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Car reviews - Volkswagen - Jetta - sedan range

Launch Story

13 Nov 2009

VOLKSWAGEN has released a revised version of its three-and-a-half-year-old Jetta range, with cheaper prices, more engine choices and sub-$30,000 entry-level pricing.

Referred to as the MY10 model, it is expected to be the fifth-generation Jetta’s last gasp before a total reskin surfaces in its key North American market sometime inside the next 12 months.

As the newcomer must make do in Australia until 2011 at the earliest, Volkswagen has increased the Jetta’s appeal by slotting in a new base model ($28,990 77TDI diesel manual), dropping the price of the previous entry-level version by $2000 to $30,990 (118TSI petrol manual) and topping the range with a high-performance diesel from the bigger Passat, known as the 125TDI.

The latter sits alongside the continuing 147TSI ‘sports’ model.

Meanwhile, to make room for the changes, the manual version of the 103TDI diesel has been discarded, leaving only the popular DSG iteration.

From any distance the MY10 is an MY06 Jetta doppelganger, with only the restyled alloy wheel giving the game away outside.

However, Volkswagen has restyled the centre console, instrumentation and steering wheel to emulate the sixth-generation Golf’s items, while revised seat trim and sundry other minor changes are also designed to give the Jetta a less stale appearance inside.

The iconic hatch also donates (most of) its revamped engine range, including the all-new 1598cc 1.6-litre CR common-rail four-cylinder turbo-diesel with PDF particulate filter technology for the 77TDI.

Delivering 77kW of power at 4400rpm and 250Nm of torque from 1500 to 2500rpm, it delivers 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined average cycle, 127 grams/km of carbon dioxide emissions, and drives the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.

But while the slightly thirstier seven-speed DSG costs an extra $2500, it does nothing to improve the 77TDI’s 12-second 0-100km/h “sprint” time.

Over the past few weeks the last of the MY09 Jetta 103TDIs have gained the new 1968cc 2.0-litre CR PDF TDI unit as featured in the MY10 103TDI. This engine produces an identical 103kW and 320Nm output to the old Pumpe Dusse 2.0 TDI, but promises three per cent better fuel economy, at 6.0L/100km, with CO2 emissions of 165g/km.

The 125TDI – sold in up-spec Highline DSG format only – is a surprise addition to the MY10 Jetta cast, upping that 2.0 CR DPF TDI engine’s power and torque figures to 125kW at 4200rpm and 350Nm at 1750 to 2500rpm respectively. It also slashes the 0-100km/h run from 9.7 to 8.5 seconds.

Otherwise, the 118kW/240kW 1.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol-powered Jetta 118TSI – launched when the series switched from its Mexico to South Africa sourcing in February this year – remains the same, as does the 147kW/280Nm 147TSI Highline DSG.

Like all Jettas sold in Australia, the MY10 continues with a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension system. Steering is via an electro-mechanical power-assisted rack and pinion design, while the brakes consist of ventilated discs up front and a solid pair out the back.

While there are high levels of active and passive safety, with the five-star Euro and Australian NCAP-rated Jetta including as standard anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, ESC and traction control, it lacks the knee airbag that offered in the Golf 6.

Equipment levels on the 77TDI include all of the above, as well as semi-climate control air-conditioning, cruise control, remote central locking, power windows, a multi-function trip computer display, front and rear parking sensors with an optical display and alloy wheels

An extra $1000 buys the Comfort Pack for the 77TDI that adds niceties such as dual-zone climate control, auto-off headlights, rain-sensing wipers and an improved cabin illumination system.

Other Jetta highlights include a 527-litre boot, 1400kg braked towing capacity and a 16-inch steel spare wheel.

Jetta sales have been relatively strong since the series was released in Australia in February 2006, with almost 12,000 customers taking the plunge. It took over from the slow-selling Bora, which was based on the Mk4 Golf.

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