Our initial opinion of the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta went something like this; nice enough vehicle that still outpaces the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, but the cost-cutting is evident. Soft touch materials have been replaced with harder plastics that don't feel particularly good and almost look as bad. But the U.S. Jetta starts at a class-competitive $15,995, and chopping thousands off of an MSRP doesn't come without sacrifices. But will these cost-cutting measures fly in Europe, where a higher premium is placed on an upscale interior and sporting characteristics?

Fortunately for the folks overseas, they apparently won't have to worry about it. Automotive News reports that the Euro Jetta, which launches in March 2011, will feature a more upscale interior and a four-link independent rear suspension instead of the lower cost 'built for comfort' beam axle setup we have in the U.S.-spec sedan. VW development chief Ulrich Hackenberg says the Jetta will be fitted with "higher value" materials like soft-touch panels and upgraded build materials.

Before you get the urge to bemoan the fact that the Euro Jetta will be better than the one we have here, keep in mind that increased luxury comes with a higher price tag. The Euro Jetta will start at €20,900 ($28,941 U.S.) and head all the way up to €29,950 ($41,473 U.S.) in Highline trim.

So which is more important to you? Would you rather have a perfectly acceptable Jetta with a low price tag or a more premium Jetta with a commensurately higher price tag? Let us know in the poll below.

Which do you prefer: a cheap Jetta or a luxury Jetta?
Give me the cheap Jetta. 1 (50.0%)
Forget about price; I want the best Jetta money can buy 1 (50.0%)

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]

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