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Old 09-22-2022, 11:32 PM   #1
JST
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The 2022 Jetta Sport--Does Anyone Need More Car?

It's amazing to me that people have abandoned sensible cars.

The 2022 Jetta is among the last of a breed that used to utterly dominate the automotive marketplace--the midsized sedan, sized to carry 4 adults and their luggage.

It addresses all of the familiar concerns. It has a big trunk. It has decent interior room. It has comfortable seats. The interior materials aren't expensive, but the design does a good job of disguising how cheap the plastic is. Most people wouldn't notice or care. It's not fast but it can keep up with traffic, and for a non-hybrid it gets remarkably good gas mileage. 1.5 liters and 157 hp isn't a lot, but the upside of the basic spec and smallish engine is a curb weight of less than 3000 lbs.

The Jetta doesn't handle like a sports car, but the damping is reasonable, the steering is light but accurate, and the braking is competent. It has a manual transmission, which is itself something to write home about. Shift throws are longish and the clutch is very light, but it's easy to drive and the small engine and tall gears means you actually have to shift to keep things moving, which is kind of fun.

Does it have a lot of features? Not really, though it's got more than you might expect. CarPlay, (manual) AC, a key fob that remotely unlocks the doors. Power windows, of course. The one I bought is missing some blind spot monitoring features because of the supply chain, but it has a back up camera. It has a brake-based eLSD, which you won't notice except maybe in the snow. The digital dash display is a basic, smaller, and way less flexible than the Audi-esque units on the upscale Jettas, but it looks nice and is legible.

All of this is 22K. Five or 10 years ago, when GTIs were 22K, this would have seemed insane, but these days it represents perhaps the best value in the automotive world. Other companies have walked away from this market completely, and those that still play in it (like Honda) don't actually have cars to sell you. And in all honesty, the Civic sounds like it might be a better car for similar money, if you can find one. Which (spoiler alert) you can't.

Most people are shunning these cars in favor of the Taos, which shares the same platform and engine but weighs a few hundred lbs and costs a few thousand dollars more. For the life of me, I do not understand this. The Jetta is all the car you need.
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Old 09-23-2022, 09:51 AM   #2
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Almost nobody wants a car anymore. I'm with you, Josh, I'd much rather have a competent four-door than a heavier, tippier mini-ute.

My dad is 70 and just had his Model Y delivered. I asked why not the Model 3, and his answer was the Y was a lot easier for him to get in and out of. My dad's in really good shape, but I get it. I guess at least with an EV you don't pay much of a penalty for the higher entry point.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:17 AM   #3
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Totally agree. The base Jetta might be the most rational car purchase one could make in today's market (and that's including used cars as well). Seems to do everything competently with no fatal flaws at a good price. Just the right amount of tech to be modern but nothing gimmicky. Been pushing a friend of mine whose budget is under 25k in this direction for a while.
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Old 09-23-2022, 12:53 PM   #4
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I think it’s also awesome it can still be purchased with a true manual.

The VW interiors have always done a good job of mixing plastics for a premium look.

And moving past the reliability issues of the Mark III GTIs (vr6), I bet it’s a reasonably dependable car now.

Kudos for putting money there and not in an SUV.
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:10 PM   #5
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The hip point/ease of entry thing is real, though it doesnít explain all the youngs buying them.

I havenít driven a Taos, but Iíve driven a current Gen Escape quite a bit and itís kind of funny how much less room it has for people. More space for tall cargo, sure, and can fit bikes better. But I think the Jetta has more overall room for passengers.
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
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The hip point/ease of entry thing is real, though it doesn’t explain all the youngs buying them.

I haven’t driven a Taos, but I’ve driven a current Gen Escape quite a bit and it’s kind of funny how much less room it has for people. More space for tall cargo, sure, and can fit bikes better. But I think the Jetta has more overall room for passengers.
The Taos gets pretty bad reviews-- seems like they've really screwed up the gearbox tuning on it. Also seems to have reliability issues. My brother initially considered one but ended up getting a Tiguan instead due to all the reliability issues with the Taos. I think the Taos uses a DSG whereas the automatic Jetta is just a regular old torque converter.
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Old 09-24-2022, 05:56 PM   #7
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I don't disagree that the Jetta is a pretty good deal... though if it were my $20k (ish) to spend, I'd spend it on a Mazda 3, not a Jetta. Better chassis, better interior and almost certain to be vastly more reliable and cheaper to operate for a long time.
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Old 09-24-2022, 06:09 PM   #8
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The problem is that the Mazda3 is a 30k car with a stick, if you can find one. Which you can’t. Even the autos are hard to find; there was I think 1 in northern VA when I was looking.

Edit: the Preferred trim is what you need to get on the Mazda3 to get a stick. That’s $30,215. For 30K I’d have a hard time not getting a Civic Si (again, assuming I could find one).
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Old 09-24-2022, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JST View Post
The problem is that the Mazda3 is a 30k car with a stick, if you can find one. Which you canít. Even the autos are hard to find; there was I think 1 in northern VA when I was looking.

Edit: the Preferred trim is what you need to get on the Mazda3 to get a stick. Thatís $30,215. For 30K Iíd have a hard time not getting a Civic Si (again, assuming I could find one).
I came to exactly the same conclusion while researching a car for my son. The Jetta was the cheapest, best thing going. Mazda3s were a chunk more. Also, at least here, all the dealers are ordering the CX-30 instead, and that thing is a hunk of junk. Plus, of course, no stick.
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Old 11-15-2022, 11:47 PM   #10
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The Jetta, it turns out, is nearly as much car as the W8 Passat:

https://www.theautopian.com/listen-t...e-model-jetta/

I think the performance tests here are bit goofy, given the altitude, but it's interesting to see physically how the Jetta matches up to the Passat. Spoiler alert: it's large.

After a few hundred miles, though, I can report that we're averaging over 30 mpg in almost entirely urban driving, which is probably not something that a W8 Passat could claim.
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