Sometimes it can be hard to come up with the right car for your needs. A car that’s big enough to take your golf bag or stroller, but small enough to park easily. A car that’s handy around town, yet comfortable for the longhaul as well. Today’s feature vehicle is a car that ticks a lot of boxes, flexible enough to fulfil many needs that the car buyer of today has. And it comes at a great price as well. The Volkswagen Jetta Comfortline 118TSI is the car you need, you just don’t know it yet.
With a solid thud, the door shuts and I am alone in the cabin. The 35 degree heat, the sound of the busy road next to the dealership, it all disappears as I envelope myself in the ‘comfort’ seats specific to this Comfortline model. Studying the well appointed cabin, I can see that a lot of thought has been put into building this car. All important controls fall easily to hand, with steering wheel controls aplenty, in order to keep your attention upon the rather important task of controlling the vehicle. A USB port sits up inside the glovebox, the Bluetooth system connects effortlessly. After adjusting the lumbar seat, I wind the ignition key and wonder if I missed something. I can’t hear the engine at all, but a quick glance at the tachometer tells me the car is actually running. Whisper quiet, the Jetta’s sound deadening properties are something that needs to be experienced to believe. Positioning the gearshift into drive, and touching the accelerator, the car rolls forward and with a feather light touch turn the steering wheel 90 degrees and out of the spot. Only 30 seconds into the test and I am impressed already.
On the open road, the Jetta performs admirably. Pulling out into the traffic, the 1.4 litre twin charged engine catches up to traffic speed and cruises along comfortably. A supercharger helps boost power at the lower end of the tachometer, while a turbocharger ensures of strong, smooth acceleration across the whole rev range. The supercharger and turbo units work together to add power to the engine, meaning lower fuel consumption in order to get the same power as a larger engine. The heat of the air on the other side of the glass is not registered at all, as the dual zone climate control blasts icy cold air into the cabin and ensures of a comfortable ride. Passing through a roundabout, it’s hard not to be amazed by how light the steering is. The ride is solid like a big car, yet nimble like a smaller car, just one of the ways the Jetta manages to dodge being pigeonholed. Winding through the bends, the Jetta is able to power out of corners with ease, the DSG transmission making for seamless gear shifts. The twin clutch plate system means that shifting is smoother, making for a smoother ride for the occupants, and seven gears means that your car will always be working at the optimum engine speed.
Pulling into a service station, I take some time to check out the dimensions of the car. I slide into the back seat, my 6 foot frame easily fitting behind the driver’s seat without having to adjust it. I note the 12 volt power plug in the rear of the centre console, handy for DVD players for the littlies, and vents to keep the rear passengers cool. However, one of the most interesting aspects of the car is the boot, it’s 570 litre capacity has the ability to swallow almost anything you need to transport. The weekly grocery shop, travel luggage, you name it and there is a good chance it will fit in the Jetta’s boot. Taking the car back to the dealership, I am a little dismayed at having to hand back this magnificent machine.
Unable to be pigeonholed, the Jetta is the Swiss army knife of the Volkswagen range. Large enough to be comfortable, yet small enough to be manageable, this is the little sedan that could, that you know is able to fulfil your needs.