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Old body, new heart

india Updated: Jan 18, 2013 15:23 IST
Hari Warrier
Hari Warrier
Hindustan Times


Volkswagen recently upped the petrol variant of its mid-range Jetta. Coming at a time when India is deep into its dalliance with diesel engines, this was something of a surprise. We decided to take a look at what the new engine does for an otherwise great car.

The Jetta is, really, a Golf with a boot. And what a boot! For its class, it is enormous at 510 litres, enough to put away the family vault and maybe even the butler. The interiors are qualitatively top notch. They have packed in an optical parking system, height and lumbar adjustable front seats, an eight-speaker stereo, an MP3 compatible CD unit, dual-zone automatic climate control air-conditioning, airbags all over the place (six, in total), a multi-function trip meter loaded with all kinds of information, including even the outside temperature...

But what about the drive itself? How does the engine feel?

The 1,400-cc petrol engine belts out a more than decent 121 BHP, the power peaking at about 5,100 RPM, with maximum revs of about 6,500 RPM. It does 0-100 in the blink of an eye — under 8 seconds.

Reported top speed is in the range of 230 kph; we did close to 200 without any fuss, and the drive on a sporty, twisty Delhi-Sariska highway was exhilaratingly safe: the more we pushed the pedal, the closer the car hugged the road. Driving at those speeds, we got a fuel average of about 15 kpl. Judiciously driven, it should yield in the region of 17 kpl easily — the talking point of putting such a small engine in a segment ruled by 1,800-cc power plants.


Does this sound like a paen to the Jetta?

Well, the price is a sore point, if one wants to nitpick. At over Rs. 15 lakh for the top-end variant, there is plenty of choice out there. And better looking cars, for the Jetta is fairly inconspicuous. If you want a car that LOOKS virile, look elsewhere. This car just does things, and doesn’t make a fuss about it.

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