Back in 2010, Volkswagen announced the goal of becoming the best selling car company in the world by 2018. In the United States, the car tasked with leading this initiative is Jetta. To this end, the 2011 Jetta was reworked to become larger and more accommodating for Americans. It was also built more to a price than any Jetta before it, in an effort to keep the base price below $17,000.
To make this happen, VW seemingly sourced the 2011 Jetta’s interior components from TAP plastics. The wonderful soft touch materials used so liberally in previous Jetta models was replaced with hard plastic. Further, the multilink rear suspension system of the 2009 car was replaced with a less expensive torsion beam axle, and the electric power steering was replaced with a hydraulic system.
Enthusiast drivers bemoaned the loss of the more sophisticated suspension system, as well as the lackluster performance of the base engine. The cheap-looking interior didn’t help either. These issues began to be addressed for the 2014 model year. The recovery continues for the 2015 model, with refreshed front and rear styling, more interior upgrades, and a new diesel engine option with more power and better fuel efficiency.