Itâ€™s hard to believe that the VW Jetta is 34 years old in South Africa, making it one year older than me, forcing me to reflect on my age which is even more shocking. The Jetta is one of the best-selling vehicles in the group locally, with 273 000 having found new homes since 1980. They were and still are a staple of the South African family, my Dad owned two.
The Jetta has always played second fiddle to its more desirable, sportier and youthful sibling â€“ the Golf â€“ but where the Golf might win in outright looks, the Jetta wins hands down in terms of practicality. A cavernous boot, has always been synonymous with the name Jetta.
Volkswagen has always traditionally rolled out the â€˜Golf updateâ€™ to the Jetta and this time is no different with sedan now falling in line with the Golf 7. A redesigned front end featuring a restyled radiator grille with three cross fins, optional bi-xenon headlights with cornering, turn signal and LED daytime driving lights as well as a new bumper.
Out back youâ€™ll notice revised bumper and taillight cluster. The boot itself now features a new aerodynamic trailing edge. Speaking of aerodynamics, the new Jetta is 10% more slippery than before.
The interior design has been refreshed to ensure that the new Jetta is more sophisticated than before. The instrument cluster, steering wheel, upholstery materials (Trendline derivatives only) and accents are all new.
Up to six airbags are offered as standard safety features across the range (two newly designed head-thorax airbags near the upper side window provide even greater protection in case the car is in a rollover accident, two front airbags and two side airbags in front.
The engine line-up remains unchanged with three petrol engines (1.2 TSI 77kW, 1.4 TSI 90kW and 1.4 TSI 118kW) and two diesel engines (1.6 TDI 77kW and 2.0 TDI 103kW). Transmission choice vary from 6-speed manuals through to 6 or 7-speed automatic DSG units. (see pricing below)
1.2 TSI 77kW Trendline R258 000
1.4 TSI 90kW Trendline R272 500
1.4 TSI 90kW Comfortline R286 700
1.4 TSI 90kW Comfortline DSG R302 700
1.6 TDI 77kW Comfortline R302 900
1.6 TDI 77kW Comfortline DSG R318 900
1.4 TSI 118kW Highline DSG R331 900
2.0 TDI 103kW Highline DSG R358 000