Smooth from front to back
All the design quirks of previous-generation Jettas are gone, leaving behind the smoothly sculpted 2012 Jetta TDI Highline four-door sedan. Headlamps are integrated and help to blend the front fascia, hood and fenders into a smooth, pleasing shape. A side view turns up a generous greenhouse and then the design drops smoothly to the trunk, which does have a bit of an upturned lip if you look closely. Tail lights are large and placed high in the body so that they don’t get covered in too much snow and grime when travelling about.
Space to relax
When you transition from the outside to the inside, you will notice that the Jetta TDI Highline has grown over the years. Large door openings make getting in and out easy regardless of agility level. Sliding into a front bucket is a comforting experience as the seats are subtly shaped to hold most body sizes and types comfortably for hours.
The back seat experience, while not cavernous, is adequate enough that I wish this car had been around when I was a teen and drive-in movies were the rage. Back seats could be very interesting places if there was enough room. As is, all I can tell you there is a decent amount of knee room as the backs of the front seats are sculpted out. Total comfort will depend on the benevolence of those in the front if you shop at “Big and Tall.” Head room seems pretty good as I didn’t come close to hitting my head on the roof.
Twist and shout
If you happen to need to install a couple of child seats, two will fit comfortably, but the middle seat for the referee will be a bit cramped and uncomfortable. Getting the kids in and out though will be quite easy; thanks to those wide doors. Best of all, you won’t need to see a chiropractor after lifting your child in and out a few times.
The European way
Back in the driver’s seat, Volkswagen has created a driving environment that is informative, comfortable and easy to adjust. Since the seat is manually adjustable, it took me about a minute to set it so that I was comfortable. Once I had the seat set, it was time to make sense of the instrument cluster. Volkswagen has retained a pleasant European flavour while providing normal North American information. My one complaint about instrumentation actually is a complaint about the stereo system. If I turned the stereo off, it shuts off everything including the GPS. I have to find a mute button or turn the sound down to still use the GPS. This did take a bit of getting used to and was quite aggravating at times.
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