Thursday, August 21, 2008

Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta comes with three variants and 2 engines in India. The first is a 1.6 litre petrol and the second a 1.9 litre diesel pump deuse engine. At the current price, Volkswagen Jetta will compete with the Honda Civic, the lower models of the Skoda and the Camry.

The Volkswagen Jetta can reach a top speed of 187 kmph, which we think is a bit slow when compared to other cars which can attain nearly the same speed for a few lakhs less. The Jetta will come in 2 versions Trendline and Comfortline. The petrol Trendline Jetta comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox while the higher version - diesel Comfortline - will sport a six-speed automatic gearshift. The petrol Jetta, claims Volkswagen, can accelerate from standstill to 100 kmph in just 12.2 seconds, while the diesel Jetta will reach the same speed in 11.8 seconds.

Airbags are standard in the Volkswagen Jetta, though the full set of eight airbags are reserved for the higher diesel Comfortline model only. There are arm rests in the front as well as the rear, a quiet comfort while you go on long drives. The retractable armrests have thoughtfully-integrated storage space and cupholders. The Jetta has 2 AC vents at the rear too, besides 2-zone climate control. For added convenience, the Jetta incorporates coming-home and leaving-home lighting and rain sensors on windshields.

For safety, Volkswagen has loaded the Jetta with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the Electronic Stabilisation Program with steering assist. The car comes with a built-in anti-theft system.

The design of the Jetta mostly sticks to the model being sold abroad. The Jetta has a sporty radiator grille, elegant chrome trim on the side windows (Comfortline) and colour-keyed bumpers, door handles and door mirror housings with integral twin signals.

Functions like opening and closing windows, boot etc can be done with a remote control in the Jetta. The interiors are spacious and the glove box come with a cooling facility. The VW Jetta’s digital display gives information about average speed, fuel consumption and range. The Jetta boot can hold a total of 527 litres.

Though a good car in many respects, we feel the Volkswagen Jetta is overpriced. The high price has more to do with the fact that components of Jetta are imported from Mexico and assembled at Skoda’s Aurangabad factory. Once Volkswagen completes its Chakan plant and start sourcing spares from Indian suppliers, as it has promised, we feel the Jetta can be priced lower to offer strong competition in the Rs 9 lakh- Rs 11 lakh segment. It’s a good car, which deserves to be sold to a lot more people.

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