2001 Jetta New Car Test Drive
Nothing about this car is cheap except for the price. Volkswagen Jetta offers a sophisticated exterior design that bucks the melted jellybean trend in favor of crisp lines and an aggressive stance. Inside, quality craftsmanship and attention to detail make owners feel they should have paid thousands more for their car.
Slip the VR6 six-cylinder engine or the new 1.8-liter turbo into the mix and the Jetta becomes a quick and capable sports sedan. Also, for 2001, a Wolfsburg Edition enthusiast's model is back.
Three trim levels are available, GL, GLS and GLX, along with four engines, a 2.0-liter four cylinder, a 1.8-liter turbo, 1.9-liter TDI turbodiesel, and a VR6 narrow-angle V6. Five-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions ($875) are available.
Retail prices: GL ($16,850); GL TDI ($18,145); GLS ($17,800); GLS TDI ($18,850); GLS 1.8T ($19,350), GLS VR6 ($20,100); GLX VR6 ($24,450).
The base GL is available with either the 115-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine or Volkswagen's excellent 1.9-liter TDI diesel. The mid-level GLS offers a choice of the 2.0-liter, the 1.9-liter TDI, the new 1.8-liter turbo or the VR6. The top-of-line GLX is only offered with the VR6.
The big news for 2001 is the introduction of the 1.8 T engine. It uses a turbocharger, intercooler and five-valves per cylinder for improved high-rpm breathing to develop 150 horsepower and 155 pounds-feet of torque. Volkswagen's remarkable VR6 narrow-angle V6 produces 174 horsepower and 181 pounds-feet of torque.
For the first time in years, Volkswagen is offering a Wolfsburg Edition ($19,600). New for 2001, the Wolfsburg Edition is based on the GLS 1.8T, and adds a special package of features and colors meant to appeal to Volkswagen's most demanding enthusiasts. It comes with a sports suspension, 16-inch BBS wheels, bolstered sports seats, and a special leather steering wheel, shift knob, boot and brake handle.
GLS offers an optional Partial Leather Package ($850) that adds leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and hand-brake lever, heated windshield nozzles and heated seats.