Review: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta

Posted on 06. Aug, 2010 by in Auto News

Despite its name and the fact that it is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, the Americans Volkswagen something of a niche manufacturer to see. Surely Volkswagen reputation in this country, that cars that is our understanding of the same, "European-ness." Unfortunately for Volkswagen, relatively few Americans want for the extra-stiff suspension to spend quality interior and refined atmosphere of a European car. So, with the 2011 Jetta, Volkswagen decided to give to America to ask what it: more car for less money. Sounds hard to resist, do not you?


In a way, adapting the U.S. Jetta taste was almost inevitable. In Germany, the Jetta is known as "golf bag" and is always in the shadow of his famous hatchback sibling. Stateside, the golf is as rare as lederhosen, selling about a quarter of the volume Jetta in a good year. And with a limousine-orientated Chinese market on the rise, makes a bigger, cheaper Jetta all the sense in the world.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen enthusiasts are likely to get from fear … and well they should be. This car was not designed with them, it was designed with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and a $ 16k price point in mind. From the outside, there is little resemblance to their branded counterparts about a sense of discipline, cleanliness that some call conservative and others call boring. Although pictures do not do the comparison justice, was a Kia Forte, who wandered almost not in the inaugural event in the parking lot of the 2011 Jetta. Take what you want.

As with most cars that will be built at a price, the compromise does not jump until you actually sit in the matter (with the exception of an all too familiar). And in the 2011 Jetta does not so much jump out at you around like sulk and wait to be caught. At first glance, everything seems about right with the world, as the interior is satisfactory VW-like. But then remembers the simple instrumentation for an unpleasant seam through the window switch, the distinctive shapes and proportions of molded hard plastic. Over time, start touching things, it is clear that there is no point even comparing this car to its predecessor.

But how many consumers are, knock it on the dashboard of the car during the purchase decision? Volkswagen is betting it clear that many do not, because the hollow-sounding frightening experience is not inspire confidence. On the other hand, many consumers have wiggle use HVAC knobs and the Jetta, to when you grab her, how thin Elvis after a handful of Dexedrine (or, to use a less indulgent simile, like a Scion xD). In fact, almost everything you touch will tell you that VW has a page from Toyota-episode-free decontenting spree made, and that any sense of European charm is purely coincidental.

So, how much euro taste has been left in the drive? On paper, the switch turns on a torsion beam rear axle that money was saved, but the experience is blissfully competent. The steering is not "Corolla Light," as some critics have suggested, but it is well weighted for a solid, progressive feel. Unfortunately, the steering of heft to what happens on the street Well-Connected, and things feel a bit vague and closed when the road starts winding not.

The Jetta's suspension is also better than many of its mass-market competitors. Slim body is surprisingly well controlled, without comfort. On rough, potholed roads, strong progressive damping stifled even the hardest of the bottom, as if Volkswagen slipped a few extra slices of cheese in the shocks. And because the Jetta is slightly lighter than its predecessor, everything feels well-controlled, feel, despite the lack of a truly nailed down "euro".

On the engine front, Volkswagen had little room for decontenting. Our well-equipped SEL model of the 2.5-liter iron-block five-pot, the standard on all but driven the bare floor and GLI-spec Jettas and has long been a whipping boy for euro-owned VW fans. If you know anything about European TFSI VW engines, the 2.5 's is lazy grunts and throaty gurgle five-pot seems unforgiveably proletarians. Most Americans, on the other hand appreciate its good performance (170 hp, 168 lb-ft, 0-60 in about 8.5), slightly musical exhaust note and tolerance of regular gasoline. On an objective basis, a slight bogging in first gear by a sudden rush of power at 3,000 RPM came the only real annoyance we found (although weak-for-its-class fuel economy can be expected).

What we are looking at the new Jetta not a budget taste of German sport sedan nirvana, but a value-based commuters. Skip the slightly-vague five-speed (as you need to be told), sit back, faux-leather "V-Tex" seat and cruise into the semi-detached house in the American style, and you will not be disappointed wild. Also, your rear passengers, who will certainly appreciate the extra 2.7 inches of rear legroom is (a BMW 7-Series 38.1-inch competition, thanks to China! What). Trunk is also remarkably well, even though the rear seats do not fold flat to optimize the center pass-through.

Given this focus competent cruising, you can not help but keep coming back to the wild on offer inside. It's one thing to give the American old-school engine and chassis technology, and a homogenized version of the European driving experience, but who says that we do not want to touch beautiful things? Chrysler were built Routan minivan impressive sales success of the 2011 Jetta would like quality interior sense. Instead, VW justifications for the Auditor-grade plastics and thin switches are confusing and difficult to swallow.

Let us first deal with the issue price. VW says that. Despite the favorable impression of the car, American consumers have not taken into account due to its high price Jetta alone Fine. But to reach its $ 15,995 base MSRP, the Jetta "S" needs more than a Wal-Mart interior … it needs to go back in time. In addition to the torsion beam rear suspension base Jettas are also with rear drum brakes, and the old "two-point-slow" saddled two-liter engine, making 115 hp with minimal mileage improvement over the 2.5. Needless to say that Volkswagen will not bring a single "S" model of the San Francisco startup, but on paper we are looking at a Jetta III with more space and a lower space.

To this questionable success possible, including any other of our $ 23,395 Jetta SEL with sunroof is saddled with the same $ 16k contest-ish interior. The only exception is the upcoming GLI offering should also (not to mention a hefty pricetag bump) a rewarding drive, thanks to sports suspension with a multilink rear suspension setup and the GTI 2.0T engine. Start over the weekend, VW GLI constantly repeats as a remedy for our SEL sub-Euro performance and handling defects were dangling, but cagey about the exact interior … at least until we asked a wagon version.

Instead of offering a new car, Volkswagen will continue to offer the latest addition to the new Sport Wagon 2011 Jetta. With the new Golf-alike fascia, the Sportwagon now looks more like a European-style "Golf Variant" look and offers everything VW accountants stripped from the new Jetta. Which is handy when you consider that the vast majority of sports cars can be ordered with TDI engines. In other words, all Volkswagen Premium Euro-enthusiast appeal of the Jetta was robbed, and was in the higher quality, better ride, more expensive Sportwagon that true Euro-enthusiasts have ordered anyway concentrated.

Volkswagen invited us for a weekend press event for this review. They paid our flight, set us up for two nights in one of the nicest hotels in San Francisco twisted to us with some excellent meals and picked up our tab bar every night. The last point alone is projected to the world income fell by at least two percentage points to have.