2016 Volkswagen Jetta Sport
I am reviewing my 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Sport that I purchased new from a local dealer. While I was looking for a good CPO car I really wanted the newer offering of the 1.8t. The 1.8t replaces the 2.5liter engine and the 1.4t replaces the 2.0. In the Jetta lineup there are 3 different turbo engines to choose from now, plenty of leg room and a good amount of options which makes it a good choice for a fun family car.
The sport model comes nicely equipped for the price. Outside the Sport model has 17” rims, performance tires 225/45/17, a sport tuned suspension that possibly came from the GLI model, fog lights, rear lip spoiler and darkened taillights
The interior has plenty of goodies too including a 6.3 inch infotainment system with navigation. Sirius traffic link includes traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores and local movie listings. Sirius radio, leatherette seating, heated washer nozzles, heated side mirrors, 4 auto down power windows, power locks, key-less entry, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto/Apple Car Play, heated front seats, rear-view camera, USB port, AUX port and push button start.
The infotainment system has a few cool tricks up it’s sleeve. The system can tell when your finger gets close to the screen and the buttons will become larger. Once you pull your hand away they will shrink to allow more room on the screen or the display. While listening to satellite radio you can Store Artist or Store Song. Doing so adds them to your seek favorites. If you have your seek favorites turned on then anytime that particular artist or song comes on the radio you will be notified. If you have never use Android Auto/Apple Car Play before it’s a way to show the screen of your cell phone on the nav screen. Only certain apps can be shared though such as Google Maps, Pandora etc. Your phone must be connected via USB cable and have the smart phone app installed for this to work.
This model comes with VW Car-Net which works like Chevy’s OnStar System. This service does come at a monthly charge but it will call in case of a crash. You can press a button to call and ask for directions, recommendations on restaurants etc. You also can run a set number of vehicle health reports. The app that goes along with this lets you see if the doors are locked and lock or unlock them and check fuel level too. Learn more here.
While I also do not like the fact that sport model does not have any added HP I do like the sport tuned suspension. My car also came with Pirelli P7 performance tires which hug the road well. With the 1.8-liter turbo producing 170hp and 184 torque it’s no slouch. I do not have a 0-60 time on the sport model the heavier SEL model is 7.8sec and the GLI is 6.3 . So I’d say somewhere between those two numbers. The traction control system does not step in too much and spoil the fun like it has in some other models. The front sport seats do a good job of hugging you keeping in the seat around tight curves while still being comfortable. All this and I get an observed 40mpg on the highway and 28mpg in town. You can really call this a baby GLI.
Consumer reports has ranked VW 16th in reliability while Audi was ranked 4th which I found strange. The cars share some of the same parts. The 1.8 turbo comes from the Audi A3. The only issue I had in the 28k miles I’ve driven it was the daytime running light went out, fixed under warranty. CPOs come with a nice warranty and you can add an extended warranty on a new car like I did.
Sitting in the driver seat is a nice place to be at the price. Steering wheel feel is great and so is then shifter, there are plenty of soft touch materials in the spots you normally touch, dash is hard material. The seating position is good, your not sitting too low or to high. During acceleration there is almost no turbo lag. This setup produces max torque around 1,500 rpm and remains flat most of the way up. It takes until 4,500 to get the max HP. I have to say that this car is more fun on curvy roads than on straight stretches of road. With the tire/suspension setup it hugs curves with minimal bodyroll. I never experienced understeer or oversteer when pushing the car hard into curves, the car just goes where you put it. The Jetta has one of the shortest 60-0 times or any cars in it’s category stopping at 119ft. Definitely a great car for someone that wants some diving fun while having plenty of room for car seats or full grown adults in the back.
What I like
I really like how sporty it is and the great fuel economy. The exterior look is not bad, subdued which is what I like. I love the flat bottom leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob they feel so nice in my hands. The roominess is awesome. I am 6’ tall and can sit behind myself no problem. Plenty of room for kids car seats. I actually put the larger car seats in the back seat of the Jetta and the smaller ones in the back seat of our SUV because I have more room. I have never seen a height adjusting and telescopic center console before in my life and it’s cool. I also really like how the cruise control works. When you set you cruise speed that number is shown on your gauge cluster so if you cancel the cruise you can see what speed it was set to previously which is nice when you want to resume. When accelerating using the cruise buttons while cruise it activated the speed is incremented by 1 mph allowing you set the speed exactly.
What I don’t
I wish the traction control was defeatable on the sport model. It could also use more power, but I can say that about almost any car. With the turbo you can flash the ECU if you don’t mind voiding the warranty or waiting the warranty to end. I do not like the location of the 12V receptacle. It’s positioned between the cubby under the info stack and yourself. I have found a penny dropped down inside it. I had to fish it out. But one of the biggest issues that VW has missed was that I cannot turn on all cabin lights from the front seat. If I want to turn on the lights over the rear seat I have to reach back and turn the dial myself.
What the kids like
My boys are 7 and 4, they are going to tell us what they like about the car.
Sawyer likes the para-scoping arm rest that can hold the open position part way open and also slide forward. He likes that interior color and the contrast between the two colors, he also says the seats are comfy. He also noted that the trunk was large. He appreciates that all 4 windows from any window switch is auto down and auto up.
Dawson likes that the car is fast.
What the kids don’t
My boys are 7 and 4, they are going to tell us what they dislike about the car.
Sawyer does not like that “toy cubby” on the back of the center console is too small. We also noticed that only the passenger side seat has a pocket on the of the seat, the driver seat is missing that.
Dawson had no complaints about the car.
|2016 VW Jetta SE 1.8t||2016 Honda Civic EX-T 1.5t||2016 Mazda i_Touring 2.0||2016 Ford Focus SE Sedan|
|Front Leg Room||41.2||42.3||42.2||43.1|
|Rear Leg Room||38.1||37.4||35.8||33.2|
|EPA Fuel Econ||25/36||31/42||29/39||26/36|
All these numbers came from either Edmunds, MotorTrend or CarAndDriver. I was wanting to compare the Kia Forte, Subaru Legacy and Hyundai Elantra but did not find enough information about 2016 models to create a good comparison.
If you are looking for a roomy fun and fairly priced car for your family I can recommend this one. You can get a CPO used one cheap with a 2yr 24k warranty. Just make sure when your shopping you get the 1.4 or 1.8 turbo and not the 2.0 or 2.5 engines.