The Inline-5 hasn't been available in any VW for about 5 months now, and I feel that it's not gotten enough love recently. I should clarify that out of all (six, not counting 15-20 minute drives, but proper drives) of the cars I have driven, a 5-cylinder jetta SE is my favorite. The 2.5 5-pot had one thing that I feel the new 1.8T lacks.

Character.

Sure, the new 1.8T is the better engine. more MPG's more torque, more tunability, but it doesn't make me want to push the car harder, to test it's limits. The 2.5 did this, in a lazy but thrilling manner. and it's not just that it does this in the Jetta, where it's coupled to a 5-speed manual. It performed venerably in a Passat SE, and a new beetle as well, where the shifting was done automatically! Sure, 170 horses out of 2.5 liters is pretty pitiful, but this engine gave you those horses with a sweet, low rumble that no 4 or 6 can match.

What it did is it gave mid range Volkswagens a specific character, and not just some "oh look, it's a boring turbo sedan *yawn*" character. This is a playful "come on, rev me baby one more time!" kind of character. I do think it's a shame VW killed the thirsty 2.5, and I would've loved to see what VW could really do with it if they just tried to update it more...