Vital Stats

Engine:
Turbo-Diesel 2.0L I4
Power:
140 HP / 236 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Manual
0-60 Time:
8.7 Seconds
Drivetrain:
Front-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,161 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
15.5 CU-FT
MPG:
30 City / 42 HWY
She Ain't What She Used To Be



Truth be told, we never had any intention of spending a full year with Volkswagen's sixth-generation Jetta. We were enjoying many a happy trail with our 2010 TDI Cup Street Edition - a car that won us over with its excellent mix of sport and efficiency. It was, perhaps, the best model to come out of the Jetta's fifth generation, and we were glad to have it, especially after we first met the controversially redesigned 2011 model that wasn't exactly garnering rave reviews.

But then the TDI Cup Street met a very tragic and mysterious demise. (We still miss you, Heidi.)

To ease our pain, Volkswagen offered up the chance to spend one year with the 2011 Jetta TDI you see here. Sure, it uses the same torquey 2.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-four as the old Jetta, but nearly everything else had been changed... and not necessarily for the better.

So how would a full year with the new Jetta TDI stack up after we had eight lovely months of diesel motoring with Frou Cup Street? Would we still love it like the old model, or would we simply end the year with a resounding... "Meh?"
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI side view2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front view2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear view

So, before we get down to business, let's re-introduce the car in question: our Tempest Blue 2011 Jetta TDI, equipped with Volkswagen's 2.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-four, good for 140 horseopwer and 236 pound-feet of torque. We chose the six-speed manual transmission, since we've always enjoyed rowing-our-own with VW's diesel mills, and we optioned for the up-level model with niceties like navigation and foglamps. All in, our Jetta retailed for a cool $24,965 (including $775 for destination).

All in, our Jetta retailed for a cool $24,965.

Here's the thing: Many of our comparisons to the 2010 Cup Street model are hardly fair. After all, VW's last hurrah of the fifth-generation model featured a more sophisticated suspension geometry, upgraded rolling stock and an aero kit, among other sporty enhancements. It was basically a Jetta GLI TDI, and we loved the combination of incredible efficiency with greatly improved driving dynamics.

During the makeover for 2011, the Jetta grew in size, the interior was – let's be honest – cheapened, and chassis components were redesigned to give the People's Sedan even less of that supposed "German Engineering" that we'd grown to enjoy so much on the last car.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI headlight2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI grille2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI wheel2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI taillight

But nonetheless, Volkswagen was clearly on to something. In 2011, the automaker sold 177,360 Jetta models in the United States, a whopping 43.9 percent increase over 2010's numbers. To customers, anyway, the cheapened Jetta didn't seem to be turning too many people away. We, on the other hand, weren't so easy to please.

"History will not look back kindly on this generation of VW's long-running compact sedan."

"Two months with our long-term 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI is enough for me to know that history will not look back kindly on this generation of VW's long-running compact sedan," wrote editor Jeremy Korzeniewski. "The more time you spend in the Jetta, the more its interior bits and pieces wear on your senses, as does the dour black color palette."

The Jetta's interior received many a negative remark from nearly everyone on staff. "There simply isn't anything to rave about," noted AOL Autos Consumer Editor Michael Zak. In fact, when we lined the Jetta up head-to-head with other eco warriors like the Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Honda Civic Hybrid, we found the VW to have our "least favorite cabin of the bunch."

Interior technology wasn't exactly a positive talking point for our staff, either. "The no-frills navigation unit is nearly useless ... with a lack of information on the small screen and an inability to zoom out while retaining detail," noted Associate Editor Michael Harley. We did, however, enjoy features like the ability to locate diesel filling stations in the point of interest module, and while Harley's complaints about the nav resonate with the majority of our staff, Editor-In-Chief John Neff actually liked the way the map would dynamically zoom in or out, as he explains in the video below.



But we digress, not all things about the interior were met with complaint. One success: In making the Jetta larger, that directly translated to more overall interior space, especially useful when schlepping large loads of cargo. "I was surprised at how much stuff could actually fit in the trunk and backseat," Zak noted during his cross-country move from Detroit to Los Angeles. "With some Tetris-like strategy, I packed several suitcases, pots and dishes, a 37-inch TV and numerous boxes of miscellanea."

After 12 months and 20,718 miles, the Jetta's interior wasn't showing any signs of wear.

Neff continues, "My parents, who normally have no problem excoriating the back seats of cars into which I stuff them, remarked without prompting how much leg room they had to play footsie (TMI, Dad! TMI!). Pop the trunk and you'll likewise be staring at more empty space than you know what to do with."

After 12 months and 20,718 miles, the Jetta's interior wasn't showing any signs of wear (unlike that of our recently departed Hyundai Equus), and we did like the fact that it was quiet and relatively comfortable. All of the materials looked just as clean and polished as they did on Day One, but alas, adding a little bit of design spice or contrasting color options would indeed be welcomed.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI interior2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front seats2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear seats2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI trunk

But once you got past the general blandness of the cabin, the Jetta proved to be a truly solid and somewhat enjoyable car to drive – in a straight line, anyway. No, it wasn't nearly as engaging as our old Street Cup, which had perhaps one of the best steering and suspension setups in the class, sport model or not, but the Jetta did have one good grace that continued to amaze us over and over again: fuel economy.

42.1 mpg. That's right, our average just narrowly bested the claimed highway economy number.

"The Jetta TDI eats miles effortlessly. It is hard to complain about a quiet cabin and a 500-plus mile cruising range," wrote Harley.

According to the EPA, the 2011 Jetta TDI should achieve 30 miles per gallon in the city and 42 mpg on the highway, meaning our average fuel economy should have been somewhere in the mid-high-30s range. That's exactly what we were experiencing in the Street Cup (even lower, at times, due to our tendency to want to flog the plaid-seated honey).

But know this: As the Jetta left our hands, we added up all of the fuel economy records in our logbook, divided by the number of fill-ups and came to this final observed number: 42.1 mpg. That's right, our average just narrowly bested the claimed highway economy number. And, to be honest, we could have done better if we actually tried.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine

Many drivers noted fuel economy of over 50 mpg, with Editor Korzeniewski taking the cake with one 53.8-mpg run, which he achieved without even trying. Even at our worst, the lowest fuel economy we observed was 30.8 mpg (take a bow, Michael Harley).

Editor Korzeniewski took the cake with one 53.8-mpg run, which he achieved without even trying.

Getting those excellent fuel economy numbers may have been easy peasy, but it doesn't mean it was in any way exciting. Long highway cruises are what the Tempest Blue sedan did best, but during day-to-day driving, we noted quite a few quibbles, especially with our tester's six-speed manual transmission.

"This car has a heart of pure gold, but it's accessed through a mushy clutch pedal and coarse, slushy gearbox," we noted in our eco warrior comparison test. "We're far from novices when it comes to operating stick shifts, but two of the four editors in attendance stalled the Jetta at some point throughout the two days of testing. There were complaints of the gearshift deflecting to the third gear position when first was desired, and this general disconnect between driver and transmission was seriously unnerving. Stick-shift lovers we are, but now we know why Volkswagen sells out of its dual-clutch DSG unit in the TDI models."

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI shifter

This problem with stalling wasn't just reserved for off-the-line starts, though. So wrote Editor Korzeniewski, "It's way too easy to stall the TDI engine in first and second gears. There seems to be some programming in the engine's electronic brain that unexpectedly shuts it down entirely if you dip past a certain RPM threshold. If that's necessary for the longevity of the powerplant or for emissions reasons, we understand, but it's still a very irritating and un-diesel-like trait that every driver will need to adapt to."

The 2.0-liter TDI engine is a real sweetheart, with gobs of torque available from ultra-low RPMs and a smoothness that's hard to match.

What's more, we found that the Jetta was hardly eager to be hustled while cruising some of our favorite backroads. "The big problem with the VW is that its weak rear suspension means the nose loads up while entering a turn, and the car's rear end tends to get a bit squirrely mid-corner," we noted.

But let's get back to that heart of gold comment for a moment. It's one thing to achieve in excess of 50 mpg in a compact car (a Toyota Prius will do this without issue), but it's another thing entirely when you can still keep a good pace while doing so. Nevermind its excellent efficiency, the 2.0-liter TDI engine is a real sweetheart, with gobs of torque available from ultra-low RPMs and a smoothness that's hard to match with gasoline-powered inline-fours.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front 3/4 view

Every time we would discuss the Jetta's road prowess, it only made us miss the TDI Cup Street more and more. Again, while it's truly unfair to compare a stock Jetta TDI against the sport-tuned Cup Street, our time spent in the new GLI sedan proves that Volkswagen is still capable of making good-to-drive Jettas. We just wish more attention had been paid to the volume models.

We're happy to report that our year with the Jetta was mostly glitch-free.

Oh, and as for reliability (this is a Volkswagen, after all), we're happy to report that our year with the Jetta was mostly glitch-free. We only encountered two small problems: Under Harley's care, the seatbelt chime had a tendency to sound while the car was turning (nobody else ever experienced this), and when the car later lived in Phoenix with Mr. Korzeniewski, there was one day where the battery had, without explanation, completely drained. Those small issues aside, we enjoyed a full 12 months of carefree Volkswagen motoring.

"All in all, the Jetta TDI continues to get the job done, though never quite in the refined manner that we're looking for. I've put thousands of miles on this Jetta TDI myself, but have yet to completely bond with it," wrote Michael Zak.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI badge2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI logo2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI badge

We look back on our year with the TDI with a shrug and an overall milquetoast feeling.

Indeed, everyone on staff was left feeling not exactly disappointed, but rather, underwhelmed with this new Jetta. As the months went on, it became harder and harder to find things to talk about in the monthly updates, simply because once we had discussed the poor interior and excellent fuel economy, there really wasn't anything else to talk about. The Jetta proved itself to be reliable and capable for ho-hum daily routines, but it just didn't have that extra dose of engagement that has made previous Jettas so special.

Customers seem to be loving the Jetta's lower price point – after all, it better drives home the brand's core ideas of being The People's Car. But still, we look back on our year with the TDI with a shrug and an overall milquetoast feeling. A solid sedan, for sure, but one that lacks the small bits of driver engagement and well-crafted cabin that always made us love the Jettas of yore. This new car may be a sales star for Volkswagen, but from where we sit, the old girl just ain't what she used to be.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear 3/4 view

Click here to read all of our monthly Jetta TDI updates.

Odometer at arrival: 1,169
Odometer at departure: 21,887

Scheduled maintenance visits: 2
Non-scheduled maintenance visits: 1
Days out of service: 1
Out-of-pocket repair cost: $0

Number of fuel fill-ups: 47
EPA estimated fuel economy: 30/42 mpg (city/highway)
Observed average fuel economy: 42.1 mpg
Best observed fuel economy: 53.8 mpg
Worst observed fuel economy: 30.8 mpg


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 96 Comments
      Cool people
      • 2 Years Ago
      Price point product = High volume. Jetta is now made for US interstates. Not twisting mountain roads. Be honest,most of us stay on interstates that do not require F1 handling ! Good job VW, keep the price down !
      rmkensington
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe its just me but I can appreciate a nice simple no frills interior like they used to put in cars about 10+ years ago. Simple lines with none of this ugly spaceship interiors (heres looking at you Honda Fit).
      floobie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like VW pretty much achieved what it set out to do: create a car that appeals to the typical American buyer. As I've found over the years, what appeals to the typical American buyer is often rather at odds with what appeals to an enthusiast... or non-American buyers, at that. Cheap, soft suspension, enormous interior, wide seats, big cup holders... basically a big couch on wheels. It's certainly lame from our perspective. But, it's obviously working for VW. As long as this American dullness doesn't infest the North American-bound Golf, GTI, et al, they can do whatever they want.
        drewbiewhan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @floobie
        Used to be the American car companies built "ho hum" cars for American tastes and they got lambasted by the Euro/Japanese makes. Now the Euros are making more "ho hum" cars for American tastes and GM and Ford are making more European cars for more nuanced tastes.
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @drewbiewhan
          That is pretty funny. I hadn't really ever thought of it like that before.
      FIDTRO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, the interior may have more hard plastics than most would like. But looking at it, you probably wouldn't be able to tell. The new Lexus ES has more cheap looking plastic interior bits than the Jetta, and that's meant to be 'premium.'
      Thomas
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find Volkswagen's to be attractive but in a very mundane and conservative bland way. The trouble is that in the USA if you want a relatively affordable diesel car you do not have much choice.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Thomas
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      theharpyeagle
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think it's an indication of our North American egocentric view of the world that we assumed VW designed the Jetta for the North American market. The truth is that it is VW's world car - it is the company's assault on the world'sauto market. A design that is bland enough to be acceptable every where in this world, and flexible enough to adapt to any condition. The cost lowering strategy couldn't have come at a more opportune time - the fact that overall VW sales have increased worldwide in spite of the economic climate suggest that VW is on the right track, whether we like it or note. Personally, I wish for a better equipped car. We car enthusiasts may lament the apparent backward step VW seem to have taken in cheapening the car, but we must be in the minority, because the numbers in our work place parking lot suggest that it is multiplying like rabbits (sorry about the pun).
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @theharpyeagle
        ah but that is not totally the case. European Jetta's do not have the twist beam rear axle and the dash is soft touch, althought it does look very similar to the US market dash.
      Keith Meinhold
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rented the Skoda Octavia, 4x4 wagon, TDI for a Euro road trip of 11 days/3000km. The Skoda is basically the same as the Jetta underneath (but I think the Skoda is more attractive). LOVED the car, if it was available in the US - I'd buy it. Alas VW does not yet offer the 4x4, diesel setup in the Jetta wagon, so it looks like I'm waiting for the Passat Alltrack.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is no reason to buy diesel over a hybrid. *Diesel soot is responsible for 70% of America's risk of cancer despite powering less than 2% of the cars on the road. *It takes 25% more oil to make a gallon of diesel than a gallon of petrol gasoline. *Diesel cars cost more than either gasoline or hybrids. *Diesel fuel releases more pollutants than regular gasoline. *Gasoline powered cars usually meet the EPA estimates, while diesel cars always fall short of the EPA estimats. *Diesel fuel costs MUCH, MUCH more than gasoline or diesel. Seriously, what reason is there to buy a diesel car over a hybrid? Diesel cars are MUCH less eco frinedly than hybrids, and are actually worse than regular gasoline powered cars. Diesel fuel needs to be banned from America. Except for semi trucks and stuff.
        GoSpeedRacerGo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        "Diesel soot is responsible for 70% of America's risk of cancer" - Really? Breast cancer? Prostate cancer? Melanoma? Leukemia? You're obviously just a troll spewing unsupported "facts". Come back when you have something useful or intelligent to say.
        vince
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        That 70% figure is bull, post a source, what about smoking, drinking, sunlight, genetics, HPV... New ultra low sulfur diesels are much cleaner, they have urea injection, particulate filters in the exhaust, and common rail fuel injection which is controlled by a computer and carefully injects the correct amount of fuel. The diesel engines in road cars produce essentially no soot, so you point there is irrelevant. What exactly constitues "much much more", its costs about the same as 91 octane, 89 if you choose your station carefully
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        You're an idiot. Diesel usually costs less than hybrid models, and that despite the fact the torque makes it feel a LOT faster. And if a gasoline car claims 35 mpg, you are more likely to get equal or worse with regular driving. In fact, you would have to drive it like a hypermiler (aka really sluggish) to beat it significantly. If you actually read the review, it said that while this DIESEL car was rated at mid-high 30's combined, they averaged over 40 without even trying, getting a full 10 mpg better in highway driving. And diesel cars are vastly less polluting than either large diesel trucks today or the diesel cars of a decade ago that are responsible for those poisonous soot clouds. Diesel costs more per gallon than gasoline (some places it's pretty close, like within 5 cents/liter) BECAUSE each gallon has more energy available in it, and yes, it might take more oil to supply that energy density. That is the thing with diesel fuel. It's like a concentrate. Costs more per volume, but you get more per volume. Not to mention, with a same size tank, you can drive quite far between refills. Diesel emits much less CO2 per kilometer than gasoline, and while an equivalent mileage and CO2 emitting hybrid is still less polluting without the particulates, remember that battery wasn't a gift from the Gods for being eco friendly. It is full of rare earth metals whose mining process isn't stellar in terms of being exactly green. Not to mention, China holds monopoly of those metals, and their eco credentials are shady as hell. Finally, people buy diesel because you get low running costs, a full trunk space not eaten by battery packs, and it's overall a very practical package that actually can be enjoyable to drive unlike a lot of hybrids with their dreary CVT and lack of engine output. Diesel isn't for being green, it's for being an overall good package of practicality, economy, performance, and total costs.
        Trevor Nickerson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        lol
        paqza
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        There are several reasons to buy diesel. *Diesels provide better lower-end torque. *Newer generation diesels in conjunction with ultra-low sulfur fuel pollute significantly less than previous gen diesels. *Although diesel fuel requires more oil to produce than gasoline, it also stores more energy per volume. *Diesel cars do not actually cost significantly more than hybrids. *Diesel is actually cheaper to produce depending on the process used. This is not currently the case in the US but is doable, as seen in Europe. *Diesels do not cause the environmental damage resulting from mining the metals used in battery packs. *Diesels are significantly better for the environment than hybrids, once you factor the battery packs into the equation. *Why do you think semi-trucks use diesel?
        brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Where did you come up with this load of crap? Did you make it up yourself or have you been watching Fox News?
          WillieD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brian
          Fox News wouldn't be crying about diesels and touting hybrids...
        MJC
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        The reason is TORQUE!!! Hybrids are anemic garbage. And their manufacturing process and batteries have a far greater environmental impact than particulate emissions from diesel engines (which are extremely low in modern diesels).
          wickedme91
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MJC
          While diesels have a lower torque curve, so does electrics. Right now, the batteries are inefficient but not as polluting in the long run since they are extremely recyclable and is being recycled. But once longer range vehicles with either high efficiency batteries, or alternative fuel like hydrogen is improved, both diesel and gas engines will be replaced. Neither diesel or hybrids (or current electric cars with huge batteries) are good for environment.
        01nb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Diesel soot? Wat? U talking about a 1986 Benz TD? My JSW emits ZERO soot.
        PJPHughes1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Diesel has over 35% more energy than unleaded, diesel cars produce much less CO2 than their counterparts, have much more low down torque than any hybrid, have new pollution control systems that make the car as clean as their unleaded brethren (my 335d meets super strict CA emissions and produces less CO2 that a 328i or 335i). NOx emissions that were common on the older diesel cars of the 80s are now almost completely removed. Where do we put all the used Hybrid batteries? In a landfill..which will be toxic to mankind and environment. I'm not anti-hybrid, and I'm a big believer in clean green transport (which is why i like the 335d over the 335i, for example), but Europe has been driving clean diesel cars for years. You don't see any higher cancer frequencies in the UK or France than you do in the US. If diesel soot is responsible for 70% of America's risk for cancer, then you are implying that we should ban all semis from the road. That's the only way to do it.
          pavsterrocks
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PJPHughes1
          Actually the hybrid's batteries are nearly 100% recycled.
          WillieD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PJPHughes1
          The last I've read says about 60% gets recycled.
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't understand how you can still gush over a car that didn't even last a year. I don't care how it drives, if it only lasts for 8 months, the car is crap.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Problem was, it was running fine up until then, and a gremlin from the depths of electronic hell seemed to rear its head for no apparent reason, out of the norm even for a VW. There is a small chance that a "dependable" Toyota could break down after 10 weeks, or the "questionably reliable" VW could run solid for over a decade. Freak **** can always happen, and it's unfair to forget how good the car is when it's actually alive.
          MJC
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          Try reading the article. There were no "gremlins." The engine seized because it was driven with no oil in it.
        brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Did you read the article at all? - They were hardly gushing over it.
          AddLightness
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brian
          I believe Basil and Autoblog are referring to the 2010 TDI Cup Street Edition that AB had previously
        jonnybimmer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        "I don't care how it drives, if it only lasts for 8 months, the car is crap." Read up on how it died, it wasn't the car's fault. And reliability isn't the only way to judge whether a car is good or not.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Considering it WAS their fault 'Heidi' broke down, yeah, I can see why they'd still gush about it.
        Basil Exposition
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        If the car was run without oil, I am not sure why they would call the car's death a "tragic and mysterious demise." Why was there no oil in the pan?
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Basil Exposition
          That was the mysterious part. Read the links they provided. The car was taken to a Quick Lube type place and 2 months later the engine seized up after running out of oil. quote - "Pressed for time before a long trip, when we took the car in for its most recent oil change, we neglected to use Volkswagen's lovely free scheduled maintenance feature and instead took the car to a local lube shop, where the technicians struggled with performing the oil change on the diesel Jetta. They had a tough time removing the skid plate in order to get to the oil pan, and apparently neglected to properly re-install the plug on the pan. Still, in the two and a half months after the oil change, not a single Autoblog staff member noticed oil pooling in driveways or parking lots or observed any other telltale problems. In short, we remain full of questions about the reasons for the Cup Street's demise, as it continued to perform brilliantly up until the very end." - I too am curious about the lack of a warning from the car though. I had managed to drive too fast through a dip once in my GTI about 8yrs ago and I scraped the oil pan enough to cause a big leak. A few blocks down the road, the warning lights started blinking all over the place warning me about low oil pressure etc. I shut off the car and it was towed to the dealer the next day. Oil pan was replaced and she'd been running fine since then.
      brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Trajic and Mysterious"? Hardly! You guys paid to take the TDI Cup to an El-Cheapo oilchange place where the staff replaced the oil drain plug incorrectly... ...when all you had to do was take it to the VW dealer and have them do the job - For Free.
        axiomatik
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brian
        I'm pretty sure the "mysterious" aspect is that they never saw a drop of leaking oil and never had a low oil pressure warning light.
        bhtooefr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brian
        To be fair, VW stealer monkeys are the Iffy Lube rejects...
      MJC
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't understand what's not to like about this car. Certainly a comparison the the MK5 Sport Cup Edition is going to make it seem softly sprung and not as nice inside. But the average buyer cares little about either of those things. Overall, here you have the largest interior in it's class, styling that will age well, durable materials inside and out, incredible MPG, and prodigious torque. Nothing else on the market really compares. For the buyer who values performance and interior quality, VW will happily sell you a GLI or a GTI that sill gets 30 highway MPG.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MJC
        The styling won't age well with this model, though the GLI looks decent. When it first came out, it did get nods for a different styling approach than the classic more curvy VW look of yore. But the more I see a MK6, the more it looks like a generic no name car, especially from the back. The front is at least a bit interesting. Everyone I know who sees an MK5 can point out it's a Jetta, and it gets at least a couple admiring glances. With the MK6, the identity and appeal is gone.
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