From £17,325
Installing the Golf GTi's engine in the Jetta makes for a capable saloon, but not a car that can challenge that Golf for desirability.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Jetta

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

23 March 2006

What's new? The Golf GTi’s 197bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine in the Jetta’s saloon bodyshell.What's it like? Unsurprisingly, quite similar to the Golf GTi - only without the same image. The engine, as in the GTi, is flexible and powerful, with 207lb ft of torque from 1800 to 5000rpm. It sounds good too, although the exhaust note is more muted than in the Golf – possibly because of the fact that, thanks to the Jetta’s vast 527-litre boot, it’s further away.Overall, it feels a little bit more refined than the GTi, which is probably what Jetta buyers want. Opt for the DSG dual-clutch gearbox, as in our test car, and you’ve got a real smoothie. With 16-inch wheels as standard, rather than the 17-inchers of the GTi, the ride feels better, too. What the Jetta doesn’t have is the Golf’s image: Yanks might love ’em, but in the UK the booted version is definitely the poorer cousin.Should I buy one? Maybe. Although the Jetta lacks the Golf’s image, it is expected to cost about the same at around £20,000 when it goes on sale later this year. But if it were our money, we’d spend it on the Golf.Rory Lumsdon

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