2020 Volkswagen Jetta
The Volkswagen Jetta is one of the more sophisticated compact cars, but it also lacks the excitement quotient found in some of its competitors in the Halifax market. In fact, its hatchback counterpart—the Volkswagen Golf—is a perfect example of this. Still, the company’s smallest sedan is exceedingly fuel-efficient and proficient at carrying cargo. Likewise, the Jetta provides a spacious interior and luxury-grade options. Unfortunately, the cabin design is anything but eye-catching and the fanciest features are reserved for the priciest models. With a slick infotainment system and no shortage of driver-assistance technology, the 2020 Jetta will satisfy everyone except those who care about driver engagement.
For 2020, Volkswagen improves the Jetta lineup in several small ways. Every version has the latest Car-Net infotainment system, which includes a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. The SE and R-Line models now offer the Cold Weather package that adds heating elements to the steering wheel, rear seats, washer nozzles, windshield wipers, and includes remote start. The top-tier SEL and SEL Premium have all that out of the box as well as newly standard 17-inch wheels and wireless smartphone charging.
Every 2020 Jetta powers the front wheels with a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 147 horsepower. The base model has a standard six-speed manual transmission, but an eight-speed automatic is optional and standard on every other model at Steele Volkswagen in Dartmouth. The Jetta felt responsive pulling away from stoplights, but it would benefit from more punch for passing on the highway. The sedan is less engaging to drive than the Volkswagen Golf hatchback, which has the same platform and powertrains as the Jetta. While the sedan has a comfortable and quiet ride, its light steering is effortless but lacks a feeling of precision. Compared with rivals such as the Mazda 3 and the Honda Civic, the Jetta is rarely fun to zip around roundabouts and leans into sharp corners when moving above the posted speed limit. Still, its serene nature will satisfy those who want complacent transportation.
Inside, the 2020 Jetta provides sophisticated design and generous passenger space. Although the available features become more desirable with each higher trim, every cabin caters to the driver and boasts excellent outward visibility. We wish the front seats were wider and provided more support. Top content such as customizable ambient interior lighting, a fully digital gauge cluster, and ventilated front seats is reserved for the most expensive models. Surprisingly, the Jetta held more carry-on bags than the Golf hatchback. The sedan held seven bags in its trunk, compared with the five that fit behind the Golf’s rear seat. Likewise, the Jetta held three extra bags more than the Golf (18 total) with the back seats folded. The Jetta‘s interior cubby storage includes useful door pockets and a deep center-console bin.