The 2016 VW Jetta Review: The compact Jetta has been a big seller for VW in the U.S. because it delivers some of what you get in a Mercedes-Benz or a BMW at a bargain price. A big change for 2016 is the new 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, which replaces the 2.0-liter non-turbo in the lower level models. This gives the car 15 percent better highway fuel economy, while still providing plenty of pep, with 150 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque.
The engine in most Jettas, though, is the 1.8-liter turbo four, with 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s what my midrange SEL Premium test car had. My tester also had the six-speed DSG automatic, at no extra charge. Alternately, you can get a 5-speed manual, but five speeds is a bit retro, admittedly.
The 1.8 with automatic gets EPA numbers of 25 City, 36 Highway, 29 Combined. I averaged 25.7 mpg. The 1.4 improves to 28/40/33 with the manual, putting it in the “40 mpg club.” It may have a smaller displacement engine, but it also weighs 2,939 pounds—229 pounds less than my tester’s 3,177.
EPA Green scores are double 7’s for Smog and Greenhouse Gas, better than many other vehicles. The 1.4-liter engine with manual earns a 6 and an 8 respectively, like the 1.8, good for EPA SmartWay status.
Inside, the Jetta has the hard plastic door panels and console feel budget, but the dash is padded and the metallic trim is nice. The upgraded touch screen is fun to use as it reacts to your touch, and displays entire song titles on SiriusXM. Your stored favorites display in a strip that you select from by sliding your finger across, like on your phone. There’s a CD drive, too, a rarity nowadays. A thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel conveys some sportiness.
When you hear “Fender” you may think of guitars and amplifiers, but the VW offers the Fender Premium Audio system, with 400 watts, nine speakers and a trunk-mounted subwoofer. This system gives you everything you need during the commute grind or for long trips across the country.
For more sportiness and performance, you can opt for the GLI model, which boasts a 2.0-liter engine with 210 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque.
And then there’s the Hybrid. This gas-saver uses the smaller 1.4-liter turbo mated to an electric motor that puts out an additional 27 horsepower. Mixing those together, you get 42 City, 48 Highway, and 44 Combined, and an amazing 524-mile range between fill-ups. As you’d expect, the Green scores are excellent - twin 9’s.
Driving a Jetta is always pleasant. There’s plenty of room, with a tall roofline and generous legroom for rear seat passengers. The trunk holds 15.7 cubic feet, which swallowed up all my musical gear and kept it out of sight.
My test car had the new Lighting Package ($995), which gives you ambient lighting inside the car and bright Bi-Xenon headlamps and cool-looking LED daytime running lights outside. It includes cornering lamps and an updated instrument panel display. The car also had the Driver Assistance Package, which brought along the accident prevention and blind-spot viewing technologies that are becoming common today.
There’s a Jetta for every budget. Start with the base 1.4T with manual transmission at just $18,500. The top level is the Hybrid SEL Premium, at $31,940. My SEL Premium, likely the most popular version, split the difference at a base price of $26,200, and with the extras, came to $28,145. That used to seem like a big number, but with today’s levels of equipment and available options, a car under $30,000 seems like a steal.
VW still offers a manual transmission in many models, and in Hybrid form, Jetta is one of the cleanest rides you can get, just short of a full-electric car. Plus it truly is an international car, designed in Germany, assembled in Puebla, Mexico, with a Japanese transmission. While VW recovers from its Diesel scandal woes, all the qualities that make VWs compelling daily drivers remain, and there are great deals to be had. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net
The 2016 VW Jetta Bottom Line Review provided by:
Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: The 2016 Jetta offers a wide range of choices, all of them four-door sedans, and is a big seller for VW in the US. Now in its sixth generation, this version debuted as a 2011 model and received an upgrade for 2015. The technology, however, is all today’s. For example, you can get three phone connection apps in the VW, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirrorlink. Plus the new MIB2 touch screen uses a capacitive touch sensor, so, just like on your phone, you can use gestures and pinch-zooming. As the Jetta is a perennial model, and despite being a bit old styling wise, it still offers a lot of features for the money, is very pleasant overall, and still is a lot of fun to drive. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”. Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: Jetta is a big seller for VW in the US
Topic: The 2016 VW Jetta
Word Count: 953
Photo Caption: The 2016 VW Jetta
Photo Credits: Volkswagen Internet Media
Series #: 2016- 36
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