Is the Jetta the Best Affordable Compact Car?
I was given the keys to a VW Jetta for a week. Here are my thoughts on it.
2019 marks the new generation year for the Volkswagen Jetta. This marks the models' seventh generation installment and 40th anniversary. Designed to compete against Japan and Americas' compact cars, how does it fair against them? Let's take a closer look, shall we?
When it comes to styling, the Jetta is not the most interesting to look at. Rather, it is quite dull. Funny enough, it is actually the dullest car in its class. There is just no sense of style or flare to make it exciting to gaze at. Think of it as a saltine cracker, to put it in better terms. For me, the only thing I have nice to say about it is the headlights. Nothing else. Traditionally, though, it seems Volkswagen has kept the same formula by styling the Jetta to look similar to the Golf.
Luckily for the Jetta's interior, Volkswagen paid attention to it. It was not quite exciting to be in, but attention to detail could be seen inside the cabin. There was a nice blend of paneling, leather, and trim that decorated the interior. The seats were comfortable through and through. The space was enough for full size adults to sit comfortably. Trunk space was quite impressive, given the size of the car. Police might want to double check the trunks of any Jetta if they were looking for a murderer. My only 2 problems with the Jetta was that the cupholders were placed wrong and inconveniently and the infotainment screen lags just as bad as a gamer's online connection.
Now, how much does this Jetta cost? Just a pinch over $23,000. What do I get for that price? Actually, quite a lot. For safety, the Jetta comes with 3-point safety belts, advanced airbag protection system with 6 airbags, ABS, anti-slip regulation and engine brake assist, electronic brake-pressure distribution and hydraulic brake assist, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, electronic stability control and electronic differential lock, intelligent crash response system, rear-view back-up camera, TPMS, and LATCH hardware. For convenience and technology, the Jetta comes with dual-zone climate control, multi-functioning steering wheel that tilts and is telescopic, heated front seats, Eco Mode driving, Bluetooth connectivity, and heated and foldable powered side mirrors. In my opinion, that is a ton of equipment for a car priced this low.
How does the Jetta perform? Well, it isn't exactly fast, but it isn't sluggish either. The turbo 1.4L is quite the chatterbox that likes to talk up to the red line. The gears shift quickly when in sport mode and squeezes as much power out of the engine as it could. Sure, it has 147 horsepower and 187 pounds of torque, but it doesn't go to waste. The suspension keeps everything tidy and comfortable. Speaking of comfort, the ride quality is so smooth. In a sense, just as good, if not better, than any affordable luxury sedan made. Just as good is the fuel economy. I managed to get an average of 37 miles to the gallon combined while driving both city and highway cruising. VW claims 30 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and a combined fuel economy of 34 mpg. VW even says annual fuel cost will only be $1,100. To sum it all up, performance gets high marks from me. And that is not always the case for some cars.
So, would I ever buy a Jetta? Of course. But it would be for my child when they graduate high school and go off to college. I want them having a comfortable ride with tons of space that gets great gas mileage. It screams college student or for those who want to save money by not paying for much in gas so they can go enjoy a night out on the town. But, is it the best affordable compact sedan? Yes.
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