The Jetta gets a change of heart with the new Bharat Stage IV emission norms that have come into play. Replacing the old 1.9-litre Pumpe Düse engine is a 2.0-litre common-rail motor that makes 108bhp, 5bhp more. The new engine is cleaner and, as an added bonus, brings with it more refinement, a wider torque band and better interiors.
A glance at the figures will tell you how much of an improvement this new car is. The old engine made 103bhp at 4000rpm and 25.5kgm at 1900rpm. This new engine puts out 108bhp at 4200rpm while its 25.5kgm of torque peaks at 1500rpm and stays flat till 4000rpm, the effects of which are immediately apparent. Drop anywhere below 2000rpm in the old engine and you would have to downshift. Now the car picks up cleanly from low engine speeds and pulls nicely all the way to 4000rpm, after which power tails off. Just look at the in-gear figures – the new car shaves 5sec off the 20-80kph time and an incredible 5.6sec off in the 40-100kph run off the old car. A huge improvement.
The one thing you have to watch out for is when you are starting off. This engine has an annoying tendency to stall if you don’t use enough revs and slip the clutch a bit. Get past this hiccup, work through that deliciously crisp five-speed manual ’box and you’ll find a Jetta that’s a lot more comfortable in its shoes. It feels peppier, calls for less gearshifts and, when you’re cruising, is more than adequately refined. That said, this engine isn’t as refined here as it is in the Passat.
The other complaint was the stiff ride. VW now recommends 32psi on all tyres and this has considerably improved things. Yes, there’s still some underlying stiffness but it crashes through potholes a lot less. The handling, as always, is safe, predictable and supremely confidence-inspiring.
There’s a huge improvement on the inside too. There’s a sportier, higher quality steering wheel, a touchscreen audio and climate control similar to what you get in the Skoda Superb. There’s even a gearshift indicator between the dials to help you optimise fuel efficiency.
All of this costs costs Rs 15.92 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) in Comfortline trim, which is now better value. In fact, spec for spec, the new car is only marginally more expensive than the old Jetta. VW seems to have covered all its bases this time around.