Volkswagen Jetta, More Than A Golf With A Boot

The new Volkswagen Jetta.
The new VW Jetta sits between the Golf and the Passat in the 2013 VW range.

The new VW Jetta sits between the Golf and the Passat in the 2013 VW range.

With a good mix of petrol or diesel engines and a choice of three trim levels, Standard, Comfortline and Highline it offers a mid sized saloon to siut most budgets and tastes.

This week I am testing the 1.6 TDI diesel in Highline specification. The new Jetta range kicks off at just €21,695 with the 1.2 TSI 105 bhp petrol,

First Impressions.

Well its very much like a scaled down version of the new Passat. It is a smart tidy looking 3-box saloon, but it will not really turn heads or win any prizes for innovative or radical design. I suppose in typical VW fashion it is somewhat conservative looking but none the worse for that.

Behind The Wheel.

The interior of the new Jetta is well designed and nicely laid out. The driving position is pretty much perfect and all switches and levers fall easily to hand. .

Buyers can add specification to the car via VW’s simple option packs and in this case my test car also had the Light and Vision pack which adds auto headlights, rain sensors, and a handy auto-dimming rear view mirror and a Winter Pack, which includes, heated seats, heated washer nozzels and warning light for low washer fluid. The total additional cost of these two packs for example added €1,511 to the price of the car.

Performance.

Powered in this case by a very good 1.6 TDI diesel developing 105 bhp and mated to a smooth 5-speed gearbox the combination works very well. Pity they did not put the 6-speed box in it though!

First of all that diesel powerplant good torque and plenty of punchy performance. I also liked the fact that it is quite refined, with little evidence of diesel clatter or vibration.

This new Jetta also simply sips the diesel burning just 5.9 litres per 100km, very impressive. It costs €200 to road tax.

Road Behaviour.

The new Jetta rides and handles very well indeed. The suspension does a good job of soaking up road imperfections and refinement levels are pretty good. I did question whether or not there was more tyre noise than I expected but that is about it.

Accomodation is equally good. I had no trouble sitting comfortably behind where I would have the drivers seat were I driving. The boot is vast and I am glad to report houses a full sized spare wheel, unlike many rivals. Top marks VW!

Verdict.

The Volkswagen Jetta is a fine car. It does everything well and nothing badly. When you consider entry to the range starts at just just under 22k that is not bad at all.

Its well built, roomy, and economical to own.

However one thing you will notice on studying the price list is how quickly it begins to become very close to the much bigger and frankly more impressive Passat.

The 1.6 TDI Highline costs €28,050, while the VW Passat 1.6 TDI Standard model costs €27,165........food for thought!

Tested by Hugh Maguire.