Volkswagen Jetta (2011) 1.4L Comfortline MT TSI - Performance Review
Expert Reviews : DesignUser Experience Performance Safety
Performance Review of Volkswagen Jetta (2011) 1.4L Comfortline MT TSI
Last Updated at 03:15 pm, May 20, 2013Rating :
The engine capacity seems small for a car of this size – but manages to strike a good balance of fuel economy and performance | Photography: Eshan Shetty.
This is the most important part of this review as the highlight of the Jetta TSI is the 1.4-litre mill. Now unlike the fiery 1.4 TSI motor that you get in the Polo Cup racecar, this engine isn’t supercharged AND turbocharged. You only get a turbo on this one, which helps the engine put out over 120 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. While the displacement, power and torque is significantly lesser than what you get in the Jetta’s sibling, the Skoda Laura, the VW sedan doesn’t feel sluggish or underpowered.
The torque is spread out nicely through the rev range, however, it does suffer from a slightly unoptimistic mid-range as compared to the meaty low end and top end that you get to play with. Like a typical fixed-geometry-turbocharged engine, the build-up to 1,500 RPM takes a while, so while moving off the line the Jetta doesn’t feel eager. But once the turbo spools up, you have a good low-end grunt between 1,500 to 3,000 RPM and that is where you’ll spend most of your time while trotting in the city. But the 3,000 to 4,500 RPM range is where the Jetta TSI doesn’t give you the pull – therefore needing you to go a gear down in order to swiftly overtake a vehicle. Again, above 4,500 RPM, the TSI engine feels strong so when on the highway, you get enough firepower for quick overtakes.
Though this engine is turbocharged it doesn’t feel like one - apart from the initial turbo-lag that is. You don’t get the sudden turbo-kick or you won’t even hear the turbo-whistle. In fact the engine is quite silent and at idling RPM, it’s hard to notice that the engine is running. The beauty of this tuning however, lies in the fuel economy it offers. While we are told that the company claimed fuel economy is close to 14 kmpl for the Jetta TSI, we managed to extract close to 11 kmpl in the city and up to 14 kmpl on the highway – and this includes some hard driving around the twisties and the acceleration runs.
Speaking of driving around twisties, the Jetta is a wonderful handler and you have to experience it to believe it. On our roadtrip last year in the Jetta diesel, we were mighty impressed with the way it went around the long sweeping curves in Rajasthan without making its long dimensions evident. This time around, the petrol version impressed us further with its ability to tackle the tights of the Lonavala hill station. Those alloys may look sober, but the rubber that they are shod with, offers a nice and sticky grip through the corners.
While you do get ESP, ABS and EBD to make sure that things remain under control to an extent, adding further security are the six airbags, should things go out of control. Overall, the Jetta is a safe, comfortable and able performer and even with the new petrol engine, it is fuel-efficient and ensures a low running cost.
As we have always mentioned, the new Jetta is one of the best driver’s cars in its segment and now with a petrol engine under the hood, it also starts at an economical price tag. The petrol engine is also more fuel-efficient than most other cars in this segment and justifies why Volkswagen chose to plonk in the 1.4-litre motor instead of the 1.8-litre one. So if you are looking for good driving dynamics, then the new Jetta should be on your list of considerations. However, if you are looking for a chauffeur-driven car, especially for long-distance travel – then you’ll have to look elsewhere.
First Published on 05:37 pm, July 08, 2012