At times I try to compare cars to ordinary things, for instance a Golf is like a pair of high quality running shoes, you can walk around in them and they’re good but it’s only when you go running that you see the point.
The Passat is like a sensible pair of brogues, you can wear them all day and still go dancing all night and on the weekend they look good with a pair of jeans.
The Jetta is much more akin to a pair of slippers, not just any slippers, your favourite slippers. If you wear them long enough you forget that you have them on, they are just that comfortable.
The Jetta has been around since 1979 and it’s here because Irish people have a thing for saloon cars. We used to aspire to owning a decent saloon, and then the crossovers came and diluted the market with soft roaders and MPV’s.
Now the saloon is back in fashion, largely because the crossovers have become bloated and heavy, these days Irish people want economy and that’s hard to get from the bigger cars.
Enter the Jetta, the small three box saloon that VW promise isn’t a Golf with a boot. There’re right, it’s grown up. There’s much more of a Passat feel about the whole car, a more executive feeling about the driving experience. The exterior lines are elegant and flow nicely from the angry front round to the happy rear end.
Inside things are familiar from the VW range and all the plastics you commonly touch are high quality while some of the other plastics have been toned down to match the reduced price.
I had the 1.6ltr 105bhp Diesel and so far as I can tell it just runs on air, I drove for nearly 200kms before the fuel gauge budged. These new range of eco-Diesels are coming of age now and VW seem to be leading the pack in refinement because the engine is all but silent at motorway speeds and returns 4.9ltrs per 100kms at 120kph, that’s some doing for a 1.6 with only 5 gears!
If you’re feeling a little enthusiastic the Jetta can handle it, there’s a long rev range between gears and plenty of torque, and the traction control does a good job of keeping you on the straight and narrow.
I enjoyed my time with the Jetta but it left me with a feeling of wanting more, I’d like to see a sporty version with more horsepower come out to play. The Jetta feels well put together, it would be an easy car to live with because of the large cabin space and big 510ltr boot. The prices for the range start at €21,985 for the 1.2 TSI model and stop at €30,985 for a highline auto with a 2.0 TDI.
The one I’d go for is the 1.6TDI Comfortline with a comfort pack that gets you Bluetooth, parking sensors and Mirror pack for a little over €26k there should be enough to keep you happily motoring for years.
You can test drive the VW range at Michael Moore car sales Portarlington 057 86 24102 just be sure to tell them Bob sent you.