2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: iPod Cord
February 03, 2012
Our 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI is a prime example of Exhibit E. Don't remember Exhibit E? I refer the jury to my recent iPod cord post on the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic.
Volkswagen and Audi are fond of short leashes that keep the device shut away in the glove box. One could argue this is OK for an iPod or other music-only device, but it eliminates the possibility of using any other iPhone function or app while the phone is docked as a music player, which in my case is 100 percent of the time I'm in the car.
And I'm talking about perfectly acceptable and legal uses such as any use while stopped, any use by your passenger (aka navigator) while moving. With smartphones, it's not enough to assume Bluetooth pairing for the phone and a physical dock for the music player is enough.
VW and Audi are also fond of bespoke single purpose cords instead of the generic and omnipresent USB socket that can interface with the cords we already own or don't need because our music is on a memory stick. This iPod leash/cord comes with the car, but they do make others -- which they'll happily sell you -- that plug into this non-standard socket, including one with a USB end.
None of them are three feet long, however.
Tell you what, VW: replace that unique socket with a USB jack and STOP. If you have space enough for the jack in the center console, so much the better. No further effort is needed or desired on your part. We'll take it from there.
Compared to the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, this glove box iPod-centric interface is a big fat pile of fail.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing