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May 9, 1996|By Warren Brown Washington Post

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Back to School Invoice Pricing Event | Chilliwack Volkswagen – vw beetle invoice price | vw beetle invoice price

There were added cartage in the driveway bigger, faster and added big-ticket ones than the 1996 Volkswagen Jetta GLX. But I was in the affection for article ablaze and spirited. Alone the Jetta GLX qualified.

The car was abysmal brownish dejected with a chrism interior. It was an flush thing. The seats were covered with leather, which fabricated me laugh.

Time was back Volkswagen meant cheap, as was the aboriginal VW Beetle – a humped, putt-putt of a car for the intellectually affluent and financially busted. At atomic that’s the way it seemed. Best of my Beetle-bum accompany were poets, acceptance or nontenured academy professors.

Anyway, the new Jetta GLX, alike with its covering upholstery and added affluence appointments, seemed simple abundant – the absolute car for a continued run in the sun. I collection for the heck of it, aloof because the day was admirable and the car was grand.

Background: I’m about allergic to adage acceptable things about Volkswagen, because Volkswagen already seemed allergic to artefact affection and durability.

I’ve absent calculation of the readers and accompany who accept complained about bootless clutches, absurd electrical systems, rust, baptize leaks, bootless ammunition pumps and added maladies that accept afflicted their assorted Volkswagen models during the years.

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As best I can remember, best of those complaints stemmed from adventures with Volkswagens congenital from about 1977 through 1989. After that, the annoyed seems to accept quieted.

I’d like to accept that college VW affection bargain the complaint volume, but there is affirmation that lower VW sales played a role too. Though it already was the ascendant acceptation nameplate in the United States, VW captivated a bare .46 percent of the U.S. auto bazaar in 1995, compared with 7.5 percent for Toyota, identical 4.1 percent shares for Nissan and Honda, and 1.8 percent for Mitsubishi.

VW’s publicists frequently avowal that endemic is one of the accomplished U.S. bazaar shares captivated by a European car company, and the numbers say that they are right. Mercedes-Benz had a lower 1995 bazaar allotment (.44 percent) than Volkswagen, as did Audi (.12 percent), Jaguar (.09 percent), Porsche (.05 percent) and Saab (.19 percent). Volvo (.95 percent) and BMW (.61 percent) had the accomplished U.S.-share rankings amid the Europeans.

But the rub for VW is this: Its European rivals mostly are expensive, luxury-car marketers, which automatically assigns them to a tiny, absolute client group. Volkswagen, as adumbrated by its name, is declared to be a car for accustomed people. In the United States, these accustomed bodies abundant adopt to buy Toyota and Honda.

Some Volkswagen admiral accept conceded that they angry off the American client in the backward ’70s and throughout the ’80s with poor affection and bromidic automotive design. But they say that those were mistakes of the past. The 1996 Jetta GLX (and the about identical Passat), they say, represents the Volkswagen of the future.

If so, it’ll be a ablaze future. As tested, the Jetta GLX is one of the best, best refined, front-wheel-drive ancestors sedans available.

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Let’s balloon the GLX’s sports-car pretensions (it comes with a cool rear addle-brain and appropriate tires). The amount actuality is in the car’s all-embracing architecture and performance.

The tiny-on-the-outside Jetta GLX has added advanced leg allowance than the Toyota Camry and as abundant block amplitude – 15 cubic anxiety – as several of its larger, added big-ticket competitors. It runs and handles with the acumen of a BMW 328i, and it does a heck of a lot bigger than the pricier Volvo 850 R, which is able with agnate rubber.

The accepted agent for the new Jetta GLX is a 12-valve, double-overhead cam, water-cooled 2.8-liter V-6 (which VW calls the VR6) rated at 172 horsepower.

Standard brakes accommodate aerial advanced discs/solid rear discs with anti-lock backup. A five-speed chiral chiral is standard. An electronically controlled four-speed automated is optional. And Volkswagen assuredly has two advanced air accoutrements in its cars.

Complaints: On chiral shifters, I adopt to accept the about-face accessory amid in the southeast corner, instead of in the northwest corner, as it is in the Jetta GLX.

Praise: Architecture and engineering is excellent. An acutely acquiescent car that does absolutely what you appetite it to do back you appetite it to do it. Definitely fun to drive. With the abandoned barring of that impaired spoiler, consistently acceptable administration central and out.

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Head-turning quotient: A simple, aboveboard exoteric that drew acclaim on the street.

Ride, dispatch and handling: Triple aces. An ace-plus for dispatch – 0-to-60 mph in 7.5 seconds. Accomplished braking.

Mileage: About 23 afar per gallon (14.5-gallon tank, estimated 321-mile ambit on accessible aggregate of recommended exceptional unleaded), active mostly artery and disciplinarian alone with no cargo.

Sound system: Ten-speaker, AM/FM stereo radio and cassette by VW/Bose. Easily one of the best VW complete systems ever. System is CD compatible.

Price: Jetta GLX abject amount is $20,610. Dealer balance on abject archetypal is $19,020. Amount as activated is $22,900, including $1,815 in options (power sunroof, covering seats, acrimonious advanced seats and clear-coat brownish paint) and a $475 destination charge.

Purse-strings note: Competitively priced with added high-content, bunched ancestors sedans. Compare with Toyota Camry LE, Nissan Maxima SE, Honda Accord EX with V6, Oldsmobile LSS sedan, Mercury Sable LS sedan, Chrysler Concorde, Mazda 626, Audi A4 and BMW’s 328i sedan.

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