2002 Volkswagen Jetta Wagon Photo
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by Dan Carney

Ever since the Volkswagen Rabbit sprouted a trunk in 1980, the Jetta has been a popular, if thoroughly conventional three-box small sedan. The little car became VW’s best-seller in the U.S. in 1985, and it has held that title ever since.

The rest of the world doesn’t appreciate the virtues of a small car configured as a sedan; they prefer the Golf hatchback to the Bora, as the Jetta is called elsewhere. But VW thought that perhaps a station wagon version of the car would appeal to those practical Europeans, so it introduced a Bora wagon two years ago.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., buyers began snapping up European sport wagons from Audi, BMW, Saab, and Volvo. “It was pretty clear to us that the European wagons were becoming more popular,” said VW spokesman Tony Fouladpour. “All we had to do was look at our [Audi] A4 wagon sales.”

Volkswagen decided to target this market with the Jetta wagon, which arrived in this country in the middle of the model year. “We looked at how the wagon market was trending, and we thought there was room between the Jetta and the Passat wagon,” Fouladpour said.

Wagon credentials

Outfitted with the 174-horsepower, 2.8-liter VR6 engine and five-speed manual gearbox, the Jetta wagon boasts sporty credentials. Our GLX test car included the sport option package, which adds beautiful 17-inch alloy wheels and Michelin MXM Pilot radials, along with stiffer springs and shocks. The tires alone significantly boost dry traction over the all-season MXV Energy radials.

Reviewed by High Gear Media Staff
 , The Car Connection
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