Volkswagen Jetta 125 TDI

Monday, 19 July 2010
Our test vehicle was loaded to the hilt with features, so it’s not a fair representation of the general consumer product, but it goes to show how good the Jetta can look with decent wheels, Xenon headlights and some leather thrown about the interior.

From the outside, the Jetta doesn’t offend in any way. From the front to the rear, the lines and proportions are attractive. The new grille, followed by the attractive optional 18” Vision alloy wheels and privacy glass make the Jetta stand out in traffic.

To add to the sporty image, our test vehicle was also furnished with Sports Suspension that lowers the ride height by 15mm and gives the car a sportier feel. The Sports Suspension is standard on the 147TSI and 125TDI (as tested).

The Jetta’s LED rear lights were somewhat revolutionary in 2005 when the current Jetta was initially released. They still give the car a futuristic feel and make it instantly visible in traffic.

Inside the cabin, the Volkswagen Jetta has been upgraded to the latest specifications, utilising RNS510 (Volkswagen’s new multimedia interface) and the new dual-zone climate control system.

Much like the Passat, front and rear leg room is very impressive. While rear head room could be slightly better, adults can comfortably line up along the back seat in relative comfort.

While the leg room is impressive inside the cabin, the boot room is gobsmacking. There is 527 litres of cargo capacity on offer in the boot. In comparison to the much larger Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon at 496 litres and 535 litres respectively.

From the outside it’s hard to believe the Jetta has such a big boot. The deep boot has a reasonable opening but a high lip makes it a bit difficult to get boxes and the like in and out.

Interior build quality is of a very high standard as we have come to expect of Volkswagen. Dash plastics are soft to the touch, but firm to the push. The leather clad steering wheel fits nicely in the palm and visibility from the driver’s seat is fantastic looking both forward and backward.
The Volkswagen Jetta 125TDI sits at the top of the Jetta tree and is considered a sporty model. Under the bonnet you will find Volkswagen’s potent 125kW, 350Nm four-cylinder turbo diesel engine. Volkswagen suggests a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.9L/100km. On test, this was achieved and bettered, returning an impressive 5.6L/100km.

Driving the Jetta 125TDI is more surprising than anything else. The six-speed DSG provides slick and fast shifts between gears, but is lethargic and confused from a standing start.

Open up the throttle in almost any gear and the Jetta propels with a continuous wave of torque. It’s enough to clock a 0-100km/h time of 8.5-seconds.

Standard sports seats with side and bottom bolster do a great job of keeping your body steady during cornering. The sharp and precise steering carries a bit of weight, making it feel sportier than it really is through tight corners.

Responsive and accurate brakes are the perfect combination for grippy tyres and a tight chassis. The Jetta stays flat and combats body roll through the corners in a commendable fashion. There is a hint of understeer if you come in too hot out of a corner, but it is easily managed.

Safety features include: Engine immobiliser, ABS brakes, Brake Assist, driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger head airbags, rear passenger head airbags, driver and front passenger curtain airbags, brake emergency display, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Electronic Brake Force Distribution and driver and front passenger seat belts with load limiters and pretensioners.

The Volkswagen Jetta range starts at $28,990 for the 77TDI and finishes at $38,990 for the 147TSI and 125TDI tested.
If you’re in the market for a medium sized sedan and find the Camry, Mazda6 and Mondeo too large for your liking, make sure you test drive the revised Volkswagen Jetta.

Whether you like diesel or petrol powered cars, both offer exceptional value for money and bang for your buck. On top of that, the fuel consumption is best in its class. - Paul Maric 

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