Although it will never outsell competitors like the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic, the Volkswagen Jetta has plenty of appeal for buyers who appreciate an upscale compact experience with a German accent.
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2015 Volkswagen Jetta Overview
What's New for 2015
Changes for 2015 are rather extensive. Outside they include a 3-inch-longer wheelbase, front and rear fascia styling changes, a new 1.8T Sport trim level, available bi-xenon headlights with adaptive technology, and improved aerodynamics.
New convenience feature like blind-spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, forward collision warning, and park distance control all make their debuts on the 2015 Jetta. Additionally, there is a new clean-diesel engine available on TDI models.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Jetta
Choosing the 2015 Jetta that fits your needs can be a rather overwhelming task, as VW has so many options to choose from, but going into the dealer with a plan in place will smooth out the process nicely. The first item on the you list has to be the drivetrain you prefer, as there are plenty to choose from.
- If you have no concern for power output and just want to get out of the dealership as inexpensively as possible, then the 2-liter four-cylinder with 115 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque should be your engine of choice. It is inexpensive, gets up to 34 mpg on the highway and you can get it with a manual or automatic transmission. Unfortunately, VW only offers this engine in two stripped-down trim levels.
- If you need more trims to choose from and still don't need a performance model, the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine is a great option. It provides a nice power bump to 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet or torque while still delivering up to 37 mpg highway. Like the base 2-liter engine, the 1.8-liter is available with a manual or automatic transmissions, but unlike the lower-level engine, the 1.8-liter is available with a nice selection of trim levels to fit your needs.
- For performance-minded folks, VW offers its new 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts down 210 horses and 207 pound-feet of torque. This engine also comes standard with a six-speed gearbox, but it has an optional DSG dual-clutch automatic available. It does suffer a bit in terms of fuel economy at 32 mpg highway, though, and is only available in a pair of premium trims.
- For those who want decent performance, outrageous fuel economy and low emissions, but don't want to switch to a hybrid, the 2-liter TDI diesel is a great option. It boasts 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque and gets up to 46 mpg on the highway. This diesel engine mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed DSG automated transmission. Unfortunately, the TDI engine only comes in a pair of trim levels.
Once you know what best suits you, you simply need to find the trim level that best suits your needs. The nine available engine and trim level combinations are as follows:
The 2.0L is as stripped down as a Jetta can get. In fact, it is so spartan that dealers don't stock it; buyers must specially order it from the factory. It comes with the basic equipment that most drivers expect in a car: a 115-horsepower 2-liter engine, a five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, 15-inch wheels, power windows, and manual-adjusted cloth seats. This trim level checks in at a thrifty $16,215.
The Jetta 2.0L S is, in fact, stocked at dealerships, and will set buyers back $17,325. For just over $1,000, buyers get desirable amenities like Bluetooth connectivity, one-touch power windows, air conditioning, cruise control, an RCD audio system with a CD player, power door locks, keyless entry, a multifunction steering wheel, and power-adjustable heated mirrors.
This is also the first trim level that has an automatic transmission and the Technology Package as available options; they run an extra $1,100 and $995, respectively. (The Technology Package comes a rearview camera, push-button start, and a Premium VII touchscreen radio with SiriusXM.)
The 1.8T SE steps up to the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine, 16-inch Sedona wheels, heated front seats, speed-sensitive power steering, push-button start and SiriusXM. Prices start at $18,995 with the standard five-speed manual transmission and moves up to $20,095 with the six-speed automatic.
There are two option groups:
- The Connectivity Package: For $2,230, buyers get body-colored mirrors, 16-inch Arlington wheels, floor mats. V-Tex leatherette seating, a multi-function steering wheel, the Premium VIII touchscreen audio system, and Volkswagen Car-Net.
- The Connectivity and Navigation Package: Priced at $3,555, this adds 17-inch wheels, keyless access, fog lights, navigation and more to the Connectivity Package.
Building on the specifications for a 1.8T SE trim with the Connectivity Package, the 1.8T Sport pushes sportiness to a new level with a sport-tuned suspension and 17-inch Joda Black wheels. Also included are a navigation system with a five-inch display, Volkswagen Car-Net, V-Tex leatherette and sport seating. This limited-edition trim level starts out at just $20,895, and there's an optional Lighting Package with HID xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, and adaptive lighting.
The 1.8T SEL pushes the 1.8T SE trim even further with more premium features, including two-tone sport seats, the Fender premium audio system with eight speakers, a soft-touch dash, Homelink, and dual-zone climate control. The 1.8 SEL trim starts at $25,380. With this trim buyers can also opt for Lighting and Driver Assistance Packages.
The 2.0L TDI S is the first of the Jetta lineup to offer buyers the 2-liter clean-diesel engine rated at 150 horses and 236 pound-feet of twist. On top of the thrifty diesel power, this trim level also comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, speed-sensitive power steering, keyless entry, 16-inch steel wheels, heated front seats, cruise control, and SiriusXM capabilities. The 2.0L TDI trim starts out at $21,640. Optional on this model is the six-speed DSG automatic transmission for an extra $1,100 and the Connectivity Package at $2,435.
The 2.0 TDI SEL takes the 2.0 TDI S with the Connectivity Package and punches it up a bit. This trim kicks off at $26,410 and adds in higher-end features like dual-zone climate control, Homelink, navigation with a rearview camera, keyless access with push-button start, 17-inch wheels. The Driver Assistance and Lighting packages are available as options on this trim level, as is the six-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The latter option raises the MSRP to $27,510.
Starting out at $26,920 is the high-performance 2.0T GLI SE. The main focus of this trim level is the 210-horsepower 2-liter, turbocharged engine that comes standard. Other sporty additions include 18-inch wheels, a sport bumper and side skirts, a rear spoiler, a sports steering wheel covered in leather, sport front seats with heat, and an upgraded instrument cluster.
There are also a few premium standard features rain-sensing wipers, LED taillights, power mirrors, a Premium VIII touchscreen audio system by Fender, a rearview camera, ambient lighting, a power sunroof, a six-way power driver seat, and dual-zone climate control.
Opting for the six-speed DSG automatic raises MSRP to $28,080. This is the lowest trim level at which summer tires appear on the options list.
The 2.0T GLI SEL adds even more to the 2.0T GLI. At a base price of $29,280, buyers get standard bi-xenon headlights with VW's Adaptive Front-Lighting System and LED daytime running lights, navigation, blind-spot monitoring with rear traffic alert, and Homelink. Buyers can also have the six-speed DSG transmission, but that'll push its MSRP to $30,380.
If you don't need the high performance of the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine or the high fuel economy provided by the turbo-diesel engine, then the 1.8T Sport is the way to go. Not only does it get you all of the same equipment as the 1.8T SE with the Connectivity Package installed, but it is also less expensive and it adds in a slew of sportier features. It really is a great bargain, but it is available in limited quantities.
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