As I first walked up to this Reflex Silver 2011 VW Jetta, I noticed it was sitting parked next to a 2011 Chevy Cruze which in and of itself is one of the larger compact cars on the market. But even next to the rather wide in the hips Chevy Cruze compact, the 2011 VW Jetta SEL looks larger still. This “Supersizing” of the 2011 Jetta will be even more apparent to you if you remember how big the last version of the Jetta was as this generation has grown in most every dimension.
Since this Jetta is built in Mexico with North Americans in mind it means that this body growth has proven to be a good thing. Rear legroom, for one, is now class leading with even some midsize family cars looking like they have cramped rear quarters in comparison. There is also more interior cubby space in the center lidded console and more usable room in the doors/dash/glovebox/overhead sunglass holder.
So what else makes this 2011 VW Jetta SEL a wise compact sedan choice? Well, let’s boil it down to five ways that the Jetta package really makes sense as a new car purchase.
It Comes with Lots of Standard Features
My fully loaded SEL tester (with a sunroof) came to $23,395 and featured a 6-speed automatic, in-dash navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels, USB/iPod integration, Bluetooth, Sirius satellite radio, push button start, a color touchscreen for the excellent standard audio system, air conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, heated/power mirrors, leatherette upholstery that does a good imitation of the real thing and even floormats. At least you won’t have to study a long list of optional extras!
Exterior Styling is Classy and not Overdone
Much like every Jetta before it, the 2011 model is subdued and rather boxy in appearance. But clearly that conservative air has served this model well over 6 generations and the latest version is very handsome looking especially in silver. It doesn’t set your pulse racing but it also probably won’t look dated in five years.
2.5 Liter 170 horsepower/177 lb. feet of torque 5-Cylinder is Efficient and Powerful
EPA estimates with the 6-speed automatic when tied to this motor are 24 city/31 highway. I averaged an excellent 27 miles per gallon with a few trips showing up to 30 miles per gallon which is amazing considering the size of this motor.
Now, 170 horsepower might not sound like much especially when it is attached to an automatic transmission but the 2.5 liter 5-cylinder in the 2011 Jetta moves this rather large sedan with decent authority. Passing and merging is easily dispatched and the engine even emits a throaty hum as the revs rise.0-60 is dispatched in 8.2 seconds.
The Doors Still Close with a Solid Thunk
The hallmark of any Jetta for the past three generations has been solid build quality and while some of the interior trim is downgraded a notch when compared with the 2011 Golf, the doors still close with a comforting sense of solidity.
The Trunk is Huge
There is 15.5 cubic feet of cargo room in the Jetta’s usefully cube-like trunk. That’s a whole lot of trunk for your junk.