The car behind me isn’t a Passat, no, it’s actually the smaller Jetta, although the two do look very similar. In fact, the Jetta actually has more in common with the Mk6 Golf, effectively being the saloon version of that award-winning hatchback. So, you get VW group looks, engines and a large boot, but for less than the bigger Passat. But, the Mk6 it’s based on has now been replaced, so is the Jetta feeling its age? Let’s find out… Well, if VW were going to base a car on anything, the Mk6 Golf was a good start.The materials in this SE trim model are still perfectly respectable, with a soft-touch finish, while the switches are all sturdy and logically laid out. Our main criticism is the seats, which are very flat and lack lateral support. If you know your Volkswagen’s, it’s the sat-nav which gives away its age, with a rather small screen making it a bit fiddly to use, despite it being a £525 optional extra. It works well enough though, and has features like digital radio as well as SD and Aux-in connections. This Jetta is also fitted with a handy reversing camera, costing an extra £165. Open the surprisingly long rear door, being careful not to snag yourself, and you’ll find the main difference between a Jetta and Golf. There’s enough knee room and head room to make you think you’ve got sat in a full-sized saloon. There’s also a 12v socket for your phone, armrest with cup holders and a ski-hatch. The saloon boot doesn’t offer the same loading room as a hatchback, but it has a fairly low loading lip and it’s quite wide too.These handles allow the seats to fold forward, although you still need to walk around the car to finish the job and they don’t quite sit flat. Take to the road and the Jetta feels pleasant, relaxing even, but just not very exciting. The suspension feels soft and the steering needs quite a lot of twirling compared with the hypersensitive systems found in recent rivals. But, these traits also have some advantages, and once you get into the Jetta’s groove, it’s a very stress-free way to travel. Enthusiastic drivers need not apply though, even compared with the Golf it feels a lot less sporty. Engines range from a 1.4-litre petrol with 123bhp or 148bhp, to a frugal 108bhp 1.6-litre diesel, or this 2.0-litre TDI with 148bhp. All come fitted with a manual gearbox as standard, but this diesel and the most powerful petrol can be specified with VW’s excellent DSG
automatic. You don’t get paddle shifters, but to be honest, the auto mode does a good job of choosing the right gear, so it’s no great loss. Getting from 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds, this 2.0 diesel is quick enough to surprise other drivers and it makes the Jetta an excellent motorway car, helped by impressive refinement at higher speeds.It may be something of a wallflower, but the Jetta is by no means a bad car. Yes, it’s just starting to show its age inside, but on the flipside its engines were updated in late 2014. With a huge boot and plenty of space for passengers, it’s certainly has its place, but newer models like the Skoda Octavia are probably a better bet all around. Tempted by the Volkswagen Jetta? Let us know in the comments section and for more videos don’t forget to subscribe. To watch reviews of its rivals, click on the links at the end of the video. .