Volkswagen Jetta saloon (2006-2010)
"The VW Jetta is a Golf-based four-door saloon that is packed with standard kit, but you pay a premium for it."
- Spacious cabin
- Quality interior, generous equipment levels
- Massive boot
- Poor resale values
- Starting to look old
- Expensive compared to Golf and Passat
The Jetta is one of the few small saloons that competes in the small family hatchback class. It’s derived from Volkswagen’s previous Golf rather than the current model. It drives well and has an interior that’s better than that of its rivals, but those rivals are few and far between. Volvo’s S40 is the only obvious small saloon alternative, but you could have much of the same technology, space and practicality from Skoda’s Octavia hatchback. Limited demand makes the Jetta a rare sight in the UK, but if you like your saloon compact and well equipped, it’s worth considering.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Running your Jetta shouldn’t be much more expensive than driving an equivalent Golf, as the two cars share engines. Underlining its limited appeal is the lack of an economy special BlueMotion model. Volkswagen offers all it new cars in 2010 with three-years fixed price servicing for just £250, but where the Jetta will cost you is in residual values – it won’t be worth as much as its Golf relative when you come to sell it on.
Engines, drive & performance
Unsurprisingly, the Jetta feels almost identical to the Golf to drive. That’s no bad thing, as it means both impress with steering control and ride quality. Opt for a Sport model and the suspension is firmer, which improves the Jetta’s ability in the bends but means more bumps reach the interior from potholes and nastier road surfaces. All the engines offered provide adequate performance, but the 1.4 TSI petrol particularly impresses with its smoothness and economy: 44.8mpg is quoted for the official combined consumption cycle.
Interior & comfort
Avoid the Sport suspension and the Jetta provides good ride comfort, while space for passengers is decent. Legroom in the back is generous, but the sloping roof of the saloon does mean headroom is tighter in the back than in the Golf. All models from S-spec up include climate control, so you and your passengers will be kept cool and comfortable.
Practicality & boot space
The lack of a large hatchback opening is the only limiting factor regarding the Jetta’s practicality. Access aside, the boot is vast, and at 527 litres is only 38 litres smaller than the Passat saloon’s. If you need a saloon with a huge boot that takes up little space on the road, then there’s little to rival the Jetta.
Reliability & safety
The Jetta doesn’t feature on the Driver Power survey results thanks to the tiny number sold. There's no Euro NCAP rating either. However, being based on the previous generation Golf, we can have confidence in the Jetta’s reliability. Driver and front seat passenger get front and side airbags too, and stability control is standard.
Price, value for money & options
In isolation the Jetta looks like decent value, but we would advise you to look above and below at the Golf and Passat on the price lists. The Golf is newer and arguably more versatile, while the Passat is larger and more prestigious. It’s little wonder VW sells so few Jettas.