2015 Volkswagen Jetta facelift Review
It is a season of facelifts with almost every car manufacturer announcing refreshed versions of their existing offerings. In the guise of a mid-life facelift, car makers wish to keep their portfolio fresh and a minor tweak here and there doesn’t cost much.
There is no denying that Volkswagen sits above the rest in terms of setting a benchmark in design, finish and performance and as a result also commands a strong position in the premium sedan space. It was time for the Jetta to get a mid-life revamp but the intention behind it was to give more convincing reasons to the ones eyeing the new-generation Skoda Octavia.
You might miss the newness in the Jetta facelift until you take a second look or perhaps a third. We like that fact that Volkswagen has a certain snob value. While others are having a hard time melting sheet metal to take impossible contours, VW prefers to keep it simple.
The Bi-Xenon with cornering headlamps along with LED day running lights have been largely carried over from the previous update however the shape of the lights have got more angular in profile. The grille too has been updated with a larger section of triple slat bars instead of the twin slat form. The front bumper has been widened to give it a larger feel. The air dam area is larger and new and so are the fog lamp housings, to accommodate the new square shaped lights underneath.
The side profile doesn’t get anything except for the standard electrically adjustable external mirrors, chrome lining under the windows and wrap around tail lights. Completing the silhouette with a dash of sportiness are the 16” Atlanta alloy wheels sitting on 205/55 R16 tyres.
There is a new boot lid which gets an elevated lip acting as an integrated spoiler. The tail lamps too get more detailing with an edgy underline resembling new age Audi sedans. The rear bumper gets a clean no crease design with a stretched look again collectively contributing to a wider rear profile.
Endorsing the clichéd belief of amazing German fit and finish, the New Jetta too feels as upmarket and niche as its dearer and elder sibling, the Passat. It gets a twin tone front dashboard with the lower half done in creamed white and the upper half in contrasting ebony black.
To make it feel richer, there are faux wooden finished veneers running along the width of the dashboard and also on door trims, which will find subjective appeal. Borrowing from the Polo first and then the Vento, the flat bottom steering wheel has finally made its way in the New Jetta with more features to operate the central screen. The new twin tube instrumental cluster gets a new binnacle with chrome rings. In addition to displaying car essentials, it also gets a fatigue alert system which alerts the driver with a chime, reminiscent of the ones seen in Benz cars.
The central screen gets a piano finish surround with a glossy surface and a sleek design. The screen helps connect Smartphones via Bluetooth. It also offers USB and Aux-In connectivity. If only there was navigation as well, this system would have had it all.
Since there are no changes in dimensions, the roominess inside the cabin continues to be a highlight. The leather seats feel extremely comfortable with sufficient room for both row passengers. The 12-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat makes it very convenient. The wider rear seats can seat five adults making it a worthy competitor to others in the segment.
There are numerous storage options available with cup holders on central console and door trims, a storage box under the front central armrest along with a pocket under the rear armrest and also a large boot space, which stands generous at 510-litres.
There have been no mechanical changes of any sorts in the New Jetta as it has always impressed the enthusiasts with its amazing driving dynamics. Unlike its immediate rival, the Octavia, the new Jetta continues to use the same platform as earlier.
The Jetta is offered in two engine trims. The four cylinder 1.4-litre petrol engine makes 122 PS of power and 200Nm of torque while the 2.0TDI diesel makes more power at 140PS and also a lot more torque at 320Nm. The petrol engine is offered with a 6-speed manual transmission while the diesel has an optional 6-speed DSG dual clutch gearbox.
The performance figures are same but even then the engine feels more refined than earlier and the main reason for that are the finer details and mechanical bits which have been tuned to offer better fuel economy. The typical clatter of the diesel motor has vanished and the engine feels flexible across the range limit. The higher torque number makes it easy to drive at lower speeds without creating a need to shift gears.
The automatic DSG gearbox is something to vouch for. In automatic mode, the shifts are very precise in nature as the engine detects the right engine speed before upshifting or downshifting making it extremely quick. In the manual mode, there is a slight drop in precision but not vaguely disappointing. The paddle shifters, hidden behind the steering wheel, come in handy. It is only in manual mode where the gearbox acts a bit confused. It takes some time to understand its pattern and once known, you can easily make it shift at the right engine speed.
The heavier weight of the Jetta does create an obstacle for quick driving style but then the same acts as a benefit for a more stable ride. It has amazing stability at high speeds on straight sections. Steering it across corners or quick direction change is not supported by an agile steering setup but not once does the vehicle feel out of control. It gets disc brakes on all wheels, electronic stability programme with ABS, Traction Control and Electronic Differential Lock all working collectively to make sure the vehicle feels safe even at critical conditions. Making it even safer is the Fatigue alert system.
Most importantly, Volkswagen has made 6-airbags a standard feature across all variants showing the brand’s priority of safety over anything else as even other active and passive safety features are available across the range. Thus, don’t be bogged down if your variant doesn’t have some fancy bits, rest assured you are inside a safe car.
|Variant||2.0 TDI DSG Highline|
|Price (Ex-Showroom Mumbai)||Rs. 1,977,000|
|Power in PS/RPM||140 / 4200|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||320 / 1750-2500|
|Wheel base mm||2648|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||1439|
|Ground clearance mm||159|
|Fuel tank capacity L||55|
|Tyre Spec||205/55 R16|
|‘Climatronic’ dual-zone air conditioning system||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cooled glove box||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Tilt and telescopic adjustment for steering wheel||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windshield in heat insulating glass||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Green heat insulating glass in side and rear windows||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Illuminated vanity mirrors||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Front seats with height adjustment||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Disc brakes (front and rear)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electronic Stability Control (ESC)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with brake assist||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Anti-slip Regulation (ASR)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electronic Differential Lock (EDL)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hill hold control||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Height adjustable front seat belts||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Seat belt tensioner (front)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|3-point rear centre seat belt||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ISOFIX (mounting points for 2 child seats on rear seat bench)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Engine and transmission guard||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Driver and front passenger airbag||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Front passenger airbag deactivation||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Curtain airbag for front and rear passengers||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Side airbags, front||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||2.0 TDI DSG Highline||Elegance 2.0 TDI CR AT||LTZ AT|
|Price (Ex-Showroom Mumbai)||Rs. 1,977,000||Rs. 2,112,230||Rs 17,68,271|
|Power in PS/RPM||140 / 4200||141 / 4000||164 / 3800|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||320 / 1750-2500||320 / 1750||380 / 2000|
|Wheel base mm||2648||2688||2685|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||1439||1395||1540|
|Ground clearance mm||159||155||165|
|Fuel tank capacity L||55||50||NA|
|Tyre Spec||205/55 R16||205 / 55 R16||205 / 60 R16|