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I've thought about it a lot too and while they did cheapen the car, they brought the base price down a lot. If you were to buy a base Jetta, you'd pay less than for the average Ford Fiesta or Honda Fit. This is the class of car that the Jetta was originally in. However, you'd also forego AC, power, the radio, etc., so the actual price would be about the same as a Ford Fiesta or Honda Fit. The Jetta is much more car than those even though they are pretty nice cars too.

IMHO, they should have done what the Honda, Nissan, and others do. The Honda Accord moved up in size and price, and the Nissan Altima did too. They should have kept the Jetta where it is and bring the Polo as their base car. However, too much vertical movement could hurt Audi.
 

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We need to bear in mind that the new US-spec Jetta was not designed for - nor intended to appeal to - people like us. It is solely designed to compete with other generic small sedans such as Corollas and Sentras. Its intended audience may never have picked up a car magazine in their life, and has certainly not spent any time on auto-related web forums. They don't know the difference between a torsion beam and fully independent suspension. (Indeed, the term "torsion beam" may actually have marketing value to these people, as it is different and unusual.) They typically will not know that the car has been de-contented, because they aren't familiar with anything different.

Bearing all this in mind, it won't surprise me if the Mk6 Jetta turns out to be a success, even if I personally wouldn't buy one.
 

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What about the Jetta TDI? Will it get the rear disks, the independent rear and the electromechanical steering of the GLI? If the TDI (and GLI) get the good stuff, then why not more choice. And what about the Golf TDI?
 

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2011 Jetta TDI: rear disks yes, independent rear no, electric assist steering no.

The Golf TDI is made in Germany and the only change from 2010-2011 was the change of the TPMS system from being tire pressure monitor sensor based to ABS sensor based.
 

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Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully the TDI Golf will not get down-marketed. This makes sense from a marketing point of view anyway - to further differentiate the Golf from the Jetta so that it is not just the hatchback version of the Jetta.
 

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No Decontented Jetta in my Future

As an owner of a 2010 JSW TDI I will now call myself just a sport wagon owner since the wagon is divorced from the Jetta line for 2011. Does that mean I should get new floor mats? Hehe Heh. Seriously I am now appreciating my car more than ever with independent rear suspension, soft dash, better grade interior, adjustable center console, opening up my hood with the gas struts without using the old "dipstick", lumbar support, power seat back. OMG its a crying shame for those of us who appreciated the Audiesque interior and fit and finish now being tuned into Plastic Fantastic Interiors.

I think Car and Driver called the new Jetta's 115 hp a real snoozer. Now after they kill Passat and its wagon and fail to add a wagon version to the US manufactured NMS, us Jetta (oops) Sport Wagoneers will be flying solo. Strange that VW is going downscale with the Jetta while Ford is going upscale with the Fiesta. Yea Yea so they sell 800,000 cars now worldwide. Who cares!

The days of a premium German car for a near bargain price are OOOOOOOOOver. The days of a plastic German/Mexican/US fleet loaner with a VW logo are now beginning.
 
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