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2006-2010 Volkswagen Jetta
USED CAR REVIEW
Jetta is entertaining in city or highway driving.
The Jetta’s eye-catching styling complements its cachet as a German-engineered ride.
Since 1975, the Volkswagen Jetta’s conservative design has countered the similarly sized Golf hatchback’s more youthful nature, although both shared most of their mechanical and structural components.
A second-generation Jetta came along in the mid-1980s, followed by the Jetta III model in mid-1993 (The III suffix was dropped for 1994).
A fourth-generation Volkswagen Jetta sedan was launched in late 1998, with a wagon derivative joining the fleet in mid-2001.
An all-new fifth-generation 2006 sedan appeared in early calendar 2005, followed by the Jetta SportWagen for the 2009 model year.
A larger and lower-priced Jetta sedan showed up for the 2011 model year while the SportWagen carried on unchanged.
THE GOOD STUFF
Jetta offered high-quality German-engineered fit and finish at a far more affordable price than the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 or Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan. It was also the largest Jetta to date, with plenty of passenger room and a particularly cavernous trunk.
Both the base 2.5-litre five-cylinder gasoline engine and the optional turbocharged 2.0- litre gasoline turbo provided lively acceleration, as did the clean-burning 2007-2010 turbo-diesel (TDI), which also provided excellent fuel economy. Base models arrived well equipped, while several available packages added considerable content but inflated the price tag.
The initial 100-horsepower turbo-diesel Jetta excelled at fuel efficiency, but it was terribly slow. A much better choice was the 140-horse TDI or any of the gasoline powerplants.
The Jetta’s other Achilles heel was its reputation for sub-par reliability and high repair costs. Wind noise around the front window pillar and door seals was also a problem.
Note that the sporty GLI offered excellent handling and flat high-speed-cornering grip, but at the expense of an extra-stiff ride.
The substantial size increase of the 2011 model is confirmation of the tight interior quarters of the 2006-2010 Jettas.
A well-maintained, low-mileage Jetta should make for entertaining city or highway driving. Its cavernous trunk is particularly useful on long trips. Turbo-diesel models have a reputation for fuel efficiency as well as long service life. The Jetta’s eye-catching styling complements its cachet as a German-engineered ride.
Engines: 1.9-litre SOHC I4 turbo-diesel (100 hp, 2006); 2.0-litre DOHC I4, turbocharged (200 hp); 2.5-litre DOHC I5 (150-170 hp); 2.0-litre DOHC I4, turbo-diesel (140 hp, 2007-’10)
Transmissions: Five-speed manual; six-speed manual; six-speed automatic; six-speed automated manual
Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Body: Four-door sedan; four-door wagon.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
The Jetta commands healthy resale values, especially thrifty turbo- diesel models currently in demand due to high pump prices. Expect to also pay a premium for loaded GLI models.
Model year Approx. price range*
*The low end of a given price range represents higher-mileage, low- option vehicles. Prices as of March 2011.
©CarTest.ca. Posted June 14, 2011. Source: Wheelbase Communications.