- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2002

I've often wondered, with the popularity of Volkswagen's Jetta among such a wide range of buyers, why VW didn't add a wagon model to its Jetta mix long ago. As wagons began increasing in popularity with younger buyers, this became even more apparent. Every car company is spending considerable energy and money looking for ways to attract young buyers into their show rooms, so a Jetta wagon seemed only natural.
Volkswagen obviously heard the call and has introduced the Jetta wagon to North America. This was certainly not because of my influence, but I welcome the decision. As wonderful as the Jetta sedan is, the Jetta Wagon takes it one step further. It performs as well as the sedan and adds interior room and looks good doing it.
Like the sedan, the Jetta Wagon comes in three models with a variety of four possible engine choices and two transmissions. Starting with the GL model, moving up through the GLS and capping off at the up level GLX, this VW wagon certainly should meet anyone's needs.
Power is available from numerous engine configurations starting with the base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that produces 115 horsepower. An optional diesel power source comes in the form of Volkswagen's Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine that is electronically controlled, suited for the economical minded. Moving up in power, the 1.8-liter turbo gasoline engine adds quick acceleration, coupled with economy of a 4-cylinder engine. Top of the pack in the Jetta lineup, is the venerable VR6 that adds the smoothness of a 6-cylinder with 200-horsepower in a midsized vehicle.
Though I never thought of myself as a wagon kind of guy, I found the Jetta Wagon was fun to drive and a vehicle that seemed to attract attention like more unusual vehicles. And, I never thought I would enjoy driving a wagon equipped with an automatic transmission, but I did here. Thanks to the Tiptronic automatic transmission, developed by Porsche, the melding of manual shifting into an automatic transmission has become seamless. Stuck in traffic or cruising down the highway, keep the shifter in drive and flow easily with traffic. Find yourself on a twisting country road, move the shift lever into the manual mode and have the shifting control in your hand. It is simple and with the Tiptronic system this Jetta responds to your every whim.
I did find the interior a bit cramped, but this was mainly in the rear seat. Finding my perfect driving position was easy, but this intruded into the legroom of the occupant of the rear seat behind the driver. The beauty of the Jetta Wagon was that I could find a reasonable compromise. I found a comfortable driving position, albeit not perfect, which in turn opened up plenty of space for my big feet and long legs, so I could be quite comfortable in the rear seat.
The very fact that we are talking wagon here, means that there is plenty of storage space for all the gear you might need on a camping trip. Combine this with the split fold down rear seat you can haul even more stuff.
It takes more than just an engine or transmission to make a good vehicle, so looking at the total Jetta Wagon package makes it an attractive choice. Considering the variations of power sources available with the Jetta Wagon you can get what you want.
From the economy of a diesel engine to the performance of the wonderfully smooth VR6 the Jetta wagon offers a great deal of what buyers are looking for.

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