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2015 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review by John Heilig

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2015 Volkswagen Jetta GLI


MODEL: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
ENGINE: 2.0-liter I-4
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 210 hp @ 5,300 rpm/207 lb.-ft. @ 1,700 rpm
WHEELBASE: 104.4 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 183.4 x 70.0 x 57.2 in.
TIRES: P225/40R18 Bridgestone Potenza
ECONOMY: 23 mpg city/34 mpg highway/24.6 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 14.5 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 2,941 lbs.
STICKER: $28,080 base

BOTTOM LINE: As with most Volkswagen's, the Jetta is a nice sedan, it’s a good size and has a nice design. Unfortunately, it is noisy, both from the engine and from road noise through the tires.

The Volkswagen Jetta is a nice compact car. The refreshed design works on an already good-looking vehicle. Inside, red highlights throughout spruce up a traditionally conservative German interior.

But, sadly, the performance, while good in all areas, suffers by a combination of road and engine noise. The road noise is so significant, in fact, that I have included the tire brand in the specifications. It was so bad that my wife and I either ended up shouting at each other or turned the sound system up a few notches more than normal.

That said, the Jetta is a nice driver. We took the car on a long turnpike run. I had a backache about halfway through, but an adjustment to the power seat cured the pain and made the rest of the ride more comfortable. The ride quality is hard, but not harsh. With a decent wheelbase, one might expect a smoother ride, but it rides like a compact, which is how it’s classified.

The front seats are comfortable in general, with some side support. Rear seat legroom is very good. The rear seat backs fold flat, with the releases located in the trunk. Even in normal form, the Jetta’s trunk can carry a loaded golf bag diagonally. There are four tie-downs in the trunk, unusual for a sedan.

With 210 horsepower emanating from a 2.0-liter inline four, there is decent power. I never felt at a loss, even with semis all around me. I took on m favorite hillclimb route with a great opportunity for a chance to duke it out with an original Mini (one of the small ones). Unfortunately, the Mini pulled away from me fairly easily while I searched for the shift indicator and which paddle was upshift and which downshift. I still had fun and enjoyed the one-car race” up the hill.

Facing the driver is clear instrument panel with white-on-black dials. Start and stop is by the shifter on the console. Where the key would normally go on the column is blocked off. For the first time, it’s disconcerting.

For storage, there’s a small cubby at the base of the center stack with a 12-volt and AUX plug. Inside the small center console/arm rest is a USB cable. There’s an additional 12-volt outlet and two cubbies at the rear of the center console for the back seat passengers.

Despite the noise issues, the Jetta is a nice compact car. Perhaps my “issues” with the noise may have been prejudiced by my feeling he Jetta was a mid-size in performance and style. So I’m perfectly willing to admit that it was my fault for expecting too much.

2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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