Last post on Jul 17, 2009 at 3:49 AM
You are in the Volkswagen Jetta
What is this discussion about?
Volkswagen Jetta, Sedan
#872 of 1441 Re: German market 2006 Jetta [jeffyscott]
Aug 22, 2005 (4:14 pm)
> Um your link says base engine in Europe is 102 hp, 1.6 liter...so how are we worse off with 150 HP, 2.5 liter, 5 cylinder?
My point is that they have more choices than we do. And if you read my previous post carefully, I would make the 2.0T the base engine and the 2.5 the turbodiesel (which would eliminate the need for timing belt changes since it has a timing chain). I'll keep my 1.8T Wolfsburg Jetta and you can have the 150hp 2.5 liter. I 'll even drive my "beater" car - 1997 Jetta Trek before I buy the abomination called Jetta V. I'll wait for the Jetta VI. Maybe VW will have its act back together by then (I'm not holding my breath, yet).
#873 of 1441 Re: German market 2006 Jetta [600kgolfgt]
Aug 22, 2005 (4:32 pm)
My point is that they have more choices than we do.
And you want to eliminate one of our choices.
As I said before, I am glad that they gave me the choice of a non-turbo engine that uses regular gas. I don't want a turbo. If I wanted a turbo I would have simply waited for the 2.0T or the GLI.
For gas engines, aside from the two small engines at 102 and 115 HP...which VW probably figures would not go over well in the US, the europeans get a 150 hp (2.0 FSI) and the 200 hp (2.0 FSI with turbo charger). The US gets the 150 HP 2.5 and the 2.0 turbo. So don't really see an issue with engine choices.
The europeans do get two diesel choices instead of the US's one. But the market for diesels is much larger in europe than in the US.
If you consider the car an "abomination", why do you even care what engine it comes with?
#874 of 1441 Test drove a Jetta GLI - fun engine/tranny, not so great anywhere else
Aug 22, 2005 (10:25 pm)
Approaching the new candy-apple red Jetta GLI, I wondered if maybe someone had gotten really drunk and greenlit a car that can only be termed a styling abortion. Surely this tall, roly-poly bug shaped vehicle wasn’t a replacement for the Mark IV Jetta. The front has weird upward slanted eyes instead of lights and the honeycomb grill makes me think maybe someone spent too much time watching Emeril and felt a blackened sifter would look cool on a car. It doesn’t.
The lack of fend flairs or and hard, edge makes the car comes across like everybody’s worst nightmare of the future after Ford dumped the Jelly Belly-shaped Taurus on us. The Jetta GLI’s got the same presence. Only taller. Really tall. Standing next to the car I wondered if this was VW’s new off-roader cousin to the Touareg.
The slab sides of the vehicle are only broken by simple, plane and very small door handles. Otherwise the side of the car could be mistaken for a poster – it’s that flat and shapeless. The spoked, flat, banal seventeen inch wheels don’t help matters. Lacking any depth or shift in angles, the least flattering view of the car comes from the side.
Out back the c-pillar rushes down to a stupid-looking spoiler and some of the worst taillights since Toyota’s Altezza/Lexus wannabe IS300. The trunks got verve only because so many incongruous ideas congregate on the woeful vehicle’s hindquarters. The Jetta couldn’t look any less Germanic in origin – nothing clean, tight, purposeful, sturdy or striking about the car’s appearance.
Popping the door, and sliding into the leather-lined buckets I felt an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. The interior’s merely an update of the last generation Jetta. That’s a mixed bag. Strong, super thick A-pillars still block sightlines. The expansive dash actually forms to some kind of giant basin near the windshield as if one of those huge NASA satellite dishes served as a design inspiration. They took the bad dash of the Jetta Mrk IV and made it worse.
The center console’s not totally different – stacked with stereo on top and AC down low. I’ll never warm to that kind of design. The stereo belongs lower, as it’s so rarely touched and its readout it totally unnecessary. I listened to it for about 5 seconds…I couldn’t care less about the radio. Dual zone climate controls continue to decorate the lower portion of the center stack. The AC seemed just as loud and worthless as the Mrk IV’s.
Stealing a cue from Audi, the Jetta’s now got those weird plastic braces running from the lower stack to the center console. What purpose does it serve beyond adding more plastic for me to bang my knee into? The center console possesses two hardened, unforgiving mini cupholders (cupholders stink anyway). The last generation’s worthless, flimsy arm rest has disappeared, replaced by a large, more Byzantine and preposterous design. It bends, it twists, it slides, it converts into a Ginsu knife…the damned thing does everything but strongly support an elbow. I leaned on it and hard a loud pop…quickly, I pushed it into the standing guard position so as to hide my vandalism from VW’s employees. Oops.
Doors close with the same reassuring heft as all VWs. The bodies on these cars always feel so tight! Nobody else produces that vault-sensation quite like VW/Audi. Those doors, mind you, seem lifted directly from the last generation. The materials seem to cover the doors, the handle’s the same, the window controls are mounted the same way (and as I always say, in the wrong place) and even the trunk/gas release buttons are the same as the old Jetta. Did they even bother engineering anything new?!
Ah but get your hands on the steering wheel and you feel something right. It’s small, leather and thick – sort of like Dr. Tobias Funke. Slide a hand under the column and there it is…tilt and slide. Yeah everybody else is doing it but VW’s still does it best. Their steering columns can be arranged infinitely. Very nice. And those gauges, while Spartan in number, look great.
I leaned back in the leathery seats and felt something great. Oh these suckers grip you. Very nice. I’m not a towering, corpulent American – sort of the antithesis of Joe Average – so the seats made me feel like Goldilocks: just right. A lumbar control made the seats squeeze me tight as if getting a hug from a female Russian weightlifter I knew…long story. Nice padding on the underside too. Overall they felt wonderful.
But they were cursed with VW’s ergonomic blight: their version of manual seats. Manual seats are fine…simple levers normally allow forward, back, tilt of seat and maybe raising and lowering. Not the VW design. They’re so good at interiors that for some reason they go all Corky the moment it comes to seats. Want to raise the seat? Pump a handle like a milk maid at the well! Want to recline a bit, hope those wrists are built up as you’re gonna have to twist a 15 inch diameter know 1 entire rotation to move the seatback a degree. It’s arduous work. Only the front lever to move the seat fore and aft works as a human would expect. For 28k I expect normal seats or power memory seats.
I depressed the shiny aluminum brake pedal and turned the key. The little 2.0 turbo burbled to life. It’s not aggressive sounding but it does sound tougher than the old 1.8T. I reached down and moved the shifter into D. Or tried. The button for controlling the DSG is odd and doesn’t move easily. Eventually I forced the shift lever – which is mounted in the center console – into D. I believe D stands for dorky as the car’s shift habits in D mode are delightfully silly. I pulled out of the parking lot and by 45 mph the car had me in 6th gear.
Screw that, I slapped the shifter over to +/-. The shifting was in my hands. And a computer’s control. No matter as I slammed my foot down and felt the heft Jetta surge forward with authority. The little engine rocketed up and moved through the gears with video game precision. Holy crap this sucker flies.
The DSG proved intoxicating. Shifts snapped by so fast there wasn’t time to consider they had occurred. Boom – next gear – boom – next gear. I was in fourth doing 80 and the car wasn’t trying. In fact the little grumble from the engine gave no concept we were doing anything that might be illegal.
Not everything was rosy in the world of DSG/2.0 marriages. As stops the car enters a weird glide phase. I’ve felt it on other DSG/2.0 combos, so I know it’s not my imagination. The car goes to neutral and it feels totally uncontrollable and disturbing at first. Additionally, the paddle shifters mounted on the wheel are a tad small. These buggers actually control a clutch, so I don’t find them as jokey as the semi-auto toys on most cars, but their super Smurfy size make them a tad useless. I’d rather something bigger and make ‘em shiny too. I like shiny stuff. (continued)...
#875 of 1441 GLI test drive (continued)
Aug 22, 2005 (10:26 pm)
At 80 mph the engine in 6th wasn’t quite pulling 3k rpm. At 90 it was at about 3500. Not too bad. Still the engine runs a little too hot in 6th for my tastes. I’d rather see 3k at 90 mph but I worry about gas mileage when cruising.
Also at normal freeway speeds – 80-90mph, the wind whistles terribly around the roly-poly shaped car. It’s a noisy, howling sound that fills me with all kinds of dreadful memories, like seeing bad so-called horror movies. At this point, only tire noise is acceptable when driving normal speeds.
When it comes to handling they’ve certainly tightened the Jetta GLI up over its Mrk IV sibling. The lousy beam axle’s gone – replaced with a normal IRS. Also, the torque steer’s so muted I can’t recall ever feeling it, even when accelerating hard out of corners.
The porky GLI feels pretty agile in switchbacks if one is maybe 50-75% over the speed limit. It feels almost athletic until you need to bleed off more speed and you realize understeer is very real and the car’s massive weight, matched with baby brakes makes this car anything but a hardcore handler. The car’s super high ride height also works against it in transitions and sharp corners, contributing to substantial body roll and front-end dive. Yikes. More than once the car gave me many simultaneous feelings – we’re not slowing down, not turning and this damned car is going to flip over….forward!
For 28k the car’s way overpriced and out of its league. At 25k loaded with leather, moon, xenons, etc, the car could be considered reasonable. After all, it’s a VW so expect to pay 2-3k less than MSRP – so 22-23k seems in line for this car. The engine’s an astounding, pulse-pounding little work of art (efficient too) and the tranny should be available on every car in the world (it’s that good). But the cramped interior, super high ride height, tall body, cruddy brakes, and sloppy handling mean this is not a car that’s in the sports luxury class. It shouldn’t be priced so high given how poorly it stacks up against the likes of cars in the 27-35k range (yes a 30k model is easily possible). Likewise, the GLI’s way too expensive when compared to the Mazda3 and Subaru WRX – two econobox cars that deliver value and supreme fun.
Here’s to hoping the GTI is lower, lighter, tighter in the corners and equipped with decent brakes. That might be the perfect little racer when matched with the 2.0 and DSG.
#877 of 1441 Re: GLI test drive (continued) [gmsalesman]
Aug 23, 2005 (3:33 am)
Can you please expand on 1, 2 and 3? I am not following your posts at all.
1) Huh???? IS300?
2) Is looking like a COPY of a TOYOTA a good or bad thing? I, personally, think that it looking like aCorolla is a BAD thing. VW's have always been distinctive and had a Europena feel. A corolla has neither a distinctive nor a European feel. A Corolla is built to be standard transportation.....getting from point A to point B with no fuss or trouble.
3) Tc? Scion?
#878 of 1441 Re: GLI test drive (continued) [gmsalesman]
Aug 23, 2005 (5:12 am)
2. You didn't mention the Jetta look exactly like a COPY of a TOYOTA compact which sold best in the world.
Well, nobody wanted $20-28K for a Corolla. And since when "genuine German engineering and styling" was to copy econo car from Japan?
The car looks just horrible. Correction: it looks horrible when compared with its predecessor. From really far it is kinda OK, but when you get closer than 10 feet, it gets chunky, disproportionate, lamps are just like corolla and nose - ouch!
I think if there was an award for biggest disappointment of the year, it would win by a landslide. A couple of other similar awards, like greatest misfire, most idiotic pricing, etc. Piech must go!
#879 of 1441 Re: German market 2006 Jetta [jeffyscott]
Aug 23, 2005 (6:15 am)
> If you consider the car an "abomination", why do you even care what engine it comes with?
Oh, I don't know - maybe because I've owned VWs (Mk1 through Mk4) for over 25 years, not to mention doing engine rebuilds, suspension mods, and general maintenance on them as well. Let's say I'm a bit of an automotive enthusiast who was disappointed when the MkV Jetta arrived on the scene. They took what was an appealing car and basically "turned it Japanese" .
#880 of 1441 Re: GLI test drive (continued) [gmsalesman]
Aug 23, 2005 (7:12 am)
1. That is the only price range you can afford, even though you dream about the IS.
2. You didn't mention the Jetta look exactly like a COPY of a TOYOTA compact which sold best in the world.
3. Dude, get a Tc.
It is? Huh, you know my income, eh? Do you realize what I own now?
#881 of 1441 Re: GLI test drive (continued) [blueguydotcom]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Aug 23, 2005 (7:33 am)
Sorry about that - hostile message has been removed. Let's move on.