Rowing with the gears of a 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 wonderful time. Yep, fun. In the Jetta.
Never would we have expected this back when Vw first introduced the existing Jetta to the 2011 model year. While 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 base engine, and chassis that have regressed in to the Dark Ages with rear drum brakes along with a torsion-beam back suspension.
Since then, VW has produced incremental and significant improvements to its North American bread-butterer, and by 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, with its midcycle update which brings new front and rear design, improved interior components (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 ought to have been building forever.
Usually, the most important elements of a vehicle’s midcycle renew are revised lumination and fascia aspects, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they're arguably the least fascinating of its upgrades. A fresh grille emphasizes the car’s wider, along with the latest rear bumper, while new headlamps give extensively offered LED daytime running lamps and the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. And for the first-time, perhaps the least expensive Jetta rides on aluminum wheels. To what extent the modifications improve the Jetta’s looks is up to the observer, nevertheless arguably it is now ever harder to see the gap between the Jetta and also the one-size-up Passat.
The cabin, once among the Jetta’s worst attributes, has become a convincingly nice area to spend time for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere and also the door panels are tough plastic, though the dashboard looks much classier, dressed 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 ranges, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is actually bigger than those of the navigation-equipped cars. And also the seats of the S, SE, and SEL models we drove were secure and helpful.
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