2015 Volkswagen Jetta

What's new for 2015? The Volkswagen Jetta receives a variety of updates for 2015. They include front and rear styling changes and new structural enhancements, the latter of which have resulted in improved frontal impact safety test scores. Inside you'll find improved materials quality, as well as several new available electronic safety features. Finally, the Jetta TDI has an updated diesel engine that's both more powerful and more fuel efficient.

Because the Jetta's last redesign a few years back was met with underwhelming response, Volkswagen has been industriously reestablishing the Jetta as an aspirational choice for buyers in the compact-car market. In an attempt to earn back its former glory, the 2015 Jetta's exterior gets a mild restyling for a sleeker look, an upgraded cabin and, on the TDI version, a more powerful and fuel efficient diesel engine.

The 2015 Jetta also boasts a new suite of available electronic driver aids that includes blind-spot detection, forward-collision alert and parking sensors. While only available on certain trims and certainly not exclusive in the compact car segment, they do endow the Jetta with some of the same features that not long ago were available only for larger and more expensive cars. Other Jetta advantages are still intact, such as a spacious cabin that's tastefully designed, the availability of both hybrid and diesel-powered engines and excellent crash test safety scores. We also like the popular turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder that provides impressively quick acceleration and also very good fuel economy.

Exterior Highlights
Two or four-door hatchback available in base S, SE, TDI and TDI S trim levels

Gasoline-engine versions of the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta are available in Base, S, SE, Sport and SEL trim levels, while the diesel-engine TDI models come in S, SE and SEL trim. There are also the Jetta Hybrid (in SE, SEL and SEL Premium trim levels) as well as the performance-oriented Jetta GLI (in SE and SEL trim levels).

The base model 2015 Jetta, which only can be special-ordered from the dealer, is fitted with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and the only available transmission is a five-speed manual. Other standard equipment includes 15-inch steel wheels, power windows, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker CD sound system with an auxiliary audio jack. The Jetta S adds power heated side mirrors, cruise control, keyless entry, air-conditioning, a single-CD radio with a 4-inch screen and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a trip computer, an optional automatic transmission, power door locks, a front-seat center armrest and 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The 2015 Jetta S can be ordered with an optional Technology package that includes a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, and a premium 6.5-inch touchscreen radio with satellite radio and six speakers.

The Jetta SE brings the turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and adds to the S trim's standard equipment: 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, satellite radio and an iPod adapter cable.

A Connectivity package available for the SE (requires the six-speed automatic transmission) includes body-color side mirrors, heated windshield-washer nozzles, chrome exterior trim, special 16-inch alloy wheels, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, rearview camera, sunroof, the  6.5-inch touchscreen audio system with Volkswagen's CarNet app suite, driver-seat lumbar adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a rear-seat armrest and trunk pass-through.

When selecting the SE with Connectivity package, you also have access to the Navigation package that brings automatic wipers, foglights, a 5-inch touchscreen radio with voice-controlled navigation and keyless ignition and entry.

The Jetta Sport trim combines elements of the Connectivity and Navigation packages by including special 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, heated windshield-washer nozzles, upgraded six-speaker radio with navigation, rearview camera, heated front seats with two-tone leatherette upholstery and special stitching for seats, steering wheel and other interior pieces.

The Jetta's SEL trim includes the equipment of the SE and the Connectivity and Navigation packages and adds a soft-surface dashboard, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-way power driver seat and a nine-speaker Fender premium sound system.

The Jetta TDI models in S, SE with Connectivity and SEL trims essentially mirror the equipment levels of the gasoline-engine counterparts above (except for the TDI S's standard 16-inch steel wheels, and the TDI SE gets the soft-texture dash), but come with a 2-liter turbocharged diesel engine.

The Jetta Hybrid's SE and SEL trims also essentially mirror those of the standard Jetta in those trims. Added highlights of the Hybrid SEL Premium include 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED running lights, automatic wipers, a rear spoiler, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and forward collision warning. The Fender premium sound system is also included.

The Jetta GLI SE comes with a more powerful turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless ignition and entry, and essentially all the features of the standard Jetta SE with the Connectivity package. Moving up to the GLI SEL adds xenon headlights, LED running lights, upgraded leatherette upholstery, the navigation system, the Fender premium sound system and additional safety monitoring systems.

A Safety package that includes blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning systems and rear parking sensors is available for the gasoline-engine Jetta SE with Connectivity and Navigation as well as the Jetta SEL.

A Lighting package that adds xenon headlights, LED running lights, interior ambient lighting and an upgraded gauge-cluster display is available for all gasoline-engine Jettas except the Base and S. For the diesel-engine Jetta SEL, the contents of the Lighting and Safety packages are combined in a single option package.

Comfortable and sporty interior cabin, 5.8-inch touchscreen, intuituve buttons and switches, added leg and shoulder room, rear seats fold flat

With the recent trend towards edgy shapes in technology-focused interiors, the 2015 Jetta's overall interior design looks conservative in comparison, although many might find a certain sort of peace in the lack of glaring screens or a multitude of questionably-useful buttons. The Jetta's simple, functional gauges and dash could be judged either as homage to the days when German designs focused on the task of driving and little else or as just plain behind-the-times. For those who believe simplicity is best, the view from the Jetta's driver's seat will be a delight.

Depending on trim level, there are some revised new materials and textures in the 2015 Jetta's cabin, and the stalks and buttons continue to work with a substantial heft that's sometimes lacking in other compact cars. This year, a revision to the instrument cluster better separates the two main dials and a redesign of the climate controls, which sit low in the center dash, makes them easier to see and adjust.

More impressive is the airiness and spacious feel of the 2015 Jetta's cabin. The backseat dwarfs just about every other one in the compact hatchback or sedan class. The Jetta's 15.7-cubic-foot trunk capacity is one of the best in the segment, too. Overall, the Jetta's interior has a welcome feel of space, there's plenty of room for both passengers and cargo and the cabin now seems properly executed for the car's price point.

The 2015 VW Jetta comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is included in SEL and TDI models. VW's Car-Net telematics system, standard from SE with Connectivity on up, includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many of these functions on the go.

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