While the Puebla, Mexico-built Jetta has come in for some complaints over the years, the quality of the car has gotten better and feels even more so with this newest rendition. I particularly like the 3-position seat heaters, which came in very handy during a late-fall cold snap in Southern California. The manual seats include lumbar for the driver but not the former power backrest adjustments (pooh). Still, all seats have great support laterally and for lumbar.
There are cupholder in all four doors and behind the shifter, and all navigation function buttons are intuitive. In addition to the customary brace of 12-volt plugs, VW includes an SD slot and auxiliary jack on the dash. Fit and finish, according to my notes, is great, though High Gear Media's editors feel strongly that the Jetta's interior is too cheaply finished.
The looks of the new 2011 VW Jetta move the model upstream. It really reminds me of its more expensive Audi cousins with a sleek front visage minus the large “chrome” accent bar present on 2010 models. The car definitely looks more sleek with two delicate bars at the front and the rear is very Audi-like with near-teardrop taillamps and a raised boot. There are double pipes at the rear but the sounds they emit are somewhat meek.
Volkswagen warrants the 2011 Jetta for three years or 36,000 miles and gives free maintenance and roadside assistance for the same period of time, which brings the pricing down appropriately. The powertrain warranty extends to five years or 60,000 miles.
I really enjoyed my week with the 2011 VW Jetta SEL and have to agree with Volkswagen’s tag line for the new model: “Great. For the Price of Good.”© 2010 Anne Proffit