From £17,325
Twin-charger engine and DSG gearbox fail to impress. We'd stick with the diesel.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta has a big boot, pleasant dynamics and good pricing, but is a bit dull

What is it?

VW gives the Golf's saloon sister some supposedly green performance credentials.

Bascially this is the Jetta equivalent of the Golf GT. That means a "twin charger" turbocharged-and-supercharged 1.4-litre unit and, on our test car, the optional DSG gearbox.

The marketing objective is presumably to give the occasional 318i box-ticker pause for thought.

What's it like?

Less than the sum of its parts, perplexingly. The twin-charger engine is one that seems to become progressively less impressive over prolonged exposure, and it has to be said that DSG doesn't show it up to particularly good advantage.

The motor doesn't have much in the way of low-down punch and gets loud when worked hard enough to deliver rapid progress, while the DSG's automatic mode seems programmed to show up the powerplant's shortcomings by alternatively labouring the engine or delivering over-enthusiastic kickdowns.

The rest of the package is inoffensive enough - if you're one of the few people looking for a Golf with a boot stuck on.

So, should I buy one?

Probably not. On this experience TSI and DSG are best sampled apart: and despite the TSI's supposed planet-saving economy credentials, we only managed 32 mpg against the claimed 38 under restrained use.

It's hard to see the point over the 2.0 litre TDI.

Mike Duff

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka