NEW FOR 2008:

– Redesigned interior and exterior styling
– Standard CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack and USB connection
– New upholstery and three-spoke steering wheel
– Six-speed automatic transmission replaces four-speed automatic

The Volkswagen City models were originally introduced in 2007 as inexpensive carryover models when the Jetta and Golf were redesigned, and the Golf further renamed the Rabbit. Sold only in Canada, they’ve proven popular enough that they return for 2008 with several improvements, including a new available six-speed automatic transmission, all-new exterior styling, revised interior, improved stereo and new styling, including VW’s “corporate” nose on the Jetta. Prices rise over 2007 levels by $400 for the Golf and $200 for the Jetta.

Both models continue to use a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder, mated to a five-speed manual or new optional six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Each comes in a single trim line. As with the pair’s updated Jetta and Rabbit siblings, the Jetta is a four-door sedan, the Golf a four-door hatchback.

Features on the City Golf include 15-inch steel wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, manual mirrors with integrated turn signals, variable intermittent wipers, rear washer/wiper, rear reading lights, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack and USB connection, height-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, and tilt and telescopic wheel.

The City Jetta adds anti-theft alarm, front floor mats, power locks with keyless entry, and trunk-mounted power outlet.

Available options include side and curtain airbags, stability control, air conditioning, heated mirrors, power sunroof, alloy wheels, cruise control, power windows and heated seats.

The City models are basic transportation, but they’re roomy, comfortable, and they’re inexpensive for the brand; if you’ve always wanted a Volkswagen, you won’t get in any cheaper than this. The 2.0-litre has been around a long time, but it’s a solid little engine, and the available six-speed automatic is all alone in this price segment. Handling is Volkswagen-sharp and the seats are extremely supportive. The company has done its homework, too, offering a quality stereo with the auxiliary jack and USB connectivity that makes all the difference to young buyers who’ll be tempted by the price point.

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