Toss the popular Convenience package and a sunroof into the enviro-friendly 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE PZEV to behold the SE PZEV w/Convenience and Sunroof sub-trim. This airy and feature-laden front-wheel-drive (FWD) midsize sedan sports a tweaked-up 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder powerplant (I5) that conforms to stringent California emissions standards and is ready to roll in all fifty states. The standard 5-speed manual transmission, meanwhile, allows the I5 to put out 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, with mileage in the range of 23 mpg city/33 highway. Additionally, there’s an available 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission with driver-selectable sport mode that’s a hoot to play with, but drops mileage to 24/31. Alas, as part of its switch from plush to value, VW has replaced the Jetta sedan’s well-wrought multilink rear suspension with a lesser torsion-bar rear end for a noticeable degradation in handling.
Besides the 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, heated front seats, leather accents and upgraded audio components of the Convenience package, as well as the power glass sunroof, the 2012 Jetta SE PZEV w/Convenience and Sunroof offers a boatload of additional amenities. Heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, leatherette upholstery, remote power door locks, power windows, cruise control, air conditioning and rubber front and rear floor mats are among the additional comfort and convenience goodies, with telescoping tilt-wheel steering making life easier on the driver. Notwithstanding a decidedly low-rent cabin ambiance for this generation Jetta sedan, the Convenience package means 6-speaker audio with an MP3-compatible 6-CD changer, satellite radio, memory card slot and a USB connection. Finally, 15 cubic feet of trunk space and a pass-through folding rear center armrest are also included on the list of what this midsize 4-door has to offer. Options, meantime, can include splash guards, a rear spoiler, upgraded 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels and carpeted floor mats. Again, in a nod to perceived value sensibilities in the U.S., the next-gen Jetta is burdened with a distinctly low-rent cabin ambiance.
Safety-wise, the 2012 SE PZEV w/Convenience and Sunroof boasts, among the usual collection of occupant protection equipment, standard 4-wheel antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head-restraint whiplash protection, just for starters. Then there are standard daytime running lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and a post-collision safety system for some added peace of mind.