Interactive Review: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
In May 2011, we reviewed a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.5. During that week, I took the Jetta on a 750 mile trip. I had no love for the 2.5 liter 5-cylinder included in that car. The fuel economy I observed over my 750 mile highway trip didn't even match that of a V6 Chevrolet Camaro and the power wasn't even close. Like most 5-cylinders, that Jetta also had a rough feeling under hard acceleration. About the only positive thing I could say about the power train was that it had good torque to scoot around town with. It looks like Volkswagen might agree with my opinions. Recently rumors have popped up that Volkswagen will replace the 2.5 5-cylinder with a smaller displacement turbo charged 4-cylinder.
The interior was letdown if you didn't keep your perspective on this car's entry price. It was built well enough, but there were lots of button blankouts and dial deletes. Driving this car for 750 miles, I had to keep reminding myself, "$16k base price... $16k base price". Considering $16,000 barely gets you into a FIT over at Honda... that makes the lower end Jetta a not-to-bad proposition.
So the question becomes: Can the budget minded Jetta, that bases just above $16,000, be transformed into a performance sport sedan worthy of the GLI badge at $26,000. After 70 miles so far today, the Magic 8-Ball says: "Signs point to yes"
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