It’s apple-pie – anodyne, even. Some criticized it as “boring” aback it debuted. Compared to the swoopy designs of its contemporaries, maybe it was a little boring.
The 2017 VW Jetta continues the architecture started in 2011. It’s apple-pie – anodyne, even. Some criticized it as “boring” aback it debuted. Compared to the swoopy designs of its contemporaries, maybe it was a little boring. The Jetta’s beeline curve and creases are in aciculate adverse to the curvy, flame-like surfacing of, say, a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. But here’s the thing: The Jetta’s architecture has age-old well. Other automakers accept acquainted accountable to redesign their compacts in accomplished or in allotment aback the 2011 Jetta’s debut. VW has fabricated accessory tweaks, but the basal architecture charcoal the aforementioned as it anytime was.
Up front, there’s a absolute sober, attenuate grille aperture amid the two headlights that abide the grille’s all-embracing shape, axis up at the alfresco edges. There’s a lower grille aperture beneath the bonanza bang face that doubles this shape. Two apple-pie awning creases alpha at the affair point of the high grille and the headlights, streaking aback in an affected arc against the ancillary mirrors.
In contour view, the Jetta has a bulge that runs from the bend of the headlight lens to the breadth aloof aloft the taillight lens. Unlike some auto designs, the bulge does not bifurcate the aperture handles. A accessory bulge is formed low on the doors, creating a alike that coincides with collapsed surfacing on the bonanza areas that is arresting from the side. My analysis car had affected yet simple 16-inch, 10-spoke admixture auto that dressed the Jetta up after aggravating to accomplish it attending like a chase car. That affectionate of honest architecture best is commendable nowadays.
At the rear, the high bulge from the abandon continues all the way about to anatomy the high bend of the almost abbreviate block lid. A aloft accumbent band emanates from the abutting area of anniversary taillight and forms the shadowbox over the authorization plate. There are a half-dozen bottom accumbent band elements in the rear bonanza awning alone.
The autogenous of the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is roomy, purposeful, and not as adequate as accomplished Jetta generations.
The autogenous of the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is roomy, purposeful, and not as adequate as accomplished Jetta generations. The analysis car had affluence of hard, cutting plastics, but VW carefully included soft-touch surfacing on the areas best acceptable to be affected – aperture arm rests, centermost animate arm rest, covering on the council caster and gearshift. In high trims, the high birr gets soft, injection-molded artificial instead of the hard, hollow-sounding actuality in the SE.
But are you absorbed in binding your dashboard or active the abuse car? The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE has abundant ergonomics. The thin-rimmed council caster feels acceptable in the hands. The about-face batten feels good, too, and has a nice backpack to it. The pedal box is affluence ample abundant for American-size anxiety and includes a actually astronomic asleep pedal for your larboard bottom aback not alive the clutch.
Infotainment is accessible to use, with VW inserting anxious adjacency sensors that enlarge the on-screen controls aback your duke approaches the touchscreen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay affiliation are there, too. In my experience, Android Auto formed seamlessly already my low-rent smartphone was acquainted in via USB. That aforementioned awning handled rear camera affectation duties, authoritative abandoning into parking spaces a breeze.
The block was adequately enormous, with 15.7 cubic anxiety of allowance for groceries, luggage, or whatever. I hauled advantage for my ancestors of four, a few hundred newspapers for a cardboard route, and my youngest kid’s childhood bag during the analysis anniversary – not all at the aforementioned time – and begin the block to be accessible to bulk and unload as able-bodied as affluence ample for ancestors duties.
My analysis car was able with a aberration in this segment: a five-speed chiral transmission. That added to its Germanic charms, with its light-and-easy clamp accentuation and its substantial-feeling shifter. The clamp was easier to attune than the aftermost manual-transmission VW I drove, the Golf R. Admittedly, the Golf R is a achievement car and makes about alert as abundant application as my Jetta SE analysis car, but it had an annoying asleep atom in the clamp pedal biking that fabricated it difficult to get acclimated to for the aboriginal brace of days. The Jetta’s clamp was abundant added natural. I was anon adequate active it.
The chiral provided advanced arrangement spreads, with both fourth and fifth apparatus actuality overdriven on a 3.23:1 final drive ratio. Honestly, abacus a sixth cog would apparently alone accomplish the accomplish amid the aboriginal four apparatus beneath – and needlessly so, because the torque comes on so early.
Powering my Volkswagen Jetta SE analysis car was VW’s masterfully done 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
Powering my Volkswagen Jetta SE analysis car was VW’s masterfully done 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasser authoritative 150 application at 5,000 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at a super-low 1,400 rpm. It was affluence active in boondocks and didn’t run out of animation at extra-legal speeds on the highway.
In the absence of a TDI agent engine, the little 1.4 does yeoman’s assignment on the highway, affairs bottomward an EPA appraisal of 40 afar per gallon there with the chiral transmission. I pushed the Jetta adamantine on I-40 one day, cruise set amid 80 and 85 mph, and still managed to eke out 36.1 mpg by the end of my 590-mile week. That anniversary of active included affluence of in-town cartage and some country two-lane commuting.
The nicest affair about the 1.4 was how quiet it was. I could almost acquaint aback it was idling. I was larboard apprehensive why on apple VW isn’t putting this agent in the U.S.-spec Golf, in which I anticipate it would assignment absolute well. Golfs are accessible with this agent in Europe. Why not America? Imagine a 40-mpg gasoline-powered Golf! Currently, that car allotment aloof 36 mpg in EPA testing, alike admitting it’s abate than the Jetta.
The Jetta’s council feel was a chic aloft competitors in the bunched articulation at this bulk point. Effort loaded up accurately as I cranked it into a turn, and it lacked the asleep on-center that plagues its competition. Alike admitting it wasn’t assuming to be a achievement car, it performed admirably aback I flogged it through the twisties. Its tires were not low-profile, but the car’s administration didn’t ache for it on accessible roads. In fact, appulse assimilation and artery calmness were apparently all the bigger for accepting some absolute sidewalls on those 205/55R16 Bridgestone Ecopia tires. That said, if you plan on demography your ancestors car to an autocross event, you’re apparently bigger off with the pricier achievement adaptation of the Jetta, the VW GLI.
The Nissan Sentra is a lot of car for the money. A abject archetypal is the alone way to get a chiral chiral like my Jetta SE analysis car, and a abject Sentra will be missing some of the Jetta’s nicer features. Namely, it won’t accept Jetta’s accurate leatherette upholstery or glossy touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Sentra additionally happens to be a lot beneath absorbing to drive. Council is numb. Application is underwhelming from the 1.8-liter artlessly aspirated engine, which is thirstier than VW’s 1.4-liter mill. If you opt for an automatic, the Nissan saddles you with a CVT, while VW gives you a adequately accomplished six-speed. The Volkswagen Jetta in any trim will be a far added agreeable car to drive than the commensurable Sentra model.
The Sentra and the Jetta are both due for a aloft architecture refresh, but the Jetta’s architecture somehow charcoal fresher than the Sentra’s. The autogenous of the Sentra, especially, is assuming its age. However, the Sentra’s trump cards are its rear-seat legroom and frequently discounted pricing. If you charge best family-hauling amplitude at the everyman bulk possible, that may be abundant to amplitude you to Nissan’s camp.
Read our abounding analysis on the Nissan Sentra.
Hyundai apes a lot of German administration in the autogenous of its latest Elantra bunched sedan. If you Google “2013 Bench León interior” and again Google “2017 Hyundai Elantra interior,” you’re in for a fun comparison. Bench (pronounced SAY-ott), is VW’s Spanish-badged bulk brand, by the way, and the León is a hardly abate accessory to the Jetta.
Hyundai bass bottomward the Elantra’s exoteric administration a bit for 2017, and the car is all the bigger for it. Where the antecedent architecture had lots of swoopy curve that fabricated the architecture age quickly, the new one should be abreast for years to come.
The Hyundai Elantra’s active acquaintance doesn’t appear abutting to analogous the VW Jetta’s, however. The abject 2.0-liter four-cylinder agent makes hardly beneath application admitting packing 600cc added displacement than the VW 1.4-liter, and it’s way bottomward on torque. Pony up for the Elantra “Eco,” and torque grows some, but still avalanche able-bodied abbreviate of the VW 1.4 while application avalanche alike added abaft in the name of ammunition abridgement – which is no bigger than the VW Jetta SE at 40 MPG highway. The hot trim is the Elantra Sport, which appearance a 1.6-liter turbo agent that would leave our Jetta 1.4T in the dust in a beeline line, but that adaptation of the Elantra is meant to attempt with the Jetta GLI, not the added apprehensive Jetta SE.
Pricing will be a ablution amid the lower trims of the Elantra and Jetta, unless either Hyundai or VW is alms some rebates. So it may absolute able-bodied appear bottomward to which architecture you like better, or which banker offers the bigger acquaintance for you.
Read our abounding analysis on the Hyundai Elantra.
The best contempo redesign of the Chevrolet Cruze is attractive, if a bit overwrought, both alfresco and inside. One wonders how anachronous this car will attending in seven or eight years – will Chevy still accept the aforementioned basal design, as VW has had for the Jetta in that bulk of time? Apparently not.
The Cruze is the best bunched auto Chevrolet has produced, and it’s deceptively quick on the road. It’s quiet autogenous and bland Ecotec 1.4-liter agent bout the 1.4-liter VW Jetta in calmness and bland operation. It matches the VW Jetta’s ammunition economy, too, with an EPA artery appraisement of 40 mpg.
Infotainment is a able point for the Cruze, with an easy-to-use Chevy MyLink arrangement that includes Android Auto capability. I adopt VW’s minimalist two-dial bureaucracy to Chevy’s aggregation of buttons and two big dials.
Where Chevy has VW exhausted is in its accessible agent engine. This acclimated to be article that drew bodies to Volkswagen’s baby cars, but in the post-Dieselgate era, there is no such affair as a agent Jetta. There is a agent Cruze, and it allotment up to 47 mpg on the highway, according to EPA. But unless you’re a agent fan who actually charge accept an oil-burner, the Volkswagen Jetta presents a far bigger amalgamation for absolute ancestors hauling. The Cruze has a bound autogenous for the segment, with far beneath real-world rear-seat legroom and allowance than the Jetta.
If the autogenous amplitude isn’t a deal-breaker to you because you don’t booty bodies in the aback seat, the Cruze may in actuality be the Jetta’s abutting competitor. As a ancestor of two fast-growing boys, I would aces the Jetta for its autogenous space. But if not for that factor, the Cruze was aloof as nice to drive, and there are several Chevy dealers amid my abode and the abutting VW dealer. That makes it ambrosial appealing.
Read our abounding analysis on the Chevrolet Cruze.
Compact cars try to be all things to an clumsily advanced array of the car-buying market. They’re ancestors cars. They’re small, fuel-efficient commuters that are accessible to esplanade in bound spaces. They’re bargain to buy and maintain. They accept abundant allowance to booty four bodies in about comfort.
Every car has its strengths, some of which are categorical in the aggressive comparisons above. But few competitors in this articulation do all the things a bunched car needs to do absolutely so able-bodied as the Volkswagen Jetta. Nissan Sentra, for instance, may be hardly cheaper to buy, and it may accept added rear-seat legroom, but it’s additionally not about as agreeable to drive, its administration isn’t as timeless, and its infotainment leaves a lot to be desired.
The Germans accept a long, appreciative history of architecture “everyman” cars for the luxury-performance segment. The BMW 3 Series was the advocate in the affluence bunched car chic for a brace of decades, and it charcoal one of the best all-’rounders in the articulation today. It’s credible that Volkswagen has managed a agnate achievement in the abridgement bunched car articulation with its latest tweaks to the Jetta. It’s a absolutely built, cheap-to-buy, ample baby car that runs like a Swiss watch and allotment accomplished ammunition abridgement after arid its driver. For that, I acclaim Volkswagen.
Disclosure: Volkswagen provided the vehicle, insurance, and one catchbasin of ammunition for this review.
Read our abounding analysis on the Volkswagen Jetta.
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