This 2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T Might Be What You Have Dreamt For

CARPHOTO-1662

While the 2007 Volkswagen Jetta performs more than adequately with the standard 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine, the optional 2. liter turbocharged engine turns this family car right into a genuine performance car. My tester came with a slick 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox including Tiptronic self-shifter. Put into the Jetta’s classy interior it proves that in Germany you can have your Black Forest Cake and eat it, too. $22,620 first of all, $25,595 as tested, EPA mileage estimates 25 city/32 highway.

First Glance: When a sports car isn’t practical enough…

Unlucky for each other, lucky in test drives. A short time ago I needed the good fortune to be testing an Accord on California’s fabled Hwy. 1, an automobile enthusiast’s dream road. In Beautiful British Columbia, my next test placed me on the Malahat, which twists and turns over and up a mountain the exact same name. Not as spectacular nor as long as California’s gem, the Malahat nevertheless offers a splendid array of curves, straight sections, and from time-to-time, brief glimpses from the ocean a huge number of feet below. As on Hwy. If you’re not careful, 1, they soon provide an unwanted close-up.

Now I was testing a Jetta Turbo with 6-speed DSG automatic (Article: DSG, what it is and the way it operates). Next to a pure sports vehicle, an ideal group of wheels with this road. Triple lucky, I also had the good fortune to hit the Malahat during one of the rare moments if it wasn’t clogged with tourist traffic. Forgetting for a moment that the Jetta’s primary duty is always to serve as family transport, I took advantage of the near-empty highway to explore this particular model’s secondary role: to perform for anyone drivers who, when not chauffeuring the kids to soccer practice, like to waltz with a car as dancing partner.

Continued below…

From The Driver’s Seat: Great… when you can get in

2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T dashboard

2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T dashboard

Photo © Philip Powell

Provided you can get through the open door, the Jetta’s interior is pleasant. Once was having said that i can still walk upright as well as 6-feet should certainly slip inside a 4-door sedan with ease now I’ll admit that as About Cars’ token old guy I’m not as supple as I. Every attempt using the Jetta involved neck-twisting and also the inevitable mussed hair (yes, I’m happy I still need hair). The back seat was no better, suggesting that the car’s tall stance continues to be sacrificed to style. Once in, however, I was enchanted by a handsome and typically German cockpit which immediately telegraphs a note: you’re here tobuddy and drive, so pay attention.

All gray and black, the only visual relief is supplied by a band of lightly-patterned aluminum and a touch of chrome on the shift-surround. Primary tach, speedo and instruments, are clear but the engine temperature and fuel gauges are far too small for any quick glance. The console has the same fault. If you’re not wearing bifocals, Large and simple, it contains one list of switches that need a change of glasses. Drinkers of morning revival juice will be glad to note both cupholders do not interfere with the armrest and handbrake. In the event the sunroof’s open, but be prepared for a coffee-Tsunami.

On the Road: Amazing transmission technology and super handling

I’m not certain whether it was the 200 wild horses Volkswagen delivers from a 2-liter engine or even the amazing 6-speed transmission that impressed me most having said that i suspect it was the latter. Apart from a CVT (continuously variable transmission) I’ve never experienced one that downshifted and upshifted so deftly that we didn’t be aware of it was changing gears. Such as the Audi A3, the Jetta’s transmission utilises direct-shift technology similar to F1 race cars and includes Tiptronic, which allowed me to control changes manually. Unlike many similarly-equipped vehicles I actually used it on winding roads.

Of course power’s of no value if your vehicle lacks poise in corners. I’m delighted to report that the Jetta, featuring its precise steering turn-in and sharp responses, reacted to my demands, turning the Malahat as well as other twisties into a personal playground. Such handling characteristics, in addition to being fun for that driver, make for a safer car. As I’ve said ever since I began road testing decades ago, the auto that handles well has a better chance of avoiding a crash. In normal cruising mode the Jetta is smooth and quiet. Back seat passengers will see the view forward somewhat limited and there’s no center armrest. Two’s company, three’s a crowd.

Journey’s End: Extra power is nice, but I’ll take the 2.5

2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T rear view

2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T rear view

Photo © Philip Powell

This was my first experience with a Jetta (diesel excepted) since attending the 2005 media preview in San Diego. The exam cars then featured a 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder, 150 hp non-turbo engine which I thought offered enough performance. I still do. But the Jetta prospect who demands more can now pick a 2-liter turbo and exchange the standard 5-speed to get a race-based 6-speed. Is it really worth the extra bucks? All depends where your priorities lie. In this world of top rated automobiles a Jetta 2.0T can outrun many larger cars with V-6 engines and yet beat them in an economy contest.

This is a changing world, although ah. In assessing this car you’d be in admiring it’s appearance. You’d make a wise choice in giving up a little bit interior space in favor of a far more nimble, fun-to-drive sedan. You’d enjoy the European emphasis on driving vs. plush comfort. You may have a heck of a lot of fun, as I did, in the driver’s seat. The question, however, remains: should you really plunk along the extra bucks for this illustration of a Jetta’s talents? Would I? Most likely not. Still, the Volkswagen Jetta in any guise is so darned good it deserves a put on my list of best buys.