New Volkswagen Jetta : First Drive
A front like the Vento, tail like an A4 and the engine from a Passat - no matter where you look you're going to feel like you've seen the new Volkswagen Jetta before. But step inside and this newcomer's character will change your perspective!
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Every once in a while there comes a car that seems near perfect for its time. Only problem is, that time doesn’t stand still and that perfect car doesn’t seem so perfect anymore. The Volkswagen Jetta that was launched in 2009 may have been in the fifth of its generations but at the time it was everything that one would want in an executive sedan – strong diesel engine, great space, fun to drive and of course the option of getting it with that fabulous dual clutch auto’box. It did have its own shortcomings too though, the biggest of which was that VW at the time was relatively a newer brand to the Indian masses and the Jetta was competing with big names like the well established Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla as well as its own cousin – the Skoda Laura. That’s all in the past now and the guys at Volkswagen’s marketing team have done a great job of bring the VW badge to the common knowledge of the Indian populace with cars like the Polo and the Vento. A little over two years since the Jetta was launched then, it’s time for the car’s sixth generation to roll in and not only has VW fixed everything that was lacking in the older car, but they’ve actually gone a step further.
First things first, and before you think the new Volkwagen Jetta is just a rehash of the older one, it isn’t. This is a completely new car and is in fact longer than the older Jetta by all of 90 mm. Now that’s quite some length in car dimension terms and what that means is that the new Jetta is roomier on the inside. It in fact comes with seats that are not only plusher, but a whole lot more comfortable as well. Since inside the car is where owners will be spending most of their time in, the Jetta now also makes up for certain deficacies on the equipment front that it had earlier. Most noteable among this is obviously the new touch-screen multimedia interface that also found itself in the Skoda Laura – extended families do have their own perks after all. Not only that, the Jetta’s audio system also now incorporates what has become business as usual for any car worth its salt.
Yes there is finally an AUX port on the centre console and a dedicated iPod setup in the glovebox! Choose the top-of-the-range Highline model and you will even get a driver’s seat that is completely adjustable electrically – even for height. Couple that with a spacious cabin, well-appointed interiors and a neatly laid out typically Volkswagen dash and the new Jetta is a good place to be driving in indeed. There is also cruise control, electrically adjustable and foldable wing mirrors and chrome touches that are not too intrusive, but exist just enough to make their presence felt.
It’s when you look at the new Volkswagen Jetta from the outside though that there are bound to be mixed reactions. While the new Jetta’s proportions are spot on and you know instantly that this is a bigger car, one can’t help but notice the similarities between this and the Vento. In fact, Volkswagen’s corporate design theme has ensured that head on, and with no references for size in the vicinity the Jetta looks exactly like its smaller stablemate. It’s only when you look closer and observe the minute details that you figure out how the Jetta is classier and worth every penny that you spend over a Vento. The same situation exists with the Jetta’s profile but when you swing to the back, you know that this part of the car looks nothing like the smaller sedan – but again bares resemblance to another car from the Group. So VW owns Audi and that makes the A4 a not-so-distant cousin to the Jetta. Ties within the two cars’ DNA shows up when you soak in the horizontal tail lamps that look so Audi-esque! All in all though the Jetta is a great car to look at and if classy wasn’t a word done to death in this segment of cars, superiorly sporty is another word that would best describe the Jetta’s styling.
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