Volkswagen‘s newest Jetta was designed to be a volume leader, selling for about $15,000. But Volkswagen loyalists, who previously loved the Jetta for its premium feel and sporty character, have decried what they see as a cheapening of their beloved compact sedan, and Volkswagen seems to be listening.
After driving a European market Jetta, with a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension and dual zone climate control, a journalist from InsideLine confronted Jetta’s Global Technical Project Leader, Frank Donath, about the decontented car sold in North America, and if there were plans to bring the better equipped European car over.
Donath admitted that, if sales were strong, there was a good chance for the European car to make its way over. The North American Jetta, which uses hard plastics, a torsion-beam suspension and manual climate control, was designed with cost-cutting in mind, and the use of hard plastic and a less sophisticated suspension have saved Volkswagen a lot of money, at the ultimate cost of a less refined car. Now, VW seems to be essentially backtracking, and tacitly admitting that a more premium Jetta is needed. We concur.