A whole lotta’ car for less than 21K

Yes….for $20,815, you can get genuine European style, feel and performance in a roomy 5-seat sedan…plus a good measure of economy.

If you value that sort of thing, it’s a heck of a deal.

The Jetta is VW’s mid-size four door sedan….slotting in between the Passat and the Golf. And while priced with subcompact competitors, the Jetta is larger than the others on the inside. In fact, it has the largest trunk in its class.

But it’s driving dynamics that set the Jetta apart from its competitors.

While the base under-18K “S” comes with a 2.0 non-turbo, the high-volume SE that we tested has a healthy 1.8 170 HP Turbo running through either a 6-speed stick or auto. We had the automatic. This combination is good for an impressive 25 mpg city and 36 highway….on regular. We averaged around 33 in our daily commute.

Two things in particular give this car character.

First….the Turbo. Really step on it and it flies…with just the slightest hint of turbo lag….especially in “Sport”. Go easy, tho’, and the 1.8 is geared to deliver excellent fuel economy. Your choice.

And second, the interior. While not exactly luxurious, the Jetta SE has a two-toned “Euro-style” trim that looks business-like and attractive. The light, perforated leatherette is similar to what you’d find on base BMW’s and Mercedes.

Maybe it had as much to do with it’s “business brown” exterior and two-tone beige and black interior, but I was left with the feeling that running with clients or your boss will not leave you feeling like you’re driving a budget ride…and it’ll wear well with kids, too.

The Jetta’s “Mama Bear” size allow you to sling it one-handed into parking spaces…and your garage…yet you still have ample room for a family of four…and the occasional five.

Value…space…performance…economy…plus a little “Euro-prestige”….the Jetta SE has you covered on all bases!



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