Having undergone a transformation into its fifth generation in 2006, the Jetta undergoes minor refinements. The diesel engine has been discontinued for 2007; expect it to return for 2008, when it will be reengineered to meet stringent new emissions regulations.
An auxiliary audio plug replaces the glove box light; the Premium Package now includes memory for the mirrors, and dual-zone automatic climate control; the single-CD stereo now has eight speakers and a roof antenna; there is a revised finish on the 16-inch alloy wheels; and the cruise control moves from its own stalk to the turn signal switch.
There is also a new entry-level model, the City Jetta, based on carryover models of the last generation, and covered in a separate entry.
The Jetta 2.5 is available with a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine; the 2.0T and GLI use a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. The five-cylinder comes with a five-speed manual that can be optioned to a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual mode; the 2.0-litre comes with a six-speed manual that options to a six-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) automatic transmission, which uses dual clutches for almost instantaneous shifts.
Features on the 2.5 include 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, variable intermittent wipers with heated washers, single-zone climate control, anti-theft alarm, cruise control, keyless entry, CD/MP3 stereo, eight-way manually-adjustable heated seats, tilt and telescopic wheel, 60/40 folding rear seat, velour fabric, and power windows.
The 2.0T adds 16-inch alloy wheels, dual polished exhaust tips, and electronic stability control.
The GLI adds 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-Xenon headlamps, trip computer, footwell lighting, six-CD stereo with SIRIUS satellite radio, sport seats, 60/40 rear seat with pass-through, leather-wrapped multifunction wheel, alloy pedals, sport seat fabric, and sport suspension.
The Jetta 2.5 is a well-done sedan, offering a comfortable interior, tight handling, good acceleration and cargo space at a reasonable price. The turbo is even more fun, and the GLI is turbo luxury: the ride is soft, but it still handles well, and has all the fun of the GTI, but with a gentler edge.