By on January 13, 2012

My brother-in-law has gone through some rough spots in his career. Recently though, his situation has been improving. So much so that he got that much sought-after perk, a company car. Last weekend he and the family drove over to my dad’s home. He works for a German company so, guess what? He is now driving around in the latest from Wolfsburg via Puebla, a Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 Comfortline. I grabbed the keys and said see you later.

I was curious about the car. After all, after reading all the international bad press on it, and the usual tiresome panting of the Brazilian press, I wanted to know: Could it be that bad?

Jumping into it, my first impression was not that good. You see, my sister had been driving the car and the seat was all the way up and snug against the steering wheel. After fiddlingg around with the controls and wrestling the seat into a good position for me, I thought, is this really well thought out? I mean, it took me a good three minutes to do all the adjustments. Granted, it’s not a problem after you get used to them, but intuitive it is not. Well, maybe if you have a VW it wouldn’t be a problem as you’d be pretty used to the different levers and such that need pulling, pushing and shoving. As I have read many times in the press, all the buttons and levers and switches are pretty much standard fare across the VeeDub line.

Second impression was generally good. The plastics and such had a nice look about them. The seats were covered in leather. The design was conservative, but all the required doodads were there. Then I started prodding and pulling and pushing. Meh. I quickly found out that while visually appealing, the stuff had the same tactile feel as those in a R$30,000 Gol. Not good. I also noticed that the leather wasn’t real. In fact, it was some of the worst imitation leather I’d sat on recently. My neighborhood upholsterer offers better Naugahide.

The steering wheel had a nice, modern design. Like with the alleged leather though, it was easy to see that VW was pinching pennies. This version’s wheel does not have the audio controls and such on it. The place where they should be has a blingy fake aluminum finish on the higher trim level. In this lowly version it’s just an expanse of drab, grey plastic. The wheel itself is no better than that found in lesser VWs. The design is better, but it just isn’t that nice a place to rest your hands. It’s not thick and at least my hands did not naturally find a comfortable position. Later, while driving, I also noticed the strange bulge in the A column inside the car. Probably to house the window bags that this car did not have. I felt it was uncomfortably close to my head and obstructed my vision out the car somewhat. Again, you’d get used to it, but isn’t there a way to do it better?

After I had taken in the car’s inside, I realized I hadn’t even stopped to look at the car’s exterior. I realized then that the design is conservative to the point of being anonymous. So, I decided to get out again and analyze it. I’d seen it in photos and had not thought much of it. Looking upon the car with my own eyes, I confirmed that impression. It’s just a big sedan. That face is now spread throughout VW’s Brazilian line. The headlights are the simple ones. Not good for such an expensive car. The backlights have that Audi going on and being horizontal help to widen the car visually. It’s a nice enough design. Guess you can call it good in the time-honored VW tradition. With the competition that this car faces, I thought it could use some flair. One word kept coming to my mind. Anodyne.

The proof though is in the driving, right? So I fired it up and backed up my dad’s steep driveway. I remember that I’d read that this engine was good for 120 ponies on ethanol and not even that much on the concoction known as Brazilian gasoline. It handled the climb well enough. So far so good.

As I started driving through the lazy streets that make up my dad’s gated community a strange sensation came over me. I had the vivid impression I was back in 1986 or thereabouts. At that time my dad had a VW Santana Quantum, which was VW do Brasil’s version of the Audi 100 station wagon. I learned to drive in that car. It was uncanny, but more than 20 years late, the feel of the car was like I remembered the Quantum. So odd.

It felt solid. I just slowly drove along and savored it. The community’s streets are littered with speed bumps and ups and downs. I came to a stretch that was flat and has a speed bump that’s lower than the others. I stomped on the pedal. The car didn’t go. I expected better. As we hit the speed bump I was not nearly at the speed I had anticipated mentally. That turned out to be a good thing as I felt the suspension with its torsion beam out back was just not up to the task. It was my first indication of how easy it would be to unsettle the car.

As I left the community I decided to take the road and go to the city. As I accelerated to merge into traffic, the déjà vu hit me again. Contrary to most modern cars that rev happily, this engine just doesn’t. It behaves like that 2.0 engine from the 80s. Good back then, now not anymore.

The road was mostly empty. I started putting the car through its paces. It was an unwilling partner. Slow and noisy when fast. Lazy when stuck behind a slower vehicle and asked to overtake. In short, not quite up to the task of motivating this relatively heavy car (give or take 1,350 kg).

Well, maybe it’s good in the curves? It was a dastardly day. Rainy and gloomy. I felt like I was somewhere in England. I tried but soon gave up pushing it. It wasn’t worth the effort and danger.

I pushed on. I reached the point where there are some nice, twisty country roads. I went for it.

There the pavement was much more worn. The curves were more acute. In spite of the conditions, I decided to force it a little. The car’s behavior soon conspired, together with the grayness of the day, to make me feel like the weather: Gloomy. No, on these country roads this car can’t dance. The back is always threatening to escape. The engine can’t rev. It’s slow to pick up speeds after the curves. I slowed down. The car settled down. Over the rough patches I was reminded how I felt the suspension is lacking. In the good German tradition it’s tauter than most of its peers. But why? It’s no sports car. Far from that. So, it’d be much better if VW would just come out the closet (as it were) and make the suspension more comfortable and in tune to the car’s nature.

Well, back to the main road. It’s a simple two-lane blacktop. But there are now more cars. I’m having a hard time overtaking them. Even puny little 1.0s. The curves, though not as acute as the side roads, slow me down. I started noticing the noise of the water hitting the car’s belly, the rain pelting the roof. For 70k I though it needed some more noise dampening

I had enough. In this weather why even bother to take it into town? In stop and go traffic I could predict its behavior. The 5-speed manual would shift well enough though I think that like in other VWs the stick is just a little too low for me. The throws are short and precise, but nothing special. The clutch is light enough, but again, nothing special. In city driving I’d have the chance to test the car’s infotainment system, but I realized I don’t give a rat’s ass for that. The car was boring me. Time to head back.

As I did so, I thought: Who is this car for? It’s too expensive for most folks with families in Brazil. It’s definitely not for young people. It’s not for an enthusiast as amply demonstrated. I sadly come to the conclusion this new Jetta is for those who don’t like driving. Those who want a big car and just want to blend in. Those who want a car from a respectable brand that will thusly keep its value and be an easy sell. In short, it’s perfect for most drivers of the world today. No wonder it’s selling well. I believe it’s outselling the Civic, Vectra, Fluence. However, it probably won’t reach the market-segment-leading-Corolla. It caters to the same crowd.

As I eased into the garage my brother-in-law comes out. He asks how I’d liked the car. Not wanting to be impolite, I turned the question back on him. He used a Brazilian expression to the effect that the car was plastic-fantastic. I asked him to elaborate. He talked about how he had just taken a highway trip and how he felt the car didn’t do curves. How he though the engine was unrefined and didn’t make up for its lack of power with economy. He told me how he’d pleaded with his boss to get another car. Not being a VW fan himself he cited a number of cars he felt would be better to drive.

Nothing positive? Well, he said, it fit his family of three young girls well enough. So it’d do well with the Germans he’d be driving to and fro. The trunk could swallow a good number of bags. He paused and commented how hard-pressed he was feeling to remember anything else. I had an insight then and told him that I was under the impression the car was a Logan for richer folk. Bland, big and boring. He laughed.

Basically then, we were in agreement. Neither of us would spend our sweated dime on the car. It was too expensive for what it offered. In a word, underwhelming. If you ever do get the car, do yourself a favor and get the higher trim. Maybe with the bigger output motor and the multilink suspension, this car could be fun. I suspect though that even in that case, this car just isn’t for me.

Don’t take my word for it. If you like, go and test drive it.

As they say, the proof is in the driving.

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55 Comments on “Review: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0, Brazilian Spec...”


  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Huh? I thought you guys actually EDITED these…some reasonable info here, but damned near unreadable.

    I know you are all jet-lagged or Panther-lagged or whatever, just getting back from the NAIAS, but DAMN. Don’t just mail it in…..(or in this case, allow someone else to, without editing it…..

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Do not underestimate the power of the dark sss . . . uh, of the appeal of an anonymous car with good value.

    • 0 avatar

      Hi,

      In our case do not underestimate the powers of mindless buying of whatever a market leader spews out…even if other have got you beat in the value department.

      Ths is exactly one of my points of contention w this car here. Here, VW overcharges and underdelivers.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Woe, VW’s single cam, 2 point slow must be even more lethargic running on pure ethanol. It is what it is, a plain Jane family sled.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I didn’t see any big problems with the review. A bit wordy but it was definitely honest about what the latest Jetta has become. VW has turned the Jetta into an appliance for the masses. Let’s just hope that the masses that are buying them don’t have to experience VW service on a regular basis.

    Apparently the TDI owners like their new Jettas but I don’t think it’s possible to enjoy driving an underpowered 2.slow powered Jetta in 2012. Unless you hate driving and prefer texting while driving, then the driving thing is secondary anyway. Good thing it automatically turns the hazards on in a crash.

  • avatar

    I haven’t driven the 2.0, as shooting fish in a barrel isn’t my favorite sport. I did like the handling of the 2.5 better than most reviewers, finding it far better than the Elantra I reviewed about the same time.

    Same suspension tuning in Brazil? Or not?

    In terms of reliability, the new Jetta has been very close to the average so far, based on responses to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey. A first-year car, but still young. Will it get worse later, or has VW engineered this one with less complicated, less fragile electrical bits? Time will tell.

    http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability.php?brand_1=36&model_1=280

  • avatar

    I haven’t driven the 2.0. I did like the handling of the 2.5 better than most reviewers, finding the chassis composure and level of feedback much better than with the Elantra I reviewed about the same time.

    Same suspension tuning in Brazil? Or not?

    In terms of reliability, the new Jetta has been very close to the average so far, based on responses to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey. A first-year car, but still young. Will it get worse later, or has VW engineered this one with less complicated, less fragile electrical bits? Time will tell.

    • 0 avatar

      Hi Michael!

      Glad you took the time to read. I always enjoy your reviews.

      Now, the 2.0 and the 2.5 suspension are probably different. I mean the 2.0 gets, as mentioned in this thread, an ancient motor. And is knoewn here as the Comfortline.

      The Highline gets a 2.0 that puts out 170hp due to it being more modern.

      The suspension on the Comfortline has a torsion beam while the High gets a multi-link. SO over good asphalt you can definitely feel the difference. On broken pavement it really depends on makers calibration. Some road surfaces in Brazil can upset even the most sophisticated setup.

      See J Mendez’s comment below. The car at first gives an imprssion of solidity and refinement. Push it just a little and it’s just so easy to lose it. I’m talking of the 2.0 Comfortline of course.

      Tradtionally, cars imported into Brazil get a their suspension lifted to deal with the rougher roads. The New Fiesta for example, IIRC< got lifted 2mm or some such. I would expect the Jetta in nBrazil to be a little higher, too.

      I mean, VW has been here forever and should know what they’re up against.

      Like mentioned, the car is built in Mexico. Some changes might be had. Simple things like less noise isolation material and other things easy to not put in the car in the assembly line. This is almost always done.

      For example, the Nissan March sold here (hecho in Mexico) got much less stars than the supposedly same one built in Europe. So, these are industrial secrets and the makers are not forthcoming about them.

      The New Fiesta, also hecho in Mexico, gets a downgraded Sygma engine in the cars exported to Brazil. We get the same block but all the sophsticated stuffe like the variable valve controls and such are removed.

      So the shell is the same, but anything else could be changed and usually is changed for the worse when the cars are tagged to be sent down here. Of course, blanket statement but supported by experience.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Okay, we get it! The new Jetta isn’t an “enthusiast’s” car! What else is new?

    Next!

    How many enthusiasts are there to actually market to?

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      Marcelo –

      This is not to impune your work, but reading the same thing over and over and the constant whinging about this car by people who will never buy it anyway because of VW’s reliability record gets old. I’m speaking mostly of the commentors on various boards.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree. But I wanted to see it for myself. I’m disappointed. So I just put in my 2 cents. Thought it might be slightly different and/or interesting since I come from a different POV.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Marcelo –

        It is interesting to read somebody from outside the US’s POV.

        Thank you for offering something other than the typical “more power, more room…wait a minute why does the mileage suck so hard” review.

      • 0 avatar

        tankinbeans-

        I’ve been thinking about what you wrote, as to enthusiasts whining and so on. I tried to breach that in the article, but I probably was not clear enough. Case in point, my brother-in-law.

        He’s no car nut. He’s a reasonably informed guy. He is the archetypical buyer of this car. Somebody on the way up with a passing interest in cars. But even he didn’t like the car. So even non-enthusiasts can see through this one.

        That I think is an important point. One that I hadn’t seen discussed. That’s why the press for this car is so negative.

        Sure, it’s not for enthusiasts. That’s fine. But how does VW live with that? Did it expect people no to see? That’s the way this car will tarnish VW.

        Maybe VW should wish that this car not be a hit. It was their first attempt at Toyotafication. Maybe next one will be more sorted out.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Now I get it. I think I picked some of what you’re saying up in the review, but my brain doesn’t always process.

        The 2.0 here sells more on price than anything as I think its MSRP is $13,995. This makes it cheaper than the Elantra and my car, the Forte. I’m thinking many people buying the 2.0 bought it because “German good, Korean bad”. I love my car, but wonder how much better it would be if it had a VW gearbox (my friend’s 2.5SE has the 5MT and it is sweet, to me anyway).

        I do have to admit that I’ve driven the 2.5 and found it nice, but I don’t have the skills, coordination, nor the interest in serious hoonage. The leatherette also doesn’t bother me either. Then again I only really have a passing interest in cars myself. I like them, but can’t make credible arguments about why to buy one over another.

      • 0 avatar

        - tankinbeans

        All good points for 13000 USD (USD1=BR1.8) that means roughly 24 000 bBrazilian reais. For that kind of money in Brazil I can’t get a locally made car with AC.

        For 24 000 reais I’d be appointing VW to the sainthood. For that kind of money I’d be in love with VW forever. For that kind of money, every car sold in Brazil would be a Jetta!

        Now 70 000 reais is around USD 39000. For that kind of money I expect real leather. And a modern engine. And at least some soft touch plastic. And some kind of finishing on the doors.

        So you see, everything is relative. Though I still probably wouldn’t buy a 2.0 for 13k, maybe I’d put up with one for USD10k.
        But for 39 000, I prefer to sink that mony into a new house, travelling and other uses. ‘Cause this car is not worth 39000 dollars.

    • 0 avatar
      rodface

      Few. As someone wisely put it, enthusiasts complain loudly but purchase rarely.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I’m just curious at the long-term viability of VW’s strategy – if their cars remain notoriously quirky to own, the appliance drivers they’re bringing into the fold will inevitably stray, while they’re clearly alienating their small, but reasonably loyal enthusiast following.

      Obviously, if they turn their reliability around, it won’t be such an issue, although they are playing to an increasingly crowded market. As it is, the Hyundai Elantra and Sonata are roomier, more powerful, and more efficient than the Jetta and Passat (respectively), and don’t give up anything value-wise, right?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Bigger really? Courtesy of Truedelta the measurements for the Passat and Sonata. Seems the Passat is bigger in terms of legroom (1.5 inches more combined front and rear) and rear shoulder room.

        Model Year 2012 2012
        Model Sonata Passat
        Body 4dr Sedan4dr Sedan
        Wheelbase 110.0 110.4
        Length 189.8 191.6
        Width 72.2 72.2
        Height 57.9 58.5
        Curb Weight 3199 3220
        R1 Headroom 40.0 38.3
        R1 Shoulder Room57.9 56.9
        R1 Legroom 45.5 42.4
        R2 Headroom 37.8 37.8
        R2 Shoulder Room56.7 57.0
        R2 Legroom 34.6 39.1

        As for the Elantra vs Jetta, the Jetta has 2.5 inches more combined legroom.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed, though down here there fan base is much wider. Don’t know how many of them will like this car. I think VW tried too pull a Corolla out of its hat and it either couldn’t or just wouldn’t. That’s why the Jetta bothers me. They didn’t out-Toyota Toyota nor did they do a “real” VW.

        Can’t wrap my mind around the strategy either.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Mike, I went off the EPA interior volume, for simplicity – 104cu ft for the Sonata versus 102 for the Passat, and 96 for the Elantra compared to 94 for the Jetta. Granted, the boxier VWs may well make better use of that space.

        Marcelo, I’ll give VW that they’ve seen great short-term gains. They have just enough cachet to win over the average consumer (“German Engineering”), and they’ve got a pretty decent idea as to what qualities to prioritize with the product. But, like I said, we’ll have to see if they’ve given enough attention to the ownership experience, to make it as painless as possible.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Although I complain how we get screwed vs the Europeans in our selection of models – aka not enough diesel choices – I guess we are better off than Brazil.

    Of course, here the 2.0L Base S Jetta is for showing a low price…Anybody I know has at least bought a 2.5 SE or TDI (or skipped the Jetta altogether and bought a Passat).

  • avatar
    Carlos Villalobos

    Hi Marcelo:
    Its incredible that VW still sells this car with that engine and with interiors that are worse that the ones in the previous generation. At least here in Chile the car is cheap compared with other VW prices. They try to position it in the market as a mid luxury car, but Toyota, Honda and specially the Koreans offer better cars for less money.
    I wont trade my Mk V Jetta/Vento for the new one. They wont even bring the GLI Turbo here.

    Saludos,
    Carlos

    • 0 avatar

      Hola!

      The Japanese do what they do with better focus, so they’re better. The Koreans are the “it” car of the moment are are getting greedy on pricing and skimpy on features.

      The French probably offer the better value for money.

      My oersonal picks though would be the Fusion and Focus. Specially the hatch.

      Als, what do I know? My favorites are outsold by a huge margin. Like someone said above, enthusiasts are almost irrelevant in today’s world.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlos Villalobos

        yes its true. We are completely irrelevant as a market force. We get the (real)new Focus from Mexico and its super, especially the hatchback with the dual clutch transmission

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I didn’t know that a speed bump could tell you the back suspension is “just not up to the task”. It must take a real expert to discern that and provide such a descriptive statement of the problem.

    Not knowing a thing about the Brazilian car market or any differences that separate this car from US-spec, this review is hard to place in context. I’m hoping it is not yet another case of “Self-described enthusiast gives harsh review of car that was never marketed to him/her in the first place. Hopes to foster sense of community with other self-described enthusiasts by measuring said car by irrelevant metrics.”

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Wife has a 01′ Jetta, 2.0L, all the options. Once again, it’s sitting in the driveway under to move under it’s own power.

    I work on my own cars; this one already was pushing 220,000 miles when I met her. That engine is such junk; the parts they use on it, ignition system, plastic pieces, etc. are so cheap, are of such poor quality, and worse, they’re the same parts put on “premium” Audi’s.

    Came to buy a new car, the only saving the grace the new Jetta had in my eyes was the TDi, being that I am a diesel technician and have a Diesel Jeep. But in the end, the price of the diesel was ridiculous for the rest of the car you’re buying. So we got a 2012 Mustang V6 instead; a few grand more then a lower end Jetta, a bit cheaper then the TDi, and a much better quality built car then the whole rest of the VW showroom (Dare I say Audi too?).

    It’s her car, and she is by far from a enthusiast driver. I don’t think that V6 has seen anywhere close to 300hp under her foot. It was just a damn better car then anything else for the price, and is cool to drive to boot.

    • 0 avatar
      MBsam

      Completely out of touch comment. The engine was pushing 220,000 miles?! How does that make it junk? To then say that Audi’s are poor quality because of your bizarre assumptions is contrived to say the least. Have you seen an Audi before? I don’t think quality is something they need to worry about.

    • 0 avatar
      mpresley

      An almost 12 year old car with 220K on the odo? And it doesn’t start? Fancy that.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      When I read the line about 220k miles, I suspected the rest of the first two paragraphs were all sarcasm. But they don’t seem to be. We’re probably just missing details of the massive expense and hassle it took to get to that point, despite the basic mechanical components being sound.

  • avatar
    FPF422

    not to mention the “a much better quality built car then the whole rest of the VW showroom” ROTFL Not one US brands comes close to the build quality of a Volkswagen or Audi… not to mention the quality of the materials… You must be working in the petro-chemical industry to have such love for hard plastics! …may I remind you that the first Mercedes Benz MLs were a flop here in Europe and it had the US build quality and attention to details to thank for that!…reminds me of a friend who split the whole center console in an AMC in the early 80′s just by putting his fist down once while being frustrated during a car jam! Oh yes good old (ill fitted)hard plastics, you love them!

  • avatar
    msquare

    Looks like the complaints about the Jetta are the same in Brazil as they are here.

    I think they’re as loud as they are because the MkIV and MkV Jettas had some of the nicer interiors in the industry, let alone their class. Remember it was Volkswagen who started the trend toward finer interiors in the first place. Compare a 10-year-old Golf or Jetta with a Focus of the same vintage, for example. The Focus was arguably the better drive, but the VW interior blew it away.

    Now they’re back where they were with the MkIII in terms of overall quality and feel. Since I don’t recall those cars being huge sales successes in the States, it’s clear the current car is riding the coattails of its most immediate predecessors. How long can that last?

    If I were shopping in this market segment, Focus, Cruze and Elantra would top my list. Jetta wouldn’t even be on it.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. Though I don’t like the Cuze…Maybe when I drive it, but from what I’ve read it’s thisrsty, skimpy on feature and the design is (for lack of a better way to say it) too “Asian” for me.

      Down here Elantra is even more expensive than this car and the feature levels are coming down. Some wothless showy stuff, but lacking in hardware. No, it’s not a value proposition down here.

      The French are the value leaders in this segment in Brazil

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    I actually enjoyed reading this article. Crisp, short sentences made the long-ish article an effortless read. I also appreciated that “flair” was correctly spelled. Most A******g articles irritatingly use “flare” in error, which brightens the embers of my quiet fury. For that alone you are owed a debt of gratitude.
    Having driven a friends 2000 Jetta 2.0, I can echo your sentiment about that engine’s general aversion to acceleration and reluctance towards maintenance of speed.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I HATE the fake leather that seems to be the norm in baseline german cars. On the 60k Mercedes Gl450, it is $1500 for real leather. I would rather have cloth than fake leather. I would not buy a Jetta TDI, because I can get neither real cloth or real leather seats.

  • avatar
    wmba

    The VW 4 cylinder engine was just fine as a 1460cc and 1588cc unit in the late ’70s, early ’80s. It revved happily and eagerly. Then sometime 20 years or so ago, VW hogged the engine out to first, 1781cc with an 86.4 mm stroke, then 2 liters with a locomotive like 93mm swing arm. In the latter guise, which still chuffs away loyally today in this Jetta, all pleasantness has been exorcised. Ugh.

    The shortcomings of the new Jetta, as most of us know are the cheap fittings. The Mk IV (or was it V, I’ve lost count) had a nice interior, if you didn’t mind the windows disappearing into the doors for good or the glove box door hinge breaking. VW doesn’t seem to exhibit much common sense in the design of little things like clips, hinges and dabs of gluey foam plastic stuck on here and there. I had 5 Audis in a row over 20 years, and objectively, they were crap. A new Subaru was far better in real quality terms, if not in design refinement, once I had stopped imbibing the VW Kool Aid.

    Having said all that, how a car takes a speed bump tells you just about nothing about its dynamic qualities on the road. Karesh found the 5 cylinder Jetta to be a pleasant car to drive, with hydraulic power steering rather than EPAS.

    The main downer of the car Marcelo drove is really the engine. Then you can also get annoyed about hard plastic dashes if you feel like it, if it actually makes a difference to you. A meh car in this specification.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, the speed bump thing. I’ve driven others cars that smothered that speed bump, basically ignored it. I’ve driven cars over it that bop over it a few times. I’ve driven other cars that go up and down over the bump in such a way that t alarmed me. But the only other ‘car’ that had jerked (in the Jetta’s case just a little, but I noticed) sideways was a Ranger. Take that as you will. It is by no means scientific, but …

      Maybe it wasn’t all due to the torsion beam. Afterall there are cars out there that drive well enough in spite of it. In Brazil, in our very broken pavement, there are time that a car with a well sorted out suspension, even with the torsion beam, is actually preferable to one with a multi-link system. Sometimes a multi link suspension is too ‘sophisticated’ for its own good down here.

      But basically I agree with you. My main gripe is the engine. Had it been pleasent, I wouldn’t had noticed the other things. FWIW I mentioned that in the article. Only after becoming bored with the car did I notice the excess noise for example. Had I been enjoying the ride, I probably wouldn’t have noticed/cared.

      Thanks for the input!

  • avatar

    It could be worse Marcello, Btw, where were you?

    Here in Mexico VW still sells the previous generation Jetta with the same 2.slow engine as the Jetta Clásico just with a few things changed on the cosmetic side of it, but very oudated and basic,
    it even has rear drum brakes and no airbags or ABS which are “optional”.
    Sadly very popular in Mexico because the price is really low.
    As for the New Jetta, your description of the car is EXACTLY what I felt when drove one, a very fake driving car, with a sense of confidence very easily lost if you do something sudden.
    And the price in Brazil as always is outrageous, the price for the Jetta Clásico here is $149,900 MXN aprox $19,786.778Rs or $11,023USD, For the New Jetta it starts from $243,000 MXN to $336,500 MXN but with the 2.5L engine rated at 170Hp.

    Abraço!

    • 0 avatar

      Hi!
      The Honda City built in Brazil and exported to Mexico costs almost 100% more here. Ayayayayayay!

      Glad you agreed you put into 8 or 9 words what I took more than a thousand to describe. Your comment is my article in short.

      Where I’ve been? Baby, closing company, financial crisis, dodging creditors, running after la plata, paying creditors off, selling car. In short: Busy.

      Txs for reading!

  • avatar
    djn

    Caro Marcelo,
    Your father’s Santana was the 2nd Generation Passat, no relation to the Audi 100.
    Ciao,
    David

  • avatar
    Herm

    Why are cars so expensive in Brazil?

    • 0 avatar

      Taxes and greed.

      This Friday I was talking to a major supplier company director. He said that he and the boss where in negotiations with Fiat to supply a very major component.

      Negotiations were tough and fiat was trying to wrench every last drop of blood. As a way to know what they were up against they started to make an exercise to come up with a number to know what Fiat’s margin was. They came up with 30%.

      Sounds unbelievable for a mature market like America. But down here, being that they are people in the biz, and from what I’ve eard from other people (mainly suppliers) and speculation in the press, I’d say that number could be pretty accurate.

  • avatar
    amac

    Seriously? Yet ANOTHER predictable review about the Jetta? We’ve heard all this a million times over from every possible angle and the conclusions are always the same: The engine is slow… the interior is cheap… the styling is bland… Hyundais are better… blah, blah… WE GET IT! The old Jetta is dead, the new Jetta is an appliance. Stop beating a dead horse and move on already.


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  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
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  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
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