Rowing through 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 reality that we’re actually having fun. Yeah, fun. In the Jetta.
Never would we have expected this when Volkswagen first launched the latest Jetta to the 2011 type year. As it boasted increased space, son-of-Audi styling, along with a more competitive price, the Jetta was soundly criticized to its utter dearth of character, relentlessly cheap-feeling cabin, gruff five-cylinder basic engine, and chassis that had regressed to the Ancient with back drum brakes plus a torsion-beam rear suspension.
After that, 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 plus 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. Go into the 2015 Jetta, having its midcycle update that gives new front and rear styling, 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 car Volkswagen should have been building since the beginning.
Usually, the most significant parts of the vehicle’s midcycle renew are revised lighting and fascia factors, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they're arguably at least fascinating of its updates. A new grille focuses on the car’s size, as does the latest rear bumper, while new head lights give more widely accessible LED daytime running lamps plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. As well as the first time, maybe the cheapest Jetta drives on aluminum wheels. To what extent the modifications help the Jetta’s appears is up to a observer, nevertheless arguably it is now ever harder to tell the gap amongst the Jetta and the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, once one of the Jetta’s worst attributes, has become a convincingly nice area to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere along with the door panels are tough plastic, however the dashboard looks much classier, dressed since it is with tunneled indicators and reflective piano-black trim sections. High-end content such as 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 larger than that from the navigation-equipped cars. And also the seats from the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were secure and supportive.
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