The Jetta SportWagen has always appealed to drivers seeking German engineering in a versatile, stylish, and fun-to-drive package. With a starting price of $19,825 for the Jetta SportWagen, affordability remains another important trait of the 2012 lineup.
The fuel-sipping 2012 Jetta TDI SportWagen model once again features the critically- acclaimed 2.0-L TDI clean diesel engine that has placed clean diesel, as one of the most efficient alternative fuel readily available in all 50 states. In TDI trim, the SportWagen can achieve 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway (EPA estimates when equipped with manual or DSG® automatic transmission) and starts at $24,730.
Engine and Transmission
Those who choose to outfit the 2012 SportWagen with the 2.0L four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine are rewarded with a thoroughly advanced workhorse that is dynamic enough for treks through the city, as well as long highway stints. The 2.0L employs an electronically- controlled turbocharger and common rail direct fuel injection to help ensure smooth power delivery and a noticeable reduction in tailpipe emissions. Featuring 140 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and an impressive 236 lbs.-ft. of torque available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm, the 2.0L is an efficient option for drivers that also have a penchant for performance.
To connect the driver with the TDI clean diesel engine, either a standard six-speed manual transmission, or optional DSG six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® control, can be selected. Volkswagen's DSG dual clutch transmission not only helps deliver noteworthy fuel mileage, especially during highway use, but also places racing-inspired technology at drivers' fingertips. Advanced direct shifting technology guided by a special computer lets the DSG transmission automatically engage and disengage gears without the need for a clutch pedal. As one clutch is engaged for the next gear, the clutch from the previous gear is instantly released, making for quick, lag-free shifts that keep the engine in the sweet spot of its power band. Drivers can choose to have fully-automated operation by placing the gear selector in the "D" or "S" position, or they can enjoy the control of manual shifting by selecting Tiptronic mode. Using Tiptronic, drivers can shift up and down through the gears by tapping the gearshift lever up and down.
Standard on the Jetta SportWagen (S and SE models) is the economical, yet powerful, 2.5-liter five cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 177 lbs.-ft. of torque. The 2.5L comes stocked with an aluminum alloy cross flow head containing four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, maintenance-free hydraulic lifters, and Motronic® sequential multi- port fuel injection. Power is transferred on to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox, or an available six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and sport modes for driver- engaged shifting. The five-cylinder engine takes the Jetta from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.7 seconds with the automatic transmission, and in only 8.4 seconds when mated to the manual transmission. Fuel efficiency ratings are an EPA-estimated 33 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in the city when equipped with a manual transmission.
The 2012 Jetta SportWagen displays an all-new front end that provides even more substance to the model's already sporty nature. A narrow double-bar grille sits just above the bumper, giving the SportWagen a wider appearance, and unifies the pair of angled halogen headlamps held in blacked-out housings. The lower portion of the front fascia has also been narrowed and widened for a sleeker look. The SportWagen's clean profile remains subtle with black window trim on the S model, and is accented by chrome window trim on both the SE and TDI versions. An integrated roof rack comes as standard on all models to increase the SportWagen's versatile storage abilities.
For 2012, the Jetta SportWagen upholds all of the same fresh, German-inspired design cues of the previous model year. It can be ordered with the racing-inspired Sport Styling Kit, which includes a combination of spoilers and body kits for a lower profile and better aerodynamics.
The inside of every 2012 Jetta SportWagen comes well equipped with a host of standard equipment, including: Air conditioning, cruise control, an AM/FM/CD stereo system with MP3 CD readability, eight speakers and an auxiliary input, ergonomic HVAC controls, eight-way adjustable support front seats, a 60/40 split rear seat, a three spoke steering wheel with tilt-and- telescope capabilities, Bluetooth® mobile phone connectivity and the option of either cloth or V- Tex leatherette seating surfaces. The SportWagen also adds a wealth of storage into the mix, with a robust 32.8 cubic feet of usable cargo room in normal seating conditions, and an impressive 66.9 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down.
On the SE and TDI Jetta SportWagen models, a collection of updates further enhance the German-inspired experience: a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake handle, a ten-speaker AM/FM/CD premium stereo system with six-disc CD changer (the S model is available with RCD 310 single disc CD player), MP3 CD readability, three months of introductory Sirius Satellite Radio® service, Bluetooth® mobile phone connectivity, a multifunction trip computer and steering wheel, and an available panoramic sunroof.
The SE and TDI Jetta SportWagen can also be upgraded with the new RNS315 navigation system that features a high resolution touch-screen display, an SD memory card slot, an auxiliary input connection, an optional Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® connectivity for total playback support and control via the in-car system, and complimentary Sirius Satellite Radio programming for three months. Drivers of the SE and TDI have primary system control at their fingertips with the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel.
Chassis and Suspension
The Jetta SportWagen is ready to take on the twisting turns and long straights of nearly any road, utilizing a four-wheel independent suspension arrangement with a MacPherson strut package and stabilizer bar up front, and a multilink setup, complete with coil springs, telescopic shocks and a stabilizer bar, at the rear. The electro-mechanical power steering system includes variable assistance and active return to keep the driver confident, and the Jetta SportWagen continually stable yet responsive, heading through every turn.
Stopping duties on the Jetta SportWagen are handled by a power-assisted fourwheel disc brake system that comes with vented front rotors and solid units out back, and is aided with a standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Helping the Jetta SportWagen remain one with the pavement are standard 16-inch steel or alloy wheels on S, SE and TDI models, standard 17-inch wheels with SEL models, and optional 17-inch wheels on the TDI models. All of the Jetta SportWagen's wheel choices come wrapped in all-season performance tires for year-round driving, and are carefully watched over by the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that comes standard on all 2012 Jetta models.
Active and Passive Safety
The 2012 Jetta SportWagen models include Volkswagen's Prevent and Preserve Safety Features. [NOTE: This is not a "system" - it is simply a collection of features to which we've given a name.] On the inside, the Jetta comes standard with front, thorax, and Side Curtain Protection® airbags for both the driver and front passenger, as well as Side Curtain Protection airbags for rear passengers. At the wheels and under the hood, all Jetta models include an Anti- lock Braking System (ABS), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Engine Braking Assist (EBA) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
Volkswagen's decision to include ESC standard on the Jetta, and all other 2012 Volkswagen models, comes ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) mandate that by the 2012 model year, all vehicles produced will need to include some form of ESC. According to NHTSA, having ESC in a vehicle results in 35 percent fewer single vehicle crashes and 30 percent fewer single-vehicle fatalities in passenger cars. Volkswagen's ESC compares the driver's intended course with the vehicle's actual direction. If a discrepancy is detected, ESC automatically brakes individual front or rear wheels and/or reduces engine power as needed to help maintain directional control.
Roadside Assistance and Warranty
The 2012 Jetta models all come standard with 24-hour Roadside Assistance (third party provider) for three years or 36,000 miles (whichever occurs first). The standard new vehicle warranties are:
12-year unlimited distance Limited Warranty Against Corrosion Perforation
The Jetta SportWagen, like all 2012 model year Volkswagen models, is covered by the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. Under this program, all of the car's scheduled maintenance, as described in their maintenance booklets, is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty - three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, the Jetta SportWagen use synthetic oil, which, when combined with state-of-the-art German engineering, eliminates the need for a 5,000 mile oil change. This allows Volkswagen owners to driver farther between scheduled oil changes.