The Volkswagen Jetta is a compact sedan which offers German engineering at a relatively affordable price. It combines a better-than-usual interior with responsive handling, and offers room for a family and their luggage. Thanks to its advanced powertrain options, it offers a combination of solid performance with excellent fuel economy for a car of its size.
The Jetta offers five seating positions and a large 15.5 cubic foot trunk. It currently offers a choice of two gasoline engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating 115 horsepower and a 2.5-liter five-cylinder powerplant which generates 170 horsepower. Another exciting option is its 2.0-liter clean diesel engine which makes 140 horsepower and 236 foot-pounds of torque. Although the Jetta is designed by Volkswagen in Germany, they are built around the world, with many American Jettas assembled in Mexico.
First released in 1979, the Jetta has a long history as Volkswagen's small sedan. From its initial offering with engines ranging from 50 to 110 horsepower, the Jetta grew in both size and complexity. The latest iteration of the Jetta is the largest one ever, but it has a simplified suspension and lower-cost interior. It is also both one of the largest and most affordable cars in its class now. One of the Jetta's distinguishing features is the availability of a diesel engine which offers excellent fuel economy, usually close to that of a hybrid.
The Jetta comes in a number of different trim lines. Although Volkswagen heavily touts the entry level S edition due to its low price, the SE and SEL trims which offer both a more powerful engine as well as more equipment are more popular. Most buyers also opt for the automatic or DSG clutchless manual transmission over the traditional five- and six-speed manual transmissions that come standard on all Jettas. The TDI clean diesel edition is also a popular choice among buyers who are looking to maximize their fuel mileage. In all trim lines, though, the Jetta is well-equipped with such features as a split-folding rear seat, four-speaker MP3-capable car stereo, and air conditioning with pollen filter coming standard on even the base model.
Volkswagen's Jetta has always been a favorite amongst those looking for a German driving experience without having to pay the price of one of the luxury marques. Its TDI diesel engine is also popular among not only heavy drivers but also among those looking for a green car. In fact, Green Car Journal named the 2009 Jetta TDI as its Green Car of the Year".
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