Yonkers, New York – The newly-redesigned Volkswagen Jetta “disappoints” and placed last among eleven small sedans tested by Consumer Reports. The magazine’s engineers found fault with its agility, cornering grip, coarse engine, braking, interior fit-and-finish and “so-so” fuel economy.

“The new Jetta is unimpressive,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center. “In an effort to bring the car’s starting price down, VW cheapened the previous Jetta’s interior and suspension, making it less sophisticated and compromising handling.”

The latest test group of four small sedans included two versions of the Chevrolet Cruze, which the magazine said was “light-years ahead of the crude Chevrolet Cobalt that it replaced,” and the latest-generation Hyundai Elantra.

The Cruze now ranks mid-pack among the eleven sedans, with a “Very Good” overall score. The editors said the two versions tested “handled nicely and felt substantial,” but “a tight rear seat and so-so-fuel economy for this class” reduced the overall scores.

The Elantra was named a Top Pick in its category and ranks as the best small sedan tested by the publication, followed in order by the Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza and Toyota Corolla, all of which had been tested previously.

The Elantra is the only vehicle of the eleven that is “recommended” by the magazine, which only recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability, and have performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test. The Cruze LS, Scion tC and Volkswagen Jetta scored too low to be recommended, while the Cruze LT is too new for adequate reliability data.

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