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New car reviews

2011 Volkswagen Jetta

On a cold and foggy San Francisco day another little car was born

Lou Ann Hammond, Thu, 16 Sep 2010 04:26:24 PDT

San Francisco, CA - It's always pleasant to be in San Francisco, CA and take a drive up to Bodega Bay in a new vehicle. You get the feel of driving in the city and the curves and twistys of Highway 1 on a beautiful summers day.

But this 2010 Summer has gone down in the Farmers Almanac as being the coldest Summer on record for San Francisco. Mark Twain may have opined about the coldest winter he ever spent was a Summer in San Francisco, but this Summer I've got him beat.

Volkswagens are hot, in the Bay area, about the only thing hot this Summer. Gasoline versions have been sold here for years. Around the nation diesel Jettas are huge. They are making there way into the California market, since Volkswagen has met California's Air Resource Board clean diesel requirements.

And Volkswagen dealerships are doing well, even in this down economy. According to Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing, over 400 of the 500 dealers in the United States were profitable last year. That should warm the cockles of many a showroom.

The Jetta is an integral part of the Volkswagen group worldwide. Why? Because of the array of models and the price.

S with a starting MSRP of $15,995: comes only with the 2.0-liter engine. The manual transmission MSRP starts at $15,995.

SE with a starting MSRP of $18,195: comes only with the 2.5-liter engine. The manual transmission MSRP starts at $18,195. The SE with the convenience package (still manual transmission) MSRP starts at $19,545.

SEL with a starting MSRP of $21,395: comes only with the 2.5-liter engine. The manual transmission MSRP starts at $21,395.

TDI with a starting MSRP of $22,995: comes only with the 2.0-liter diesel engine. The manual transmission MSRP starts at $22,995.

A GLI edition will come out in the Spring of 2011 with a 2.0 turbocharged stratified injection (TSI) engine, six-speed direct shift gearbox and the coveted independent rear suspension.

An E-Jetta (electric) will come out around 2013, according to Wolfgang Hatz, Vice President of engine development for Volkswagen AG.

Volkswagen laid out who they thought their competitors were and the advantages and disadvantages. The direct competitors are Honda Civic DX-VP (vs. the Volkswagen Jetta S), the Civic LX (vs. the Volkswagen SE)

The Jetta will be offered with three gasoline engines and one direct injection turbodiesel (TDI Clean Diesel). Two of the gasoline engines are multi-point injection (MPI), and one is a turbocharged stratified injection (TSI).

The Volkswagen Group is the third-largest automaker in the world. The Group is made up of Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, Lamborghini, SEAT, koda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The Volkswagen group is known for their engines, cars are bought for the Volkswagen engine alone. According to Hatz the Volkswagen group was the first car company to introduce gasoline direct injection.

Multi-point fuel injection injects fuel into the intake port just up from the cylinder's intake valve. Normally, fuel injection happens at a central point within an intake manifold.

2.0-liter multipoint injection (MPI) is the entry level engine made of an aluminum alloy. The four-cylinder engine boasts 115 horsepower and reaches its maximum power at 5,200 rpm. The maximum torque 125 lbs.-ft at 4,000 rpm. The multipoint four cylinder engine with the five-speed manual gearbox accelerates from 0-60 mph in 9.8 seconds, the six-speed automatic accelerates from 0-60 in 11 seconds.

The multipoint four cylinder engine with the five-speed manual gearbox EPA is rated 24 city/34 highway miles per gallon. The multipoint four cylinder engine with the six-speed automatic gearbox EPA is rated 23 city/32 highway miles per gallon.

2.5-liter multipoint injection (MPI) is a 20-valve, five-cylinder engine with a power of 170 horsepower and reaches its maximum power at 5,700 rpm. The maximum torque is 177 lbs.-ft at 4,250 rpm. The multipoint four cylinder engine manual accelerates from 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds, and with 6-speed automatic it is 8.5 seconds.

The multipoint five-cylinder engine with the five-speed manual gearbox EPA is rated is 23 city/33 highway miles per gallon. The multipoint five-cylinder engine with the six-speed automatic gearbox EPA is rated 24 city/31 highway miles per gallon.

TSI stands for "turbocharged stratified injection". The Volkswagen TSI engine combines a supercharger with a turbocharger. Hatz explained that the TSI technology uses supercharging for low end power while the turbo charger kicks in and boosts the mid range and top end power. Quick off the line and secure on the hills.

A 2.0-liter turbocharged stratified injection (TSI) is a four-cylinder engine with a power output of 200 horsepower and 207 lbs-ft (between 1,700 and 5,000 rpm) torque. The turbocharged stratified injection accelerates from 0-60 in 6.7 seconds (direct shift gearbox (DSG): 6.8 seconds).

This turbocharged stratified injection (TSI) four-cylinder engine with the five-speed manual gearbox EPA has not been rated, but will require premium gasoline.

2.0 turbo-diesel-injection (TDI) is a four-cylinder sixteen-valve engine with a power output of 140 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 236 lb-ft of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. The turbo diesel injection (TDI) accelerates from 0-60 with the 6-speed manual and 6-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) in 8.7 seconds.

The turbo diesel injection (TDI) four-cylinder engine with the six-speed manual gearbox is EPA rated at 30 city/42 highway miles per gallon. The turbo diesel injection (TDI) four-cylinder engine with the Six-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) is EPA rated at 30 city/42 highway miles per gallon.

Black Uni, Tempest Blue, Tornado Red, Platinum Gray, Toffee Brown, white Gold, Reflex Silver, and Candy white.

We took the first drive around San Francisco, up through Bodega Bay. The ride was smooth, the engine worked well on the hills and curves. The Volkswagen is always a delight to drive.

Inside is roomy. My husband, Stretch, is 6'4". Stretch set the drivers seat up for himself and then set in the back, behind the driver. VW said the Jetta had best in class rear legroom and Stretch agreed with that.

The base Jetta is about $1,700 cheaper than the 2010 version. The problem is that more car manufacturers are putting more money into their interior. Look at the Chevy Malibu and the Ford Fusion. Both are soft to the touch. After awhile of getting up at o-dark-hundred to drive to work in the dark you want a little soft touch in your life. Even the RNS 315 touchscreen navigation looks a little cheap with satiny finish, surrounded by the flat black finish.

VW got the trunk right. There's lot of room in the trunk and you can open the trunk without the key.

In these difficult times when you have to watch how much you are spending one also looks at the after cost. So did VW. For the entire length of the warranty VW will offer a carefree maintenance program, which means you get free scheduled maintenance on the Jetta.

 

 


2011 Volkswagen Jetta


best in class rear legroom


good enough


quintessentially San Francisco

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