Date Driven: 6/14/2011 (2011 Sportwagen TDI)
The turbodiesel version of the Jetta wagon won't pin you to the seat, since a sprint to 60 mph will only take about 9 seconds, a reasonable time considering 40 mpg is possible. Slick-shifting transmission.
Despite a non-defeat stability-control system, the Jetta Sportwagen offers better driving dynamics than most wagons or crossovers. Steering is precise and properly weighted, lending it the Euro-flavored experience most are seeking here.
Even with the 'Sportwagen' moniker baked into this Jetta name, it still offers a plush ride on a wide variety of surfaces without degrading to floaty or disconnected sensations.
VW addressed engine and road noise in this new package but unfortunately forgot to include wind noise. Ironically, engine noise from the diesel is a nonissue.
Volkswagen ergonomics have been so sensible for years that they've been copied by others. The addition of an intuitive touchscreen (even without optional navigation) for various systems makes the centerstack even cleaner.
We found typical wagon compromises due to D-pillar blind spot, made worse by the lack of bumper sensors or a rearview camera.
Seat Access & Space
Front-seat access and comfort are excellent. Rear seats are a little flat, but offer plenty of room. Compared to an equally spacious SUV or CUV, getting in and out of this wagon is easier because of its lower seat height.
Cargo & Storage
With all seats occupied, the luggage space (33 cu-ft) is enormous compared to sedans of the same overall size. And because it?s a wagon, once the rear seats are folded down, the cargo area swells to 67 cu-ft, which rivals some SUVs.
Engineered in Germany; built in Mexico seems like an unlikely match, but it our example seemed on par with VWs made in the homeland.