The Volkswagen Jetta TDI is a very good car in base trim, so I was surprised at just how much better the TDI Cup Edition is. The buttoned-down suspension transforms this Jetta from a staid commuter to an engaging companion. Even better, the improved handling comes at virtually no cost to the ride quality. This is still a very comfortable for daily driving. It makes me think that the GLI suspension should be standard on the Jetta TDI, just like the Golf TDI gets the GTI suspension as standard equipment. In fact, the TDI Cup Edition seems to be the perfect response to the few complaints we had about our Four Seasons Jetta TDI.
The other significant change is plaid, bolstered seats that are much more cosseting than the flat, leatherette chairs in our 2009 Jetta TDI Loyal Edition. The gaping grille of the optional Cup body kit is bit jarring, so that's $2350 I'd rather put in my pocket. It's also a shame that the Cup graphics on above the rocker panels come standard on the car. However, the $2160 premium over a base TDI is money well spent, as the suspension creates a wholesale change in how the Jetta drives.
- Eric Tingwall