I test drove a 2010 Jetta SE

It was a great car, except for the engine, which I speak about in my 2010 Jetta forum post here. Never has a decent car been let down by its engine like this combo. I would have welcomed any of the several other engines offered this year, even the less powerful 4-cylinder. At least then one can chip it.

But a normally aspirated engine… you’re just stuck.

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Updated Jetta Ups HP

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VW’s famed Jetta model now gets a 1.4 turbo-four that pushes the horsepower needle to 150, up from a stingy 115. Torque goes up to a punchy 184 lb-ft. Much better.

A manual is the standard transmission, and an automatic is available. The auto has a tall 6th gear for low revs and better economy during highway cruising.

The suspension is now 4-wheel independent on all Jettas. In the past, this nicer suspension was reserved for the higher-end Jetta GLI, a decision we always thought was odd.

Sadly, the suspension generosity doesn’t carry over to the wheels, which on base models are steel, with hubca… er, “wheel covers”.

The Jetta currently rides on VW’s PQ35 platform, not the newer MQB. It’s hard to imagine this current Jetta as more than a stopgap car until the MQB Jetta arrives. The expansive Golf line rolls with MQB, and has drawn raves.

Jettas start at $17,680 in the US.

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