3-way duel of the sedans: Just a Golf with a boot? Not this time...

2011-09-09 14:14

Volkswagen South Africa just launched the sixth generation Jetta, which comes on the 60th anniversary of the first VW Beetle built locally, and it’s finally rid of the “Golf with a boot” stigma.

Sharing body parts with the Golf since its 1980 launch, the Jetta never had an identity to call its own.

What’s new:
The car is redesigned with VW DNA, and although most cars share styling cues, the Jetta looks good.

Launched with three petrol and two diesel engines, the range brings with it the well-known TSI and TDI technology in the form of the 1.2 TSI, 1.4 TSI, 1.6 TDI and the 2.0 TDI. Issued with a standard five-speed manual transmission, the 1.6 TDI 77kW is the only model with an optional seven-speed DSG transmission. Other manual models have a six-speed transmission.

The Jetta handled superbly when we tested the cars recently. It’s comfortable on the road with sufficient torque and grunt. All models include the ESP with auto-dimming interior lights, rain sensors, hill-hold assist and auto-headlights.

The three specification levels are trendline and comfortline, featuring 16-inch alloys, while the highline models have 17-inch alloys.

The car is 90mm longer than the previous model and a 7cm wider wheelbase provides more interior space. The rear seats have a 60:40 split and feature back-seat release catches in the boot.

The front end has a coupé-like slant in the windscreen and there is the high-gloss black radiator grille and trapezoidal headlights.

The interior is typical VW with a neat layout and red highlights in the instrument clusters.

There is also a standard ­­­­multifunctional leather steering wheel, and anti-theft alarm with an electronic immobiliser, six airbags and tow-away protection.

We like:

» Its sharper lines in design and bigger wheel arches:
» Low fuel consumption readings; and
» The way it drives.

We don’t like:
» Though striking, the new design looks too close to the Polo sedan model.

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