Rowing with the gears of the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S TDI’s six-speed manual transmission as we roll over the scenic two-laners of Virginia’s horse country, we marvel in the fact that we’re actually wonderful time. Yeah, fun. In a Jetta.
Never would we’ve expected this back when Volkswagen first launched the present Jetta to the 2011 model year. Though it boasted improved space, son-of-Audi styling, along with a more reasonable 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 rear drum brakes plus a torsion-beam rear suspension.
Since then, VW has made incremental and significant improvements to the North American bread-butterer, and with 2014, all U.S.-market Jettas featured four-wheel disc brakes with an independent rear suspension. Furthermore 2014, another 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 back styling, improved interior materials (including-at last-a soft-touch dash top), and a new EA288 diesel engine in TDI models. Alas, it seems that the Jetta has now become the car Volkswagen should have been building forever.
Usually, the most important parts of a vehicle’s midcycle refresh are modified lighting and fascia elements, however in the 2015 Jetta’s case, they’re arguably at least fascinating of its changes. A fresh grille focuses on the car’s wider, as does the latest rear bumper, as new head lights 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 tires. To what extent the adjustments improve the Jetta’s looks depends on the observer, however arguably it has become actually harder to tell the gap between the Jetta and also the one-size-up Passat.
The cabin, when one of the Jetta’s worst features, has turned into a convincingly nice area to hang out for 2015. It’s still Teutonically austere along with the door panels are hard plastic, but the dashboard looks far classier, covered which is with tunneled gauges and refractive piano-black trim sections. High-end material including navigation has trickled below higher trims to low- and mid-grade ranges, and interestingly, an available touch-screen infotainment system without navigation is actually larger than that of the navigation-equipped cars. And also the seats on the S, SE, and SEL types we drove were secure and helpful.