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Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI Test Drive Review

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Volkswagen Jetta TSI Test Drive Review

2012 Volkswagen Jetta – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Volkswagen Jetta Review

Car tested: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI Petrol (Comfortline)

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 17,75,138/- (est.)

It may seem foolish to launch the petrol version of the Volkswagen Jetta at a time when fuel prices are hitting the roof but the German automaker seems to think otherwise. The 1.4 TSI (Turbocharged Staratified Injection) engine has been a part of VW’s global portfolio since a few years now. This engine has reduced frictional losses, optimized camshafts, new intake ports and new high-pressure injector valves which not only provide reasonable performance but also aids in better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. This 1.4-litre mill may not look attractive on paper, especially when the competition consists of larger 1.8-litre units, but does the 1.4 TSI engine cut the mustard, that’s exactly what we are about to find out!

2012 Volkswagen Jetta TSI Review

Volkswagen has been using this engine in the European market and has just plonked this engine into the Indian Jetta. On the exterior, the TSI badge on the rear right differentiates it from its diesel sibling. This variant also gets a set of 5-spoke alloy wheels. The Volkswagen Jetta TSI will only be available in the Comfortline and Trendline trim. Naturally this petrol variant will be less loaded than its diesel sibling and does not get electric seats, automatic climate control, Bluetooth etc. It also gets a lower spec audio system. Safety is priority and the Jetta still gets 6-airbags, ABS and EBD.

Volkswagen Jetta TSI Test Drive Review

This is not the first time TSI technology has been used in India and the Jetta’s cousin, the Skoda Laura sports the 1.8 litre engine which is known for its performance and smoothness. The Jetta’s 1.4 TSI engine produces 120 BHP of peak power at 5000 RPM and a healthy 200 Nm of torque between 1500 – 4000 RPM. Refinement is brilliant and there is absolutely no noise or vibration. Even while hitting the rev limiter, the engine note is  smooth. Power delivery is linear with only a slight hint of turbo-lag till about 1500 RPM after which  the Jetta delivers decent performance.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta TSI Redline

You may not get the same kick the 1.8-litre engines provide but it is still good enough to move around with authority. Low end torque is average but this engine comes strong in the mid-range and high end of the revmeter. It red-lines at 6500 RPM and pulls cleanly in the high end of the rev band. The sixth gear may not be too useful in the city but comes handy on the highways. Overtaking on the highways may need you to go down a few gears but its not much of a problem.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta TSI Dashboard

Mated to this gearbox is a 6-speed manual transmission. The gearshifts are slick and the clutch is reasonably light. Gear ratios are on the taller side but the Jetta still hits 55 km/h in first gear and 102 km/h in second gear. It does a 0 – 100 km/h run in 10.98 seconds which is only 2 seconds slower than the 1.8-litre Laura TSI. It is surprising that a 1.4-litre engine performs reasonably well for a car of this size and weight. In our short stint in the car we did not get time to calculate its real time fuel efficiency but we expect this to be the most fuel efficient petrol car in its class. We have earlier mentioned that the Jetta is one hell of a handler and these characteristics and driving dynamics are passed on this version too. This TSI version is lighter than the TDI (by around 42 kgs) and this marginal weight difference favors better handling characteristics. Volkswagen is not offering an automatic transmission for this car, atleast not now.

Vokswagen Jetta TSI Test Drive Review

So does the Jetta TSI come across as a strong contender in the segment? It surely does. The Government is planning an additional excise duty on diesel cars, if this happens, petrol cars will be back in business. Even if this additional excise duty on diesel cars is dropped, the Jetta TSI will still be the most fuel efficient car in its segment and will appeal to those who want a refined petrol sedan. Though prices have not been announced yet, we can expect the prices to start Rs 2 lakhs less than those of the corresponding diesel version.

Read the Exhaustive Review of the Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta TSI Test Drive Review

Whats Cool

* Decent Performance
* Engine Refinement
* Fuel Efficiency
* Ride and Handling

Whats Not So Cool

* No Automatic Transmission
* No Highline Variant

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • SSM

    120 hp is good to carry such a heavy load & still have a smooth driving with AC on?If its so then its amazing.

    • ranjeet

      old laura aka octavia was only 90 hp, but yes diesel, petrol was 110

  • kunal

    I had almst 0rd in on tjet linea but this looks more promsin n with vw badge, u know good resale

    Nw i m sure abt performance, i thought it was under powered!

  • It is very good value for money, as it comes with all the safety and luxury features, and is an excellent size, being compact on the outside, roomy in the inside, and has a MASSIVE boot.

  • Brains!!

    VW needs to up its feature list!

    • Nikhil


  • Gautam

    So the Jetta petrol will be pricey…

  • Kedar

    can you please please compare this 1.4 TSI engine with FIAT’s 1.4 Tjet Engine.
    FIAT Linea Tjet and VW Passat TSI, both of these cars are from difference categories. :-)

  • deven

    whts laura Petrol Average??? not to go by AAR fig..practically how much it gets in city conditions

  • Nikhil

    Although a great car, I dont think it will stand a chance when the Hyundai Elantra is launched consider its aggressive design good engines and feature list.

    • SSM

      Truly speaking there’s no comparison between the two.Because of the price factor & brand image. Elantra is doing well in worldwide market due to aggressive pricing.VW has been conservative with respective to market share even though they’ve good product with galvanized body.

  • amx

    Cruze has just launced a 166 bhp edition! And it’s better equipped. Time Jetta provided more features, leather interiors, sun roof, and all the goodies a 17+L segment car deserves.

    • Amx, but Cruze does not handle, while the Jetta is super sharp in corners.

  • There is no doubt that the new Jetta from Volkswagen Motors is a good choice for a luxury mid-size sedan, but still there are few other even more compelling choices in the same class from the German automaker for instance the completely revamped Passat.

  • sadath

    Hi evevry body I confused in vw new jetta 1.4 comfortline or new skoda octavia 1.4 ambient pls reply me

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