Volkswagen Jetta

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Volkswagen Jetta


There’s nothing wrong with the Volkswagen Jetta, but why on earth would you get one when the Golf is so much more versatile?

Additional Info

  • It looks like a teenager who’s been told to wear a suit and tie for a juvenile court appearance. Saloon bodies don’t suit cars this size
  • Top Gear wildcard

    Tell your mates your Jetta is the best-selling ‘European’ car in the USA, omitting to mention that it’s actually built in Mexico

  • Our choice

    Jetta 2.0 TDI 140 Sport 4d

    Price £20,885

    BHP 140

    LB FT 236

    MPG 58

    CO2 126

    0-62 MPH 9.50

    Top Speed 130

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What is it?

Latest Jetta gets all the updates that have been rolled out across the VW stable recently, but it's still essentially the same car underneath. The engine choice is good as is the ride and interior quality, but puh-lease, there has to be a more interesting choice.


The Jetta feels well engineered and always on your side. You always get lots of warning of what's happening, and it's almost always benign. It's not all that light on its feet though.

Any of the 1.4 TSI engines over-delivers - it comes as a 122, 140 and 170 output, but also has generous torque at usefully low revs, so forget about the small capacity. The 1.6 base engine is a bit raucous, and underwhelming. The 2.0 high-power diesel is the noisy TDI design - wait for the smoother common-rail version that's being rolled out across the VW Group.

On the inside

Great seats, a supple ride and fine refinement mark out the Jetta as a car that cossets you like something from the next class up. It's a good place to be.

Saying that, the Golf family, of which this is a member, isn't the leader it once was in perceived quality, and there are some uninspiring slabs of hard plastic around the cabin. But the firm furniture and vault-like doors reassure you that it's made of good stuff.

While the Jetta doesn't have the versatility of a hatch, it does have a colossal boot. And the rear seat backs do flop forwards to extend the bay a bit.


Treat it gently and you can get the Jetta's service intervals up to 20,000 miles. The TSi and TDI engines are pretty careful with fuel, and insurance isn't bad - the 200bhp version is group 15 while a Golf GTI is 17. Because, presumably, no-one wants to steal a Jetta or drive it fast.

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Latest road tests

5/10 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TDI
December 2010

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