Volkswagen Jetta TSI : Road Test
In my 4-year tenure at ZigWheels so far, I think nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, has hurt my colleague Muntaser as much as saying goodbye to the Volkswagen Jetta TDI that was assigned to him as a long-term test car. Nope, not even bidding adieu to the BMW 325i caused him so much distress. And it’s not just he who misses that sleek silver saloon. Literally every one of the ZigWheels staffers never missed an opportunity to either drive or ride in the car. Yes, we all loved it that much.
The Jetta TDI was literally the epitome of the perfect executive sedan – stylish, upmarket, well built, great to drive and very frugal to boot. So you’d naturally assume that when its petrol powered twin, the Jetta TSI, was with us for a couple of weeks for a shoot, the Ziggy Gang would have showered it with attention. But you’d be quite wrong.
Make no mistake, the Jetta TSI is a great car. But it does pale a little in comparison to its diesel twin. The problem I believe is that we were expecting too much from it. When the rumour mill was buzzing earlier this year that VW was bringing in the petrol Jetta, the natural conjecture dictated that what we’d find under the hood would be that delightful 1.8-litre TSI motor that makes us howl with glee when we put our foot down in the Skoda Laura.
But the Germans pulled a fast one on us and word got around that the Jetta’s petrol motor would in fact be just 1.4 litres in displacement. But no matter, VW’s 1.4-litre TSI twin-charged engine is a petrolhead’s wet dream. This engine is such a technological masterpiece that it has dominated the 1.0- to 1.4-litre category of the International Engine of the Year Awards since 2006 and has won the top ‘Engine of the Year’ prize in 2009 and 2010. And as if that wasn’t enough, it even ended the Toyota Prius’ Hybrid Synergy Drive’s reign by winning the ‘Green Engine Of The Year’ award in 2009.
The secret behind this engine’s success is that using a combination of two different types of forced induction, ie, turbocharging and supercharging, it can produce up to 179PS of power and 250Nm of torque, while providing great driveability, excellent mileage and low emissions. But sadly, for India, we lost the supercharger and received a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces just 122PS of power and 200Nm of torque. So you can imagine then, that looking at the facts and figures, we’d all be left a little disappointed. But then what does all this mean for someone who fancies buying a petrol powered Jetta in India? Well, since this is all about a new engine, let’s get straight to the performance game.