Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Well built and reliable
- Large boot space
- Wide choice of engines
- Not as stylish as a Golf nor as practical
- Not as stylish as a Golf nor as practical
The Jetta was styled on the Golf and there are clear similarities when looking at it from the front and when sitting behind the wheel. However, the back end has more in common with the Passat. Its large boot is spacious rivaling even the Ford Mondeo's boot and the back seats are also more spacious than the smaller Golf's. There is also a wide choice of engines as you would expect from VW with the diesel proving to be exceptionally reliable, powerful and fuel efficient.
Exterior and Interior
The Jetta is styled around the Golf with the same front end, but the rear is completely different and it provides a proper boot with 527litres and the split folding rear seats are able to fold flat for any large items you may want to transport. The back seat passengers also benefit as it is easier to get in and out of as well as there being plenty of head and legroom. There is lots of room upfront as well with the seats offering good support and being comfortable even on the longest of journeys. The drivers' seat is also multi-adjustable being able to change the height as well. The steering wheel adjusts too allowing the driver to find the optimum driving position.
There are also plenty of storage spaces scattered throughout the cabin with a large cubbyhole, wide door pockets and several cup holders. The dash is hard to distinguish from the 2004 Golf, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing with the dash being well laid out and easy to use with a simple sat-nav where fitted. There are three trim levels available in the Jetta with the basic S trim coming with ABS, air-con, 16 inch alloys, remote central locking, an alarm, rain sensitive wipers, automatic lights, electric windows and a CD stereo system. The SE trim adds front comfort seats with lumbar support, centre arms rest with storage underneath and a leather steering wheel and gearstick. The top of the range Sport trim comes with fog lights, lowered suspension, 17 inch alloys and front sport seats.
Performance and Economy
The 1.4-litre turbocharged engines effectively replaced the 1.6-litre and the smaller 2.0-litre petrol engines when they were introduced in 2007 as they were smoother, more powerful and more fuel efficient than the larger engines. The smaller 122bhp engine manages 44mpg and the 160bhp manages 42mpg, compared to the 1.6-litres 40mpg and the 2.0-litres 34mpg. The larger turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is quick going from 0-60mpg in just 7.3 seconds and is the same engine that is used in the 2005 Golf GTI.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine that was introduced in 2009 effectively replaced the 105bhp 1.9-litre engine as it was just as quick and produced better fuel efficiency of 60mpg as opposed to the 1.9-litres 54mpg. It also gave the Bluemotion 1.9-litre engine a run for its money with the Bluemotion only just nudging ahead on fuel efficiency which manages 61mpg. The 2.0-litre common rail (CR) engines producing 140bhp and 170bhp effectively replaced the older 2.0-litre 140 and 170bhp engines. The new versions are a lot smoother with minimal vibration being transferred to the cabin and are no where near as noisy either.
The smaller engines are obviously the cheapest to insure with the 1.4's falling into group 6. The largest of the engines the 200bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine won't break the bank either though falling into group 15 which is two groups below the Golf GTI which has the same engine.
Like to Drive
The Jetta handles extremely well with the only real difference between the Golf and the Jetta being that it has slightly stiffer suspension. This means it handles very well feeling surefooted with plenty of grip on more challenging roads. This does mean that it feels the bumps more around town, but not to the point of it being uncomfortable. The steering is also very precise even although it doesn't really offer the light feeling that is needed around town. The front A pillars are still present though which block a large portion of the drivers view and can prove to be hazardous when at a roundabout, you'll have to learn to look around them to see everything clearly.
Faults and Repairs
Given that the Jetta and Golf share a lot of the same components and setup it is safe to assume that most of the problems will be shared. These faults include timing belt tensioners failing, fuel pumps on the diesels leaking and various electric faults. There have been some reports of steering racks needing repairs but other than that the Jetta hasn't suffered from any serious or consistent problems. It also costs the same as the Golf when it comes to repairs and services which comes in as being more expensive than most rivals and depending on how you drive you may need to be making more regular services than other drivers.