Year: 2015 Make: VOLKSWAGEN Model: JETTA
Average raiting 3.6
I swore I'd never buy one. Too expensive, too unreliable. Well, in a pinch, a tornado red SE Jetta jumped out at me at the dealer on an evening I had gone to see a different car. Over the last 3 months and 6,000 miles I've had a mostly positive experience. This is a compact sedan with a solid build quality feel. The interior and trunk room, along with the ride, are more like a midsize sedan, but the parking and handling are more like a compact. VW found a great balance here. It's really the perfect size car. Few cars find this balance, except maybe Dodge Avenger/Chrysler 200, and I wasn't about to buy one of those! If you have a turbo you'll also see why I entitled the review, "The Red Rocket." It drives like a V6 (at minimum) and still returns 40 MPG. Visibility is great. Car is great looking, with classic, timeless VW looks inside and out. Seats are firm but comfortable, and the heated seats rock. The seat bottom and back both heat, not just the bottom like a lot of cars. I'm not without complaints, though. The worst so far is maintenance costs. Even with no true "problems," every ounce of preventative maintenance will cost more on this car because of special oil, filters, etc. - many of which are proprietary and cannot be obtained other than from VW. I do hear some squeaks and rattles from time to time. I also have issues with my stereo, the AUX will randomly shut off and I have to go in and turn it back on. This happens about once a week. Not a huge problem, but an annoyance. Display between the instrument panel gauges is hard to navigate without using the manual. Dashboard and interior door plastic reminds you that it's an economy class car also. It's more like what you'd expect in a low-end Chevrolet than anything with a German nameplate. Overall, this has surprised me and has been a great commuter car with the comfort and fuel economy. The powertrain is also amazing. At this point, longevity and reliability will be the determining factors as to whether this will go down as a great or a lousy car for me. Crossing my fingers for the best, hoping for many happy years, but if it turns into a stereotypical European money pit, it's back to Japanese cars for me!
Comparing this car to my 2009 Volkswagen Jetta S 2.5. Not many changes in between then and the 2015. The A/C is just as good, the design is pretty much the same. One thing they did better in the 2015 model, is putting the auxiliary port in front of the car, instead of in the center console. Compared to my car, this one lacks so much power! I seem to have to press the pedal to the metal just to accelerate at a rate that makes me seem like I'm not an old grandmother driving. Even then, it lacks power. I don't think I'd get a new Jetta. Maybe look at the new Passat or Golf.
My wife was in need of a car, and we had 7 days to car shop. She insisted on a manual transmission. We looked at the Accord Sport (excellent car, a bit to big for her taste), Mazda 3 with the base engine (anemic/cheap) and a Subaru WRX (amazing). We already have a BRZ, so we decided the extra expense of the WRX was unnecessary. There were only two 1.8TSI 5 speed cars in Houston at the time, and the first one I test drove was already purchased when I came back a second time to buy. The second test drive sold me on the car. The engine has a beefy flat torque curve, and it's probably underrated. It can produce "neck snapping" torque that can move the car to where you want it. The car does not come with a TC off button. Surprisingly, with aggressive driving in low speed sharp turns, the traction control allows for an appropriate amount of wheel spin to get you around quickly, and the corrections don't slow you down too much. Its rare that you find 15" wheels on a new car, and I greatly appreciate them. They do well on rough roads, and overall comfort. The 15" wheels also fit more than adequate brakes. Up there with the brilliant engine is a phenomenal suspension. There is very little slop in the suspension, and it is tuned well. It's extremely comfortable and can handle rough terrain like a champ. Another thing it does well is maintain stability through high speed corners. It hunkers down and there is a good amount of grip, and it can be driven smoothly at a nice pace. Compared to Japanese/Korean luxury cars I have recently driven, I prefer the Jetta's suspension, and for that matter, the over all comfort. The cabin is vault like. The only thing lacking in this base model is the front seats. I find there is not enough lumbar support, and sometimes when I'm moving about, the construction of the seats feels cheap. On the positive side, the fabric is durable and the heaters work well. The clutch on this car is pretty light, and I'm not sure if its a VW thing, but it feels weak. It doesn't grab as well as the sports cars I have driven. It has hill start assist which is helpful, but on a big hill, I find myself using twice as much clutch as I need to use in my BRZ. The gear shift has a vague feeling to it, but once you hit gear, there is a bit of a satisfying engagement. I have probably shifted into 3rd instead of 1st about 5 times over the past two years, and stalled, easy to do with the "light" clutch. The overall value is questionable. I think the trade in value is around $12,000, and I paid $18,000 OTD interest free. Still, at that price, I don't think the power, and overall quality feel of this car can be matched. Not considering the new Civic, which was not available at the time of purchase. But with max torque across the board, this sleeper is a blast to drive, and you can surprise some big bad wolves for a 1/2 a second. This is a sub 7 second 0-60 vehicle. I'm hoping to keep this for 100,000 miles or more, but I will probably tire of the manual transmission in traffic. We have achieved 43 mpg on a tank of gas on the highways traveling 75 mph+ (wife was driving). In town I believe it gets somewhere above 30 mpg. With just me city driving on a tank, I returned 27 mpg, but I stay in the boost. It's addicting.
Leased this Jetta about 1500 miles ago. So far OK. Biggest complaint is the transmission is not smooth at all. Can be a little jumpy. Kinda weird that the sticker price for this car was $26k (I didn't pay that though) and it doesn't have auto headlights, climate control A/C and auto seats . It has heated seats, but not auto seats. Weird to me. Front buckets seats are OK, but back seat is awesome. Lots of legroom for a small car. The leatherette is OK but can get a little swampy on really hot days. Averaging 30 miles to the gallon right now, which is OK. I do mostly freeway driving with surface street driving on weekends, but I do have a bit of a lead foot to be honest. Acceleration is pretty good and much better than other small cars I have driven, then again with the TSI that should be expected. It's pretty fun to drive, but probably more a young person's car than a family car. I guess I'm a young 44 because I think it's fun, though I do prefer the interior room and comfort of my Volvo S60. Instrumentation and touch screen entertainment/nav system is pretty user friendly after a very small learning curve. I am not a fan of the shiny chrome/black interior look but that is very typical of sporty cars nowadays. Navigation doesn't come with real time traffic so I am not really using it much. Love the blind side monitor on mirrors--very useful and makes me feel safer. Love the remoteless entry, exit and push start. I never use my keys and remote now and I love that. Exterior styling on this car is outstanding. It's a really cute car and I get tons of compliments although there are lots on the road. We did a 4 year lease and will be happy to keep this car for that entire time. Especially with the all-inclusive maintenance.
As some who went to school for Diesel Technology in 2009. I learned about the urea and other emission systems coming into play to reduce emissions in diesels. I've also had a desire to own a diesel since my days in the military driving MK23's, MK25's and other MK variants. I settled on the 2015 Jetta TDI S with the connectivity package as it was close to memorial day and the price had gone down 5k since looking at the car. I didn't need a high end vehicle as I now work for the railroad and the yards I drive into aren't what you would say vehicle friendly. They had what I was wanting on the lot as seen online and had the keys in hand by the end of the week. In August 2015 my wife and I drove from Northwest Indiana to Key West Florida non stop with only 3 fill ups averaging 53.6 MPG off the receipts. We averaged close to the same as well as the number of fill ups on the way back. I drive 43 miles round trip in mixed driving and have been averaging around 45.4 in the warmer months to 42.2 in the Winter months. I fill up every 2 weeks compared to an 05 Impala I had which was usually every 6 days. The price of fuel where I live is cheaper than gas so the fuel savings are greater for me. I spend the same amount now as I did when driving the Chevy albeit it with longer driving cycles. Ride comfort is excellent especially where I drive and the crummy winters we have. I've only had one warranty repair as of yet for a bolt missing from the brake caliber which came like that from the factory. As a diesel mechanic doing most of my own repairs will save me the trip of spending and arm and a leg though as I do not have all the tools need would trust my dealership to get certain jobs done right. All in all I'm satisfied with my Jetta even if lacking a few points in certain areas, which is to be expected in any vehicle. As far as the emission scandal these cars are still cleaner than their gas counterparts. With a small number of TDI drivers on the road spread throughout the US the risks of the pollution is reduced than say if they were located within the confines of San Diego. In addition NOx only accounts for less than 6% of greenhouse gases in which the last finding is from 2014 which includes the 2009-then current 2014 model years. The levels of NOx in the atmosphere as far as US stats are concerned has remained pretty constant since 1990 even with the advent of newer emission reduction devices. (All stats found on the EPA website) I will get the repair even though in Indiana we are not required to have our diesels tested, and will find a good tune to apply to gain any reductions in power or economy.