With the new Bharat Stage IV emission norms that have come into play, the Jetta gets a change of heart. Replacing the old 1.9-litre Pumpe Düse engine is a 2.0-litre common-rail motor that adds 5 bhp more (now 108 bhp). The new engine is cleaner and brings with it more refinement, a wider torque band and better interiors.
A glance at the figures will tell you how much of an improvement this new car is. The old engine made 103 bhp at 4000 rpm and 25.5 kgm at 1900 rpm. This new engine puts out 108 bhp at 4200 rpm while its 25.5 kgm of torque peaks at 1500 rpm and stays flat till 4000 rpm, the effects of which are apparent.
Drop anywhere below 2000 rpm in the old engine and you would have to downshift. Now the car picks up cleanly from low engine speeds and pulls nicely all the way to 4000 rpm, after which power tails off. The new car shaves 5 seconds off the 20-80 kph time, and an incredible 5.6 seconds off in the 40-100 kph run off the old car, which is a huge improvement.
The one thing you have to watch out for is when you are starting off. This engine has an annoying tendency to stall if you don’t give it enough gas to build up some revs and slip the clutch a bit. Get past this hiccup, work through that deliciously crisp five-speed manual ’box and you’ll find a Jetta that’s a lot more comfortable in its shoes. It feels peppier, calls for less gearshifts and, when you’re cruising, is more than adequately refined. That said, this engine isn’t as refined here as it is in the Passat.
The other complaint is the stiff ride. VW now recommends 32psi on all tyres and this has considerably improved things. There’s still some underlying stiffness but it crashes through potholes a lot less. The handling is safe, predictable and confidence-inspiring. On the inside, there’s a sportier, higher quality steering wheel, a touchscreen audio and climate control similar to what you get in the Skoda Superb.
There’s even a gearshift indicator between the dials to help you optimise fuel efficiency. All of this costs costs Rs 15.92 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) in Comfortline trim, which is now better value. In fact, spec for spec, the new car is only marginally more expensive than the old Jetta. VW seems to have covered all its bases this time around.