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 |  Apr 05 2011, 9:57 PM

The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta just got a lower base price, but it all came at a cost: a lower ranking to boot. Among small sedans, the Jetta came in dead last among its competitors in a Consumer Reports test.

The $15,995 base price meant that VW skimped on minor details such as the interior and suspension, resulting in a laundry list of faults—shoddy handling, lack of cornering grip, cheap interior plastics and finish, a long braking distance, a reluctant transmission, and a 2.5-liter five-cylinder that doesn’t let you forget the $15,995 base price. Consumer Reports put it simply, “a shadow of the agile, well-finished car it once was.”

Some of the other cars tested were the equally-new Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra: the Cruze received a midpack Very Good rating, while the Elantra was the overall winner with CR’s official recommendation.

Read AutoGuide’s 2011 Volkswagen Jetta review here