Seat Time: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta

September 18th, 2014 at 3:00pm


Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.


Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Manufacturer: Volkswagen
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Jetta
Type: 4-door sedan
Competitors: Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla
Price: Base: $17,035; Top Line: $32,490
Made in: Puebla, Mexico
Drivetrain: 2.0TDI Diesel 4-cylinder; 6-speed manual
EPA Ratings: 31 city; 46 hwy

Final Impression:

2015_jetta_tdi_4229The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta is a 4-door sedan that competes against the likes of the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The price of the vehicle we tested came in just under $22,500, which was equipped with a 2.0L diesel engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. In that trim it’s capable of hitting 31 miles-per-gallon in the city and 46 on the freeway.

The Jetta is Volkswagen’s best selling vehicle in the U.S. and it just received a series of subtle updates for 2015. Up front the most noticeable change is to the lower portion of the bumper, while out back a new decklid and taillights give the rear of the car a less-frumpy look. As you can see from those side-by-side pictures not much has really changed and the same goes for the interior too. The biggest difference comes in the form of a new steering wheel and HVAC controls. But it gets a host of new safety and technology features as well. I like when interior spaces don’t look too busy, like this one, but even though I can’t put my finger on exactly why, there’s just something about the design on this one I don’t like. I also wish the display screen was a little bigger. There’s plenty of open space on that dash and the screen can be hard to read, especially with the navigation on.

Base models will be powered by a 2.0L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine, which will be good for 25 MPG in the city with a 5-speed manual transmission, that number drops to 23 MPG with the 6-speed auto, but both get 34 MPG on the highway. The next step up is a 170 horsepower turbocharged 1.8L that gets 25 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway. An all-new 2.0L 4-cylinder diesel engine is also available, which cranks out 31 MPG in the city, 46 MPG on the highway with the 6-speed manual and 45 MPG with the automatic. That’s 4 and 3 MPG better on the highway than the previous unit. This is the engine I went driving with and it was pretty good, the turbo spooled up quickly giving you that nice seat-of-the-pants feeling.

Sometime in 2015 a GLI and hybrid model will be available as well. The GLI will get a tweaked version of the turbocharged 1.8L, which comes in 2.0L form and is good for 210 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. The Hybrid is powered by a 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a 27 horsepower electric motor, which will be mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission.

Getting behind the wheel is nothing to write home about, but that’s not what this car, or any car in this segment for that matter, is supposed to be about. The multilink front and rear suspension give the Jetta a nice ride, it handles well over bumps staying in a straight line and it can even take a more spirited maneuver here and there.

Prices start just over $17,000 including destination charges for the base 2.0L model, the 1.8T starts around $20,000, the diesel comes in at about $22,500, the GLI will start just under $28,000 and a well-equipped Hybrid comes in around $32,500.

Look for the 2015 Jetta to start hitting dealer lots in the 3rd quarter of this year.

One Comment to “Seat Time: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Just too bland and boring