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Volkswagen Test – 2019 Jetta SEL Premium

Volkswagen Test – 2019 Jetta SEL Premium

I love my car. I mean . . . I REALLY love my car. I drive a 2012 Volkswagen Passat V6 SLE. Before Dani (yes, that’s her name), I had a minivan to drive all of my children around in. I needed something that was more “me,” and I found it in my Passat immediately after my oldest child got her own car.

This year, I turned 40 and Dani turned 176,000 miles. I have decided that it’s time for me to consider getting a new car. This decision comes with a fair amount of angst for me as I decide what to do. I mean, how does one replace the perfect car? As a professional problem solver, I decided to create a rubric to measure my new car choices against to see how they fit me. Here’s what I came up with.


This is an easy one. It has to be one. I’m a diehard, loyal fan. My car has been mechanically sound for all of her 176,000 miles. The service department at Joe Machens Volkswagen is amazingly thoughtful and attentive. Even the parts department has been great as I have purchased both accessories for me and parts for my son’s 2003 VW Jetta. VW it has to be.


During the course of doing my job as President of The Business Times Company, I spend a significant amount of time downtown. I can parallel park Dani in just about any space on the first try. Being a size that enables me to still do this is a must.


Let’s face it. I need a certain level of spunk in my car to match the spunk in my spirit. One of my favorite things about my car is that I have keyless locking, unlocking, and starting. I merely touch the door handle to lock or unlock the car. Also, no fumbling in my purse for keys — push button start and off we go!

Not only do I need this aesthetically but I need it with speed and pep. On the outside, my Passat looks very classy but unassuming with her dark gray metallic paint and black leather interior. However, Dani is a speed machine. Even at 176,000 miles, I can smoke most cars getting on to the interstate. My kids always want to drive my car because it’s more “fun” than theirs. I can only assume it means they want to go fast. (I say no.)

Gas Mileage:

Lastly, I drive from Boonville to Columbia every day for work. Often, I even have to make an extra trip back and forth because of something my children have forgotten or need. This means that I need my gas mileage to be efficient. I don’t want to sacrifice financial efficiency for sportiness.

So now you can see what’s important to me in selecting my next new vehicle. In addition to this scorecard, I have the best partner in this process with Joe Machens Volkswagen. They are committed to helping me find my next car and letting me take my time doing it. Over the course of the next several months, I will be reporting back on my test drives of new vehicles from Joe Machens Volkswagen and how they measure up against my rubric. By the time December gets here, I will make my selection and tell you which it is. Wish me luck!

Test Drive: Part 2

2019 VW Jetta SEL Premium

My first thought when I saw this car was “This is a small car.” The Atlas was a mid-size SUV and this Jetta is a compact sedan. (Is this starting to sound like The Three Bears?) But, it was super sleek! Black paint with black leather interior and some super fancy black rims. I kept the car two days to put it through the pace of my everyday life. Here is how it scored on my test:




I certainly thought parking this baby would be a breeze. And, it was! I loved having the backup cam in this smaller car. However, I’ll have to get used to the smaller size. I still left it too far from the curb on my first try after being used to my longer Passat. I’m quite sure it will be easy to improve on this. I give it a 5/5 on parkability. No need to penalize the car for user error.


This Jetta has sass in spades! In fact, my teenagers were all about it! They even called their friends over to come look at it. My 17-year-old was quite sure he could talk me in to buying it for him. (No, my love, mamma comes first!) It has the keyless system I liked. The leather was luxurious. I was impressed to see that this size of car had the media panel and navigation system that the larger SUV had. In fact, it was even more seamless with my technology than the Atlas was. This car also had the adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitor which can be super helpful as I spend so much time on I-70. It’s not as peppy as my Passat and I think the black rims worked more for my teen boys than me. However, I definitely give it a 4/5 for sass! Beautiful car!

Gas Mileage:

Great gas mileage in this little guy. Factory information states that it gets 34 mpg. I got really close to this myself. I give it a 5/5 for fuel efficiency.

I’m just starting my search, having only reviewed the Atlas and Jetta thus far, but I will tell you…this is going to be a tough decision after driving this sporty, efficient machine.

Meet the Test Driver:






Erica Pefferman
President, The Business Times Company

Current Car:

Make: Volkswagen
Model: Passat V6 SEL
Year: 2012
Name: “Dani”
Color: Grey with black leather interior
Current mileage: 181,272
Favorite trip: St. George Island, FL

Schedule your test drive with Machens Volkswagen today!
1200 Vandiver Dr. Columbia, MO | | (855) 461-4061

Part 1 | Part 3Part 4 | The Winner

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