Sitting into any of the Volkswagen models you will always get that sense of familiarity. It is something that Volkswagen has done very well in ensuring that the transition between models within their brand is effortless for perspective buyers. The perceived expectation prior to getting into the Volkswagen Jetta is that it is merely a Golf with a boot, but it really is so much more than that. Personally I would be of the opinion that the Jetta has the potential to be a major success for Volkswagen and is highly under-rated. It is one of those cars that demand no praise or fanfare yet gets the job done and looks really good. The boxy look of Jetta’s of years gone by have been replaced by a car with definitive lines which give character to this mid-sized family saloon.
The Volkswagen Jetta is available in three trim levels, Trendline, Comfortline and Highline with petrol and diesel engine options which can be paired with manual or DSG transmissions. The subject of this review is the 2.0 litre TDI Highline model which has a power output of 110 bhp coupled with a 5 speed manual transmission. I was slightly apprehensive at the start of the test week as to the ability of the 5 speed gearbox but over the course of the week and an extensive number of miles covered I did not find the need for a 6th gear and the gearbox and 110 bhp engine are perfectly in sync.
With my test car sitting down comfortably on the 18 inch alloy wheels the Jetta receives a more sporty appearance than before. By in large, standard spec on the Jetta Highline trim is quite good especially with the inclusion of the Business and Style packs which add Sat Nav, light assist, rear view camera, media-in, 2-zone air con and alloy wheel options. If you want to upgrade to receive Bi-Xenon headlights with cornering lights and LED’s it will cost you an additional €1658.83. Other standard specifications on the Highline trim include park distance control, cruise control, front and rear fog lamps, leather steering wheel and gear knob to name but a few.
Sitting into the Volkswagen Jetta the first thing that is immediately obvious is the amount of space inside the cabin. Front and rear seat passengers benefit from ample leg and head room. Boot space is also an impressive 510 litres. The interior layout is fresh and in keeping with other new Volkswagen layouts. There’s no fan fare or fancy switch gear but everything is sensible and practical. Everything serves its own purpose. Durability should never be an issue as the materials utilised on the interior appear to be made of high quality products that will withstand the test of time. Positioned in the centre of the dash is a standard 6.5 inch touch screen where you can access all of the relevant entertainment, media Bluetooth and vehicle settings along with the optional extra of the Sat Nav. The presence of the normal ratchet handbrake was also a welcome addition. It’s the little things in life!
On the road, the Jetta performs very well. Given that the Jetta now sits on a slightly longer wheelbase than the previous model, it provides for a very comfortable drive. As you progress along winding country roads, the Jetta feels very surefooted and the weight of the steering instils confidence in the driver. On longer motorway drives, wind and road noise are kept to a minimum and given the abundance of space in the cabin the comfort levels are impressive. Over the course of the week long test drive and with varying roads, I achieved reasonable fuel economy of 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres which in real world figures the Jetta is almost on a par with its competitors if not better than some.
All in all, I personally think that the Volkswagen Jetta is hugely underrated and deserves a lot more credit than it receives. It is stylish and spacious and one of the best selling points is its competitive pricing. The base line model of the Jetta, the 1.2 TSI, 105 bhp Trendline model starts from €21,845. The model which is the subject of this review, the 2.0 TDi Highline coupled with the 5 speed manual transmission starts from €27,565 OTR. Annual road tax on this model will set you back €190 per year which is very respectable. In short, if you are in the market for a mid-sized family saloon I would definitely not rule the Jetta out by any means and it should really be test driven to believe just how good it is.
Engine Size – 2.0 TDI Bluemotion
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 110 bhp
Torque – 250 Nm
Acceleration (0 – 100km/h) – 11 seconds
Top Speed – 197 km/hour
Consumption Combined – 4.2 litres / 100 kilometres
CO2 Emissions – 110g/ km
Road Tax – €190
Base Price – €24,935 (Highline Trim OTR)
Model Tested – €27,565 plus optional extras (prices quoted from www.vw.ie)