Sharp and stable at speed, this mini-Passat looks and drives like the Golf that it's based on.
It's bigger, heavier and thirstier than the Golf. It also costs more – although you get more standard kit for the money.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Petrol buyers get the choice of two 1.4 TSI engines with either 121- or 158bhp, or a 2.0 with 197bhp. All have strong performance, and the 2.0-litre gives proper hot hatch pace. Two 2.0-litre diesels are also on offer: a 138bhp unit that is perfectly strong enough in its own right, and another with an even more fiery 168bhp. The 1.6 TDI offers a cheaper way into a diesel Jetta, but the engine is flat at at the bottom of the rev range, so not terribly flexible.
Ride & Handling
The Jetta's body is even stiffer than the Golf’s, so it's great to drive. It’s sharp and stable at speed, and controlled, if a little firm, over urban potholes. The electric power steering gets weightier with speed, but it doesn't give you enough feedback.
The 2.0 TDI engines are impressive by the standards of diesel engines, but the 2.0 petrol is hushed, and while the 1.4s can be a bit gruff at low revs, they sound better the more you push on. Wind noise is not an issue at UK speeds and road noise is rarely present. Most of the controls are smooth, although the manual gearshift baulks a bit.