Jetta BlueMotion 1.9 TDI DPF
ahead, buy a Jetta BlueMotion
just because it does 61.4mpg on
the combined cycle. But drive one
for a week and youll
THE BLUEMOTION VOLKSWAGEN JETTA model went on sale last June, and with its
practical four-door saloon body and large boot it looks uncommonly like VW's
larger Passat saloon. Volkswagen uses the term 'BlueMotion' for
its most fuel- and CO2-efficient models, models that are modified to match or
beat hybrids at their own game yet which remain conventional for serving and
Medium-sized saloon-bodied cars of this size tend to be overlooked by UK buyers
who, on the whole, buy hatchbacks and compact estates. However, just about everywhere
else in the world these cars are hugely popular: for instance, in America, the
Jetta has, in its various incarnations, long been the best-selling Volkswagen.
UK buyers purchasing a Jetta do so as an alternative to buying, say, an entry-level
Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series. It's looks may be on the conservative side but that's
no bad thing, making the Jetta a desirable buy for drivers for whom a large
limo-like saloon is too ostentatious and who prefer a set of smarter looking
wheels than provided by an 'everybody drives one' hatchback from Ford or Vauxhall.
VW expects to sell just 100 Jetta BlueMotion models per year in the UK (about
2 per cent of total Jetta sales). The Jetta BlueMotion is just one of eight
BlueMotion models in the VW line-up the others being the Polo, Golf Plus,
Golf Estate, Passat, Passat Estate, Touran and Sharan.
A word about those 'conservative' looks... from the tip of its executive chrome-grilled
nose the Jetta is not only well-proportioned and obviously built to a high standard,
but it is deceptively elegant with bling-free styling and some neat design touches
such as the integrated indicators in the door mirror housings and the
smart and distinctive LED tail lights.
The well-built theme continues inside the BlueMotion. The facia is refreshingly
'clean', with just about all of the switchgear housed logically on the centre
stack including the optional touch-screen radio, iPod/MP3-compatible
6-CD autochanger. Dials elegantly ringed with slim chrome bezels
are easy to read at a glance and trip information such as range and average
mpg is easily viewed on the smaller digital screen between the speedometer and
The Jetta BlueMotion may be an economical car but that doesn't mean that Volkswagen
has skimped when it comes to standard equipment: semi-automatic air conditioning,
multi-function computer, one-shot electric windows all round, electrically-heated
and adjustable door mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, automatic driving lights,
auto-dimming rear-view mirror, an automatic coming/leaving home lighting function
and heat-insulating tinted glass are all standard-fit items.
You also get speed-sensitive power-assisted steering, a three-spoke steering
wheel, driver's seat height adjustment, 10-spoke alloy wheels with 205/55 low
rolling resistance tyres, sports suspension, driver's and front passenger's
airbags with front passenger's airbag deactivation switch, curtain airbag system
for front and rear passengers, front seat side impact airbags, height-adjustable
front seat belts and whiplash-optimised front head restraints.
All Jetta models are, commendably, also fitted with an Electronic Stabilisation
Programme supported by Electronic Differential Lock and Traction Control and,
of course, ABS with Hydraulic Brake Assist. A useful safety feature is hazard
lights that are automatically activated under emergency braking to warn other
The wide cabin feels airy and is a pleasant place to be. The adequately bolstered
seats are upholstered in durable 'Glow' cloth material that's good to sit on
and promises to wear well. The driver can easily set an optimised driving position
thanks to the height and reach adjustable steering wheel. Space is also in good
supply, both front and back, with plenty of head- and elbow-room in fact,
the surprisingly generous rear legroom makes the Jetta something of a mini-limo.
Rear passengers also sit about six inches higher than those in the front and
the good views out make journeys all the more interesting, although six-footers
sitting in the back may find their hair just brushing the headlining. When not
in use the three rear headrests all slide down out of the driver's line of sight.
A useful number of cup-holders, storage spaces and stowage boxes (including
a sunglasses holder in the roof console and cubby on top of the dashboard) are
dotted about the cabin, so there's a place for everything and it's easy to keep
everything in its place. There's also a cooled, lit and lockable glovebox.
And don't forget the huge boot 527 litres. So, not only four/five adults
inside but and all of their luggage behind them too. If you're a golfing man
(or woman) you'll be pleased to hear that you can lay your clubs length-ways
and even get your trolley in. For longer items the split/folding (60:40) rear
seats backrests can be dropped forward. And, as seems to be the trend, there's
no spare wheel; not even a space-saver. Instead you'll find a motorised tyre
repair kit in the well.
To maximise its fuel consumption, the BlueMotion comes with a 1.9-litre TDI
engine fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter. Aided by the low rolling resistance
tyres and lower sports suspension (by 15mm to reduce aerodynamic drag), the
1.9's 104bhp returns an undeniably impressive remember, this is a proper
family car not some cramped 'city' car 61.4mpg on the combined cycle!
Even the Jetta's urban figure 47.9mpg is pretty remarkable; the
extra-urban figure of 72.4mpg makes you ask why anyone would want an electric-powered
car that needs recharging ten times more often than a mobile phone. The Jetta's
CO2 emissions are also good a low 122g/km. Drive a BlueMotion Jetta and
you may almost forget what a fuel pump looks like in theory you could
cover 743 miles on just one 55-litre tank of fuel. When we topped up the car,
the trip computer displayed an accurate 640-mile range.
For the record, a week's driving around in mixed conditions and over a broad
selection of roads resulted in an overall test average of 53.7mpg. Most Jetta
drivers will, I feel certain, better this figure.
While 104bhp may seem on the low side for a medium-sized saloon, the TDI's 184lb
ft of torque provides ample 'kick' on the move and there are no second thoughts
when you want to overtake. Our usual test route takes in a pretty steep hill
and the Jetta zipped up to 65mph coming up there without hesitation. Top speed
is 117mph and 0-62mph acceleration takes 11.9 seconds. While the BlueMotion's
five-speed manual 'box has longer 3rd, 4th and 5th ratios for improved economy,
they don't hamper the driving. And neither does the gear-change, whose action
is smooth and precise.
With the diesel unit red-lined at 4,500rpm, the legal limit calls for a relaxed
1,900rpm in top (5th) gear, emphasising the Jetta BlueMotion's unruffled cruising
With front-wheel drive the Jetta drives predictably. If that sounds like a put
down, it's not meant to be because it feels responsive, the steering is fine
and the brakes discs front and rear good. It also rides smoothly
and quietly, coping well with camber changes, bumps and the UK's second-rate
road surfaces. The Jetta also corners well and handles predictably; well enough
to make it 'fit for purpose'.
Many motorists would buy one of these BlueMotion Jettas for no other reason
than its indisputable ability to deliver impressive real-world fuel economy.
However, if you've read this far you don't need me to tell you that there are
many other good reasons to choose a Jetta over its rivals. MotorBar
Volkswagen Jetta BlueMotion 1.9 TDI DPF | £16,143
Maximum speed: 117mph | 0-62mph: 11.9 seconds | Overall test MPG: 53.7mpg
Power: 104bhp | Torque: 184lb ft | CO2 122g/km | Insurance group 6