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Old 4th August 2008, 09:38   #1
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Default VW Jetta Test driven.

The VW sales guy was calling me several times to come and test drive the Jetta as we decided against the Passat because of it's price. Decided that over the weekend I would go take a drive to see how the car was.

The car looks very elegant and classy. It's looks are a bit understated but typical VW with that chrome beard in the front. It looks like a baby passat when parked next to one but on it's own from the rear it actually has a corolla'ish look. Surprisingly none of the VW cars come with mudflaps, which looks weird. They aren't even available as accessories as VW hasn't started it's accessories division yet. The doors don't have any crease or lines and that makes it look a little vulnerable to dings and dents.

Just one word when you get into the car, " Quality". Everything reeks of sheer quality. You open the door it weighs like a ton, then you realise the car has not one but 2 door beadings to help insulate the sound. The door pockets/glove compartments are felt lined so stuff doesn't rattle. The front seats are super supportive and have electric lumbar support, rest is all manual which is good as it can't get spoilt. The blue dials with the red display look gorgeous. The quality of the leather is better than the Hondas' by far. Space wise a major disappointment. With the front seats full back which is my setting, noone can sit in the rear similar to the Lancer. Took my mom along as she is the best judge to see which car is comfy. The Jetta failed the mom test miserably. She just said it's a little better than the lancer as the seat is more upright else it's equally cramped. Moreover too low to get in and out of.

Performance is not the Jetta's forte. Start the engine and you know she's a diesel. Although the vibrations are well damped the diesel pitter patter does intrude a bit in the cabin. Put the DSG box in D and she moves nicely. No turbo lag like the passat. She is low on bhp but torque makes up for it at slower speeds. You can overtake easily with all that torque and she does push you back a bit when you press the pedal. The DSG is just flawless. Upto 120kmph very brisk performance. 140kmph is like hitting a brick wall. You need to go to Manual mode and downshift to 5th from 6th, then she keeps going till 170kmph. Didn't push after that as engine was way too loud.

Sport mode is good fun as each shift happens near the redline and it holds a gear through turns very well, you just need to modulate the throttle through the turn. Paddles are much easier to operate compared to the honda civic's. In the civic you need to change the gear lever to sport to activate the paddles. The Jetta allows you to use the paddles whenever you want. Press any paddle and it goes to manual. Most useful while overtaking. You can even switch back to AT by depressing the paddle for 3 secs. If the AT is in a higher gear all you have to do is click the paddles to shift a gear down rather than an AT kickdown where you have to wait for the tranny to downshift.

A word of mention here is the stability. Compared to the Honda's the VW masks the speed she's doing much much better. Again I use my mom for this as a reference. Even at 120kmph she did not get panicky like she did in the CR-V. Why? because she didn't realise I was going that fast. My dad again noted that the Jetta has no road noise just a bit of engine noise unlike the hondas which had a lot of road noise especially the CR-V. The ride is a bit stiff but managable. The car is shod with Continental Contactsport 205/55-16 tyres which are very good on grip and hardly squeal over corners when you push hard. VW recommends 42psi tyre pressure.

The car is very good to drive in the city. The steering is super light and it's compact dimensions means it's a breeze in traffic coupled with the AT transmission.

After that drive with a few hard accelerations and push to 170kmph the car returned a very respectable mileage of 10.2kmpl of diesel as told by the trip computer. This car is feature loaded with tons of gizmos which I just love.

Verdict: My dad loved the car. He doesn't mind the less space, he just likes the german build quality and attention to detail. It's easy to drive, comes with a 4 year warranty and it's diesel. Moreover it looks classy and elegant.

My dad liked the black one with beige interiors whereas I prefer the platinum grey with the black interiors.

Currently VW have no accessories so I can't opt for the parking sensors I wanted. The car doesn't even come with mud flaps and they aren't available separately as well. I also wanted scuff plates which the car doesn't have and even those aren't available. They say accessories will be launched shortly.

On road price in bangalore is Rs.20.27L after the price increase with effect from 1st August. The car comes with a 4 year/1,00,000kms warranty as standard.
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Old 4th August 2008, 09:52   #2
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Wow!

Such a class review! You seem to have covered almost everything there is. Thanks VID!

BTW any prior experience with the Laura? wanted to know how does the Jetta compare to its half sister

Elito
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Old 4th August 2008, 10:23   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
from the rear it actually has a corolla'ish look.
I too felt it while reading the review in ACI...but they didn't mention it, was so obvious!

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On road price in bangalore is Rs.20.27L after the price increase with effect from 1st August.
I thought the price was nearer to the Laura's. Is it a very high end model that you tested?
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Old 4th August 2008, 10:39   #4
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Well-written and nice review !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
On road price in Bangalore is Rs.20.27L after the price increase with effect from 1st August. The car comes with a 4 year/1,00,000kms warranty as standard.
Isn't the cost too high and crossing even Skoda Laura's territory !!
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Old 4th August 2008, 10:50   #5
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@ Vid

GERMAN cars = Excellent Build Quality. Nice to see the same holding true for the Jetta. Nice review. The warranty sure sounds good.

So what's your verdict ?? Is it a buy or a no buy ?? Don't you think the Laura would have more features with an equally good build quality. What's the price differential on the Jetta vs Laura in Bangalore ?


Cheers
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Old 4th August 2008, 10:58   #6
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Nice review
He has tested the DSG Top model But still i feel Laura as a better car than this . This lacks many features which you expect on a up-15 lakh car!
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Old 4th August 2008, 11:06   #7
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Great review, Vid! It does sound like you are sold, can your friendly neighbourhood dealer expect a deposit? Vis a vis the Laura, a lower price tag, longer 4 year warranty and (hopefully) better service could be the deal clincher.
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Old 4th August 2008, 11:14   #8
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Great review but an Accord for a lakh more is tempting. Bit like paying realistic Passat prices for a Jetta.

Again, the warranty terms is a deal maker but the 1.9 tdi is a sturdy engine. Have been hearing about turbo failures in the Passat abroad
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:21   #9
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Nice review Vid. So you did have a go at the Jetta finally.

Hmmm. so the lancer is finally going off duty for your Dad.

I smell something happening here
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
So what's your verdict ?? Is it a buy or a no buy ?? Don't you think the Laura would have more features with an equally good build quality. What's the price differential on the Jetta vs Laura in Bangalore ?Cheers
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashthedivx View Post
Isn't the cost too high and crossing even Skoda Laura's territory !!
The skoda Laura L&K DSG AT costs Rs. 20.59L in bangalore on road.

Compared to the Jetta it has, electric seats with memory, parking sensors with parkktronic display, xenons, sunroof, headlamp washers, tyre pressure monitor and mechanical rear window sunshade.

The Jetta just has the extra Paddle shifts and the bottle opener.

Compared to competition:

Honda CR-V 2L 2WD MT: Rs. 21.57L
Honda CR-V 2.4L 4WD MT: Rs. 23.38L
Honda Accord 2.4 MT: Rs. 21.05L
VW Jetta 1.9TDi comfortline DSG AT: Rs.20.27L
skoda Laura L&K DSG AT: Rs. 20.59L

Last edited by Vid6639 : 4th August 2008 at 14:30.
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:41   #11
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Hitting a wall at 140kmph is not such a good thing for a german engineered 20L plus car. And your review about the NVH also seems like it is not too good.
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:47   #12
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Nice review Vid!

VW makes great cars, but way overpriced in India!
Maybe Passat & Jetta are bought here as CKD.
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:53   #13
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Isnt it horribly overpriced at 20.29 on-road. Besides hitting the wall compared in context of what?
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Old 4th August 2008, 15:09   #14
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Well, SUV v Sedan? Which is taller? Is it a surprise?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
A word of mention here is the stability. Compared to the Honda's the VW masks the speed she's doing much much better. Again I use my mom for this as a reference. Even at 120kmph she did not get panicky like she did in the CR-V. Why? because she didn't realise I was going that fast.
This is news to me.
Quote:
My dad again noted that the Jetta has no road noise just a bit of engine noise unlike the hondas which had a lot of road noise especially the CR-V.
I think Jetta price will be equal to Laura after adding the price of mud-flaps
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
Honda CR-V 2L 2WD MT: Rs. 21.57L
Honda CR-V 2.4L 4WD MT: Rs. 23.38L
Honda Accord 2.4 MT: Rs. 21.05L
VW Jetta 1.9TDi comfortline DSG AT: Rs.20.27L
skoda Laura L&K DSG AT: Rs. 20.59L
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Old 4th August 2008, 15:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloo View Post
Well, SUV v Sedan? Which is taller? Is it a surprise?
I forgot to mention that I test drove the new Accord as well. I was comparing the handling/stability with the CR-V, Accord and the Jetta. The accord has more roll and pitches up down a bit more. It has the best ride compared to the CR-V and Jetta but not as good handling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloo View Post
This is news to me.
Both the Accord and CR-V had a lot of road noise entering the cabin. The CR-V's plastics were falling apart at 13,000kms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloo View Post
I think Jetta price will be equal to Laura after adding the price of mud-flaps
I was told that the mudflaps cost Rs.700. More over there is a small integrated mudflap which is not easily visible. The bottom running board has a rubberised paint to it so that when stones hit the underbody, the sound doesn't enter the cabin.
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