Remember the last time you wanted to load up four adults and their attendant three full size suitcases into the family sedan for the week-long trip to visit the long lost relatives in Indiana, Ohio or Iowa (throwing in Wisconsin and Michigan so as not to offend)? Or that time you volunteered to take the folks to O'Hare for their month long trip to Europe?
You tried and tried to squeeze and bend still and couldn't possibly come up with a configuration that would fit everything into the trunk. And...no cheating...you can't load a suitcase in the passenger compartment, nor can you keep the lid open with rope or bungy cords to keep the luggage in place.
So you had to call your local Enterprise car rental location to arrange for a fuel slurping SUV or Minivan.
Well then our good friends at Volkswagen - the "People Car" maker, have a good compact category (by EPA interior volume standards) family car option for you. It's the 2011 VW Jetta. At 15.5 cubic feet of volume the Jetta trunk is rivals those in mid-size luxury cars. There is even a full size spare under the cargo floor and an emergency reflective road hazard warning triangle. The unique shock and coil spring hinges mean the lid opens gently. With a generous load opening three full size cases and at least a carry-on will fit no problem. The 2011 Jetta starts at $15,900 - our well optioned SEL model hit the $24,000 bell. While not as "cutesy" in styling as it's predecessor it still drives well enough on the Interstate to make those family trips to visit out-of-town relatives or the jaunts to O'Hare more frequent.