VW Jetta test drive.
Click on the picture to see the “Jetta Movie”.
The previous Jetta was a well loved car in the US. Its shape made sure it didn’t look like the Japanese competition. It had its own take on the compact sedan.
The new model looks like a blend of other designs, mostly Japanese. To me, it looks like a cross between the TSX and the Corolla. Who would have thought someone would ever be inspired by the Corolla…
Inside, everything seems to be well put together. Everything looks and feels solid.
But it has to be the most boring interior design I have seen in years. There is nothing that is remotely interesting to look at.
And it already looks dated to me.
The rear view mirror for example, looks like it came from a Pep Boy store. It is that generic.
Everything you need is there. It just looks like it was designed by a robot, with no human input whatsoever.
What else about the interior?
The doors are solid, but you have to push really hard to open them all the way.
And the “power seat” is actually half manual, half power. (In my model at least)
The seats are very firm. Borderline hard.
But the back seat is much roomier than before.
I also noticed quite a bit of exposed metal from the door, visible inside the car.
It just gives you the feeling that “something isn’t quite finished here”…
How does it drive?
The first thing you hear is the new 2.5 Liter 5 cylinder engine. It has more power than the old 2 Liter it replaces, but that’s about it.
It is the roughest, most unrefined sounding engine I’ve heard in years. (The old 2.0 was quieter and more refined) Any other car in that price range has a much better sounding engine. (the weird thing is that it is almost silent at idle)
The Mazda 2.3 Liter for instance, is a jewel compared to this.
Once you get going, you don’t hear the engine that much anymore. Because it is covered by such a loud road noise!
On the freeway, it is really noisy and tiring. There is even quite a bit of wind rush from the A pillars.
Something most manufacturers have fixed years ago…
The steering is pretty heavy, but it has a strange robotic feel to it. And it is pretty hard to keep it straight on long freeway drives. It is very sensitive in the center.
After a few days, I must say I almost got used to the hard seats, and the steering.
But the suspension is just too stiff for a “family car” . And the Jetta isn’t that sporty anyway. So way bother?
One thing I never got used to was the amount of noise. Most of the time, it sounded like some insulation was missing.
The Jetta cannot compete with the more polished Japanese competition. And it doesn’t look different anymore.
So I don’t see the point of this car.
The one attraction might be their “around $200 a month lease”.
That is a good payment for a brand new car.
But you can also get an Altima, Camry or Accord for similar lease payments. All much better cars.
It you like it rough and noisy (and probably unreliable), go for it. Get one.
But if you want the best for your money. Get something else.
The MSRP on my car was almost $24 000. (sunroof, auto and semi power seats).
The Ford Fusion I drove a few weeks ago was light years ahead of the Jetta. And much better looking. For that price, it was loaded with almost every options, including a V6.
It is amazing to me how such a huge car maker, can be so far behind most others. I hear the new Passat is also noisy on the road. And that car can top $40 000.
VW seems completely out of touch with what the market requires.
On a side note, I am now testing a base Chrysler 300. It costs around $24 000 too. (no options though…)
A Rolls Royce compared to the Jetta.