The new for 2011 Volkswagen Jetta received a new, far lower base price tag of $15,995, but Consumer Reports evidently feels that the more affordable sticker has come at too high of a cost to the vehicle itself. The buyer-centric organization ranked the Jetta dead last among 11 small sedans tested for the April edition of its magazine.
David Champion, senior director of the group's Auto Test Center says, "In an effort to bring the car's starting price down, VW cheapened the previous Jetta's interior and suspension, making it less sophisticated and compromising handling."
CR isn't pulling any punches while describing why the sedan fares so poorly, calling it "a shadow of the agile, well-finished car it once was." Ouch. Specifically, the VW was dinged hard for sub-par handling and cornering grip, poor interior fit and finish and its coarse-sounding 2.5-liter, five-cylinder. In addition, CR came away disappointed with long brake distances and a six-speed automatic that is reluctant to downshifting.
We're thinking VW may not like CR's take on the Jetta, but at least the automaker can point to increased sales as the reason the automaker decided to remove so much of what made the Jetta so popular with enthusiasts.
Other vehicles tested were the Chevrolet Cruze in both LS and LT trims and the Hyundai Elantra. The Cruze models are now rated at the middle of CR's small sedan pack, with a Very Good overall score. The Elantra came away with laurels for the being the best small sedan in its class, and the Hyundai was the only small sedan among the latest four tested to be given CR's official Recommendation. Hit the jump to read over CR's press release.
Gallery: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta: First Drive
[Source: Consumer Reports]Continue reading Volkswagen Jetta ranked last among small sedans by Consumer Reports
Volkswagen Jetta ranked last among small sedans by Consumer Reports originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Apr 2011http://www.autoblog.com/2011/04/05/volkswagen-jetta-ranked-last-among-small-sedans-by-consumer-r/