Volkswagen Jetta Review

Some cars become so familiar that they also become somewhat invisible. That's the great thing about a test drive...it can put you back in touch with the car itself instead of the blurred image in your brain.

The Volkswagen Jetta is now (with the Golf having been re-named Rabbit a couple of years ago, but on its way back to Golf for 2010) the longest-running nameplate in the VW lineup...and the basic concept is so strong that redesigns end up looking like minor facelifts.

Get behind the wheel and you find that the Jetta is an exceptionally well-thought out sedan. The German engineering is obvious every time you touch a surface, move a lever or turn the wheel. The structural integrity is evident in the tightness and quietness of the body. Unlike most cars (especially in this price class), the details are given careful attention...right down to double-hinged doors...capable of holding the weight of an adult male.

Consider this your reminder...VW makes a competitor to the Civic, Corolla, Focus and Cobalt. It's worth a look...and a test drive.

UPDATE: Just finished a week in a new Jetta SE and all the above still stands. This tester had a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, Bluetooth, rubber floormats and an iPod connector...bringing the price to just over $22,000 with destination charges. A bargain for the quality you get.

EPA estimates: 20 city/29 highway.