The new DS3, customise every feature to suit your style
Technically speaking, the all-new VW Jetta that's just landed on South African shores has its own style. Older Jettas shared body parts with the Golfs of the time and even though the previous Jetta 5 had its own body, it still shared most of its front end with the Golf.
But with this one, every single panel is different - but that's not to say it's distinctive in any real way. Instead, this sixth-generation Jetta resembles a shrunken Passat from most angles and there's an unmistakable 'upsized Polo' effect at the front. That said, its cleaner and more chiselled overall look should please most eyes.
Having realized the importance of its role as a family vehicle, Volkswagen has also made it bigger - stretching the overall length by 90mm and the wheelbase by 73mm, resulting in more rear legroom and a decent 510-litre boot. IOL's launch correspondent, Minesh Bhagaloo, was impressed by the amount of interior space available: “It should definitely be big enough for most needs… why buy a Passat?”
“Inside it still feels like a Jetta, or any Volkswagen for that matter, with the usual classy feel and solid VW build quality” he added.
Beneath the surface, the VW Jetta is much the same as its predecessor, which was already regarded as a class leader in most respects. The mostly new range of TSI turbopetrol and TDI turbodiesel engines that was introduced late in the Jetta 5's life cycle has been carried over; the only significant change is that the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine makes way for a new 1.2-litre TSI.
Despite its diminutive size, this 1.2 is still good for 77kW at 5000rpm and 175Nm between 1500 and 4100rpm and remember that the turbo makes it practically altitude proof too. Still too puny? For a small price premium you can opt for the familiar 1.4 TSI motor with 90kW at 5000rpm and 200Nm between 1500 and 4000rpm and if you want to stretch all the way to the top, VW also offers the twin-charged version of this engine, which pairs the turbo with a small supercharger and pushes 118kW at 5800rpm and 240Nm from 1500 to 4000rpm.
According to VW, even the 1.2 TSI can sprint from 0-100km/h in 10.9 seconds, falling to 9.8 seconds in the 90kW 1.4 and 8.3 seconds in the 118kW. Claimed combined fuel consumption is 5.7, 6.2 and 6.3 litres per 100km for the three respective engines.
The diesel range once again offers a 1.6 TDI with 77kW at 4400rpm and 250Nm from 1500 to 2500rpm and a 2.0 TDI that's good for 103kW at 4200rpm and 320Nm from 1750 to 2500rpm. Claimed figures amount to 11.7 seconds and 9.5 seconds from 0-100 and consumption of 4.1 and 4.8 l/100km.
The 1.6 TDI engine can be mated to either a five-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission, while all other engines in the Jetta range are paired to a six-speed manual.
Not all of the engines were available for evaluation during the press launch, but Minesh did get to drive both diesel models and far preferred the 2-litre unit. “The 1.6 TDI engine is a bit too small for the car's overall size and it doesn't really have legs on the long stretches. The five-speed gearbox needs to be stirred.
“The 2.0 TDI is a winner though. It has the right kind of grunt all round and as a result the gearbox doesn't need much working,” Minesh concluded.
As before, the Jetta uses a fully independent multi-link rear suspension set-up and variable electro-mechanical power steering. Our launchman described the drive as such: “I wouldn't call it dynamic but the handling is stable, solid, forgiving, not really soft or hard - just the way a proper family sedan should feel.”
Depending on which engine you choose, there are three trim levels available: Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.
The most basic of these, Trendline, packs a generous list of standard items that includes the obligatory air conditioning as well as an eight-speaker audio system, leather-covered multifunction steering wheel, electric windows and mirrors, front and side airbags, ABS, ESP, hill-hold and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The midrange Comfortline, meanwhile, treats you to cruise control, 'comfort' seats (are the Trendline's not comfortable?), front foglights and a few touches of chrome on the exterior among other additions. The range-topping Highline adds sports front seats with lumbar adjustment, headlamp washers, sports suspension (17mm lower) and 17-inch alloys. The pricing, however, could be a sore point for many potential buyers.
Being a German product, you can, of course, go crazy on the options list and you'll even have to pay extra for some items that should be standard on the range toppers, like leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth cellphone preparation. Other options include park distance control, satellite navigation and Xenon headlights.
All models are sold with a five-year/90 000km maintenance plan and three-year/120 000km warranty, while service intervals are pegged at 15 000km.
1.2 TSI 77kW Trendline - R222 000
1.4 TSI 90kW Trendline - R234 500
1.4 TSI 90kW Comfortline - R244 500
1.4 TSI 118kW Highline - R274 500
1.6 TDI 77kW Comfortline - R259 500
1.6 TDI 77kW Comfortline DSG - R274 000
2.0 TDI 103kW Highline - R297 200
Chevrolet Cruze 1.8 LS - R216 700
Ford Focus 2.0 TDCI AT - R281 100
Hyundai Elantra 1.8 GLS - R214 900
Kia Cerato 2.0 SX - R205 995
Mazda3 1.6 Active - R221 950
Renault Fluence 2.0 - R244 900
Toyota Corolla 1.6 Prof - R214 500
Hyundai Elantra is the car to buy. Hands down it beats all it's rivals.
Overpriced, boring and mundane like most VW's. Accountants and data-capturers and anyone that wears a gray suit to work everyday must be drooling :)
Kay in Oz, wrote
What a bland and boring looking car ! Looks like something Gran would drive to her bridge game.
In 3 years ive been away, the pricing of SA cars have gobe through the roof, these prices are crazy compared with other parts of the world even though they are made in SA!!&^% how does that work!!
There the Germans go again, stealthily creating value for themselves at our expense (by making components that should be standard, optional. Come on people of the market, we have it in our own hands to see them off on this score. Stand up and tell them no; when their products start to stick, they will think better of their ill considered tactic Are there any quality Japanese, Korean, French and Swedish OEMs listening? I will not stop chirping about this undesirable marketing practice
Mutton dressed as expensive lamb. It's a VW. Beware. Believe me, I know what I am talking about, after 3 disastrous VWs. Better look at a used Mercedes C-class. No comparison.
Show off?, wrote
@Unis, please dont give us details of how much money you got, we commenting about the car here...
As mentioned on another site, this car suits me spot on. It's underdesigned, with classic looks. It's a neatly built product (laser welding, tight panel gaps, good paintwork) and it comes with a conservative interior, which I love. I even have the cash on hand to buy one, replacing my almost 8 year old Golf. Only problem is, no 1.4 TSI with DSG. I do not like, and do not want a diesel car. And I do not drive manual. Way to go, VW...
no petrol DSG model VW, why, not everyone likes a tdi.
Would love to buy one of these but just can't stomach the prospect of dealing with the 'service' from our local dealer. They reduced a friends wife to tears. Don't know why they're like that but I guess having the most compelling package isn't everything. How you treat people also counts for something
Lazy Designers, wrote
Looks like a polo sedan on steroids
homrajh chatram, wrote
people in south africa are nuts to buy car in south africa coz you are getting robbed during the daylight.for the top jetta i9n australia we pay 36.000$ = 257.000rd problems is we get it from south africa.hozdat?
"....the only significant change is that the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine makes way for a new 1.2-litre TSI." Big Big mistake!!!
hmm, a fully specced 110kw elantra for 215k, or a half-specced 77kw Jetta for 222k, Tough choice.
R 222K for a 1200 vehicle? Only VW will get away with that pricing. Another horribly boring, overpriced vehicle from VW. The choice of the uninformed.
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