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Looking for a practical and dependable family car? What about an affordable car that can grow with a student from high school to college or from college to a new career? Then consider the Volkswagen Jetta. The Jetta is a mainstay for young families and the young-at-heart. It is fun to drive and has a lot of trunk space for twenty-somethings hauling luggage, music amps, or weekly groceries.
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The Volkswagen Jetta has contiinued to evolve design, technology, and energy efficiency over its more than three decades on the market. Currently offered in a sedan body style, the original Jetta was based on another Volkswagen hit model, the Golf. the Jetta lost the Golf's hatchback in favor of a spacious trunk. The Jetta, now in its 6th generation of design, has remained popular both here and in Europe. Updates include more upscale styling and increased cabin room, as well as improved curb appeal. All recent models come standard with independent rear suspension and an MSRP starting at $16,985. The Jetta is also available as a hybrid, dubbed the Turbocharged hybrid, touting an estimated 170 horsepower when the gas and electric motor work in unison. Be aware that Jetta was redesigned in 2011 to bring the cost down, so the interior lost some upscale qualities, but the trunk was made roomier. If you want a diesel, it was offered in 2005-2006 in the Jetta TDI as a 1.9-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder with an anemic 100 hp. The TDI was brought back with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder that bumped up to 140 horsepower.
Jetta features for 2014 include power windows, CD system, 4 speakers, a max seating capacity of 5 passengers, a split folding rear seat, front-wheel drive with independent suspension, and power steering.
The Jetta’s four engine choices make it one of the most diverse powertrain lineups in the compact car category. Critics laud the Jetta’s intuitive interior design—the controls are well-arranged and easy to use—but be sure to check the available optional features like Bluetooth and iPod integration, which do not come standard on all recent models. Some stand-out optional features include the Fender audio system, navigation, rearview camera, and alloy wheels.
The Jetta a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2013. In crash tests it earned a Good rating for moderate front overlap, side, roof strength, and head retraint. It received a Moderate rating for the new small overlap front rating that tests how a car will do in a front corner impact. This front overlap rating is challenging many carmakers and many models are get only a Poor rating for small overlap front.
One of the most unique options available for more recent models is the Car-Net system which links security, navigation, and maintenance features to a smartphone app. A slew of safety and security features are now available as options: automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, and speed alert in addition to remote door unlock, honk and flash, last parked location, and a remote status check that allows you to check to see if you doors, hood, and/or trunk are locked. Other safety features include brake assist, dual front side impact airbags, occupant sensing airbags, and traction control.
Noteworthy About the Volkswagen Jetta
The Jetta has collected numerous accolades in recent years, including
Car and Driver
10 Best List (2014), KBB.com 10 Best Green Car (2013 Jetta Hybrid), as well as a 5 out of 5 star Overall Rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2014).
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