Volkswagen made its entry-level sedan, the Jetta, even more accessible for 2011, pricing the base model at less than $16K. Bump it up to the SEL trim, and you've still got a good value in a well-equipped car.
The Jetta has proved a very strong seller for Volkswagen, so the company put a lot of effort into redesigning the latest model for mass appeal. At its lowest trim, the car is priced to sell at less than $16,000. Our SEL trim car is a little pricier, topping $21,000, but at this level it comes standard with cabin tech.
Volkswagen's redesign of the Jetta modernized the looks by smoothing the metal and de-emphasizing ornamentation, but the result is also very nondescript vehicle. The once proud chrome surround for the grille has been replaced by this simple narrow vent.
The 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in the Jetta SEL is rated at 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, decent numbers, but we found a hard time getting much acceleration out of the car. Other engine options are a 2-liter four-cylinder, a direct injection turbocharged 2-liter four cylinder, and a turbo diesel 2-liter.
We particularly like this design scheme for the cabin tech interface, which is repeated in the different application areas. Among the destination entry options, we were surprised that we could not select locations on the map.