NEW FOR 2008:

– Power increase for 2.5-litre engine to 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque
– Base Jetta equipped with 16-inch steel wheels and wheel covers
– Jetta "shark fin" antenna replaced with whip antenna
– New smoked taillights
– Exterior colours: Laser Blue and Wheat Beige added, Blue Graphite deleted
– Sliding sun visor on driver’s side only
– Dual-zone automatic climate control standard on GLI
– New 17-inch alloy wheel design on GLI
– Optional GLI 18-inch wheels now equipped with all-season tires
– SIRIUS Satellite Radio optional on Jetta and GLI
– New Jetta Wagon (Spring 2008)
– Optional 2.0-litre diesel engine (Spring 2008)

For 2008, the Jetta and its GLI variant undergo minor trim changes at the beginning of the year. In Spring 2008, a new Jetta Wagon will be introduced, and it and the sedan will be available with an all-new 2.0-litre four-cylinder clean diesel engine.

The Jetta sedan is available as the 2.5, with 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic with manual shift mode; and as the 2.0T, with turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual, or optional six-speed automatic Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) with manual mode. The GLI also uses the 2.0-litre turbo with six-speed manual or DSG. The inexpensive City Jetta model is covered in a separate entry.

Both the 2.5 and 2.0T Jetta sedan come in a single trim line, called the Trendline.

Features on the 2.5 include 16-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, air conditioning, anti-theft alarm system, cruise control, power locks with keyless entry, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, eight-way manual driver’s seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, tilt and telescopic wheel, power windows, and power mirrors with integrated signals.

The 2.0T adds 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, sport suspension, heated washer nozzles, adjustable front centre armrest with storage, floor mats, driver’s seat power recline, heated seats, and electronic stability program.

The GLI builds on the 2.0T with auto-levelling bi-Xenon headlights, trip computer, footwell lighting, premium six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack and wheel-mounted controls, sport seats, and alloy pedals.

Comfortable and roomy, the Jetta is a well-done sedan, with tight handling, good acceleration and decent cargo space at a reasonable price, especially with the base engine’s power increase. The turbo is even more fun, and moving up to the GLI adds some luxury to this compact sedan, with a ride that’s soft enough to give a bigger-car feel, but without detracting from its ability to carve corners with ease.

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