2011 Volkswagen Jetta: Same, but different

7 Apr 2011 | 2,266 views | One Comment
By Don Hammonds We know what you are thinking. "'What the heck does Automobile Journal mean by 'same, but different'? Have they lost their minds?'" Uh, no. We're alll quite sane, thanks. But the new Jetta proves our point.  Undeniably, this car is a Volkswagen.  It performs like a Volkswagen--admirably--and handles like crazy--it's balls of fun on the road--so it's like most VWs you know about. Corners and curves were our best friends in this car. And those are good things, at least for those of us who think that cars are a bit more than appliances in refrigerator white. But the new Jetta is much bigger than any that you've driven, and the general consensus in the motor press seems to be that its lost its uniqueness, its mojo.  We're not sure we agree with that.  Anytime there's a big change in a product, people need time to adjust, and the Jetta's  no different. Sooner or later people take to the new car, and we're pretty sure the same will happen with Jetta.  It's too nice a car for anything other than that to happen. But don't count Jetta out.  It grows on you, becomes a part of you, all in a subtle but lasting way.  By the end of our loan, we were hooked on it.       The biggest challenge for people, we believe, may be the styling.  The new VW family grille looks a bit modest on the Jetta, and the basic shape is pretty conventional.There aren't a lot of character lines to give it some interest either.  So the styling, while pleasant, doesn't do much set it apart from anything else. We think that if the Jetta is at all to succeed, VW's going to have to find some ways to inject some more obvious  "Volkswagen" flavor and styling cues  into it, if reports of slow sales are true.      Our tert model was a SEL with sunroof, which had a basep[rice of $23,395. There were no options, so destination charges and the base price brought the final price to $24,165.  Standard equipment included a radio navigation system with color touch screen, keyless access, full power accessories, heated front seats, satellite radio, 60/40 split folding rear seat, vanity mirrors, heatable power mirrors, fog lights, and plenty of other items.  To get all of this at the price VW was asking seemed like a pretty good deal to us. VW has priced the new Jetta considerably lower than older models, and it shows up pretty strikingly.     The 2011 Jetta is rated at 24/31 with annual fuel costs of $1,665 based on 15,000 miles of driving at $3.00 a gallon for fuel.     There are a few things we love about the new Jetta for sure.  It's got so much more room in the back seat now that you can actually get your kids in there without starting another world war, for one thing. Secondly the steering is so crisp and right on target. It's particularly adept at tight spaces, parking lots, and other things that give us drivers fits .  There's lots more room in the trunk for your cargo and belongings, and the sound coming from the optional 2.5 liter, 170 horsepower in line five cylinder engine is pleasing to the ear. The car simply feels and acts like any other Volkswagen you've come to know and love.      We weren't crazy about the audio controls--they were both confusing and counter-intuitive, and some of the symbols on the nav and audio system required some looking up in the owners manual to figure out what they meant.  The six speed automatic seemed to be hunting for gears at times, and it was particularly noticeable on hills.  And a minor thing--we really missed the Volkswagen purple" lighting for night driving. Now there's a little fix that would add a sense of VW flavor into the new Jetta. Safety equipment, by the way, was generous. Driver and front passenger airbag supplemental restraint system, along with front side airbags, side curtain protection head impact bags, and front and rear power dis brakes were all part of the standard package.       So you see, the Jetta IS the same and different all at once, and we think the car is all the better for it. Too, this is a car that grows on you.  It doesn't grab you at once, instead it

One Comment »

  • Kreditvergleich said:

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