2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Good Ride in the Rain
March 26, 2012
I tried to time my trip to the supermarket between downpours. I managed to get to Sprout's in a light drizzle. But coming out of the store, the rain was biblical. I tried to wait it out but it didn't seem to be letting up. So I made a mad dash for the Jetta, getting soaked despite having a bumbershoot.
Southern California can't handle rain, especially a rapid Noah's-Ark-style deluge. The run-offs and drains can't process the water quickly enough and you get huge puddles that cause traffic jams while the waters subside slowly.
I drove home on the same road that I took to the store. It was fine going but 20 minutes later it was backed up for three blocks. Three cars were stalled on the side of the road having attempted to drive through a large puddle. People continued to try, most getting through unscathed. By the time it was my turn, the water was much lower. The Jetta had no problem.
Accelerating and braking on the wet, oily L.A. roads was no problem either. The tires gripped confidently. No hydroplaning, no skidding. I know you're thinking that any modern car will do well in the rain. But I'm talking torrential waters, what my mother would call teeming.
The adjustable intermittent windshield wipers work well. I had them on low on the way to the store and I needed to put them on double quick on the way back. They adjust to a normal speed when you stop at a red light. After a year in the long-term fleet, which is like dog years for cars, the blades still clean the window very evenly.
The VW Jetta even looks good wet with that super bright Tornado Red paint.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor