The new Volkswagen Jetta could be on the back foot before it even arrives. British buyers don’t usually go for small saloons, so its ilk is largely seen as a filler between the bigger-selling C-segment and D-segment models. 

Don’t discount it, though. This is no longer simply a Golf with a boot. VW has endowed its perennially forgettable small saloon with some individuality, so it now has a look and possibly a purpose all of its own.

Substantial boot space and an exterior now suggestive of a small but well formed Passat give much more on-paper appeal than the Jetta enjoyed before. With a range starting at £17,160, it’s also very competitively priced. The best seller in the line-up is likely to be the 138bhp 2.0 TDI in base SE trim, which comes in at £20,435.

Other engines from VW’s familiar line-up include 120bhp and 158bhp versions of the 1.4 TFSI petrol. The 138bhp 2.0 TDI is joined on the diesel side by a 104bhp 1.6 TDI.  

The Jetta is still a car pieced together from familiar parts, but its fresh looks and enticing price tag could make it one of VW’s top all-rounders. The best bits of the Passat and Golf in a well priced package? Or a model that exists only to mask the white noise between the other models that bookend it in the VW range? We’re here to find out.

Top 5 Compact saloons

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