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Tuesday Test Drive: Jetta 1.8T SEL

18 years ago, I arrived in Los Angeles driving a Volkswagen Jetta GL.  I drove it across the country with the essentials– all of my bathing suits, every cd I owned and a change of underwear.  I drove from NYC to LA in 2 weeks and had an absolute blast.  I loved that car until my boyfriend totalled it on the way to pick up my mother at the airport.  Even worse, I married the guy.

These days, the Jetta is a new breed of the simple sedan.  Its available essentials include Bluetooth audio, full leather, seat warmers and Apple CarPlay.  Thanks to Judd Apatow’s film “The Other Woman” it’s also officially recognized as the “hot girl car.”  Now, 18 years later, I can’t help but think about how I’ve changed, how Los Angeles has changed and whether this car is still as fantastic as I remember. Or have we just outgrown each other? I made a video on the streets of LA in a 2016 Jetta 1.8T SEL help me figure it out. Take a look:


Cheat Sheet:


*turbo, turbo, turbo– this little baby is zippy as hell. I couldn’t do this kind of damage in my old car. Great if the California Highway Patrol needs additional revenue. Luckily the brakes are as strong as the turbo.

*CarPlay– this system is heaven. It is simple and genius– basically the exact same interface as your iPhone. Duh..

*Styling– put the new Jetta next to a 3 series or an A4 and it doesn’t look like the ugly stepchild. She’s pretty!

*the back seat is pimp. My kids loved it almost as much as the Volvo, which says a lot.


*your friends still know it’s a Jetta. A buddy stopped me at a stoplight and said, “You’re too hot to drive that car.” I did manage to smoke him at the light, which is my only excuse for not paying him $20 for the compliment.

*the low idle feature is irritating but lots of cars have that for fuel efficiency. It may not irritate everyone. (I’ve had lots of sketchy cars that didn’t like to idle.. can you say Saab?)


2 thoughts on “Tuesday Test Drive: Jetta 1.8T SEL”

  1. Ok. Great video, even greater lipstick :). Here is my VW history …. first VW was a 1959 bug, then a 1963 Bus, 1964 Bus, 1974 Bug (new, still have). 1978 Dasher (remember them) 1974 Dasher Wagon (bright yellow), 1980 Dasher Wagon diesel, dark blue, leather, one of my favorites. Then on to Rabbits. 1978, 1980, 1984 diesel …. Then a haitus until my 2009 Jetta TDI …. The Jetta was a blast to drive …. And most of my cars were NOT even Volkswagens. lol. Seems LA and you have weathered the last 18 years quite nicely ❤️?. My favorite ever car, 1986 Nissan Maxima, 5-speed manual a hall of fame machine. I still miss it

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