December 17, 2010
Vehicle Profile: The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Compact wagon provides big interior room, big fuel savings in TDI edition.
Volkswagen has a reputation for building wagons that feature European styling, notable fuel efficiency and versatile practicality. The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen embodies each of these qualities and offers families an opportunity to choose something other than a crossover or SUV to satisfy their daily driving needs.
Although the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (MSRP starting at $19,825) bears the Jetta nameplate, it has its own distinct visual character when compared to the Jetta sedan. The SportWagen’s extended roofline also sets it apart, leading to a large rear hatch that exposes 32.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear row of seating. Fold those accommodations forward and the amount of room available for stowing luggage, soccer balls or groceries doubles to just under 67 cubic feet in total.
The interior of the Jetta SportWagen is well appointed, and the base 2.5L S Jetta’s list of standard equipment includes such niceties as an MP3-capable CD player with AUX-in, Bluetooth™ integration and heated front seats. The 2.5L SE introduces the Touchscreen Premium VIII sound system that adds a six-CD changer and 10 speakers, as well as SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The 2.5L SE also offers the option of Volkswagen’s Media Device Interface for connecting an iPod to the stereo system and the availability of the RNS 315 navigation system, (which also incorporates a touchscreen interface). The 2.5L SE additionally provides a leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel (matched with a leather-wrapped e-brake handle and shiftknob), as well as V-Tex leatherette upholstery. An optional panoramic sunroof is available for the SportWagen 2.5L SE, along with a range of 17- to 18-inch wheels.
The Jetta SportWagen’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder gasoline engine provides 170 hp and 177 lb/ft of torque. Fuel mileage for this engine shows up to 24 mpg in stop-and-go driving and 31 mpg on the highway when matched with the six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual shift control. The automatic transmission is standard on the SE and optional on the S, which comes equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The SportWagen 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel features a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder. Fuel economy increases to 30 mpg in city driving and 41 mpg on the highway, making the TDI one of the most efficient vehicles in its class. Horsepower checks in at 140 while torque swells to 236 lb/ft, providing power exactly where you need it during low-speed traffic, passing situations and climbing through hilly terrain.
Transmission options for the TDI include a six-speed manual or the option of a DSG Tiptronic automatic. The DSG Tiptronic transmission offers manual gear selection. The SportWagen TDI benefits from the same high feature content found in the 2.5L SE (with the addition of several extra wheel choices), and it also offers the electronic driver’s aids found in the 2.5L S and 2.5L SE. These include traction-enhancing items such as Anti-Slip Regulation and Electronic Differential Lock in addition to Volkswagen’s Electronic Stability Control.
All SportWagen models are covered by the no charge Carefree Maintenance Program, which covers all scheduled maintenance as prescribed by the manufacturer. A five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty comes standard as well.
The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is a smartly styled, versatile family cruiser whose compact exterior dimensions contrast against its roomy interior, making it a good choice for drivers looking to avoid the bulk of an SUV and enjoy the nimble handling of a Volkswagen.