The first year’s cars were exactly as they appeared previously almost a decade ago, which of course raised some questions among the VW faithful, so for 2008, the City cars have been face-lifted and improved in some worthwhile ways.
The front and rear ends of both the City Golf and City Jetta have been brought more into line with current VW design, which makes them look more modern, if not as sleek as the new Rabbit and Jetta.
Under that new skin are some interesting bits that will make buyers forget that the only engine available is the old 2.0-litre, single-cam four that first appeared in VWs oh, a couple of decades ago, maybe. It’s reasonably refined and capable, and it generates its torque at fairly low rpm, so its mere 115 hp is not a big handicap.
Making it run with some verve, not only in the city of course, is a choice of five-speed manual, or the same modern six-speed automatic with Tiptronic found in the newer-gen cars. The effect on performance of having two more gears can’t be overstated; while the manual is quicker, the autobox gets a lot out of the engine, keeping the revs from dropping too much on shifts, and being in the right gear when power is needed.
Source: Autoreviews Online