Tag: compact

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TSI Short Take Review

At just under $24,000, my 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TSI press car included most things you’d want as standard:  bluetooth connectivity, pushbutton start, a 6 speed automatic transmission, good torque, and a fun character.  There is an available 2 liter Jetta with a paltry 115hp, 4 speaker audio system, and basic features to get you by, but it’s special order and you probably won’t see it on any dealer lots, and you don’t want one.

The new 1.8 liter turbocharged direct injected engine is amazingly torquey and flexible and is just fun to drive.  It sounds good too!  The six speed automatic shifts well- it’s not a DSG box like in the GLI, but it does the job without fuss and is programmed well.  The Jetta is pretty quick, and is definitely fun to drive.  The suspension is a bit on the sporty side, but is still very comfortable over all road surfaces.  It rolls a bit in corners, but in an engaging way.

The touch screen infotainment system is extremely basic and rather low resolution, but it gets the job done without  fuss.   The stereo sounds good, and Fender premium audio is available as an upgrade should you desire even better musicality.  Materials are of good quality and feel well put together.  The VW-tex seats look great and wear like iron.  I had a similar seats in my 2001 Audi A4, and with one hundred thousand miles on them they still looked near new.  The graphic display on the instrument cluster is a bit outdated, and there’s no coolant temperature gauge which I found a bit odd.  The pushbutton start works fine, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t function to unlock the doors as well- you need to do this manually or with the buttons on the key.

Overall, the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TSI is back to being what it always was: a fun, sporty, frugal daily driver.  The 1.8t engine is so far ahead of the old 2.5 it isn’t even comparable.  Torque is always there to pull you along, efficiency is up, and the Jetta is just plain fun.  For those who want something more sporty, there is a GLI variant available with a DSG gearbox and upgrades like the GTI.  Honestly though, this is all most people will need or want.  It’s an engaging, affordable, quality car.  Good job VW.

Vehicle provided by Volkswagen of America.

2013 Dodge Dart

A Breath of Fresh Air: The 2013 Dodge Dart Road Test

I’ve seen the Dodge Dart commercials on TV, read positive reviews of it, but never expected this car to be as good as it is.  The Dart reviewed here is a Rallye model with the 1.4 Turbo Multiair engine and dual clutch transmission.  From the first drive, you know what this car is about:  fun.

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