Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI Comfort (DSG), Review
Euro Fighters

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
15 Apr 2012
 

Ford’s new Focus meets its toughest opposition ever in the form of the well-liked Jetta. Raymond Lai plays moderator.

Introduction, styling

The Cat A family saloon class has always been one of the most competitive in the Singapore market. In the past, the automatic choice for Cat A family saloons are the models that hail from Japan like the Toyota Corolla Altis, Mazda3, Nissan Sunny/ Slyphy and the Honda Civic among other models. The high Japanese yen in recent years though, means that the Japanese models are facing a tough fight against the Korean models at the lower end of the market and the Europeans at the higher end.

The European models used to cost significantly more than its Japanese competitors in the past but due to a variety of reasons including the high Japanese currency and low European currency means these days, European Cat A saloon models are within the price range and in some instances, even more affordable than some Japanese cars. Moreover, the Singaporean car buyer has a habit of considering an European model to have a higher perceived value than a Japanese one.

The Volkswagen Jetta is probably one of the most convincing and well-liked Cat A European saloons out there. Its newest European competitor is the new, third generation Focus saloon. How will the Jetta stack up against the new kid on the block, the new generation Focus then? We are about to find out.

Outwardly, the new Focus features an evolution of Ford’s Kinetic Design styling language that is characterised by the angular air inlets on the front bumper and wraparound head and tail lamps. It features tauter and crisper lines than previously while it is also wider and longer than its predecessor model to model. The new model also features a rakish and vast windscreen. The flared wheel arches and headlamps are familiar styling cues that are carried over from previous generation models. The saloon, tested here might look largely similar in overall profile to the old four-door model at first glance but Ford’s designers have somehow successfully made the elongated boot look more integrated with the rest of the car’s styling than before but we still think that the hatchback is the prettier of the two body styles.

The sixth generation Jetta is a good looking car with well-honed proportions that some might even say are worthy of wearing the Four Rings badge of an Audi rather than a VW roundel. The Jetta shares little of its styling with the Golf hatchback that it is based on – it doesn’t share a single exterior body panel with the Golf and offers its own distinct feel and look. At 4644mm in length, the Jetta is also longer than the Golf, as well as the 4534mm long Focus here. The Focus’ curves and more distinctive style though, make the Jetta look a tad conventional and even dull in comparison.  

The Focus, in top spec Titanium spec, with its standard 17-inch alloy wheels, looks more purposeful and sportier than the Jetta riding on miniscule 16-inch wheels. The Focus also looks more athletic than its competitor here. As before, the new Focus is also available in hatchback and even more practical estate form while the Jetta can also be had in five-door hatchback body style in the form of the Golf.

In terms of specifications and equipment levels, the four-door Focus Titanium is closest to the mid-range Jetta Comfort, basically a better-equipped version of the Jetta TSI. The Jetta range also encompasses the 160bhp Jetta Sport.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1390cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 122bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 23.9 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 9.8s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 202 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4644 x 1778 x 1482) mm
Wheelbase 2651 mm
Turning Circle 5.5 metres
Kerb Weight 5100 kg
Boot Capacity 510 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs