Rowing through the gears of an 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S TDI’s six-speed manual transmission as we roll along the scenic two-laners of Virginia’s horse country, we marvel in the truth that we’re actually enjoy the fun. Yep, fun. On a Jetta.
Never would we've got predicted this back when Volkswagen first released the latest Jetta to the 2011 model year. Though it boasted increased space, son-of-Audi styling, plus 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 have regressed in the Dark Ages with rear drum brakes plus a torsion-beam back suspension.
Since then, VW has created incremental and substantial enhancements for the North American bread-butterer, and by 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, featuring 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 appears that the Jetta has now become the car Volkswagen should have been building since the beginning.
Generally, the most important parts of the vehicle’s midcycle renew are revised lighting and fascia aspects, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they're arguably at least interesting of the changes. A fresh grille emphasizes the car’s wider, along with the latest back bumper, while new headlamps give extensively accessible LED daytime running lights plus the taillamps evoke its Audi-brand cousins. As well as the first-time, even the cheapest Jetta drives on aluminum wheels. How much the adjustments help the Jetta’s appears is up to the viewer, but arguably it is actually tougher to see the gap relating to the Jetta and also the one-size-up Passat.
The interior, once one of the Jetta’s worst attributes, has become a convincingly nice place to spend time for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere plus the door panels are tough plastic, however the dashboard appears far classier, dressed as it is with tunneled indicators and reflective piano-black trim sections. High-end content such as navigation has trickled down from higher trims to low- and mid-grade levels, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is really larger than that from the navigation-equipped cars. And the seats on the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were secure and supportive.
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