2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI SE First Drive

Volkswagen continues to improve its clean diesel technology with the new 2015 Jetta TDI.

What It Is
A diesel sedan that outperforms similar gas models.
Best Thing
Better fuel economy, more power.
Worst Thing
Touchy brakes that are common among other Volkswagen models.
Snap Judgment
The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI holds strong in a growing segment.

Like with the rest of its lineup, Volkswagen has made some changes to the Jetta sedan, and although they may seem minor, they help to enhance the overall experience. We had a chance to get behind the wheel of the new 2015 Jetta TDI, and with a starting price of $25,175, we wanted to see how much has changed.

Volkswagen has tweaked the turbocharged 2.0 EA288 TDI Clean Diesel engine, making it more powerful and fuel efficient. With all these changes, we wanted to see how well the new Jetta TDI performed on the open road. We had a beautiful Virginian backdrop for our test drive, full of twist, turns, and straightaways to really see all the car had to offer.

Read on to learn what we thought of the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI.

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Volkswagen's famous sedan is back for another year featuring a few changes that up the premium feel of the vehicle. The 2015 Jetta sedan features a slightly refreshed exterior with bi-xenon headlights, LED DRLs, and an Adaptive Front-lighting System on select models, an updated interior, and an array of driver assists.

But that's not all the German automaker changed on the new model. One of the most notable changes to the TDI models is the new 2.0-liter engine that improves fuel economy and increases horsepower. However, before we took the new Jetta TDI for a spin, we wanted to see what the interior had to offer.

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Sitting Down

Taking a seat on the comfortable and supportive leatherette seats, we adjusted the manual seat to find an ideal driving position. It was easy and quick, but we wish that the controls were automatic. For the new model year, the infotainment system is now wrapped in a chrome trim. Our model came with the optional multifunction steering wheel, piano black and chrome interior trim, and redesigned air vent controls.

Packages, driver assist features, and standard features have also been updated for the new model year. With plenty of room for passengers of all sizes, and cargo room for days thanks to 15.5 cubic feet of trunk space, the Jetta sedan becomes an attractive option for those looking for a well-equipped sedan. Throw in the mileage of the diesel engine, and it just gets better from there. But how does it handle on the road?

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Setting out on familiar roads, we immediately noticed the steady acceleration and smooth ride. By now we were used to the touchy brakes that seem to find their way onto every VW model, so the Jetta felt confident on the road. One thing that surprised us was that this model, while definitely grounded to the road, felt heavy and large.

Handling was on point with sharp steering, and helped to alleviate some of that heaviness. We weren't a fan of the engine noise that made its way into the cabin, even at low speeds, but with the radio on, it was almost unnoticeable.

A Few Photos of this Vehicle

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The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI is definitely one of those models we'd want to get back in and spend more time behind the wheel to get a better feeling for the model. However, there was a lot to like about the new sedan, from the increased horsepower and fuel economy to the subtle interior and exterior changes that further refined the sedan. And while there are definitely other diesel options out there, the Jetta remains at the top of the segment for a reason: It's affordable, comes loaded with plenty of features, and has a good brand reputation behind it.

Basic Specs

2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel four-cylinder, six-speed DSG automatic transmission, 150-hp, $25,995, 31 mpg city/45 mpg hwy