July 3, 2000
The Jetta has a compact, efficient look with an understated aerodynamic front and boxy rear. With clean lines and a nice look, you can still see distinct Volkswagen characteristics, especially inside.
Volkswagen offers four engine choices for the Jetta. My test model was outfitted with a 1.8L, 150hp, turbo-charged engine. I could whip around the community in this car just fine.
Maximum torque is 155 ft.-lbs. at 1,750 revolutions per minute. Volkswagen calls this a "pocket rocket," in that you can go from a standing start to 60mph in about 8 seconds. I certainly didn't have any trouble pulling out into fast-moving traffic and I did notice that I could reach the speed limit effortlessly.
The four-disc ABS brakes are standard. The suspension was tight and the drive feels solid with the road, which always makes me feel safer. My silver metallic test drive model came with automatic transmission.
The Jetta 1.8T comes with an ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation) system, which overlays an EDL (Electronic Differential Lock). It is enabled at speeds up to 24 miles per hour and detects wheel slippage, and then automatically applies braking force to that particular wheel. If not wanted, you can deactivate the feature by pushing a button.
The standard features on the Jetta are impressive, starting with the Immobilizer. It's a theft-deterrent device, in that every time the car is started, the device must recognize the coded key to start. Other features include front and side airbags, adjustable steering wheel, heated mirrors, remote locking, two power outlets, gray shade band to reduce glare on the front window, power windows, cruise control, and center armrest. The GLS model has additional standard features, including alloy wheels, fog lamps, power glass sunroof, and CD changer.
The dash is fun with the easy-to-read dials back-lit in blue with illuminated red needles. The seats are comfortable and easily adjustable. The locking system allows you to use the keyless remote or the large, collapsible key. The system automatically locks all the doors at 8mph. The trunk is spacious and has a metal guard across the bottom front.