Premiere U.S. consumer magazine calls the new Jetta "a shadow of the agile, well-finished car it once was."

Top-notch consumer magazine Consumer Reports has given a very negative review to the 2011 North American VW Jetta.

"The new Jetta is unimpressive. In an effort to bring the car's starting price down, VW cheapened the previous Jetta's interior and suspension, making it less sophisticated and compromising handling."

That's from David Champion who serves as senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in Connecticut.

The release from Consumer Reports goes on to call the 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder engine "coarse-sounding" and says that the "redesigned Volkswagen Jetta is a shadow of the agile, well-finished car it once was...handling agility and cornering grip now fall short, as does the finish inside the formerly impeccable interior."

As VW has tried to bring down the starting price on the Jetta, which now begins at $15,995, $1,740 less than the previous generation, it has decontented the car in a way that has left consumers weary. For example, on the standard U.S.-market model the rear suspension is a single torsion beam, whereas on the European-spec Jetta, it comes with a 4-link set-up.

Consumer Reports offers the most detailed and comprehensive testing of any organization for models sold in the United States. It is an independent magazine which conducts long-term, extensive testing of vehicle quality and reliability.

Gallery: Consumer Reports hammers the U.S.-market VW Jetta