Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 Highline – Jetting away in comfort

When Volkswagen introduced the Jetta Mk 5 back in 2005, the car proved to be a popular choice amongst the younger generation of drivers. After all, it was one of the only few cars which gives you the comfort, the space, the power, and the impressive fuel economy.

And despite the unfortunate gearbox issues plaguing the German marque, the Jetta continued to be a hot-seller even with the new Jetta Mk 6. Some preferred the fifth generation’s curve compared to the sharper and boxier sixth generation ones, but fans of Volkswagen remained largely loyal, even till today as they roll out the new Mk 6 facelift.

Exterior

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On first glance, it is indeed difficult to tell the difference between the new facelift and its predecessor. The facelifted version comes with a newly-designed front grille, and a set of new headlights and tail lamps.

Our test car, the Highline version, came with daytime running lights and bi-xenon lamps as standard, but that’s assuming you pay the premium of 5 grand over the base Trendline version.

The 16” shoes fitted perfectly well on the car, although enthusiasts may consider upsizing it one step higher. We thought that the current size gave a perfect combination of fuel economy, looks, and ride comfort.

Compared to its Japanese competitor, the Jetta swallows up 510 litres of luggage at the boot, more than the Altis’ 470 litres. We tried it with two golf bags and a small clothes bag – no complains for your average businessman for a visit to the golf course!

Interior

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You’d find that Volkswagen’s interiors prove to be user-friendly and intuitive, and the Jetta is no different. Our test car came with the new “Corn Silk Beige” trim, exuding a sense of elegance as you slide into the cabin.

For the features enthusiast, the steering wheel now comes standard as a piano black sleek version compared to the old leather-wrapped ones, as well as a new 5 inch infotainment system to provide you with the much-necessary touchscreen tidbits to keep your fingers busy.

Over at the rear, space remains the same compared to the Mk 6 pre-facelifted Jetta, sitting four comfortably behind. The Jetta also comes with rear aircon, one-upping its competitor – some of which don’t offer this option at all.

The Drive

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Being sized up at just 122 horses produced by a 1,390 cc turbocharged plant, the Jetta slides comfortably at the ceiling of the Category A COE premium level. The ride delivered from this 1.4 litre engine remains as seamless as the rest in its class – after all, that’s what Volkswagen is known for isn’t it? Seamless and smooth driving from just a small engine capacity.

With minimal changes to its engine and drivetrain, the Jetta’s century sprint remains at 9.8 seconds, made possible by the swift changes from its 7-speed DSG gearboxes. While Volkswagen strives to improve on its DSG technology after being plagued by unfortunate incidents in the past, we noted minor clutch slips on our test car, especially from an uphill gradient start.

But discounting that minor judder, the Jetta delivered a smooth ride for us during our test, cruising comfortably on both the expressways and urban conditions. The car took sharp corners reasonably well, and the steering feel wasn’t compromised with light or extremely heavy ones we had on some other mid-sized luxury sedans.

Conclusion

So you may ask: Why would I buy a Jetta and what’s so special about this car?

Truth be told, it didn’t impress on first sight. But if you have had the experience of handling this continental on the roads with a family of four in tow rushing to a place, we dare say the Jetta delivers remarkably in terms of power and comfort as compared to the rest in its class.

For that, we say this might just be the car.

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We like:

The power and fuel efficiency of the 1.4 litre engine, as usual.

We don’t like: 

Minor juddering when we accelerated off from uphill gradients. And for all that’s worth of the 5 inch infotainment system, there’s no reverse camera to the Highline variant.

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