Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Hitting Australian shores in August 2011 the new Volkswagen Jetta is larger and sportier than the previous model. The Volkswagen Jetta no longer shares any body components with its Golf sibling.

The engineers over at Volkswagen have given the Jetta more generous dimensions over the previous generation. The new model is 4740mm long, 1470mm tall and 1778mm wide. This makes the new Jetta 190mm longer and 14mm taller than the previous model it replaces.

Although the 510 litre boot is down by 17 litres over the previous model, the new Jetta still features more boot space than its local competitors.
Not so good The exterior styling of the new Jetta is somewhat bland. Large portions of sheet metal dominate the profile of the car without any real distinguishing lines.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Inside, the new Jetta is dominated by dark tones. The dash is covered in black soft touch plastics that give a premium look and feel, while the seats and mats also feature dark muted tones.

The base model 118TSI comes standard with a leather multi-function steering wheel, CD player with auxiliary input, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and USB connectivity, multifunction display, 6-way front seat adjustment (including height adjustment), and fabric seat covers in ‘Cardeol’ pattern.

Mid spec Comfortline models have added features that include storage pockets on the front seatbacks, centre armrests (with storage box in front), comfort seats with high-end ‘Sienna’ pattern fabric covers, carpet floor mats, dual zone climate control air conditioning and chrome air vent surrounds.

The top-of-the-range Highline steps things up, scoring sport seats with Vienna leather upholstery, premium CD system, premium interior highlights and front under seat storage drawers.
Not so good The entry model 118TSI’s interior felt sparse and a little bland, some would say minimalistic. We also found that the interior fit & finish wasn’t quite up to the normal Volkswagen standard that we have all come to know and appreciate.
Performance

Performance

Good The new Jetta comes with the choice of two petrol engines and one diesel engine.

Kicking things off is the 118 TSI, a 1.4-litre twincharged (both turbo charged and supercharged) petrol engine that produces 118kW of power and 240Nm of torque. The 118 TSI comes standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox or as an option the 7-speed DSG.

Next up is the 2.0 TSI, a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 147kW of power and 280Nm of torque. The 2.0 TSI comes fitted with a 7-speed DSG as standard.

And rounding out the engine line-up is the 2.0 TDI, a 2.0-litre turbo diesel producing 103kW of power and 320Nm of torque. The 2.0TDI also comes standard with a 7-speed DSG.

Our test car was fitted with the 118 TSI mated to a 6-speed manual. The 118 TSI had plenty of power mid to high in the rev range but struggled a bit when taking off at the lights. The engine performed well out on the open road with plenty of torque on offer for lane changes and overtaking.
Not so good The 118 TSI is a great engine, however, clever engineering comes at a price and this translates to higher servicing costs due to more advanced technology.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The Jetta is equipped with a MacPherson strut-type front suspension with coil springs and telescoping shock absorbers. While at the rear, the Jetta is equipped with a multi-link rear suspension setup.

This setup offers very good handling performance, the Jetta’s suspension is set towards the stiffer end of the scale. This is good for driving enthusiasts that want to have a little fun in the hills. However, the suspension is still comfortable enough to live with day-to-day.

The electro-mechanical power steering makes parking easy, while the steering still feels precise and well weighted for an electronically assisted set up.
Not so good You’ve got to hand it to Volkswagen they have done a great job with the Jetta’s handling characteristics.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Volkswagen has repositioned the pricing which makes the Jetta relatively priced for what you get. Prices start from below $30k and range to the high $30’s depending on engine and choice of grade. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a bargain, but what you do get is solid on-road handling, a great powertrain that has plenty of power (118 TSI), better resale value and the comfort of the Volkswagen brand.
Not so good It's not the most exciting vehicle to look at and the competition does offer a better list of standard features. Servicing costs are also going to be higher due to the Jetta's high levels of technology.