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2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 Bookmark

The Good :)   Stylish Front End, Smooth Transmission, Peppy Engine, Ergonomic Comfortable Seats

The Bad :(   Loud Engine, No Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Hard Plastic On Center Console, Moderate Wind Noise. Made In Mexico.

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Download specifications on the Jetta 2.5 Click Here

If you would like to read a review of the Jetta TDI 2006 Click Here

Volkswagen 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.   

At first 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. 

The stereo 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 bit cheap.

Other parts 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 complain.

The Jetta 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 gas mileage.

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. 

The Jetta's 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.

Driver and 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. 

The base 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.

 

 

PRICING INVOICE RETAIL
Base Pricing 18,687 20,290
Destination 630 630
DVD Navigation System w/Center Armrest Mounted 6-disc CD-changer 1,589 1,800
Package #1 w/Sirius 1,462 1,600

 

  2006 Volkswagen Jetta
2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)
2006 Mazda MAZDA3
s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
2006 Mitsubishi Lancer
ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
2006 Nissan Altima
3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5M)
2006 Subaru Impreza
2.5 i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
MSRP $20,290 $19,165 $14,599 $23,600 $18,295
Invoice $18,687 $17,935 $13,908 $21,826 $17,336
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 10 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Roadside 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Rust 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 7 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders inline 5 inline 4 inline 4 V6 flat 4
Base Engine Displacement 2.5 liters 2.3 liters 2.0 liters 3.5 liters 2.5 liters
Valvetrain 20 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
Horsepower 150 hp @ 5000 rpm 160 hp @ 6500 rpm 120 hp @ 5500 rpm 250 hp @ 5800 rpm 173 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 170 ft-lbs. @ 3750 rpm 150 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 130 ft-lbs. @ 4250 rpm 249 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm 166 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm
Driven Wheels front wheel drive front wheel drive front wheel drive front wheel drive all wheel drive
Wheels alloy
16 x 6.5 in.
alloy
17 x 6.5 in.
steel
15 in.
alloy
17 x 7.0 in.
alloy
16 x 6.5 in.
Upholstery Type leatherette leather cloth velour cloth
Power Steering electric speed-proportional power steering electric power steering power steering speed-proportional power steering speed-proportional power steering
Steering Adjustment tilt and telescopic tilt and telescopic tilt-adjustable tilt and telescopic tilt-adjustable
Air Filtration interior air filtration interior air filtration interior air filtration interior air filtration interior air filtration
Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror Not Available electrochromatic - Optional Not Available electrochromatic - Optional Not Available
Anti - Lock Brakes 4-wheel ABS 4-wheel ABS 4-wheel ABS - Optional Not Available 4-wheel ABS
Traction Control Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Stability Control Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Xenon Headlights Not Available Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
Remote CD Changer (# CDs) 6 - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Total Number of Speakers 10 6 4 6 4
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
SPECS
Handling Jetta MAZDA3 Lancer Altima Impreza
Turning Circle 35.8 ft. 34.1 ft. 33.5 ft. 38.7 ft. 35.4 ft.
Hauling Jetta MAZDA3 Lancer Altima Impreza
Max. Cargo Capacity 16 cu. ft. 11 cu. ft. 11 cu. ft. 16 cu. ft. 11 cu. ft.
City 22 mpg. 25 mpg. 28 mpg. 21 mpg. 22 mpg.
Highway 30 mpg. 32 mpg. 35 mpg. 27 mpg. 29 mpg.
Length 179.3 in. 178.7 in. 180.5 in. 192.3 in. 175.4 in.
Width 70.1 in. 69.1 in. 66.8 in. 70.4 in. 68.5 in.
Height 57.4 in. 57.7 in. 54.9 in. 57.9 in. 56.7 in.
Weight 3230 lbs. 2762 lbs. 2745 lbs. 3243 lbs. 3016 lbs.
Wheel Base 101.5 in. 103.9 in. 102.4 in. 110.2 in. 99.4 in.
Front Headroom 38.5 in. 39.1 in. 38.8 in. 40.8 in. 38.6 in.
Rear Headroom 37.2 in. 37.4 in. 36.7 in. 37.6 in. 36.7 in.
Front Shoulder Room 54.8 in. 54.9 in. 54.1 in. 56.3 in. 52.7 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 53.1 in. 54 in. 53.3 in. 56 in. 52.9 in.
Front Leg Room 41.2 in. 41.9 in. 43.2 in. 43.9 in. 42.9 in.
Rear Leg Room 35.4 in. 36.3 in. 36.6 in. 36.4 in. 33 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 16 cu.ft. 11.4 cu.ft. 11.3 cu.ft. 15.6 cu.ft. 11 cu.ft.

 

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