The VW Jetta features two sizes of gasoline engines. The 2.0 L in-line 4-cylinder 8-valve engine comes with a 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with sport mode. The SEL has a 2.5 L in-line 20-valve 5-cylinder engine that puts out 170 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque and gets 27 city mpg and 33 highway mpg. My week of driving the the 2.5 L Jetta netted an average of 30 mpg.
The Jetta is a beautifully sculpted sedan with daring angles and sumptuous curves. A chrome front grille, front fog lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels make Jetta attractive at the approach.
The 10 exterior colors range from Candy White to Deep Black Pearl and Tornado Red. The color range perfectly complements the seven colors for the interior with cloth or V-Tex leatherette. Inside color choices range from Titan Black in cloth to black with red stitching in leatherette.
The Jetta GLI has a 200 hp turbocharged engine that puts a little more oomph in your life. It comes with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed DSG automatic transmission. The GLI has independent sport suspension in its four corners, plus speed-sensitive electromechanical steering and red brake calipers. Outside the GLI stands on 18-inch alloy wheels, while inside you have leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel with a Fender Premium Radio System.
The Jetta TDI can drive up to 609 miles on a tank of fuel. The TDI clean diesel DSG automatic transmission gets 30-city and 42-highway mpg EPA estimates. This is based on a 14.5 gallon tank. The TDI is fun to drive with a turbocharged clean diesel engine that produces 236 lb.-ft. of torque and is 90 percent cleaner than previous diesel engines.
Jetta also has a Hybrid that is turbocharged to generate 170 horses fed to a lively 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. Keyless access with push-button start gets you in easily, and the Touch Screen Sound System with hybrid system display is command central for entertainment. Dual-zone automatic climate control keeps everyone comfortable inside. Outside the Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED taillights make for a smart, safe profile.
Inside the SEL, you are greeted by seats upholstered in V-Tex leatherette seating surface. The driver’s seat is 6-way power adjustable and the front passenger seat is partial power-adjustable. The Jetta is roomy and comfortable while leading its class in rear legroom. Heated front seats with adjustable lumbar support and power tinted glass sunroof are additional standard features.
Jetta is designed for moving people and cargo in a comfortable manner. There is 15.5 cubic feet of trunk space and an accommodating 60/40 split folding rear seats inside. The rear seat also features a center armrest with storage compartment, and a pass-through with integrated cup holders for enhanced convenience.
As the driver you are the captain, and the cab is your cockpit. Press a button and start your car, then take it anywhere you want to go. Touch screen navigation allows you to answer and make calls (Bluetooth) without taking your hands off the steering wheel. A press of the button hooks you up to your favorite music from your collection on the iPod, or what’s streaming to you from a satellite in space.
The suggested manufacturer’s retail price is $25,250.
Volkswagen Jetta has a 3-year or 36,000 mile no-charge schedule care free maintenance. Things like oil change, rotating tires, topping of windshield wiper fluid will be taken care of for free. Bring your new Jetta in the first 90 days after purchase or 6,000 miles and get a basic checkup for free. The dealership encourages your questions during the visit. Then come in every year or 10,000 miles for your remaining scheduled maintenance checks.
As a reminder, your instrument panel alerts you when your service is needed. You can also expect to hear from the dealership reminding you of these times for service. Did I mention this, too, is free?
Durhl Caussey writes an auto column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org