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Welcome to our Decision Guide Complete Report. It puts all the information you need on
this vehicle at your fingertips. We give you objective test figures, and more. Our collective
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VW Jetta GLI (Manual)

Base price: $24,645

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-drive; 4-door 5-passenger sedan


Content Section

Detailed vehicle specifications 1

Capsule Review 2

Road tests, reviews & related feature articles 3

J.D. Power and Associates Power Circle Quality Ratings 4

NHTSA crash-test ratings 5

Kelley Blue Book detailed vehicle pricing & standard equipment 6


VW Jetta GLI (Manual)

Base price: $24,645
Vehicle type: front-engine, front-drive; 4-door 5-passenger sedan

Base price: $24,645

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-drive; 4-door 5-passenger sedan
Interior volume, F/R/cargo (cu ft) 50/38/13 -
Cargo volume, seats up/maximum (cu ft) 21 - 61/111
Wheelbase 98.9 in
Length/width/height 172.3/68.3/56.7 in
Turning circle 35.8 ft
Curb weight 3106 lb
EPA city/hwy mpg 21/29
Fuel-tank capacity/range 14.5 gal/305 mi
Passive restraints driver and passenger front, side, and curtain airbags; rear curtain airbags
Bed capacity (cu ft) 58.1-

POWERTRAIN turbocharged and intercooled 1.8-liter DOHC 20-valve inline-4, 180 hp,
173 lb-ft; 6-sp man

F ind, struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
R ind, trailing arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar

F/R vented disc/disc
ABS standard

Future Product Intelligence

2005 VW Jetta GLI (Manual) The styling will be freshened, and a new extended-wheelbase version will appear to better
compete with the Chevy Suburban.

VW Jetta GLI (Manual)

The Jetta sedan has always sold well in the U.S. because it is viewed by many as in inexpensive European car rather than
a dowdy economy car. A new fifth-generation Jetta is expected to debut in spring 2006, so the 2005 Jetta will have a
short life. Changes for the abbreviated model year are few. The GLI trim level is no longer available with the narrow-angle
V-6. GLIs will come only with four-cylinder engines with either a four-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. For the
environmentally conscious, there is the 100-hp turbo-diesel that boasts nearly Toyota Prius–like fuel economy. For
those on a budget, there's the 115-hp 2.0-liter mill, which is uninspiring and should be avoided if you have the means. If
you contain your urge to purchase a Jetta until the new fifth-generation model arrives, you'll be rewarded with a bit larger
car and more standard horsepower.
COMPLETE REPORT SECTION 3: Reviews, Road Tests and Features

Short Take Review: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Think fuel-efficient car. Forget hybrid space capsule.


June 2006

There are only two new cars in the U.S. market into which one can introduce diesel fuel without provoking costly damage:
the $51,825 Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI and the $22,235 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. When 2007 rolls around and more stringent
emissions requirements finish phasing in, we may find ourselves with just the Benz. Mercedes has shown us its particulate-
filter-equipped and 2007-compliant E320 BlueTec, but Volkswagen hasn’t revealed what it’s doing to comply with the stricter
standards. Presumably, VW will follow Mercedes and add similar technology to clean up the exhaust; however, VW has
conceded that a 2007 diesel Jetta might not be ready here by the beginning of the year. If VW diesels are your bag, you’re
not entirely out of luck. The German automaker may stockpile 2006 Jetta TDIs, which it will sell into the 2007 calendar year
until a true, emissions-compliant 2007 model is ready.

Don’t tell your passengers they’re in a diesel and it’s unlikely they’ll ever suspect there is anything unusual about your Jetta.
Since diesel pumps are inevitably coated in diesel fuel, they might wonder why you smell like a trucker, but that’s not the
car’s fault.

Despite our alpha driver tendencies — gotta be in front, gotta be in front — the TDI
returned 36 mpg, which translates into a heady 522-mile range (the EPA highway
number of 42 mpg equals 609 miles between stops). Jetta TDI drivers interested in
running the tank empty in one sitting should consider the Stadium Pal or the
Stadium Gal (

The Jetta TDI is so adept at hiding its weird side that hybrid cross-shoppers who
revel in the statement and odd nature of their vehicles might be turned off by its
unabashedly carlike personality. Volkswagen’s diesel is an affordable, fuel-efficient
car — never a hybrid spaceship — yet it retains enough diesel traits to keep things
interesting. We’re hoping VW finds a way to keep selling it.
Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Price as tested: $24,910 (base price: $22,235)
Engine type: turbocharged and intercooled SOHC 8-valve diesel inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 116 cu in, 1896cc
Power (SAE net): 100 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 177 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed manual with automated shifting and clutch

Wheelbase: 101.5 in
Length/width/height: 179.3/70.1/57.4 in
Curb weight: 3306 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 10.3 sec

Zero to 100 mph: .37.0 sec
Street start, 5–60 mph: 11.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 17.6 sec @ 77 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 114 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.81 g
EPA fuel economy, city driving: 35 mpg
C/D-observed fuel economy: 36 mpg
COMPLETE REPORT SECTION 3: Reviews, Road Tests and Features

2006 Charting the Changes — Volkswagen


October 2005

After a mostly fallow 2005, VW is on a new-model rush, starting with a sixth-generation Passat. The redesigned and restyled
car's standard engine is a 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 280-hp, 3.6-liter VR6 is optional. The turbo four
becomes standard on the Jetta GLI and optional on the Jetta. The New Beetle gets a mild redesign and a new standard
engine, a 150-hp, 2.5-liter five-cylinder with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The current
GTI carries on without the optional VR6 until an all-new version, based on the Audi A3, debuts. The Phaeton W-12 engine's
output is raised to 444 horses. The Golf range is diminished by the elimination of the two-door GL and four-door GL turbo-
diesel. The Touareg gains a new standard engine, a 3.6-liter VR6 with direct injection and 276 horsepower, 36 more than
the last VR6.

Future: The next generation of the New Beetle and Golf to be launched late this year and in 2006. A Passat four-door
"coupe" in 2008.

Select another manufacturer

COMPLETE REPORT SECTION 3: Reviews, Road Tests and Features

Road Test Review: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Sometimes, moving up can mean leaving some people behind.


October 2005

Despite being mildly dismayed by the base 2.5-liter fifth-generation Jetta's inclination toward comfort instead of sport and
the tepid performance of the new five-cylinder engine, we held out hope for the high-performance GLI version. Among
Volkswagen aficionados, the letters GLI are held in high esteem and are perhaps second only to the letters GTI. Since its
inception, the GLI moniker has graced sedan versions of the hatchback GTI—all the joy of the GTI but in the more-family-
friendly Jetta package.

When the 2006 Jetta GLI debuted at the Detroit auto show back in January, we learned that it would arrive several months
before the nearly identical fifth-generation GTI. (That car debuted in Europe at the end of 2004, but we won't get it until mid-
'06.) Staffers who experienced the new GTI on European soil were impressed. The news that we'd get the GLI before the GTI
was almost enough to make us look past the new Jetta's Corolla-esque styling, and the 18-inch wheels didn't hurt the looks,
either. Previously, some staffers called the Jetta's styling sophisticated; these statements were not without dissent.

We were curious to see if the new GLI was slower than the last of the fourth-
generation GLIs. We hadn't officially tested an '05 GLI, so we rounded up a low-
mileage (5537 miles) example and ran it through our battery of tests. That GLI,
weighing 277 fewer pounds, turned 60 mph in 7.1 seconds and skated through
the quarter-mile in 15.5 seconds at 89 mph. The numbers for both cars were
close except for the 5-to-60 time, which took an extra half-second in the '05 car—
see what we mean about turbo lag? To the testing equipment, the two Jettas
were basically identical, but to the wheelman, the '05 GLI felt faster because it
offered a raw and intimate experience. Clearly, the new GLI has a different set of
priorities from those of the previous model.

The '06 GLI is larger and more refined than the fourth-generation car. When the
Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Jetta was redesigned, it grew inside and out (especially in the back seat), material
and build quality improved, and structural rigidity and isolation from the outside world increased. The Jetta, and especially
the GLI, moved up a class in the automotive caste system, allowing it to make
direct eye contact with sports sedans such as the Acura TSX and Volvo S40. As
much fun as the last GLI was, it wasn't big or sophisticated enough to compete at
that level.

It should come as no surprise, then, that this GLI's chassis isn't as extreme as its
predecessor's, which was lowered 0.8 inch in front and a full inch in back versus
the standard Jetta's. The new GLI isn't lowered compared with the base model, so
it sits high and awkward-looking above the 18-inch wheels. That previous GLI
didn't ride too harshly in most conditions, but dropping the ride height reduced
wheel travel, making it easier to smack into the jarring bump stops on large
impacts. Highs: Steering wheel of the gods;
comfortable, quiet interior; Audi-like
It takes a lot of provocation to get the refinement; quiet, turbo-lag-free
new GLI to compress its longer springs engine.
enough to meet the bump stops. What
the new GLI does get is a slightly Lows: Underwhelming performance
stiffened version of the strut-front and numbers, not as engaging as its
multilink-rear suspension of the base predecessor, refinement keeps you from
Jetta. The suspension tuning keeps the getting too attached.
GLI more planted and, along with larger
anti-roll bars, less inclined to body roll, The Verdict: Less like the old Jetta,
but even with the optional 18-inch more like an Audi.
wheels ($750), there isn't much of a
loss in ride comfort—17-inch wheels with 225/45R-17 summer tires are standard. Open your wallet for the 18s, and you get
low-profile 225/40R-18 Bridgestone RE050A tires that are well matched to the rest of the chassis changes. The extra grip
from the summer tires is likely responsible for the 169-foot stop from 70 mph. The A3, with the same brakes but less
aggressive all-season rubber, did the deed in 185 feet. The lighter, previous Jetta needed only 160 feet to stop from 70 mph.

On the skidpad, grip was an unimpressive 0.83 g. We expected more because the A3 we recently tested achieved 0.82 g with
all-season meats. On the road, the GLI squeals its tires more than we like, but it never wants for grip. Sure, it feels larger
than its point-and-shoot antecedent, which didn't do much better on the skidpad at 0.84 g, but—it may sound like we're
making excuses—the new GLI satisfies its driver with tactile feedback that is communicative but never unrefined and slick-
feeling controls that inspire confidence and encourage high-speed driving.

What one first notices on entering the GLI is the tilting and telescoping three-spoke
multifunction steering wheel that combines the flat bottom of the Lamborghini
Gallardo's with the thick and sculpted feel of the Ferrari F430's. Wrapping your
paws around it elevates your mood faster than free beer. Connected to the wheel is
VW's electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering that does a convincing
impersonation of hydraulic power assist. On-center feel seems better than that of
the base car and makes triple-digit speeds stress-free. Turn-in is predictable. It's
easy to place the GLI, and there isn't the least bit of dartiness, but it doesn't
exactly hide its larger size, especially if you drive it back-to-back with the previous

The rest of the interior is much like the five-cylinder Jetta's. The dashboard sits
quite high, a product of the tall cowl. The gauges, the aluminum trim, and the
dressed-up pedals are exclusive to the GLI, but the climate control and the radio
can be had in the base Jetta. A leather-wrapped shift knob exclusive to the GLI
sprouts from between the seats and has a light and positive feel but still can't
match the mechanical precision of the TSX's shifter.

Our tester had comfortable and supportive optional leather seats that were part of
a $3200 package that bundles dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a
sunroof, satellite radio, and radio and trip- computer controls on the steering
wheel. À la carte options include rear side-impact airbags ($350) and the 18-inch
wheels and tires. Our loaded manual GLI (the twin-clutch automatic DSG would add $875) stickered for an Audi-like $28,705.
German refinement doesn't come cheap these days, even when it's wearing a VW badge.

It might sport that badge, but the rest of the vehicle constantly whispers Audi, so much so that this newest GLI bears almost
no relation to the previous GLI. This successor is chasing after $25,000-to-$30,000 sports sedans, and if you're shopping in
that class, the GLI is a viable alternative. However, many of us will miss the cheeky nature of the previous GLI. We'll get over
it. After all, we still loved George Jefferson even after he stopped being Archie Bunker's neighbor and moved on up to the
East Side.

We drive a lot of fine cars here, although you won't read a lot about how the gas gauges of fine cars move downward fast. So
here's a really fine car-an ergonomic masterpiece, with a wonderfully simple and functional cockpit (reaching not required); a
car with excellent acceleration and just a superb manual transmission; a car that feels very expensive in both materials and
ride quality that I drove 61 miles before the fuel dial retreated exactly one notch on an 18-notch gauge. I was staring at the
damn thing, thinking something was wrong with it. I'm excited enough to call this the best Jetta ever made, and maybe the
best VW, period.

What's not to like when the Jetta gets 18-inch wheels that are snazzy enough to be aftermarket, a sporty steering wheel,
seats that cradle in the right places, and 49 more horsepower in the form of a fantastically flexible direction-injection turbo
four? Even so, I'm not ecstatic. For one, the view out front is odd. All the sheetmetal is hidden from my eyes by the short,
sloped hood-feels too much like watching a movie. It's essentially a sedan version of the Audi A3, but the same engine tugs
harder in the Audi, likely due to 107 fewer pounds. Plus, hatchbacks always beat sedans in cargo hauling. The price is the
same, too, so I'll take the better-looking A3.

Assessed as an instrument for dissecting urban traffic, the GLI isn't quite as scalpel sharp as some of the small hot-rod
sedans zooming around town. There may be just a little too much mass for the level of muscle available here. But put it in a
back-road environment rich in fast sweepers, ess bends, and decreasing radii, and this car comes to life. The GLI is agile,
precise, and totally predictable, with the taut, tightly strung feel that's peculiar to cars that have autobahn in their DNA. As
compact sedans go, this one doesn't go cheap. But you get what you pay for: a sophisticated small sedan that delivers
carved-from-billet solidity and is endlessly entertaining to drive.


Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Price as tested: $28,705

Price and option breakdown: base Volkswagen Jetta GLI (includes $615 freight),
$24,405; Package 2 (includes power sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control,
leather seats, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, and satellite radio),
$3200; 225/40R-18 summer performance tires on 18-inch aluminum wheels, $750;
rear side airbags, $350

Major standard accessories: power windows and locks, remote locking, A/C, cruise control, tilting and telescoping steering
wheel, rear defroster

Sound system: Volkswagen AM-FM-satellite radio/CD changer, 8 speakers

Type: turbocharged and intercooled inline-4, iron block and aluminum head
Bore x stroke: 3.25 x 3.65 in, 82.5 x 92.8mm
Displacement: 121 cu in, 1984cc
Compression ratio: 10.3:1
Fuel-delivery system: direct injection
Turbocharger: BorgWarner K03
Maximum boost pressure: 11.4 psi
Valve gear: belt-driven double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters, variable intake-valve timing
Power (SAE net): 197 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 207 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
Redline: 6500 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed manual
Final-drive ratio: 3.94:1/3.09:1*
Gear - Ratio - Mph/1000 rpm: Max test speed
I - 3.36 - 5.5 - 35 mph (6500 rpm)
II - 2.09 - 8.8 - 57 mph (6500 rpm)
III - 1.47 - 12.5 - 81 mph (6500 rpm)
IV - 1.10 - 16.7 - 108 mph (6500 rpm)
V - 1.11 - 21.1 - 129 mph (6100 rpm)
VI - 0.93 - 25.2 - 129 mph (5150 rpm)

Wheelbase: 101.5 in
Track, front/rear: 59.6/58.8 in
Length/width/height: 179.4/69.3/57.5 in
Ground clearance: 5.4 in
Drag area, Cd (0.33) x frontal area (25.1 sq ft, est): 8.3 sq ft
Curb weight: 3353 lb
Weight distribution, F/R: 59.1/40.9%
Curb weight per horsepower: 17.0 lb
Fuel capacity: 14.5 gal

Type: unit construction
Body material: welded steel stampings

SAE volume, front seat: 50 cu ft
rear seat: 40 cu ft
luggage: 16 cu ft
Front-seat adjustments: fore-and-aft, seatback angle, lumbar support; driver only: height Restraint systems, front: manual
3-point belts; driver and passenger front, side, and curtain airbags
rear: manual 3-point belts, side and curtain airbags

Front: ind, strut located by a control arm, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear: ind; 1 trailing link, 2 lateral links, and 1 upper lateral link per side; coil springs; anti-roll bar

Type: rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
Steering ratio: 16.2:1
Turns lock-to-lock: 3.0
Turning circle curb-to-curb: 35.1 ft

Type: hydraulic with vacuum power assist, anti-lock control, and electronic panic assist
Front: 12.3 x 1.2-in vented disc
Rear: 11.0 x 0.5-in disc


Wheel size/type: 7.5 x 18 in/cast aluminum
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza RE050A, 225/40R-18 92Y
Test inflation pressures, F/R: 33/33 psi
Spare: full use with steel wheel
*This final-drive ratio is for 5th and 6th gears only.


Zero to 30 mph: 2.5
40 mph: 3.9
50 mph: 5.2
60 mph: 7.1
70 mph: 9.1
80 mph: 11.4
90 mph: 14.7
100 mph: 18.2
110 mph: 23.4
120 mph: 29.9
Street start, 5-60 mph: 7.8
Top-gear acceleration, 30-50 mph: 13.2
50-70 mph: 8.3
Standing 1/4-mile: 15.5 sec @ 92 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 129 mph

70-0 mph @ impending lockup: 169 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.83 g
Understeer: minimal moderate excessive

EPA city driving: 24 mpg
EPA highway driving: 32 mpg
C/D-observed: 22 mpg


Idle: 42 dBA
Full-throttle acceleration: 79 dBA
70-mph cruising: 71 dBA
COMPLETE REPORT SECTION 3: Reviews, Road Tests and Features

Volkswagen Jetta
My, how you've grown!


May 2005

Country of origin notwithstanding, the Volkswagen Jetta is an American invention. Okay, make that an invention inspired by
the American market. The rest of the world is okay with hatchbacks, such as the Golf, VW's worldwide bestseller. But we
prefer formal sedans—cars that have proper trunks. Which is why the original Jetta materialized in 1980. Volkswagen told us
it wasn't just a Golf (then Rabbit) with a trunk. Uh-huh. Clue: It was a Golf (then Rabbit) with a trunk.

But we liked it, in a lukewarm sort of way, calling it "a useful addition to America's small-car pool." More important, America
liked it. While the rest of the world made the Golf VW's perennial sales leader, here in the U.S. the Jetta topped the
company's sales charts year after year. All because of that covered and lockable cargo compartment. Amazing, ain't it?

At least the all-purpose tires don't hurt braking performance much—174 feet from
70 mph is decent—and ABS is standard equipment. However, the power rack-
Volkswagen Jetta
and-pinion steering, although nicely weighted, is totally numb on-center.

On balance, the Jetta feels more like a small-scale luxury sedan than a compact
German athlete. That sense starts with the car's general sense of solidity,
augmented by a classy-looking interior and nicely sculpted bucket seats, plus
handsome exterior styling that's as smooth and flowing as previous Jettas were
bull-nosed and blocky. You don't have to squint very hard to see a Phaeton that
someone washed without reading the laundry label.

That sense of luxury car extends to the window sticker. Pricing starts at just over
$18,500, which isn't exactly the compact bargain basement, and if you start
adding option packages—not to mention about a grand for the automatic—you'll Highs: Sophisticated styling, uptown
soon find yourself in mid-size-sedan territory. Our loaded test car tallied in at a interior, lovely torque band.
resounding $26,740, a price that would bolt you into a well-equipped Honda
Accord with a 240-hp V-6. More room, more zoom.
Lows: Mid-size-sedan mass, modest
Still, the Jetta has that Teutonic persona that only the Teutons manage to purvey. grip, absence of on-center steering feel,
We're pretty sure we're going to be even more enthusiastic about the Jetta GLI, ambitious pricing.
with its 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbo motor and more aggressive suspension. It's due
this summer. Maybe we'll just refrain from looking at the price tag. The Verdict: Autobahn luxury in a
compact package.

Base Volkswagens have never been terribly exciting or sporty. Promote yourself to a
higher-powered GTI, GLX, or GLI version, and you'd be guaranteed fun. Cheap out,
and you'd get a flaccid suspension coupled to a weakling engine. Even in the most
basic trim, modern, upgradable VWs have always been luxurious and well built for
their segment—they've just been slow. This newest Jetta, even in its most basic
form, offers nearly sports-sedan-grade handling while delivering levels of
refinement previously unseen in the economy-car class. It's a little faster than
before, but still slow, so it seems that, aside from the small handling improvement,
VW is sticking to its game plan.

I was flying up the side of Palomar Mountain in VW's new slab of bread and butter, surrounded by the plateful of fancy treats
for the comparo in this issue. While my colleagues were busily noting the workings of the pricey sedans at speed, I was
feasting on simpler fare but enjoying it just as much. This latest Jetta, even with its base engine and automatic transmission,
kept me in the fray at everything short of a banzai pace, and with a lot better fuel mileage than those powerful sedans.
Steering, braking, and handling were all remarkable, and the new multilink rear suspension helps fulfill the potential of this
tasty high-torque front-driver.

Downsizing is seldom a good thing, unless you're talking about Anna Nicole Smith. Downsized styling is also tricky.
Volkswagen debuted its latest corporate profile on the impressive Phaeton, but unfortunately, it doesn't work as well on the
smaller Jetta. The elegant proportions of the flagship VW are lost when reduced to three-quarter size. In addition,
Audi/Volkswagen's new "super-sized" grille looks as if it were lifted directly off the A8. Adding chrome to the strip that
bissects the large opening on the front fascia gives it a look of braces on buck teeth. A black plastic or carbon-fiber-like
treatment on the face would rid the tin-grin appearance and produce a more pleasing ratio.

Tech Highlights

This larger, heavier fifth-generation Jetta clearly needed more grunt to succeed in America, where
the performance wars are fought by even entry-level cars. However, the German giant couldn't
spare the euros to build a new engine from scratch just for us. The solution was to once again dig
into VW's vast parts bin to cobble a successor to the aged 2.0-liter four.

The result is a 2.5-liter five-cylinder developed by the same man who designed Lamborghini's
thrilling V-10. Unfortunately, the 2.5-liter is not the Gallardo's V-10 cut in half. Neither is it simply
VW's familiar four-cylinder cast-iron block with an extra cylinder tacked onto the end. In fact, all
three engines are part of the same extended family, as indicated by their shared 82.5mm bore and
92.8mm stroke.

The five-cylinder approach was an easy, inexpensive way to provide more displacement for the new
VW energizer. Besides, VW's Audi division has plenty of experience making five-cylinder engines
smooth and reliable. To minimize the increase in length caused by the additional cylinder, VW
engineers moved the drive chain for the overhead cams from the front of the engine to the back. This move also prevents
torsional vibrations in the crankshaft from affecting valve timing.

That change also makes it possible for the new engine to use one Lamborghini part—the aluminum-alloy 20-valve cylinder
head found on one bank of the Gallardo's V-10. This greatly improves the engine's breathing over the two-valves-per-cylinder
head on the previous four-cylinder Jetta. Combined with variable intake-valve timing, the result is peak torque of 168 pound-
feet, up 38 percent from the old engine, despite just a 25-percent displacement increase. Peak power is up 30 percent to 148
horsepower, proving the new engine is biased toward torque.

Thanks to a modest 9.5:1 compression ratio and dual knock sensors, the 2.5-liter runs happily on regular fuel. It also
promises to be a low-maintenance powerplant. The timing chain and coolant are guaranteed for the lifetime of the car. Spark
plugs should go 60,000 miles, and oil changes are at 10,000-mile intervals. —Greg N. Brown
Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Price as tested: $26,740

Price and option breakdown: base Volkswagen Jetta (includes $615 freight), $22,080; Package
2 (includes sunroof, alloy wheels, premium sound system with XM satellite radio and in-dash 6-CD
changer, power leather seats, rear-window shade), $4660

Major standard accessories: power windows, seats, locks, and sunroof; remote locking; A/C;
cruise control; tilting and telescoping steering wheel; rear defroster

Sound system: Volkswagen AM-FM-satellite radio/CD changer, 10 speakers

Type: inline-5, iron block and aluminum head
Bore x stroke: 3.25 x 3.65 in, 82.5 x 92.8mm
Displacement: 151 cu in, 2480cc
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel-delivery system: port injection
Valve gear: chain-driven double overhead cams,
4 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters,
variable intake-valve timing
Power (SAE net): 148 bhp @ 5000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 168 lb-ft @ 3750 rpm
Redline: 5800 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting
Final-drive ratio: 3.89:1
Gear - Ratio - Mph/1000 rpm - Max test speed
I - 4.04 - 4.6 - 27 mph (5800 rpm)
II - 2.37 - 7.8 - 45 mph (5800 rpm)
III - 1.56 - 11.9 - 69 mph (5800 rpm)
IV - 1.16 - 16.0 - 93 mph (5800 rpm)
V - 0.85 - 21.8 - 126 mph (5800 rpm)
VI - 0.67 - 27.7 - 129 mph (4650 rpm)

Wheelbase: 101.5 in
Track, front/rear: 60.7/59.7 in
Length/width/height: 179.3/69.3/57.5 in
Ground clearance: 5.4 in
Drag area, Cd (0.31) x frontal area (25.1 sq ft, est): 7.8 sq ft
Curb weight: 3340 lb
Weight distribution, F/R: 59.3/40.7%
Curb weight per horsepower: 22.6 lb
Fuel capacity: 14.5 gal

Type: unit construction
Body material: welded steel stampings

SAE volume, front seat: 50 cu ft
rear seat: 40 cu ft
luggage: 16 cu ft
Front-seat adjustments: fore-and-aft, seatback angle, front height, rear height, lumbar support
Restraint systems, front: manual 3-point belts; driver and passenger front, side, and curtain airbags
rear: manual 3-point belts, curtain airbags

Front: ind, strut located by a control arm, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear: ind, 1 trailing link and 3 lateral links per side,
coil springs, anti-roll bar

Type: rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
Steering ratio: 16.4:1
Turns lock-to-lock: 2.9
Turning circle curb-to-curb: 35.8 ft

Type: hydraulic with vacuum power assist and anti-lock control
Front: 12.3 x 1.0-in vented disc
Rear: 11.3 x 0.5-in disc


Wheel size/type: 6.5 x 16 in/cast aluminum
Tires: Michelin Energy MXV4, 205/55R-16 91H M+S
Test inflation pressures, F/R: 33/33 psi
Spare: full size on steel wheel


Zero to 30 mph: 3.1
40 mph: 4.9
50 mph: 6.8
60 mph: 9.2
70 mph: 11.8
80 mph: 15.2
90 mph: 18.6
Street start, 5-60 mph: 9.3
Top-gear acceleration, 30-50 mph: 4.3
50-70 mph: 5.5
Standing 1/4-mile: 16.8 sec @ 85 mph
Top speed (drag limited, C/D est): 129 mph

70-0 mph @ impending lockup: 174 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.80 g
Understeer: minimal moderate excessive

EPA city driving: 22 mpg
EPA highway driving: 30 mpg
C/D-observed: 23 mpg


Idle: 40 dBA
Full-throttle acceleration: 71 dBA
70-mph cruising: 66 dBA
COMPLETE REPORT SECTION 3: Reviews, Road Tests and Features

Volkswagen Unveils New Jetta

The fifth-generation sedan is bigger and more powerful.

November 2004

November 19, 2004 — Volkswagen today released the first official photos of its all-new Jetta, Volkswagen’s most popular
model in the U.S., accounting for about 40 percent of the brand’s overall volume. It goes on sale this coming March, and will
make its worldwide public debut at the Los Angeles auto show on January 5, 2005, at which time pricing will be announced.

The new Jetta has grown in size from the previous model, and features a four-wheel independent suspension, a new 2.5-liter
150-horsepower five-cylinder engine (versus a 2.0-liter 115-hp four-cylinder in the previous model), and an optional six-
speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic. Later in 2005, Volkswagen will offer its DSG automated-manual transmission
(TDI only).

The Jetta’s new technology includes standard electro-mechanical steering, electronic stability program (ESP), and four-wheel
disc brakes with next-generation ABS.

The new Jetta’s interior will be roomier than it predecessor’s with more legroom and occupant space, and a larger trunk.
Safety features for the new Jetta include front side thorax airbags, Side Curtain Protection (for head) in the front and rear,
crash-active front headrests, crash-optimized foot pedals that descend upon serious impact, daytime running lights, three-
point safety belts adjustable headrests for all five occupants, front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters, and emergency
locking retractors on all seatbelts.

Built at Volkswagen’s production facility in Puebla, Mexico, the Jetta’s assembly process promises to set quality standards for
this model segment, according to VW.

The new Jetta has a stronger body than its predecessor, recording double-digit improvements in its dynamic and torsional
rigidity. This is achieved through the use of more high-strength body panels and an advanced, highly automated laser-
welding system. The result is a dramatic increase in laser-welded seams—nearly 14 times more than in the previous Jetta.
COMPLETE REPORT SECTION 3: Reviews, Road Tests and Features

The Frugalympics
New-tech hybrids go up against old-favorite methods in the quest for the best fuel economy. Dr. Diesel gets
another chance. So does a four-door hair shirt.


September 2004

When gas prices bump the weather out of American conversations, as they have this spring, you know the popular press will
spray out a billow of gas-mileage stories.

Just remember—your gas mileage may vary. This is the one salient detail you should take from all the verbiage, theirs and
ours. Producing an accurate gas-mileage evaluation is so difficult that most folks don't think even the federal government can
do it.

If You Want Big Mileage Numbers

The buzz today is about the miracle mileage makers called "hybrids." Wearing a Toyota Prius has become such a sought-after
badge among the greenies that some dealers have been asking $5000 over the $21,290 sticker.

Dr. Diesel's Dreamboat

Back in simpler times, diesel cars squeezed more mileage from a fuel that cost less. If you
were willing to look for filling stations that were scarce, and had the patience for torpid
acceleration, a diesel was the cents-per-mile champ.

Today diesels are prestigious in big pickups and mostly shunned in cars on American
roads. Government standards are intolerant of diesel exhaust, and few automakers see
much opportunity until after low-sulfur fuel arrives in 2006.

We hear of diesel's great popularity in Europe. Don't be misled. Those folks don't love diesels any more than we do. It's the
fuel cost, stupid. Although diesel fuel prices in the U.S. have been well above gas prices over most of the past few decades
(they happen to be lower now), many European countries have tax incentives for diesel fuel. As a result, in April 2004, diesel
cost 41 percent less than gasoline in Poland, 34 percent less in Belgium, and 21 percent less in Germany and Italy. So of
course diesel cars are popular where fuel is cheap. In the British Isles and Switzerland, where diesel fuel costs a shade more
than gas, gasoline cars remain dominant.

Currently, Volkswagen is the leading diesel supplier in the U.S. Representing that choice in our Frugalympics is a VW Jetta
GLS TDI powered by a 100-hp turbocharged four.

A Pair of Hybrids
Toyota and Honda take much different approaches to the idea of a hybrid car. The Toyota is Star
Trekky-looking in any crowd, whereas the Honda blends to background among its Civic siblings.
Think of the Prius as the Nerd's Solution—a unique, lightweight, super-roomy four-door body
crammed with drive-by-wire power and braking and enough software to make Microsoft a little
jealous. It's a "parallel" hybrid, which means it can run on its gas engine, or its electric battery, or
some combination of both.

The Honda Civic Hybrid is a regular Civic four-door with an extra-thrifty four-cylinder engine
supplemented by a wonderfully simple hybrid adapter that gives regenerative braking (recaptures
energy into the battery on deceleration) and electric torque boost when needed for acceleration. It's
a "series" hybrid incapable of moving as an electric car.

Neither of these hybrid approaches would have been possible before '90s sophistication in computer
control and power-conversion electronics or, for that matter, recent battery technology.

Your Mileage May Vary

Before we get to the numbers, a few words about mileage tests. Never mind what some people say: EPA city and highway
numbers come from tests executed to perfection. If you drive the test conditions, you'll get the test mileage. But tests, even
our tests, are idealized in certain ways. We drove real cars on real roads in real traffic. So the results are real. That said,
there were no short trips, no cold weather, no passengers or cargo to add weight.

Moreover, although we meticulously performed our refills, they covered relatively short distances. When adding less than
three gallons, as we did a few times, a small error leads to a large deviation in mpg. To make matters worse, some cars are
notoriously hard to fill precisely—the Prius may be the worst ever.

Mileage on the Highway

All four cars got more than 40 mpg, and the Prius hit 50. Amazingly, the One-Calorie Toyota Echo
squeaked above its EPA highway number (39) to 41 mpg. The diesel, at 42 mpg, fell 2 mpg behind
its EPA rating.

Regen, the big idea in hybrids, gives almost no benefit on the highway. You'll get a bit of recharge
when you coast up behind slower traffic, but you should regard that as a smaller loss from going
fast rather than a saving.

Still, the hybrids copped the top two places for solid reasons: They are engineered to be frugal even
without the hybrid part. Their smaller, extra-efficient engines would be unacceptable performers to
most drivers without the acceleration boost that's also baked into the hybrid package. They have
special transmissions, tires, and low-drag aero tweaks, too. It all adds up.

Still, we find the 40-plus highway mileage in this test to be encouraging. Frugality is possible even
at high road speeds.

Mileage in Town
The Prius again scored at the top with 52 mpg. Dr. Diesel, in last place at 33, was a bit of a
surprise. We expected more. Diesels are at their best, relatively speaking, under light
loads; they inject very little fuel and they have no throttling losses. Again, the One-Calorie
Echo did superbly at 42 mpg.

We ran this test twice with consistent results, except for the Civic's. The Honda ran the first
loop in the automatic temperature mode, the second in auto with the "econ" button
pushed. Econ allows the engine to shut down at traffic lights. The results were profoundly different—40 mpg with the engine
running all the time, 53 mpg when the engine could shut down in times of its own choosing. This is a bigger difference than
we expected, but not, it turns out, beyond the expectations of fuel-economy engineers. Loss of air conditioning on stops was
tolerable; it would be less so on the hotter days of high summer. Keep in mind, though, that this improvement is possible
only in stop-and-go driving. If you manage to roll through every stop, you'll have a different result.
These four cars are by no means equal. The parsimonious Echo is a thinly upholstered box utterly lacking in spirit, smallest
by far in dimensions, weight, and price. Our drivers dreaded taking their turns in the disjointed driving position. That said,
the minimalist approach in which you eschew everything, including the several hundred pounds of technology needed to
outfit a hybrid, still works reliably for mileage.

Mileage in Suburbia
This is a cycle lacking the predictable mileage killers of high speeds and frequent stops and starts (we obeyed all stop signs,
of course). The two hybrids tied for top mileage at 54 mpg. Temperatures were in the 60s, and the sky was not cloudy all
day. Nor was a discouraging word heard. But there was nothing artificial about conditions. Other cars with other drivers
should achieve the same results.

Fast Forward at the Racetrack

All four entries achieved nearly the same result at the track, between 16 and 18 mpg, signifying very little, we think, except
for the limits of regen. Today's technology defaults to regular brakes during high-energy braking, whether it's high g or high
speeds. We should have remembered that track demands would exceed capability.

What Does It All Mean?

Some voices, even some staff engineers, want to say hybrids can't deliver on their EPA ratings; that hybrid technology games
the system even though it may do so in good faith. That's the wrong take on the numbers, we think.

Instead, think of hybrids as "software" cars. They decide on their own when to start and stop the engine. The Prius can even
move smartly with the fuel burner off. In fact, the Prius runs almost half of the EPA city test without the engine. That's a
tremendous achievement.

But if your driving includes higher speeds and less time at stops, your mileage will come up well short of EPA city. On the
other hand, if you have more low-'n'-slow, you will benefit more. Nobody, including software gurus, can predict where and
how you will drive.

That said, the hybrids produced the best mileage here, and they delivered the most enjoyment per dollar.

Where's the Fun?

If you think driving a frugal car is right up there with tucking into a lunch of cottage cheese and oat hulls, yeah, that's one
way to view it. But there's some slick machinery, too. Here's how to tell which is which, rated on a 0-to-100 scale:

Fourth Place
Toyota Echo (3 points)
Buying a new car for $13,975 has got to be fun. From there on you get indifference, kind of like the mood down at the DMV.
This is Metamucil for the road—you'll go, and you'll be glad when it's over.

Third Place
Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI (78 points)
Bland is bad in cars. Diesels don't know how to be bland. The VW gives you a little of that Peterbilt clatter and that
indomitable turbo torque way down at grunting speed. You get to slog around in the ever-widening oil slick at the U-serve,
too, same as real truckers, and you'll notice that clingy petro smell every time you get behind the wheel. Diesels have
character. A few of us really get off on them. It's not explainable.

Second Place
Toyota Prius (90 points)
This is a spaceship, a purposeful thrust into Futureland where saving fuel is Job One. The personality is less automotive than
Microsoftian. Push a button labeled "power" to boot up. Your trip is accompanied by lots of uncarlike whirrings and engine on
and off. "How do it know?" You can punch up a few geek screens on the dash to see the third derivative of CO2 not emitted
or whatever it's portraying—your knowing won't change anything about the mission. Apparently, Futureland won't be about
steering feel and crisp chassis responses. Then again, all of that could be in the next software rev. The Prius is as much a
promise as it is a car.

First Place
Honda Civic Hybrid (91 points)
It's a Honda. It has the familial "connectedness" gene, i.e., no fuzzy logic in the controls.
Driving is always fun in Hondas. But this plushest of the Civics adds a dashboard driving
game that'll seduce even the Deloitte & Touche types who would normally take the bus.
It's EZ, just one dial with two bar graphs. There's one for battery charge level (think of
saving) and one for rate of spending (your spending can go negative, which adds to
saving). Even the somber Mr. Greenspan would love it. Would he save up a whole battery
full of juice and then, heh-heh, blow it on some foolish full-throttle fling? Would you? If
you think frugality entails suffering, this Civic hybrid is proof to the contrary.
COMPLETE REPORT SECTION 4: Vehicle Quality Ratings

Power Circles were designed as an easy-to-use system for rating products and services.Please note: Power Circle ratings are
based on surveys sent to more than 50,000 new-vehicle owners nationwide. These ratings do not include all information
used to determine J.D. Power and Associates awards.

No data available for this vehicle.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Since 1968, J.D. Power and Associates has been conducting quality and customer satisfaction research based on survey
responses from millions of consumers worldwide. We do not rely on "expert opinion." Our product and service rankings in no
way reflect the opinions or preferences of the firm, and we do not review, judge or test products and services ourselves.

We represent the voice of the customer by translating survey responses into information that companies worldwide use to
improve quality and customer satisfaction, as well as to help consumers make better decisions. J.D. Power and Associates
has developed and maintains one of the largest, most comprehensive historical customer satisfaction databases in
existence, which includes feedback on virtually all aspects of the shopping, buying, and product and service ownership

Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)crash tests cars,
light trucks, sport-utility vehicles, and vans that are new, popular, redesigned, or have improved safety equipment. These
vehicles are then rated on how well they protect drivers and passengers during frontal and side collisions. NCAP uses a five-
star system for rating vehicles, with five stars indicating the highest safety rating and one star the lowest. Although it is
impossible to assess how well a vehicle provides protection in all circumstances using a single test, NCAP ratings provide a
useful basis for comparing vehicle safety.

For more information, visit


Driver Passenger Front Seat Rear Seat RATING

Not Rated

* Legend for NHTSA Frontal Star Rating ** Legend for NHTSA Side Star Rating
5 stars - 10% or less chance of serious injury 5 stars - 5% or less chance of serious injury
4 stars - 11% to 20% chance of serious injury 4 stars - 6% to 10% chance of serious injury
3 stars - 21% to 35% chance of serious injury 3 stars - 11% to 20% chance of serious injury
2 stars - 36% to 45% chance of serious injury 2 stars - 21% to 25% chance of serious injury
1 star - 46% or greater chance of serious injury 1 star - 26% or greater chance of serious injury

Note: Frontal tests should be compared only within the same weight class or within a range of 250 pounds of the vehicle

About the NHTSA:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting
from motor vehicle crashes. This is accomplished by setting and enforcing safety performance standards for motor vehicles
and motor vehicle equipment, and through grants to state and local governments to enable them to conduct effective local
highway safety programs. NHTSA investigates safety defects in motor vehicles, sets and enforces fuel economy standards,
helps states and local communities reduce the threat of drunk drivers, promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats
and air bags, investigates odometer fraud, establishes and enforces vehicle anti-theft regulations and provides consumer
information on motor vehicle safety topics. NHTSA also conducts research on driver behavior and traffic safety, to develop
the most efficient and effective means of bringing about safety improvements.

VW Jetta GLI (Manual) BASE BASE

9M25N6 Sedan 4D (Manual) INVOICE MSRP
Price With Destination Charge and Required Equipment 22,561.00 24,685.00


Base Pricing 21,946.00 24,070.00
Destination Charge 615.00 615.00
Required Minimum Equipment 0.00 0.00
Price with Destination Charge and Required Minimum Equipment 22,561.00 24,685.00

Note: Base price does not include optional equipment, advertising or other dealer costs. See links above to view and select
optional equipment.

For more detailed pricing please visit

-- \GLS 1.8L & GLI STD STD
- (N/A GL or GLS ex 1.8L)
-- \GLS 1.8L & GLI STD STD
- (N/A GL or GLS ex 1.8L)
-- 4-Cyl 109", 20V, SFI, Turbo (1.8 Liter) \GLS 1.8L & GLI STD STD
- (N/A GL or GLS ex 1.8L)
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-- (5) P225/40YR18 \GLI STD STD
- (N/A GL or GLS)
-- (4) P225/40YR18 \GLI STD STD
- (N/A GL or GLS)
-- (4) P225/45HR17 \GLS 1.8L N/C N/C
- (N/A GL, GLS 2.0L & TDI or GLI) (Available & Included Only w/Sport Pkg)


Air Conditioning, Manual

Alarm System
Alternator, 70-Amp
Axle Ratio, 4.24
Axle Ratio, 4.24 (Manual Trans) or 5.04 (Auto Trans)
Brakes, Power F&R Disc
Braking System, Anti-Lock
Cargo Net
Cargo Net, Front
Clock, Digital (Stand Alone)
Console w/Storage
Cup Holders, (3)
Defroster, Rear Window
Drivetrain, Front Wheel Drive
Drivetrain, FWD
Engine Immobilizer
Engine: 4-Cyl, 2.0 Liter
Engine: 4-Cyl, 8V, SFI, 2.0 Liter
Entry System, Illuminated Keyless Remote Control
Floor Mats, F&R
Fuel Filler Door Release, Remote Control
Fuel Tank, 14.5 Gal Cap
Lights: Cargo Comp't, Daytime Running, Glove Box & Reading
Locking System, Central w/Automatic Door Locks
Mirrors, Dual Heated Power
Mirrors, Dual Visor Vanity
Moldings, Body Side
Power Outlets, (2)
Radio, AM/FM Stereo w/CD & Cassette & CD Changer Controls
Radio: AM/FM Stereo w/CD, Cassette & CD Changer Controls
Restraint System: Dual Front, Front Head Curtain & Front Side Impact Air Bag
Restraint System: Dual Front, Head Curtain & Dual Front Side Impact Air Bag
Restraint System: Dual Front, Head Curtain & Dual Front Side Impact Air Bag
Seat, Split Folding Rear
Seats, Cloth Comfort Bucket
Speed Control
Stabilizer Bars, F&R
Steering Wheel, Tilt & Telescoping
Steering Wheel, Tilt & Telescoping
Steering, Power
Tire, Conventional Spare
Tires, (4) P195/65HR15
Trans, 5-Spd Manual w/Overdrive
Trans, 5-Spd Manual w/Overdrive or 4-Spd Automatic w/Overdrive
Trans: Manual, 5-Spd w/Overdrive
Trunk Entrapment Release
Trunk Release, Remote Control
W/S Wipers, Variable Intermittent
Wheel Covers
Wheel Covers, Locking
Windows, Power
Axle Ratio, 3.65 (Manual Trans) or 4.44 (Auto Trans)
Engine: 4-Cyl, 20V, SFI, Turbo, 1.8 Liter
Trans, 5-Spd Manual w/Overdrive or 5-Spd Automatic w/Tiptronic
Alternator, 120-Amp
Axle Ratio, 3.88
Axle Ratio, 3.88 (Manual Trans) or 4.44 (Tiptronic)
Axle, Locking Rear
Brake Calipers, Red
Engine: 4-Cyl, 1.8 Liter, Turbo
Engine: 4-Cyl, Turbo, 1.8 Liter
Fog Lights, Front
Interior Trim, Brushed Metal
Seats, Cloth Sport Bucket
Steering Wheel, Leather-Wrapped
Steering Wheel, Leather-Wrapped
Suspension, Sport
Tires, (4) P225/40YR18
Traction Control
Trans, 6-Spd Manual
Trans, 6-Spd Manual or 5-Spd Automatic w/Tiptronic
Trans: Manual, 6-Spd
Trip Computer
Trip Computer, Mini
Mirrors, Dual Illuminated Visor Vanity
Moon Roof, Power Glass
Radio System, Monsoon Sound
Wheels, Lockable Alloy

Special fees, credits and incentives

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-- 4-Cyl 109", 20V, SFI, Turbo 1.9% Short Term Financing (Expires 2-28-05) \GL & GLS ex TDI,
- (N/A GL & GLS TDI) (Incentive Combinations & Avail
-- 4-Cyl 109", 20V, SFI, Turbo Lease Offer (Expires 2-28-05) \GLI w/Manual Trans
- ($229.00 per mo/39 mo/$2304.00* ex in New York & $
-- 1.9% Short Term Financing (Expires 2-28-05) \GL & GLS ex TDI, GLI
- (N/A GL & GLS TDI) (Incentive Combinations & Avail
-- Lease Offer (Expires 1-31-05) \GLI w/Manual Trans
- ($229.00 per mo/39 mo/$2304.00* ex in New York & $
-- Customer Incentive, Lease Offer (Expires 11-30-04) \GLI Sedan w/Manual Trans
- ($229.00 per mo/39 mo/$1804.00* ex in New York & $2029.00* in New York at Signing) ($0.15
per mi Charge Over 39,000 mi) (N/A GL, GLS or GLI Sedan w/Auto Trans) (Incentive Combinations
& Availability May Be Restricted by Regional or Fleet Rules & Other Factors -- See Dealer for Details)
*NOTE: Does Not Include Tax, Title & Registration Fees.
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