2011 Volkswagen Jetta-Evidence Manual


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Interested in a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta? Keffer Volkswagen wants to give you a reason to come to Huntersville, North Carolina and drive off the lot in a Jetta! Browse through the online evidence manual and drive to Keffer Volkswagen in NC today!

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta-Evidence Manual

  1. 1. Keffer Automotive Group
  2. 2. Keffer Automotive GroupVolkswagen Leads Industry with six TOP SAFETY PICKawards from Insurance Institute for Highway SafetyVolkswagen Leads Industry with Six TOP SAFETY PICK Awards from Insurance Institute for Highway SafetyAll-new Jetta and all-new Touareg among six 2011 Volkswagen models awarded TOP SAFETY PICK by Insurance Institutefor Highway Safety.HERNDON, Va., December 22, 2010 — Six Volkswagen models have earned the prestigious Insurance Institute forHighway Safetys (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK award for 2011, the highest rating possible from the non-profit safety researchorganization. The annual award recognizes those vehicles that perform best in protecting passengers in the Institutesfront, side, and rear crash test evaluations, and the newly required roof-strength test evaluations. The Institute only testsvehicles with electronic stability control and head protection airbags. 2011 Volkswagen models awarded are the all-new Jetta, Golf, Jetta Sportwagen, GTI, Tiguan and all-new Touareg.“Volkswagen has shown an enduring commitment to engineer vehicles with safety performance that goes beyond basicgovernment standards,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “The 2005 Jetta was the first car to ace the Institute’s toughside impact crash test, and Volkswagens like the new 2011 Jetta continue to set the standard with the highest safetyratings.”“Volkswagen is committed to safety,” said Mark Barnes, COO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “To have IIHS recognize a totalof six Volkswagen models with this significant achievement is a testament to our commitment to engineering safe vehicles.We are excited to lead the industry with the most Top Safety Pick awards.”Volkswagen’s newest models for 2011, the Jetta sedan and Touareg SUV earned TOP SAFETY PICK for 2011. Completelyredesigned for 2011, the Jetta has a starting price of $15,995. Volkswagen’s flagship, the all new 2011 Touareg, is theonly large SUV to earn TOP SAFETY PICK for 2011.
  3. 3. Keffer Automotive GroupVOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI WINS 2011 URBANGREEN VEHICLE OF THE YEAR AWARD Takes Top Honors as Best in Class of 2011 Auto Lineup; Celebrates at the 15th Annual Urban Wheel AwardsHERNDON, Va., November 30, 2010 — The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI is the 2011 "Urban Green Vehicleof the Year,” announced today by Decisive Media. The all-new 2011 Jetta delivers sophisticated style,precision German engineering and Volkswagen’s no-charge Carefree Maintenance for three years or 36,000miles.The Volkswagen Jetta TDI features the venerable 2.0L turbocharged and direct injected engine whichprovides 140 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, and an impressive output of 236 lb.ft. of torque between 1,750 and2,500 rpm. The Jetta TDI engine runs as quietly as a gasoline engine and is good for an EPA-estimated 30mpg city and 42 mpg highway with a 0-60 mph time of 8.6 seconds. It comes standard with a six-speedmanual transmission or the option of a six-speed automatic DSG® transmission. The DSG is one of the mostadvanced and efficient automatic transmission systems in the world featuring the performance of a manualgearbox with the effortless precision of an automatic transmission.“Here’s a car that proves you don’t have to sacrifice to go Green,” said Lyndon Conrad Bell, DecisiveAuto’s editor in chief. “The first time you accelerate away from a traffic signal the Jetta TDI’s prodigioustorque will win your heart and every time you pass a fueling station without stopping, its 40-MPG highwayfigure will win your mind. Then, factor in the spacious trunk and interior, the crisp, new, unmistakablyEuropean styling, the reduction in pricing without significantly de-contenting the compact sedan, along withVolkswagen’s continuing prowess at creating an interior that looks far more expensive than it actually is.When you do, the logic of naming the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Decisive Auto’s 2011 Urban Green Car of TheYear immediately snaps sharply into focus”.Editors at Decisive Auto magazine, along with a panel of 15 independent automotive journalists selected theyears most stylish, practical and attainable vehicles. The judging panel spent several months driving dozensof cars in a variety of North American urban settings before choosing the Volkswagen Jetta Diesel as UrbanGreen Vehicle of The Year: Decisive Auto’s Urban Vehicles of The Year are featured in the magazines fallissue, which is available online at www.decisivemagazine.com and the Apple Store.The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI will be honored at the 15th Annual Urban Wheel Awards on January 9,2011, during Press Week of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at the MotorCity CasinoHotel’s Sound Board Theater, Detroit, MI.About Volkswagen of America, Inc.Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary ofVolkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producersof passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Eos, Golf, New Beetle, New Beetleconvertible, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan through approximately 600independent U.S. dealers. All 2010 Volkswagens come standard-equipped with Electronic StabilizationProgram. This is important because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called
  4. 4. Keffer Automotive GroupESC the most effective new vehicle safety technology since the safety belt. Visit Volkswagen of Americaonline at http://www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.
  5. 5. Keffer Automotive Group2011 VW Jetta: Power in NumbersWritten by Kimatni D. RawlinsWhat do we know about the Jetta? We know that Jetta was a 2009 “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for HighwaySafety (IIHS). We know that it’s named after the Atlantic Jet Stream during a period when Volkswagen (VW) dubbed nameplatesafter strong winds. This naming convention has paid off being that we know the Jetta is a volume leader representing half of VW’sU.S. sales. We also know that 9.6 million units have been sold since its introduction in 1979. With a cheaper, bigger, and better-equipped sixth generation model hitting dealers this fall, expect VW’s numbers for the Jetta to increase.When business is good and products are moving what is the best strategy for staying on top and ahead of the curve? Sit back, layworkers off and decrease spending? Wrong! Smart companies continue to invest in their beloved products and reward the players inwho have helped them achieve such goals. This keeps employee morale high while outsmarting the competition. Well, VW isinvesting 4 billion dollars into their future by way of a new production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee and building new Chattanooga,dealerships like the 35,000 square-foot showroom in San Francisco, California. The VW Group’s aggressive strategy to triple U.S.sales to 800,000 by 2018 is evidence that the German powerhouse (parent company of Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda, Bugatti,Seat and Scania) is on a mission to become number one! Sales are up an amazing 30% this year. The all-new 2011 Jetta willabsolutely help achieve VW’s financial prophecy. "Today marks the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen and for Jetta," said VolkswagenStefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. "The all-new 2011 Jetta is a class-up driving experience with the kind ofstyling, design and power under the hood normally found in more expensive luxury cars. This car is sophisticated, fun to drive andpractical."
  6. 6. Keffer Automotive Group Traditionally, the Jetta has always been pricedhigher than its core competition (Honda Civic, MAZDA3, Toyota Corolla) and has always been sized a bit larger. So of course VWneeded to position the Jetta at better price points. A 2011 model is now less than a comparable 2010 model. The new Jetta sedanstarts off at a value price of $15,995 (excludes destination), offers five models (S, SE, SEL, TDI and GLI) with four power-trains,includes standard ESP and 6 airbags and is the second VW vehicle that will offer hybrid drive (due in 2012). We were able toexperience the top-of-the-line Jetta SEL in San Francisco during its global debut. Updated styling, modernized multi-mediatechnologies, added safety, and additional performance is how the front-wheel drive, 4-door Jetta should be defined. For starters, itswheelbase (104.4 inches) and overall length (182.2 inches) has increased, adding 2.6 more inches of second row seating space.Split fold seating gives the vehicle more flexibility. ESP is very important because it’s safety technology that helps reduce crash riskby helping drivers maintain vehicle control during untimely maneuvers. If an incident occurs where the airbags deploy then theIntelligent Crash Response System (ICRS) intervenes. It turns on the hazard lights, unlocks the doors and cuts off the fuel pump.Very smart VW.On California roads meant for Porsche 911s, the family-fun Jetta did all right. It’s a solid platform that offers adequate power. Wefocused on the 2.5-liter 5-cylinder with 170-horspower and 177 pound-feet of torque. There is also the base and all-new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 115-horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter TDI, also all-new, offers 140-horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque allowing the Jetta to achieve 42 highway mpg. American consumers still don’t get the advantages of clean dieseltechnology. Chances are they would choose a hybrid first. There’s not enough education on the power and mileage advantages ofclean diesels. Next year, a juicy 2-liter turbo TSI 4-cylinder with 200-horsepower will arrive in the GLI model. A 5-speed manual isthe standard transmission while a 6-speed automatic is optional. The advanced 6-speed DSG will be offered on the 2.0-liter TDI and2.0-liter TSI. DSG is a dual clutch transmission that intelligently shifts faster than the traditional one clutch manual transmission.The Jetta’s interior is cleaner, sharper and livelier than the previous model. One touch up and down windows are standard while theinfotainment system provides 5-inch touchscreen navigation with iPod connection, SD slot, Bluetooth, etc. VW uses very animatedand gaming like graphics for the navigation while I found the iPod integration slow as it takes a minute to load up your music and it’sa bit quirky.Jetta will continue to raise the bar for VW, yet VW needs to continue to raise the bar in the industry. The new Chevy Cruze hasmade a powerful statement with its introduction and expect more assaults from the compact sedan market. I think all autocompanies are starting to realize there is power in numbers!
  7. 7. Keffer Automotive GroupVolkswagen Revamps Jetta for American Tastes2011 Jetta sedan has more legroom, upscale styling, lower price THE ASSOCIATED PRESSBY ANN M. JOB FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESSAugust 25, 2010 (AP)Remember the old saying, "If you cant beat em, join em"? APThis undated picture provided by Volkswagen shows the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. (AP Photo/Volkswagen)Officials at German automaker Volkswagen may be taking it to heart at long last.Perhaps more than any previous VW Jetta, the redesigned-for-2011 five-passenger sedan is built for Americantastes.Its a bigger car with a bigger back seat for the kind of legroom that Americans demand, new sheet metal thatmakes the car look more upscale than before, and a lower starting retail price that puts the Jetta closer to top-selling compact sedans like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.In fact, the new Jettas rear-seat legroom of 38.1 inches is not only greater than the 34.6 inches in the backseat of the Civic, it surpasses the 37.2 inches in the back seat of the mid-size Honda Accord sedan. Overall,the Jetta is nearly 2.9 inches longer than its predecessor.The base 2011 Jetta with front-wheel drive carries a starting manufacturers suggested retail price, includingdestination charge, of $16,765 with manual transmission and 115-horsepower, 2-liter, four-cylinder engine.With automatic transmission, the lowest-priced 2011 Jetta starts at $17,865.These prices are still higher, by at least $360, than the major 2010 competitors in the segment. But the basemodel price tags are a long way from the starting retail price of more than $19,000 for last years model, whichcame with a bigger, more powerful base engine.The new exterior styling of the 2011 Jetta makes the car appear a bit more mainstream. But it also looks moreupscale and is a welcome change from the previous Jetta styling; it had grown old.
  8. 8. Keffer Automotive GroupInside, the changes bring mixed results. The dashboard plastic looks more utilitarian than last years Jetta. Butcontrols and gauges are still attractively arranged.Theres a new radio faceplate that draws attention and provides better visibility to the displayThis also is the first year that the Jetta is available with push-button start as an option.VWs Intelligent Crash Response System, that automatically turns off the fuel pump, turns on emergencyflashers and unlocks the doors after air bags are deployed in a crash, is standard and is on the Jetta for the firsttime. And six air bags, electronic stability control and antilock brakes are standard on all models.Fans of VWs fuel-thrifty engines will be happy to know the Jetta TDI — for turbodiesel injection — is in the2011 lineup with the same 140-horsepower, four cylinder engine it had in 2010.But the TDI wont be in showrooms until late this calendar year; trim levels of the gasoline-powered Jettas — S,SE, SEL and GLI — arrive starting in October from the assembly plant in Mexico.The test car was the mid-range SEL with 170-horsepower, five-cylinder engine, automatic transmission andnice standard features like 17-inch wheels, chrome-finished grille and navigation system with touchscreen.Of course, VW is known for its road handling and ride, and the test Jetta wound its way through twisty roadsand back-and-forth switchbacks with poise. I stayed in my lane on skinny two-lane roads without fuss, even atgood speeds around curves. The more I drove, the more comfortable the driving became.Despite the fact this 2011 Jettas suspension wasnt tuned for sportiness, the cars handling was pleasing. Andthe ride was not punishing or harsh for passengers, even on uneven pavement. All in all, I didnt miss theprevious years multilink rear suspension.A second Jetta SEL with sport suspension offered more body control through the switchbacks, but the ridebecame fatiguing on bumpy pavement.There was a good amount of road noise from the SELs 17-inch tires with and without sport package,particularly on ground-down concrete highway. But I didnt notice wind noise.The steering has shifted from electric boost to hydraulic but the steering in the test cars felt linear andcomfortable.To get to the lower starting price, VW installs a single overhead cam four-cylinder engine, generating only 115horsepower and 125 foot-pounds of torque, into the base S model.This engine wasnt in last years Jetta but was in an earlier generation.The base engine mileage estimates from the federal government of 23 miles per gallon in city driving and 32mpg on the highway arent impressive, since the uplevel engine — a 2.5-liter five cylinder generating 170horses and 177 foot-pounds of torque — has nearly the same fuel economy rating, 24/31 mpg. Both mileageratings are for cars with automatic transmissions.The best Jetta for fuel mileage will be, as expected, the one with the turbodiesel. Mileage rating for that car hasnot been posted yet.
  9. 9. Keffer Automotive GroupI have always liked VWs supportive seats, and the new Jetta has them, too. The back seat, commodiouscompared with last years Jetta, gave me enough room to stretch and extend my legs, though I still think drivingwith three adults back there might be a good idea for a short trip only.Rear seatbacks fold down so long items can slip through from the 15.5 cubic-foot trunk.Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.
  10. 10. Keffer Automotive Group2011 VW Jetta Slashes Price, Still a Hoot to DriveReviewed by Chuck Squatriglia — August 25, 2010For the first time, the Volkswagen Jetta is more than a Golf with a trunk. Much more.The all-new 2011 Jetta is bigger, more attractive and (surprise) cheaper. It is, in a word, terrific despite someflaws. It has to be, because Volkswagen is making the Jetta, its most popular model in the U.S., thecenterpiece of a campaign to triple sales by 2018.To achieve that lofty goal, VW aimed the sixth-gen Jetta at the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. But goinghead-to-head with two perennial best-sellers meant dropping the Jetta’s base price to just $15,995. In doingthat, VW cut some corners, even on the upscale SEL version ($21,895) we spent a day in.The biggest changes are to the interior, where you’ll find a lot of hard, shiny plastic where VW once used moreupscale materials. Some of the knobs and switches feel flimsy. Leather is no longer an option. And though theinterior is spacious and comfortable, it doesn’t have quite the same fit and finish as earlier models.
  11. 11. Keffer Automotive GroupVW cut costs under the car as well. The base model doesn’t get cruise control. The base and SE models getold-school drums brakes at the rear, but to be fair VW says they perform as well as competitors’ discs. Andonly the sporty GLI — available early next year— gets the multi-link independent rear suspension. Everythingelse uses a less sophisticated semi-independent torsion beam.Truth be told, most people won’t miss what they don’t have. This car is quick, comfortable and a lot of fun todrive.It’s also attractive. VW completely redesigned the Jetta for 2011, and it no longer shares its skin with the Golf.The designers gave it a long, low look that we found bland at first but came to like. It’s more conservative andpolished than previous generations and reminiscent of the Jetta’s upscale Audi siblings.
  12. 12. Keffer Automotive GroupThe 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in the SEL offers 170 horsepower and 177 pound feet of torque. It acceleratessmoothly and briskly. The six-speed automatic shifts too quickly and crisply to call it a slushbox, and the five-speed manual is a joy to flick. If you want VW’s excellent DSG, you’ll have to wait for the GLI or the diesel,which comes along at the end of the year.Both transmissions are geared in favor of fuel economy, so you’ll have to kick it down a gear or two if you reallywant some hard acceleration. Get an automatic and you’ll see 24 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway withthe 2.5-liter. The manual is good for 23/33.
  13. 13. Keffer Automotive GroupThe base model gets a 2.0-liter four cylinder with 115 horsepower and 125 pound feet, but Volkswagen expectsmost people to choose the bigger mill. The diesel gets a 2.0-liter TDI with 140 horsepower.We pushed the Jetta hard through the twisties north of San Francisco and found it taut and responsive. There’sno need to wear Pilotis to drive this car, but the handling is excellent for an entry-level sedan. The ride is firmbut comfortable, even on potholed city streets. Our only complaint is the power steering is a bit numb. If youreally like attacking winding roads, choose the sport package — stiffer suspension, firmer seats and aluminumpedals — or wait for the 200-horsepower GLI. It’s expected early next year.The interior is spacious, with firm, supportive seats and a steering wheel that feels great in your hands. All ofthe controls fall readily to hand, and they’re easy to use, especially the intuitive infotainment navi system. Theroomy back seat is equally comfortable, with loads of leg- and headroom even with the front seats all the wayback. That’s because the 2011 Jetta is 2.9 inches longer than the 2010 model.VW has no plans to update the Jetta SportWagen anytime soon because it was reworked last year as a 2010model. As for the hybrid, we’ll have to wait until 2012.
  14. 14. Keffer Automotive GroupAll-new VW Jetta bigger, prettier, cheaperAugust 24, 2010|By Steven Cole Smith, Automotive EditorIve always liked -- but never loved -- the Volkswagen Jetta, though that may be changing for the all-new 2011 model.Theres a definite attraction now, and we may turn out to be more than just friends.The Jetta has long been regarded as a Volkswagen Golf or Rabbit with a trunk, but that does not at all apply to the 2011Jetta. Its 2.9 inches longer than the 2010 model, and with a base price that now starts at under $16,000, its cheaper bymore than $1,000. The test car is a top-of-the-line SEL with almost all the available features.At over $23,000, its nobargain, but its still a very nice car.With styling that looks as much like an Audi as it does VW, this new Jetta is closer to the larger Passat than ever before. In2003, for example, the Jettas wheelbase was just 98.9 inches, with an overall length of 172.3 inches. The 2003 Passat hada wheelbase of 106.4 inches, and a length of 185.2 inches.The ever-growing 2011 Jetta has a wheelbase of 104.4 inches, and an overall length of 182.2 inches. Inside, this extralength results in startling rear-seat room: Four six-footers will fit just fine, and the rear-seat passengers have more legroomand headroom than in some full-sized cars. And theres still a very large trunk, easily accessed through a generousopening. If that isnt enough cargo space, the rear seats flip down separately. If a roomy interior is your central concern,the 2011 Jetta, which should be at your dealer within six weeks or so, should be at the top of your shopping list.The new Jetta comes in four trim levels: The base S model has a 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower engine and a manualtransmission. Thats the $15,995 car, though you have to add $770 in shipping fees. But even at that price, it has airconditioning, power windows and locks, keyless entry, a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, plus six airbags, stabilitycontrol and antilock brakes. The SE adds the larger 2.5-liter, 170-horsepower engine, plus bigger tires and wheels, cruisecontrol and reasonably convincing leather-like vinyl upholstery. The SEL comes with a navigation system, a tripcomputer; handsome 17-inch, 15-spoke alloy wheels, fog lights, a power sunroof and keyless push-button start. I could dowithout the push-button start – theres a black plastic plug where the key is inserted on the other models, and it just lookscheesy.Later in the model year, there will be a diesel-powered TDI Jetta, which will have a 2.0-liter, 140-horsepower engine thatVW says should average 42 mpg on the highway. It will start at $22,995. The test car, with six-speed automatictransmission, is EPA-rated at 24 mpg city, 31 mg highway.The test SEL did not have an optional ($1,600) sport package that would have provided upgraded seats, pedals and astiffer suspension, but I didnt miss it. Handling on winding roads is composed and predictable, and the ride is justexcellent, even on potholed pavement. Theres a little tire noise on porous road surfaces, but otherwise, its a very quiet car.The 2.5-liter four-cylinder is unremarkable but competent, matched nicely to the six-speed automatic transmission.So where did VW cut back to make a bigger car cheaper? A less expensive rear suspension for one, plus cheaper trunk andhood supports. Rear brakes are drum, not disc, on the S and SE models. Theres also a lot of plastic in the interior that hasa low-bidder feel to it, but designers dressed it all up the best they could. All this is just fine on a car that starts at $16,000,but at $23,000-plus for the SEL – a price raised by $1,100 for the automatic transmission – its less acceptable.The 2011 Jetta is, for the first time in the models history, big enough to serve as a genuine family car, but – at the base andnear-base levels – cheap enough for first-time buyers. This car should be a hit.2011 Volkswagen JettaBase price: $15,995Price as tested: $23,265EPA rating: 24 miles per gallon city driving, 31 mpg highwayEngine: 2.5-liter, 170-horsepower five-cylinder
  15. 15. Keffer Automotive GroupTransmission: six-speed automaticLength: 182.2 inchesWheelbase: 104.4 inchesOverview: Bigger and cheaper than last year, with family-car-sized interior space.SCSmith3@Tribune.com.
  16. 16. Keffer Automotive GroupFirst Drive: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta gets with the(American) programby Damon Lavrinc (RSS feed) on Jul 21st 2010 at 11:57AM 2011 Volkswagen Jetta – Click above for high-res image galleryFor Volkswagen of America, it doesnt get more brot-und-butter than the Jetta. Forced into the shadow of the best-selling Golf, VW Germanys refrain was "Sell more Golfs!" To which VoA would steadfastly reply, "Americans dontwant hatchbacks!"This went on for over two decades until the corporate mothership finally recognized that its compact sedan was whatthe people wanted Stateside. So for 2011, the Jetta has been restyled, reformed and reinvigorated with a newpurpose: to take on the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, not to mention the Mazda3.How? This story begins and ends with price. A 2011 Jetta in "S" trim will set you back just $15,995. Compare that tothe 2010 model, which starts at $17,735, and the Civic and Corolla which clock in at $15,655 and $15,450,respectively. The "German premium" has finally been addressed. But at what cost? We trekked to San Francisco tofind out.For the first time ever, the same sheetmetal and assorted accoutrement found on the Euro-market Jetta are fitted inthe States. Say auf wiedersehen to the massive grille and accompanying chrome, and instead, enjoy a moreaggressive take on the Golfs fascia, complete with a bisecting bumper and slit headlamps. The lower air dam andrecessed fog lamps are more subdued, but the protruding lip spoiler comes across as slightly overwrought and a bit
  17. 17. Keffer Automotive Groupawkward.A choice of 15- 16- or 17-inch wheels – depending on spec – fill the barely blistered fenders and include one busy,multi-spoke option and another ten-spoke set reminiscent of the hoops fitted to our long-term TDI Street Cup.Viewed in profile, theres not much to catch your eye aside from two subtle creases that run the length of the sides,but the rakish rear gives off the air of a Volkswagen Phaeton at three-quarters scale and the taillights are very Audi-esque – no surprise considering this is a Walter deSilva joint, the man whose pen headed Audi design from 2002–2007. The SEL badges on our tester look cramped on the trunk, but the inverted heated side mirrors are bothattractive and aggressive, complete with integrated turn signals.The Jettas overall demeanor comes across as a blend of European subtlety and some American arrogance, andtheres an overarching sense of penny-pinching that extends from the exterior all the way to the inside.
  18. 18. Keffer Automotive GroupTo hit its sub-$16,000 price point, some concessions had to be made, and thats most obvious when you crack openthe door. The multifunction steering wheel can still be had with a leather wrap (SE with the Convenience), but thespoke materials have cheapened. To make matters worse, the same Playskool-grade plastic coats nearly everysurface you touch, from the dash to the doors and covering the center console, instrument panel surround andvarious trim bits. The climate controls have been reworked and not for the better, exchanging the heavy solidity of theprevious model for knobs and buttons that feel two grades below whats currently on offer. And the console-mountedpush-button start is laughably contrived, coming off as an afterthought both in placement and execution.But again, this is a $16,000 sedan. And its not all bad.The elongated wheelbase (104.4 inches) and additional length (182.2 inches end-to-end, or 2.9 inches longer thanthe 2010 model) pays dividends for both front- and back-seat occupants. Specifically, those confined to the rearquarters enjoy an additional 2.7 inches of leg room at 38.1 inches. VW likes to boast that the standard-wheelbase BMW 7 Series offers up 38.4 inches of lower-limb space, but while the numbers jive, the feeling in back isdecidedly less plush (blame that primarily on the BMWs six or so inches of additional shoulder room).
  19. 19. Keffer Automotive GroupUnsurprisingly, there were no base models on hand, so we saddled up in an SEL-spec (with sunroof) tester, completewith 16-inch Sedona wheels, a six-speaker stereo, iPod integration, Sirius, Bluetooth and VWs new five-inch "RNS315" touchscreen navigation system. Keep your hands off the dash and on the wheel, and the experience isremarkably more pleasant, but at $23,395, it better be.Although VW officials didnt douse us with specs during our morning briefing, we managed to corner an engineer inthe afternoon to get a better idea of whats going on underneath the sheetmetal. To begin with, this is an all-newplatform, and the suspension is comprised of MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam in the rear, with theavailable Sport pack substituting in stiffer springs, retuned dampers and larger anti-roll bars. Interestingly, when itarrives, the GLI will swap the beam out back for a multilink arrangement. The decision not to equip all 2011 Jettaswith the GLIs more sophisticated rear end caught us off guard until our new friend reiterated the old chestnut thatGerman customers are more interested in handling while American buyers care more about conveniences (read:cupholders) – particularly in this segment. Obviously, we beg to differ, but the limited take-rate estimate for the Sportpack will likely vindicate the beancounters decision. Once again, its all about the Benjamins – or a lack thereof.
  20. 20. Keffer Automotive GroupFor 2011, the engine lineup has grown by one, with a choice of a 2.0-liter inline-four outputting 115 horsepower at5,200 rpm and 125 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 revs (initial fuel economy estimates come in at 24/34 mpg city/hwy).The 140-hp 2.0-liter TDI will remain (due in December) and Volkswagen has confirmed that a GLI version is on itsway next year with a 2.0-liter TFSI four putting out 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, and delivering a 0-60 time of 6.7seconds with a six-speed manual and 6.8 when fitted with the automakers dual clutch DSG transmission.Our tester was fitted with the familiar 2.5 MPI five-cylinder, churning out 170 hp at 5,700 rpm and 177 lb-ft of torque at4,250 rpm, and delivering an estimated 24 mpg it the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Mated to a six-speed manual,the 0-60 time clocks in at 8.2 seconds, but considering the projected take-rate for the stick, we sampled the six-speedautomatic version, which delivers a run to 60 in 8.5 seconds and is more attuned to what the U.S. market wants. Andwhat they want is an appliance.In this regard, the Jetta succeeds.
  21. 21. Keffer Automotive GroupAs enthusiasts, its easy to dismiss the 2011 Jetta as a cynical attempt by VW to dumb down its product in order tocapture market share in the U.S. But scratch beneath the surface and its obvious that VW is trying to blend its corevalues with a more accessible price. This becomes face-smackingly evident the moment you get underway.The average consumer couldnt care less about steering feel, and the Jettas on-center sensation delivers with a lighttouch and an overall lack of feedback. Compared to the electronically controlled tiller on our TDI, the hydraulic rackssteering effort is Corolla-light from lock-to-lock, with only a slight tightening when pushing through the bends.Driving a Sport model back-to-back with a standard SEL, the revised suspension components are barely perceptiblearound town, on the freeway and even through the backroads. Pushed hard enough, the Jetta rolls over on itssidewalls, but the handling is decidedly sportier than its entry-level competitors from Japan – save the Mazda3. Thefaux leather seats on the SEL are worlds better than a similarly equipped Corolla, and optioning up for the Sportdelivers more side bolstering and slightly softer cushioning. Theyre good, but not quite as comfortable as someof Hondas thrones.Brake feel is reminiscent of the last-generation model – spongy up top with a more progressive pedal feel furtherdown the travel – and power from the 2.5-liter five-pot is more than adequate for most applications, particularity giventhe cars commendable 110-pound weight reduction over its predecessor. Our lone gripe with the engine/trannycombo came in the form of a unnerving lurch when applying minimal pressure to the throttle from a standstill. Werenot sure if this was a calibration issue or something related to the hill-start assist feature, but VW assures us that thehiccup will be exorcised before sales begin later this year.Although the banner headline for the 2011 Jetta is its $15,995 price of entry, as with all vehicles hailing fromGermany, that price rises precipitously as the option boxes are ticked. The SE comes in at $18,195, and with theConvenience package, the tally rises to just below $20k. Add the sunroof and youre up to $20,795. Start going forbroke with an SEL ($21,395) and youre on a collision course to $24,195, not including the $1,100 automatic option.
  22. 22. Keffer Automotive GroupCompared to its rivals, thats easily in-line with the market, but two overarching questions remain: How will the newJettas reliability fare after more than five years of ownership (something thats standard in this segment)? And canpublic perception of a German cars affordability and durability be shifted enough to allow Volkswagen to score themarket share it so desperately craves?With VW gunning hard for the mantle of worlds largest automaker by 2018, this new Jetta is a massive cornerstonein its plans for global domination. The pricing is about right and the experience its exactly what American consumersexpect. And perhaps even more significant, if you line up the Corolla, Civic and Jetta, the German still offers a morepremium first impression despite the new cost cutting. But will that all be enough, and will marque loyalists accept thisshift in focus? We should have a good indication by this time next year.