Volkswagen Jetta Hatchback Review & first Drive


Volkswagen is largely known in India for its two crucial models – Polo and Vento. These offerings give the Indian buyers a taste of German engineering while being affordable to own and run at the same time. What goes unnoticed for the masses is the Volkswagen Jetta, which is in its sixth generation and is being offered in India since its fifth generation. This mid-size premium sedan has seen a small set of buyers including some enthusiasts or people obsessed with German machines. It happens because at this price range, most of the Indian buyers start craving for SUVs. Now Volkswagen has updated the Jetta and we take a quick spin to see what’s new on offer.Check for review & price of Volkswagen cars


This is makeover 2.0. The car we see today is more of a cosmetic upgrade than anything else. The top-end Highline (only diesel) model now gets new LED day time running lights along with Xenon headlamps and dynamic cornering system. The shape of the headlamp has been altered yet again, to appear sharper than before. There’s a new grille – larger, with three chrome slats, which now merges seamlessly with the headlights. The bonnet is also slightly different and along with the redesigned front now gives the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta a wider stance. The front of the new VW Jetta looks more premium and now closely resembles the bigger VW Passat. The top-spec diesel also gets these solid looking twin-5-spoke alloy wheels. New bootlid with integrated spoiler, new rear bumper and redesigned tail lamps complete the upgrade to the rear section of the car. Check On Road Price of Volkswagen cars


Volkswagen has always been subtle with its styling updates on facelifted versions, be it the Polo, Vento or for that matter the new Jetta. The updated car carries minimal styling revisions and you can count them on your fingertips. The headlight unit is now equipped with LED strips without any changes to the layout and the grille now gets an additional chrome slat on the top. The bumper at the front is new, so is the small kink at the top of the boot lid and the new design tail lamps. All these minor revisions make the car look sharper than before and it is one of the elegant cars in the D-segment.The cabin doesn’t tell you a different story either, with the changes being lesser than that on the outside. The new flat-bottom steering wheel is straight from the Polo and the Vento and I would write the same that I wrote when I reviewed the Polo, it is brilliant. The dashboard is angled at the driver, clearly showing the focus of the car. Everything is well laid-out and falls nicely to hand and while the cabin is very functional, the quality seems a little compromised as everything looks like have been borrowed from the Polo and the Vento. If you have been in a VW car before, you would relate to the instrument layout, the placement of the wing mirror adjustments, it’s all the same albeit, things are larger.


The engines remain the same—the 1.4-litre TSI petrol which produces a maximum power of 121 bhp and the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with an output of 138 bhp. The petrol is mated only to a six-speed manual transmission, while the diesel additionally gets the DSG gearbox. Unlike sibling Octavia, which is based on the Volkswagen MQB platform, this Jetta is based on the old PQ35 platform. This explains why the Jetta doesn’t get the 1.8-litre TFSI engine that the Octavia boasts of. (The 1.8 TFSI is an MQB-specced engine.) The petrol is available in Trendline and Comfortline trims, and the diesel is available in Trendline, Comfortline and the top-end Highline trims.

First, the petrol. While 121 bhp doesn’t read too much for a car this big, the 1.4 TSI is a rev-happy engine. The six-speed manual transmission further enhances the driving pleasure; the gear-shifts are precise and very smooth. The engine easily takes the car to three-figure speeds and even overtaking at such speeds is not much trouble. The TDI diesel is one of the best motors in the business—it is very refined, quick, and is relatively quiet. It pulls the car relentlessly and there is no apparent turbo lag. The reason is that the TDI engine generates a huge amount of torque—320 Nm. Just nudge the accelerator pedal and the car effortlessly surges ahead. NVH levels in both petrol and diesel variants are impressive. Mention must be made of the fact that the DSG in the Jetta diesel is not a seven-speed box seen in the Octavia but a six-speed one. However, even this box is one of the best in the world of cars and shifts gears at the speed of thought; you also have the option of manually changing gears using paddle shifts on the steering wheel.


The Volkswagen Jetta gets multi-link suspension as standard across all the engine options. The ride and handling balance that it offers is terrific as always. It has pure German drivability thanks to the taut and solid feeling suspension with brisk handling. The ride is on the stiffer side at low speeds but very well damped and as the speed increases, it gets flatter and there is no vertical movement. The Jetta absorbs bumps, potholes and harsh tarmac maturely and hardly did we feel any clunky noise filtering through. It’s based on the PQ71 platform that offers excellent handling, which is fun around the ghats. The car stays glued to its line and is confidence inspiring at any speeds. The steering is light and weighs up well according to the speed giving precise feedback. Braking is effective with precise pedal bite and feedback.


Disc brakes are inset in the front as well as in the rear, vital braking features like anti-lock-braking system with brake assist and brake pad indicator constitute the proficient braking system of the Jetta. Safety of occupants is a primary concern at Volkswagen and they load their vehicles with pertinent safety equipment. Jetta is no exception and comes incorporated with a host of potent safety features available as standard fitments across the range. Starting from fatigue detection, electronic stability control, anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock, hill hold control, height adjustable front seat belts, seat belt tensioner in the front, 3-point rear centre seat belt, ISOFIX mounting points for two child seats on rear seat bench, 3 rear head restraints, central locking with 2 remote control folding keys, electronic engine immobilizer, engine and transmission guard, driver and front passenger airbag, front passenger airbag deactivation, curtain airbag for front and rear passengers, side airbags (front) and retro reflectors in all door. Compared to other saloons in its segment viz; Volkswagen Jetta Vs Toyota Corolla Altis, the former is endowed with considerably more safety features


Globally Volkswagen is seen as a premium luxury automaker. It has the Skoda brand under its umbrella among many other brands. The Jetta faces a stiff rival in the form of Skoda Laura, Chevrolet Cruze and others.The refreshed look of the car deserves appreciation. It’s not just a visual treatment but a complete overhaul from its earlier version. The design cues which are a part of the present generation Volkswagen theme act as a pro as well as con for the new Jetta. The negative aspect of the design is its striking resemblance with comparatively lower priced Vento. The first glance of the car can mistake you for the Vento, though when seen properly one can differentiate the characteristi


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