Rowing with the gears of the 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 on the truth that we’re actually wonderful time. Yep, fun. In the Jetta.
Never would we have expected this back when Volkswagen first launched the existing Jetta for that 2011 type year. Though it boasted increased space, son-of-Audi styling, and a more reasonable price, the Jetta was soundly criticized for the utter dearth of character, relentlessly cheap-feeling cabin, gruff five-cylinder base engine, and chassis that had regressed in the Dark Ages with back drum brakes and a torsion-beam back suspension.
Since then, VW has produced 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. Furthermore 2014, a new EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged base four-cylinder engine forced the cantankerous 2.5-liter five-cylinder into retirement. Go into the 2015 Jetta, having its midcycle update which brings new front and rear design, upgraded interior materials (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 vehicle Volkswagen should have been building forever.
Typically, the most critical elements of a vehicle’s midcycle renew are modified lumination and fascia factors, but in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they are arguably at least fascinating of its changes. A fresh grille focuses on the car’s size, along with the new rear bumper, as new head lights offer extensively available LED daytime running lamps and the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. But for the first time, perhaps the cheapest Jetta drives on aluminum wheels. To what extent the revisions improve the Jetta’s appears is up to a viewer, yet arguably it is now actually harder to tell the difference amongst the Jetta and the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, when among the Jetta’s worst features, has become a convincingly nice place to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere along with the door panels are hard plastic, though the dashboard seems far classier, dressed as it 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 ranges, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is actually larger than that of the navigation-equipped cars. And also the seats in the S, SE, and SEL models we drove were firm and helpful.
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