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Volkswagen Jetta 103 TDi 2011 review

Volkswagen Jetta isn't merely a Golf sedan — it's much more than that with its own body panels (none shared with Golf), a Jetta flavoured interior, additional safety kit not in Golf and its own take on the VW corporate face, possibly the best looking in the whole model range.

Now in its sixth generation Jetta uses powertrains from the VW family, in this case, a 2.0-litre turbodiesel. It's a compact-prestige five seater sedan with economy, quality, performance and style.


Here's another car you'd consider if you couldn't quite run to say a Benz C-Class or BMW 3-Series. And the prices start in the mid $20k region.

The test vehicle was a $34,990 Jetta 103TDi turbodiesel Comfortline  — with options that rack it up to about $40k but it's an impressive package for that money especially if you don't equate size with value.  Having said that, new Jetta is nearly 20cm longer than the previous model and offers plenty of interior room and a large boot.

Standard kit is extensive with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, multi-function trip computer, multi-function wheel controls, a six- speed DSG "auto" transmission, cruise, dual zone climate control, excellent audio, front and rear park sensors with optical alert, auto lights and wipers — it goes on.


A five star performer but with clever stuff combining with stability control and six air bags  — like the Crash Impact Sound Sensor which modulates air bag deployment based on the noise level of a crash. Who would have thought...

The body uses plenty of high strength steel and the entire car bristles with primary and secondary safety equipment. It has sporty dynamics to assist in crash avoidance.


Plenty of grunt comes from the tried and true 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine good for 103kW/320Nm. In some form or other, this engine is in just about every VW product sold here.

It sips fuel at better than 5.5-litres/100km (we saw the high fours on a freeway run) and has excellent throttle response across a wide engine speed range. The DSG gets it out of the blocks quickly and roll-on acceleration is as good as a 3.5-litre petrol six. You can hardly hear it except for a slight growl at idle.


Typical VW — style and substance — understated, modern, functional with tight fit. Controls are easy to find and operate and the test vehicle's optional leather upholstery and ridged seats ($3500 with electric drivers seat adjust) make it a luxury cocoon suitable for the long haul. Satnav adds $3000. Air quality is assured by a pollen and dust filter with an air quality sensor shutting out fumes.


Love this engine, goes like a train, uses minimal fuel. It annoys drivers in big sixes with off-the-line grunt and roll-on poke. Jetta is a classy customer and well mannered offering a sporty feel with a good measure of comfort. We love the direct feel steering and how it hangs on through corners. The sedan body is as practical as it is good looking and the boot is large, expandable with folding rear seats.


Why buy an "Aussie" six when, for the same money you can have one of these classy customers. Visit the servo once a fortnight if you're unlucky.


VW Jetta: review




Mat Watson road tests and reviews the VW Jetta.




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Range and Specs

103 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP $6,700 – 10,450 2011 Volkswagen Jetta 2011 103 TDI Pricing and Specs
103 TDI Comfortline 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP $6,500 – 10,120 2011 Volkswagen Jetta 2011 103 TDI Comfortline Pricing and Specs
118 TSI 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $5,400 – 8,360 2011 Volkswagen Jetta 2011 118 TSI Pricing and Specs
118 TSI Comfortline 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $6,100 – 9,460 2011 Volkswagen Jetta 2011 118 TSI Comfortline Pricing and Specs
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