2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5
The Good :)
Stylish Front End, Smooth Transmission, Peppy Engine, Ergonomic Comfortable
The Bad :( Loud
Engine, No Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Hard Plastic On Center Console,
Moderate Wind Noise. Made In Mexico.
Apple QuickTime viewer here.
Video of interior and exterior walk around.
Right click and 'save link target as' to Download a full version of this review for iTunes
Download specifications on the Jetta 2.5
If you would like to read a review of the Jetta TDI 2006
has been making huge strides recently by introducing many new models.
Within the past year they have launched the redesigned mid-size Passat, the
sporty GTI coupe, and the compact Jetta. The Jetta is the most important
model for VW, accounting for 40% of all sales. We recently tested the 2006
Jetta 2.5 and came across with mixed feelings.
The exterior of our VW
Jetta 2.5 is larger and more stylish than the previous iteration. The
overall height has also increased giving the Jetta a more substantial look. The
large chrome grille up front gives VW a family resemblance to Audi. The
curvaceous bumper is flanked by large headlights which are clear and have
many design elements built inside of them. The raked front hood slopes down
fast and melds into the front windshield nicely giving a very smooth look.
The overall line of the exterior rises as you head toward the back. Mirrors
have built in turn signals under them and slight use of chrome around the
windows ads a nice touch of glamour. The profile view of the Jetta is
smooth and clean with sturdy door pulls. At the rear the tall trunk is
clean and the rear window is almost flush with the body panels. An
underbrow on the rear brake lights ads distinctiveness and their recessed
lamps with a flush outer lens matches the taillamps in other Volkswagens.
Dual tail pipe exhaust outlets give the end a nice finishing touch. Wheels
are done in a sporty grey color which makes it easier for you to clean since
you cannot see brake dust. The wheel gap is also on the small side in this
2.5 model, though not like the non-existent wheel gap found in a BMW.
sight the interior of the new Jetta is clean, modern and cozy. The dash is
tall, while flowing away from you, giving a more spacious feel. Most major
parts are made to look like leather with a slightly soft feeling. Door
pulls are strong and feel good to the touch. A checkered plastic trim was
in our model which did not look as great as real aluminum or wood. Smooth
and hard plastic parts are only found in the center console between the
front seats and around the stereo system. This 2.5 model also features a
basic steering wheel without any leather wrapping. This made for a
diminished feeling of the car as the main instrument used to control the
vehicle was hard plastic. The instrument cluster is clean and glows a blue
color at night. It is not as bright or colorful as that found in the GTI we
just tested showing that better parts were used in that vehicle. The upper
display screen in the instrument cluster remains blank coming on only for
errors or faults which was a bit strange in daily driving. There was no
trip computer in our model so the instrument cluster is a bit boring but it
is still better than those found on most vehicles today.
system works nicely and is easy to use. Buttons are where you expect them
to be, almost intuitive. The system offers satellite radio and a 6-disc CD
changer built in. Speakers are quite loud and have good bass even in this
base trim. Below the stereo is a climate control system with air filtration
as standard. The dual heated seats warm up quickly. Three dials control
the system's temperature, fan speed and air direction. We think that
everyone should opt for an automatic system if ordering this car. In this
system there is no preset dial for moving air to the front and feet vents at
the same time. You have to turn the dial in between the front and the feet
setting to achieve this and feeling your way to the perfect setting felt a
are designed nicely with dual cup holders in the center and large storage
areas in the doors for bottles and other items. The armrest feels great in
typical VW style; at least the accountants have not figured this out yet.
The shift knob is solid and feels good to the touch though it is not as
sporty as that of the GTI. The sunroof is made very well and has a nice
dial control for its movement offering one touch operation. A sunglass
holder is located up on the roof panel as well. Nicely done is the fabric
paneling on the roof and soft moving grab handles up there. Seat belts are
adjustable in their height and are loose fitting for a comfortable no bother
feel when you are driving. Both front seats are manually adjustable in
height, a great feature to have while the driver's seat offers powered
seatback movement, for safety we suppose. Rear seat legroom is quite nice
and the car is wide enough for good comfort for three people in back. The
tilt of the seats gives good comfort and its depth offers good leg support.
All doors have strong feeling ergonomically designed grab handles on the
inside and the armrest is soft and comfortable. The trunk is very deep and
fits a good deal of luggage. Easy fold down rear seats expand this trunk by
a great deal for long items. A quirk is that there is no way to open the
trunk at the trunk door itself, the VW symbol does not flip to serve as a
latch for the trunk as it did on the Passat. You need to press the button
inside of the car that remotely releases the trunk latch.
Only two option packages
are offered making picking them simple and easy. Package 1 offers sunroof,
heated front seats, heated windshield washer nozzles and satellite radio.
Package 2 adds to this a power driver seat with memory, leather seating, a
leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel and a leather shift knob and
handbrake grip as well as a trip computer and adjustable footwell lighting.
We think option Package 2 is an essential item to have. DVD navigation is
also available as an option.
On the 2006 Jetta 2.5, a
2.5 liter Five cylinder engine is offered. It puts out 150 horsepower at
5,000 rpm and 170 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3,750 rpm. The cylinder head design
is borrowed from the Lamborghini Gallardo's V10 engine. Zero to sixty miles
per hour comes in at about 9 seconds and top speed is limited to 130mph.
The engine still feels peppier than its numbers may indicate; it is quick
and very good at climbing into the triple digits easily. This is one of the
best parts of having a VW, you can go very fast easily without ever
straining the engine. At highway speeds there is a bit of road noise and
wind noise that could be reduced. However, most drivers probably will not
2.5 features with a 5-speed manual transmission. The shift gate is short
and notchy for good feel when moving from gear to gear. It has a slight
return to center feeling to quicken shifts and give a more smooth feeling.
It is one of the better transmissions we have seen on a car yet. Six gears
would give the Jetta better highway noise levels and improved gas mileage.
We even found it helpful to shift to neutral when going downhill to increase
Behind the wheel, the
Jetta is comfortable and sporty. There is little body lean or sway. The
Jetta features an independent strut front suspension and a multilink
independent rear suspension. This Jetta is assembled in Mexico, and it is
somewhat lighter and less solid feeling than say a Passat. The engine is a
bit jittery and makes too much noise at startup. It sounds more like a
diesel than a smooth German powerplant. It too is made in Mexico.
front wheel drive system can be felt under heavy acceleration as the car is
pulled rather than pushed. We do like the feeling of being pushed much
better. Under heavy acceleration steering feel is better than you can find
in most other front wheel drive vehicles. There is hardly any torque steer
thanks to the electro-mechanical power steering. Stopping power comes
courtesy of the front and rear power assisted disc brakes.
On long drives the seats
were remarkably comfortable. All our passengers were not tired and did not
have aching backs after a long drive. The suspension is also comfortable
and stable for a good feeling on bumpy roads. This overall very good
feeling behind the wheel is one of the top reasons to buy a VW in today's
car market. They are built much better than most cars on the market and
drive like they are built for the autobahn.
front passenger airbags and side thorax airbags as well as side curtain
airbags are standard. A rear side thorax airbag is available as an option
on all models. The Jetta also has a stronger body and is the first car to
Ďace' the International Institute for Highway Safety side impact crash
tests. Other safety features include daytime running lights, side
protection door beams and child safety rear door locks.
VW offers a
4 year or 50,000 mile warranty with a 5 year or 60,000 mile powertrain
warranty. Corrosion is covered for 12 years and unlimited mileage.
Roadside assistance is also offered for 4 years.
price for the Jetta 2.5 is $20,290. Our Campanella White exterior with
Anthracite leatherette interior was standard. The only option included was
Package #1 which included the power sunroof, cold weather package and
satellite radio service by XM for $1,600. Destination ads $615 and brings
our total to $22,505. The final assembly point of this car is Mexico with
the engine coming from Mexico and the transmission from Argentina. Parts
content is 35% Germany and 35% from Mexico. The window sticker shows EPA
fuel economy of 22 mpg city and 30 mpg on the highway.
After driving the Jetta
we felt it was a fantastic car for its segment. The Jetta has very good
handling, a roomy and comfortable interior, and tons of storage space in the
trunk. However, after comparing the sticker price to some other models,
notably the larger Passat Value Edition which starts at just over $23K, we
think that is a much better car for the money. For just one grand more than
this Jetta 2.5, you get a better handling car that is larger and more
comfortable. Plus the Passat Value Edition comes with a 200 hp engine
versus the 150 hp 2.5 Liter found in the Jetta. VW should have dropped the
price of the Jetta to under $20K to create some gap between its compact and
mid-size sedans. Despite the fact that the new Jetta is a great compact
car, we have to face reality and pass because the price is just too high.
Spending $22,500 on a compact sedan when we can get a Toyota or Honda in the
mid-teens just doesn't make sense, especially when it is not made in
Germany. For hard-core VW fans, stick with the Passat Value Edition when
considering a Jetta.