is up to the viewer, yet arguably it has become ever harder to see the gap regarding the Jetta and the one-size-up Passat.
The cabin, when one of the Jetta’s worst attributes, has turned into a convincingly nice place to spend time for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere and also the door panels are hard plastic, though the dashboard looks much classy, dressed as it is with tunneled gauges and reflective piano-black trim sections. High-end content like navigation has trickled down from higher trims to low- and mid-grade ranges, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is in fact larger than that of the navigation-equipped cars. Plus the seats in the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were firm and supportive.
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