Volkswagen Jetta.1.6 TDi Bluemotion

| November 14, 2012 | 0 Comments

As a Golf Bluemotion driver and someone who hasn’t driven the Jetta since its previous incarnation, the Bora, was around, I was keen to see how the new Jetta performed.
I was a big fan of the Bora; indeed, at the time I thought it was a better car than the Golf of that day.
It is an acknowledged fact that UK buyers like hatchbacks, mainly because of their practicality, and the market for Golf-sized saloons, which is massive in North America and mainland Europe, just isn’t mirrored in the UK. How many versions of best-sellers such as the Megane, Focus or Astra have you seen recently with a boot?
However, Volkswagen has always done okay with the Jetta and before it with the Bora, compared to other brands, save perhaps Volvo with the S40, and this has been mainly due to fleet customers. But there is still a feeling among many that the Jetta is a Golf with a boot. But is it and if it is, is that such a bad thing?
First and foremost, the Jetta is a good-looking car: even though I drive one, you could not say the current Golf is, so that’s one to Jetta. It may be a little predictable in that it is similar to the Passat, but on the other hand, it’s better looking than that, too. VW is proud that the Jetta, for the first time, doesn’t share a single external panel with the Golf. It is also longer than the Golf by 70 mm, giving the rear passengers more room than in a Golf. The rear seats are also more sculpted than those of its sibling, offering more comfort  as well.
VW has also increased the boot capacity to 510 litres, with a standard 60:40 split folding rear seat which increases this still further. Just to test the boot out I tried, unsuccessfully, to put my mountain bike in the back of the Jetta. Of course it did fit in the back of my Golf.
Familiarity inside the cabin in this case does not breed contempt. My test car was the same inside as in my two-year-old Golf, with only a couple of subtle changes. The quality is evident as, with all VWs, and the usabilty is excellent, too.
My test car was also the 1.6 TDi Bluemotion model, offering 103 bhp, one of four engines being offered here in the UK, alongside a two-litre TDI 138 bhp and two 1.4 TSi models, with 120 bhp & 158 bhp respectively. Prices start with the entry level 1.4 TSI S at £16,965 on the road, with my test car retailing at £19,530. Most fleet drivers would look at the SE as the S is fairly basically equipped and would be better served with the 1.6 unit over the two-litre unit as well.
Out and about the 1.6 TDi unit is particularly strong on the motorway. Around town it can be a bit slow on the uptake, with a 0 to 62 mph coming in 11.7 seconds but when you look at the fuel economy on the unit, compared to the larger, more sprightly two-litre TDi, this is wholly acceptable.
After two years I average around 50 mpg in my Golf. The Jetta topped this, with 54 mpg, both on the combined cycle. Take motorway driving only and the Jetta gets closer to 63 mpg and that’s at just over the national speed limit. We are losing our Golf Bluemotion in September and with it’s superb fuel economy, will be sorely missed.
With the Golf being the benchmark in its class, I think that the Jetta is different to a Golf. On the plus side its more attractive than a Golf and a Passat. It’s just as good to drive and is as well made as a Golf. It is also rarer than a Golf, even though my next door neighbour has one. On the negative side, it doesn’t offer the same practical boot as a Golf. And that really is the only negative I can think of.
In conclusion, I would have a Jetta over a Passat and every other D sector car, every time. It’s cheaper, almost identical in size and better looking. But if you want a hatchback for its practicality, the Jetta may not work for you. If this is you, luckily VW offers the Golf which despite the arrival of a group of new, better-looking cars such as the Astra and Focus, is still the one to beat.

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Category: Volkswagen

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