Under any of its sorted names around the globe, the Volkswagen Jetta has been around since 1979 as a small, family sedan. It’s been called the Atlanta to Vento, Fox to Sagitar. But the Jetta is the current name in the United States and the 2011 edition adds to the car’s more than 30-year legacy.
The 2011 Jetta is newly designed with larger exterior and interior dimensions and new styling. As Volkswagen’s best-selling car, it’s more than 3.5 inches longer and 2.6 inches more rear legroom than the 2006-2010 Jetta. Trim levels include S, SE, SEL, and the diesel-powered TDI.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
For my week with the 2011 Jetta, I drove the 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 5-cylinder, which remains from the previous-generation Jetta that began in 2006.
The Jetta is classified as a small, family sedan. But with the 5-speed manual option, it has sports car personality traits. It corners tightly and accelerates briskly in city traffic. It’s not as quick in passing situations at higher speeds, but it’s not sluggish, either.
I didn’t take the Jetta on any extensive freeway treks. Rather, but its forte was zipping around on errands in the routine of daily driving.
Short, smooth shiftbox.
Exterior color. Platinum Gray Metallic. It’s handsome.
Comfortable leatherette seats.
Spacious interior and trunk.
Nimble around town.
Strong standard equipment list, with no extra charge for leatherette seats.
Manual seat adjustment.
Console and other interior materials need improvement.
Facts & Figures: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 8.2 seconds.
Airbags: Driver and front passenger front and side and driver, front and rear side curtain airbags.
Antilock brakes: standard.
First aid kit: not available.
Fuel economy: 23 mpg (city), 33 mpg (highway).
Government Safety Ratings: Not tested.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $22,295.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.vw.com.
Price As tested: $23,065.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 12 years, unlimited miles; Roadside assistance, 3 years/36,000 miles.
What Others Say:
“The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SEL makes for decent, if unexciting, transportation and includes a good suite of cabin electronics.” —- CNET.com
“The Jetta’s overall demeanor comes across as a blend of European subtlety and some American arrogance, and there’s an overarching sense of penny-pinching that extends from the exterior all the way to the inside.” —- AOL Autos.com.
“The Jetta still offers a relatively engaging driving experience for a front-wheel-drive compact sedan. Like we’ve come to expect from Volkswagens, the car feels solid and planted in corners, with limited body roll whether you have the Sport Package or not.” —- Cars.com
What The Wife Says:
“I’m not big fan of manual shifting, and I don’t like the manual seat adjustments. But the Jetta does have pretty quick acceleration.”
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“The motto for Volkswagen is, ‘Great for the price of good.’ Great is too strong; ‘Pretty Good For The Price of Good’ doesn’t have the same appeal, but it’s more accurate for the Jetta.”