Volkswagen Jetta 2011 first drive

Discussion in 'Indian Automotive Scene' started by singh-a-lion, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. singh-a-lion

    singh-a-lion Super Moderator

    Apr 23, 2011
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    Besides being a little long in the tooth in terms of looks, there wasn't much that was wrong with the previous generation Jetta. It was built solidly, had one of the better ride and handling packages in its segment and scored decently high on comfort. It had a big boot too. What it did not have, however, apart from dynamic, up-to-date looks, was a spunky engine. Now, with the new generation Jetta all seems to be well.
    Not only is the new Jetta younger and more energetic looking, it is also longer, more spacious and a tad better equipped as well.
    All the panels on the new Jetta are completely new but a few bits like control knobs and buttons for various controls inside the cabin have been carried over.
    The new Jetta is now longer and sits on a longer wheelbase. As a result it is more spacious on the inside.
    The Jetta only comes with one engine which is a diesel. The 2-litre diesel is the same as on the top of the line Skoda Laura and makes 140bhp.
    The new Jetta though comes with the option of both six-speed automatic (DSG) and manual transmissions on all variants.
    The variants of the new Jetta are – Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.
    The Comfortline and Highline are very closely speced and biggest difference is the two extra airbags on the Highline version taking its count to 8 airbags. Comfortline gets 6 airbags.
    All versions come with electronic stability program as standard which includes ABS and anti slip regulation as well.
    The prices of the new Jetta start at just over Rs 14 lakh.

    GOOD THINGS-- Good ride and handling, space, engine and performance, options of both DSG and manual transmission on all versions, even the base Trendline version is decently equipped.

    BAD THINGS-- Rear seats are too flat and firm and don’t feel luxurious or comfortable, some plastics in the cabin look cheap especially the textured black plastic on the door trims as well as on the central tunnel upfront, the new car doesn’t look distinct and interiors feel a tad too familiar taking away from a fresh, new car feel.
    Outside, the Vento like face is all too familiar, but in profile and particularly from the rear, the new Jetta has good road presence. It’s not a breathtaking design, but one you begin to like instantly.
    Inside too, the Jetta isn't particularly fresh with lot of the design elements, controls and systems being carried over from the older car. But, it is more spacious and with light upholstery all round, feels quite airy too. Seats have always been a Volkswagen strong point and the new Jetta’s front seats are no exception. These are wonderfully comfortable and supportive.
    The rear ones though, disappoint. Unlike the previous Jetta, the rear seats on which felt well appointed, the new ones’ though large, are just too flat and firm. Both the seat bottom and seat back fail to feel luxurious or even immediately comfortable. Also, the Leatherette fabric used feels tacky to touch.
    Familiarity on the other hand, has its pluses too. According to Volkswagen, the less dramatic the changes visually, the higher the resale for both the outgoing model as well as for the current car as and when it arrives in the used car sphere.


    Familiarity in our opinion too has a few pluses. For starters, it has made the new Jetta a very easy car to drive. And one that takes no time getting used to at all. So, the driving position feels natural, as do the location and functioning of various knobs and buttons. Having good visibility through the front windscreen, the windows as well as the mirrors, helps a great deal too. Then you have the steering that's not too heavy and a clutch that's both light and progressive. So, even the manual isn’t troublesome to drive in everyday stop and go traffic.
    But when you get out on the highway and have some twisties as part of the route, the manual is absolutely delightful. Of course, the fantastic engine is the key to this elated feel. The engine has a potent and flat spread of torque so even if you floor the throttle with the revs hanging at about 1500rpm or even a tad lower, the Jetta simply scoots ahead resolutely.
    And it revs quite freely for a diesel as well and all the way to 5000rpm. Though we’d recommend upshifts at just beyond 4500rpm as the engine begins to lose a bit of its pull beyond this point. Add to it an alert throttle response and you are never left waiting or wanting when you want to pile on the numbers on the speedo, in a hurry.
    What makes this engine feel even more special is the Jetta’s handling. As we have seen on the Passat, having a hugely powerful engine without the dynamics of back it up can lead to some scary, understeering moments. But on the Jetta, it’s all beautifully setup. You can throw the car into a corner hard and it will turn in without complain, show good control over its body roll and allow you, the driver to modulate the line through a corner with both the throttle and the steering. And honestly, unless you do something really daft, you’d never scare yourself in the new Jetta. And even if you do, the brakes are pretty potent, and along with ESP which is standard on all versions of the new Jetta, the car should sort things out for you in a jiffy.
    The new Jetta address all the issues that stopped the previous car from becoming a success. It looks younger and more pleasing now, it has a great engine and gearbox (in both manual and automatic) and it is a truly fun to drive car. It’s also comfortable mind you - it has a pliant ride even though it’s not exactly plush; it has space, and though it could do with better seats, a practical cabin, a big boot and competitive pricing make the new Jetta quite a tempting buy.

  2. Dhhawal

    Dhhawal New Member

    Apr 26, 2011
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    one of the problems with the previous gen jetta's was the horrible air-con at the rear, and the grabby clutch(which meant you would stall quite often in first gear), i really hope that they get rid of those with this model..because even inspite of those problems i really liked this car for its ride, refinement and its beautiful german fit n finish
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  3. Codename.47

    Codename.47 Guest

    to be honest. i have never driven any of these

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