Road Tested By Hugh Maguire
WITH diesel powered cars becoming more and more popular due to our emission based road tax regime manufacturers have tried to find ways to offer more than just economical cars but sporty versions of their diesel line-up and so it is with the all new VW Jetta 2.0 Tdi that I road tested this week.
The new Jetta range kicks off at just €22,245 with the 1.2 TSI 105 bhp petrol, my test car is the Jetta Highline 2.0 tdi with the optional DSG gearbox.
Well it’s 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. There is an air of Teutonic efficiency about the whole car. What it may lack in flair it more than makes up for in functionality.
Standard equipment on the Highline model includes, Multi function leather steering wheel, headlamp wash, Climatic air conditioning, cruise control, front fog lights with cornering lights (they turn in the same direction as your steering inputs), MP3 player, CD with 8 speakers, hill hold control, 17 inch alloys, sports seats and half leather trim. As you would expect the new Jetta also comes with multiple airbags, ABS, EBD, Stability Control and ISOFIX.
Buyers can add specification to the car via VW’s simply 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 added €1,511 to the price of the car.
Powered in this case by a very good 2.0 TDI diesel developing 140 bhp and mated to the superb optional 7-speed DSG gearbox the new Jetta impresses!
First of all that diesel powerplant has bags of torque and plenty of punchy performance. I also liked the fact that it is very refined, with very little evidence of diesel clatter or vibration.
The DSG gearbox is in essence an automatic, but you can shift manually by tipping the sporty looking chrome shift lever forward or back.
I really like this gearbox. It changes up and down just as you want it to, and in sport mode offers a really dynamic driving experience. This new Jetta also simply sips the diesel burning just 5.7 litres per 100km, very impressive. Oh and it falls into tax band B so costs just €156 to road tax.
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.
Accommodation is equally good. I am about 6 feet tall and had no trouble sitting comfortably behind where I would have the driver’s seat were I driving. The boot is vast for a car in this class and I am glad to report houses a full sized spare wheel, unlike many rivals. Top marks VW!
The VW Jetta is a fine car. It does everything well and nothing badly. When you consider entry to the range starts at just about 22k that is not bad at all.
It’s well built, roomy, and economical to own. The top of the range Highline version tested with the DSG gearbox and the options packs I mentioned costs €30,850.