PLAYING IT SAFE – Volkswagen Jetta 6 2.0TDI

PLAYING IT SAFE - We all do it, somehow. It’s what keeps the world from falling into total anarchy. It’s why we have sane lives with sane families. It’s why we’re still alive. It’s why we’d buy a Volkswagen Jetta 6.

As with all my recent experiences with Volkswagen cars, the Jetta was quite a hit in terms of build quality and overall packaging. My diesel test car was a metallic Toffee Brown colour and I know you’re thinking, eeeuuuuw!!! But NO I seriously think it’s pleasant enough. It’s certainly different and somewhat exclusive. It manages to pull it off, as an executive suit from Edgars does in a board meeting.

Take the same suit for example – it’s well cut for the masses, comfortable enough to enjoy spending a day in the office in it, easy to get cleaned and has all the correct accessory spaces to dress it up. The Jetta is the same. It’s a poised, trusted performer that, as an overall package, is very impressive.

The design is a little under the top and it’s not a head turner at all. I drove this through Sandton, Fourways and even Diepsloot, and nowhere were there any heads turning or jaws dropping. Not that there should be for a 2.0 TDI Jetta. That said, it’s not a bad looking car either. Think Audi A4 or Toyota Corolla – none would win hands down in the beauty department. In fact, I quite enjoy the smooth flowing lines on the Jet.

Where the Jetta really impressed me was with the class-leading space of the car. The boot is massive and that’s not to the detriment of the rear legroom which was equally impressive and able to accommodate 5 adults in relative space and comfort. It’s a truly spacious cabin and if you’re a family man, looking for a spacious car, this is definitely one to look at in this segment.

For those who like specs, here they are:
• 2.0 TDI
• 103kW@4200rpm <> 320Nm@1750 – 2500rpm
• 6-speed manual
• 0-100km/h  9,5sec
• Top Speed  210km/h
• 4.8 litres/100km (combined) - I could only manage 5,9 but still mighty impressive on a 55 litre tank.

COMFORT - Whether on the long haul or about town, the Jetta was simply a pleasure to drive. Cosseted in the optional leather seats, in a spacious cabin, I was quite happy. It’s a comfortable piece of work, and I was quite impressed with the lack of cabin noise while cruising. Certainly more silent than the Toyota Corolla I drove earlier this month. The SATNAV system (R28,290) is an expensive option to add, but I did find it intuitive and fairly easy to use. The car also boasts an Aux input for your iPod which has become a no-brainer these days, so as a place to spend your time in traffic or on the long road, this is a good car.

As a driver’s car, the VW, as expected, is a comfortable cruiser. The front-wheel driven wheels are obviously akin to a bit of understeer when driving with Caterpillar boots. You can also feel the lengthy boot behind you but thankfully, the ESP will assist in the event that you do overcook it. With Jozi's thunderstorms and the way we drive in the rain, this too is a no-brainer. The ESP is a standard feature on the Jetta but weirdly, there is no switch to disengage this feature. Or is that odd really? You decide.

The TDI I drove impressed me even more than expected with easy to use low-down torque, but excellent fuel efficiency. VW claim a combined cycle figure of 4.8l/100km. I managed a 5.9l/100km on the combined cycle and that was me being as frugal as I can. On a 55 litre tank however, either way you look at it, this car definitely will save you money at the pump, and still give you a decent driving experience.

On the worrying side, I did pick up an irritating rattle from the cabin where the iPod Aux input is located. I would write this off to this being a test car, but I have read of similar experiences with other Jetta units, so it might be something to look at VWSA. I would also be weary of how many options you tick when buying a Jetta. The 2.0 TDI has a base price of R297, 188 but with a lot of options, I was sitting in a R365, 448 car. But let’s be honest, a long options list is not a strictly Volkswagen thing. Another worry was the space between the clutch and the left foot rest which I found to be quite small – and let’s face it, I don’t wear supersized shoes. I found a similar issue with the seatbelt clips. They are not flexible enough for a larger sized person to comfortably engage the seatbelt. It’s a bit of a manoeuvre.

On the whole though, the Jetta is a good buy. It’s a well made, solid purchase with ample space, comfortable and well appointed cabin and a nice-looking flowing facade. Notice my superlatives – it’s good but not mind-blowing. It’s nice but not fantasmical. It’s well made, but not bulletproof. It’s like the business suit you buy at Edgars. It will get you through your workday neat and tidy and somewhat dapper old chap. Nobody will noticie anything odd about you - but you won’t get noticed for your imperial taste in fashion either.

And that really is my summary of the new Jetta 6 from Volkswagen. It’s for those who want to play it safe. You can’t go wrong with it. You won’t go wrong with it. It’s a safe bet for sure.

- AM

1 comment:

  1. volkeswagens hold up very very well and will keep going well past the 200,000 mile mark