Love this thing almost as much as I love the GTI. Proof that Volkswagen still knows how to build a fun, solid-feeling upmarket economy car, even if it does have all the long-term solidity of a brick of butter baking in the sun. Drives similarly to the GTI, although it's blessed with a back seat and a usable trunk. Feels much larger, but only marginally less entertaining, than a Rabbit or a GTI. It's also proof of just how poorly targeted, and how unpleasant and bumbling, the current Passat is. Everything the Passat isn't.
Sam Smith, Associate Editor
This car didn't dazzle me quite as much as it did Sam, but I do agree that it's very good. I'm not a big fan of the somewhat lumpy action of VW's manual gearboxes, but the driving experience is still silky-smooth, even though this five-cylinder engine sounds a bit coarse when you rev it. The trunk is huge, the car is comfortable, and the Jetta's updated darker taillights add some much-needed character to its rather unremarkable styling.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor