Volkswagen 2011 Jetta reviewed by

…VW aimed the sixth-gen Jetta at the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. But going head-to-head with two perennial best-sellers meant dropping the Jetta's base price to just $15,995. In doing that, VW cut some corners, even on the upscale SEL version ($21,895) we spent a day in.

The biggest changes are to the interior, where you'll find a lot of hard, shiny plastic where VW once used more upscale materials. Some of the knobs and switches feel flimsy. Leather is no longer an option. And though the interior is spacious and comfortable, it doesn't have quite the same fit and finish as earlier models.

VW cut costs under the car as well. The base model doesn't get cruise control. The base and SE models get old-school drums brakes at the rear, but to be fair VW says they perform as well as competitors' discs. And only the sporty GLI — available early next year— gets the multi-link independent rear suspension. Everything else uses a less sophisticated semi-independent torsion beam.

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