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Volkswagen Jetta 2009 Review

Add a few key accessories and not only is it back, but it’s on the favourites list.  Using the tried-and-true fashion strategy VW has brushed off its local Jetta range, added a couple of key engines and a range of fresh and upgraded trims and put the ‘Golf with a boot’ back out into the market to go head-to-head with the Mazda Mazda6, Ford Mondeo and Subaru Liberty.

"The changes are a combination of some new engines and models that came available to us from Europe and our desire to adjust and reposition the model range for Australia," Volkswagen Group Australia spokesman Karl Gehling says.  "There are now five engine options, a range of new features and the entry price now starts at $28,990 for the new 1.6-litre diesel."

Drivetrains

The 77kW 1.6-litre turbo diesel, coupled to a 5-speed manual ($28,990) or 7-speed DSG automatic ($31,490), is one of two new powerplants in the Jetta range, the other being the high-end 125kW 2.0-litre turbo diesel available with the 6-speed DSG gearbox and Highline trim only for $38,990.

Gone from the previous model range is the manual version of the 103kW 2.0-litre TDI, available now only with the 6-speed DSG ($35,990). The petrol offerings start with the 118kW and 240Nm 1.4-litre twin-charger turbo/supercharged unit from the Golf coupled to the 7-speed DSG ($33,490) or 6-speed manual gearbox ($30,990).

The hero engine remains the 147kW (280Nm) 2.0-litre twin-charger coupled to the 6-speed DSG and available only in Highline trim at the same $38,990 as the top diesel offering.

Equipment and fit-out

Apart from the new engines and price repositioning the changes to the model line-up are all to do with trim and cosmetics. There are no external metal changes to set the 2010 cars apart but trainspotters will be able to identify a unique range of alloys for the Jetta along with the addition of front and rear parking sensors.

Inside the cabin the parking sensor improvements flow through to a graphic display in either the radio head-unit screen or the navigation screen. The steering wheel from the new Golf VI has been included as a standard fit along with a restyled instrument cluster and a selection of richer trim options.

The cabin is as comfortable and spacious as it has always been with the seats a good compromise between sports support and comfort and space generous in the front and adequate for two good-sized adults in the rear.  One of the biggest surprises in the Jetta is the huge boot space available. For a mid-sized sedan the luggage capacity is cavernous — and can bed increased to even higher levels through the split-fold rear seats.

Standard features across the range include front, side and curtain airbags, stability control, electronic differential lock, anti-lock brakes with EBD, automatic hazard lights on emergency braking, central locking, heat insulating tinted glass, 16- or 17-inch alloys, tyre pressure monitor, dual-zone air-conditioning (semi-automatic in the 77TDI), stereo with MP3 compatibility and trip computer.

Options

There is no shortage of optional extra equipment to enrich the Jetta, including metallic paint ($700), electric sunroof ($1900), satellite navigation (from $2500), leather (from $3000), bi-Xenon headlights ($1900) and sport package — including 17-inch alloys, darker tinted rear windows, front fog lamps and sports suspension — from $2000.

Driving

On the road the Jetta rides on the fifth generation Golf platform — hence the Golf-with-a-boot tag the car has worn since it was launched more than three years ago — and suffers no diminishing of the hatch's performance characteristics by the addition of the larger body.  The surprise package of the new engines is the eco-friendly 77kW diesel. The little 1.6 is a wonderfully composed unit with a truly surprising strength through the mid-range allowing it to be driven for either super-sipping economy or a more enjoyable enthusiasm without ever offending the green lobby.

VW says the engine is capable of a combined cycle of 4.9L/100km in manual and 5.0L/100km through the DSG with sprint times of 12 seconds from standstill to 100km/h. It certainly feels quicker than that and the real eye-opener is how strong the engine is in the hills, holding top gear in manual quite comfortable while hauling two adults through a moderate climb.

There is the almost compulsory dash-mounted flasher to suggest maximum efficiency gear changes but if you are prepared to give up a tick in economy changing gears in sympathy with the engine makes the entire experience a touch more enjoyable for the driver.

VW Jetta

Price: from $28,990 to $38,990
Engines: 1.6L/4-cylinder turbo diesel, 77kW/250Nm; 2L/4-cylinder turbo diesel, 103kW/320Nm; 2L/4-cylinder turbo diesel 125kW/350Nm; 1.4L/4-cylinder twin-charger, 118kW/240Nm; 2L/4-cylinder twin charger, 147kW/280Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 6-speed DSG, 7-speed DSG
Economy: 4.9L/100km (77TDI), 6.0L/100km (103TDI), 5.9L/100km (125TDI), 6.6L/100km (118TSI), 7.8L/100Km (147TSI)

Rivals

Mazda6 (from $29,100)
Ford Mondeo (from $31,990)
Subaru Liberty (from $33,990)

Pricing Guides

$7,690
Based on 14 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,995
Highest Price
$7,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
103 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $6,995 – 7,990 2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2009 103 TDI Pricing and Specs
118 TSI 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $2,860 – 4,400 2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2009 118 TSI Pricing and Specs
125 TDI Highline 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $7,370 – 10,340 2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2009 125 TDI Highline Pricing and Specs
147 TSI 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $7,590 – 10,670 2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2009 147 TSI Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$4,990

Lowest price, based on 14 car listings in the last 6 months

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