Rowing from 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 in the fact that we’re actually enjoy the fun. Yeah, fun. On a Jetta.
Never would we have predicted this when Vw first introduced the current Jetta for that 2011 model year. As it boasted increased space, son-of-Audi styling, plus a more reasonable price, the Jetta was soundly criticized to its utter dearth of character, relentlessly cheap-feeling cabin, gruff five-cylinder basic engine, and chassis that have regressed in the Dark Ages with back drum brakes and a torsion-beam back suspension.
Since then, VW has created incremental and significant 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. 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, with its midcycle update that gives new front and rear design, enhanced interior materials (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 since the beginning.
Typically, the most significant elements of the vehicle’s midcycle refresh are modified lumination and fascia aspects, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they're arguably at least fascinating of the updates. A new grille emphasizes the car’s wider, as does the new rear bumper, while new headlamps give extensively accessible LED daytime running lights plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. But for the first-time, maybe the lowest priced Jetta rides on aluminum tires. How much the modifications help the Jetta’s looks is up to the viewer, nevertheless arguably it has become ever tougher to tell the difference regarding the Jetta and also the one-size-up Passat.
The cabin, once among the Jetta’s worst features, has turned into a convincingly nice area to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere plus the door panels are tough plastic, however the dashboard appears 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 in fact bigger than that of the navigation-equipped cars. And also the seats of the S, SE, and SEL models we drove were firm and helpful.
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