2015 Volkswagen Jetta first drive
Second in line, latest upgrade in the form of 2015 Jetta is merely a cosmetic enhancement by Volkswagen India.
Yup, that’s correct for all the Jetta fans out there the 2015 version of this executive sedan is simply a cosmetic upgrade. Mechanically it remains untouched which means that it’s drive and ride characteristics are pretty much the same as before. So what is it that has changed in this premium sedan, shall we find out?
Having sold more than 14 million units last year worldwide, Volkswagen have for the second time given the 2015 Jetta a facelift treatment since its introduction back in 2008. Into its second generation, the first change was actually in the form of LED headlamps that were introduced in 2013 giving the sedan a mid-cycle upgrade to provide something new for the customer.
However given that in the past year, we have had quite a few numbers of introductions in the D segment with names like Skoda Octavia, Toyota Corolla Atlis and Hyundai Elantra, that it became inevitable for another change.
In the 2015 model, majority of the changes would be noticeable towards the front. Even though they are not that drastic from the outgoing model but still requiring a worthy mention is the introduction of a new front grille, bumper, air-dam, and fog lamps. Bit more in detail, the grille has undergone a change as from the previous 2-slats it has been converted into 3-slats making its looks impressive.
Its front bumper is redesigned to incorporate a bigger air-dam along with a pair of new fog lamps that provide it an agile look. Though mentioned earlier, its headlights have been re-worked a little to make them look sharper comprising of day time running LED’s and Bi-Xenon headlamps which can be found on the top end diesel variant.
In comparison to the front, there are no design changes noticeable to its sides. It’s the same as before and the only things that help differentiate between various variants are their distinctive alloy wheel design, which too have not been changed on the new one. Meanwhile the rear bears subtle changes which unless looked carefully can really go unnoticed. These changes include, tweaked tail lamp clusters which take a bit of time in figuring out what exactly has changed? To specify in this new version they have become slimmer and sharper. Putting it together is a new boot lid and rear bumper comprising of prominent reflector inserts.
Like its exterior design, the interiors too have been given a few tweaks. The moment one gets inside, the first thing that comes in notice is the 3-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel with a whole lot of mounted controls. This in fact has directly been lifted from the Polo which was introduced last year with minor upgrades within the Volkswagen portfolio. The instrument cluster provided herein features chrome surrounded dials with ‘fatigue detection’ system which is a first for this sedan.
Rest the design and outlay of the cabin remains the same with the best quality of plastics clubbed with brilliant fit and finish exhibiting true German build. Having said that, the dual climate control system has been given a slightly different treatment in comparison to what we are used to seeing on the older models. Another feature which adds to the overall cabin experience is the availability of a touch screen music system on the top end diesel variant which comes with a 6 CD changer, Aux-In, Bluetooth connectivity and an extension for charging your phone. Its seating comfort is the same as before, be it up front or at the rear. However, the best comfort can be discovered while being seated at the rear and at the same time being chauffeur driven. As for safety, the 2015 Jetta offers six airbags as standard fitment along with ABS and EBD.
Unlike the above, when it comes to the power plants Volkswagen has not altered anything for the 2015 Jetta. The company is still offering the same 1.4 litre TSI, 4 cylinder, in-line turbocharged petrol engine that produces 120bhp of power output with 200Nm of torque. Mated to 5-speed manual transmission, the petrol Jetta does well for itself both in and outside the city. Its engine is free revving which means that the power can be extracted as and when required. Though coming to think of it, when compared with others within the segment one would have expected VW to introduce a bigger 1.8 litre unit to give consumers something new but this did not happen.
Still one cannot dismiss this 1.4 litre turbocharged engine which is still a delight to drive. Coming to the popular diesel motor, the Jetta again comes fitted with the same 2.0 litre TDI engine that churns out a maximum power output of 138bhp with 320Nm of torque. Unlike the petrol, the diesel model offers the choice of a 6-speed manual transmission as well as a 6-speed DSG (automatic transmission). We drove the DSG and as expected were impressed with its effortless shifts up and down within the auto mode. Once when engaged to manual, the gearbox works exceptionally well to provide the driver a sporty feel which can be transmitted through steering mounted paddle shifters.
Since mechanically nothing has been changed, its handling and ride dynamics are the same as before. But still we must highlight the fact that this sedan is well suited for Indian conditions and also has the capability of taking corners and turns without much of an adieu. Personally, I really like the way it handles on the highway, one is confident the way in which it behaves. The steering input is very precise which would be liked by most of its users as the vehicle goes in the direction that we point it out too.
Too sum it up, the 2015 Jetta offers a refreshment to its exterior and interior design which is a welcome move by Volkswagen India. The originality of the second generation is maintained despite the number of upgrades. This can be taken into account for the same power plants be it petrol or diesel where in its DNA is maintained giving the driver as well as user an enjoyable experience.