Most European cars are not known for a smooth, numb ride like American cars. I tested the VW's and ended up buying a Ford Focus (with the euro suspension setup) and it rides rougher than most small cars as well. I personally like feeling the road and imperfections because it makes me feel like the car is more firmly planted on the road. I have rented Chevy's and Pontiacs (and even owned a Buick) and I just did not like that floaty, smooth feeling. I agree with the above comment, it is much better to rent the car you are thinking about buying before you sign anything.
I own a Mercury Grand Marquis LSE. It has high hysteresis tires, self leveling shocks, an engined tuned for extra horse power, a center transmission console with bucket seats, full leather, six CD changer, 4-wheel disk brakes, upgraded sound system, etc. I'm sure it weighs more than a Jetta and I can get 18 mpg around town by driving gently. On the road I can get 22. Just FYI.
There is no way a Crown Victoria compares to a Jetta. There is no way a Mercury Grand Marquis compares to a Jetta.
Handling? Fun-to-drive? Safety? Engineering? These are obviously not qualities that some of the above commenters deem "satisfying."
Well this person bought a car and are unhappy with it. I think the reasons mentioned are valid.
I mean yeah the suspension you should find out on a test drive. But this person is still allowed to be disappointed. This person paid $30K for a brand new car.
Man.. I brought my new Jetta 2.5,2005 model. Its amazing to have so many features compared to other in its segment. It has single touch full power windows, anti-pinch,10 airbag safety, ABS, Daylite running lites, single mp3 cd, servotronic steering, outside temp with ice warnings.. and runs amazing.. its car you wouldn't notice any disturbance while driving at high speeds. Its not a guzzler. I drove to NJ from DC and it gave me 30 on freeway and I usually get 22-24 on city roads. It had two services now and I expect to see more mileage.
The 2.5 5-cylinder base engine isn't exactly a technical marvel. It was designed by VW to compete with the competition's higher HP offerings. I'm not surprised with its mediocre fuel consumption. VW's never been known for fuel sipping autos.
Actually, VW's are known for their fuel sipping autos. In fact they have a few cars that place in the top ten in fuel economy in the American maket. However, I wouldn't want one with an automatic transmission because they aren't nearly as good as their 5-speed counterparts. Also, the fuel economy should improve by 20 % or so after the break in. Oddly enough, we own a Chevy Impala that uses less fuel that many 4- cylinders including Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima.
First of all, I doubt you are getting as poor mileage as you are, I think your criteria for evaluating fuel use is off, especially after the dealer said the engine is running to spec.
Second, VW's are not economy cars. The offer high value, but they are not inexpensive and they are not econ-boxes. Leave that to the Toyota Corolla's and Honda Civics.
You mentioned you drove 1000 miles and your back was not sore and the seats were comfortable. I think that says a lot about the riding qualities of the car. The Jetta is very much in the German tradition of a firm, but well controlled ride. The ride is firm and fluid, and offers a lot of control. There is a lot of safety in that ride due to the positive control the car has. I've sat in plenty of soft, mushy cars where my back hurt after only a couple hundred miles.
The fuel economy of new cars is generally not so good in the first few thousand miles. After that (and the first oil change), it generally improves. If you are driving in cold weather, using the AC, have your windows/sunroof open, your mileage will go down.
As for the stiff ride, your dealer may have forgotten to remove the "spring spacers". These are small pieces of rubber put on the springs for shipping to hold them apart. If you look in your wheel well and see some rubber things on the spring, you should have them removed by the dealer.
A 2.5 with an automatic on cruise control is about the thirstiest combo possible compared to the 2.0t or the incredibly efficient TDI. Make sure to keep good tire pressure for long trips and use synthetic oil for maximum mileage...
I have a 2006 Jetta 2.5 with the 6 speed auto transmission. I take it easy on starts and stops and I don't idle the car to much. I have been getting about 31.5 mpg with mixed city and highway driving. It has about 11,000 miles on it. The first tank of gas I got about 26.5 mpg. The corolla is rated for 38 mpg, but a lot of relatives and friends are getting about 34 mpg with the corolla.
I am under the slight but weird impression that the most expensive "new" Jetta is about 23k. The TDI lists for about 24k.
And yes, I used to sell VW. Chrome comes for 23,000. And a new Jetta S with the stick shift and cloth seats is about high 18's, low 19's. Not 17. And most people buy the SE which is about 21-22k. Before taxes of course.
Now - if that guy had bought the SEL for 23k, and then added some, say, negative equity, I fully understand how he paid 30k for it.