Finally, a people's Jetta!
With models whose base price ranges from a little under $16,000 (2.0-litre Trendline) to a little over $27,000 (Jettla GLI), the Jetta lineup covers a lot of ground. The wide price spectrum puts the German Jetta on the same playing field as the Kia Rio Convenience and Chevrolet Malibu LS.
But in reality, the Jetta remains a Jetta. The compact sedan is similar, both in size and mechanical prowess, to models like the Hyundai Elantra, the Mitsubishi Lancer, the new Ford Focus and the Chevrolet Cruze.
Of course, the automaker puts a lot of stake into this Jetta’s “more generous” proportions. Compared to its predecessor, though, the reality isn’t that dramatic. Overall length and wheelbase have gained 8 and 7.3 cm, respectively, but the car’s height and width remain the same.
In actuality, the generous proportions are evidenced by the spacious rear seats. In back, passengers enjoy 6.9 extra centimetres legroom – and it’s about time, too. The back seats of the last two generations of the Jetta were only suitable for children. This time around, the Jetta can truly accommodate four adults.
Aesthetically speaking, the new Jetta clearly distinguishes itself from its predecessor. That being said, I don’t think consumers will ever immediately recognize it. Sadly, the Jetta has lost all its colour.
“I barely found my 2011 Jetta in the mall parking lot the other day, it blended in so well with the surrounding cars,” a new sedan owner told me. It’s a far cry from the bold new Hyundai Elantra, to be sure. Has the Jetta become the insipid car of the decade, a title once bestowed on the Camry?
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