The Jetta has been Volkswagen’s best-selling model in the U.S. for more years than I can recall, and the credit for the car’s popularity goes to the success of the sixth-generation version released in 2011. Now for 2015, VW has kept the basics while refining and redesigning it.
This year, VW offers Jetta in four trim levels— Base, S, SE and SEL — with 13 equipment levels, so you can get the car any way you want it or need it. Following the updates of the 2014 model — including a 1.8-liter turbocharged EA888 engine replacing the 2.5-liter five-cylinder unit — the 2015 Jetta has a fresh new face and some important updates underneath. The subtly redesigned exterior gives it a crisp new look, but also helps increase the overall efficiency by improving the aerodynamics. It also has an updated interior, an available new diesel engine and a variety of available driver assistance systems.
Under the hood, the new Jetta continues to offer three four-cylinder gasoline engine choices (a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine, as well as 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter versions of the turbocharged EA888 engine), a 1.4-liter turbocharged hybrid unit, and a new 2.0-liter turbocharged EA288 TDI Clean Diesel engine.
Also available is the Jetta Sport model limited- edition disguised in the 1.8T SE trim. It comes with a sport suspension, front sport seats, RNS 315 navigation with rearview camera, two-tone 17-inch wheels, foglights and VW Car-Net connected car features.
When paired with a five-speed manual transmission, the Sport starts at $20,895; $21,995 with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new Jetta is bigger and longer by 2.9 inches allowing designers to incorporate clear, precise lines and muscular surfaces to give it a timeless elegance.
At the front, the coupe-like incline of the windshield and the consistent use of horizontal lines define the modern Jetta design. The radiator grille was redesigned with three cross fins, a new bumper, and available Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS).
The new bumper and air intakes up front help reduce air drag, as do updated rain gutters near the A-pillars. On Jetta 1.8T and 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel models, the radiator grille has a closeable shutter, a feature that improves aerodynamics by guiding frontal airflow around the body and fuel efficiency. By keeping the shutter closed during warm-up, the engine can reach operating temperature faster, after which the shutter is automatically opened and closed as needed.
Jetta also has an updated rear design, including a new trunk lid, taillights, emblems and bumper. The new trunk lid features an aerodynamic trailing edge — an integrated spoiler that lines up with the car’s silhouette near the character line, extending elegantly into the rear fenders.
The starting MSRP for the base 2015 VW Jetta is $16,215.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.