VW Jetta vs anything really (micro review) - Civinfo
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 09:22 Thread Starter
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VW Jetta vs anything really (micro review)

Recently I had the joy of a VW Jetta (to replace the CRV while it had some bodywork done):

jetta1.jpg jetta4.jpg

I was quite looking forward to commuting in this - it's just a Golf with a boot surely, and I know I quite like the Golf V.

When stationary:

Looking round the car it could easily be mistaken for a Passat. It's just smaller. Too small really - like a proper saloon, but useless because it's in fact a small hatch. With a tiny boot. It all looked and felt fine from the outside (no sign of any nachos from the factory), and the inside was standard drab VW Golf:

jetta3.jpg

So, it's a Golf V. Should be fine on the move.

When moving:

There are 2 issues with this car. The front suspension, and the engine.

Firstly the front suspension. The Golf V suspension is normally very good. The multilink rear does an excellent job of providing comfort and no wayward steering input into the car. And the front is fairly precise, whilst maintaining reasonable comfort.

Not the Jetta. The rear seems fine, the ride is good, but someone has "optimised" the front for the saloon market. They have replaced all the rubber with Chivers Jelly and softened the damping. The net result is a rather nasty vague wobbly feeling - so you have to constantly concentrate on where it wants to go next (because it won't be where you want to go). Turn-in is poor, and the result when it comes is a random lurch.

Nasty.

The second issue is the engine (a bog standard 2.0 TDi 140 here). When you start it, all the diesel haters will (rightfully) laugh at your John Deere. It clatters and rattles and drones, and reminds you a little of the world's worst car - the original 70's diesel Golf.

Then when on the move, the rattles die down and are replaced with a deep throbbing drone. So you drone up and down the motorway, with your wobbly front end and drab interior, wondering when the journey will end.

Conclusion:

Recipe: "Ruined Golf".

Ingredients:
  • One perfectly good PQ35 platform Golf V.
  • Some marketing people.
  • America.
  • Jelly (10 tbsp).
  • A large sprinkle of engine noise.

Method:

  1. Take the perfectly good and practical Golf V and stir in the Americans and some marketing people (keep some behind - you may need them later). Keep stirring until all the practicality has been removed, and the soft peaks of a tiny boot will appear.
  2. Make up the jelly using some extra water so it's really nice and soft. Knead it into the front suspension until all precision has been absorbed.
  3. Add the drabness and bake for one year, or until it appears to have shrunk a bit.
  4. Serve with the sprinkle of engine noise.

jetta2.jpg

I sent it back after 2 days.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 09:28
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Good read, and a good laugh too... Didn't sound like the greatest experience!
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 09:29
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Do they do an R32 version?



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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 09:31
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Oooooo I love my civic
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 09:32
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I think they do a R36 version.... or is that the Passat?

Tom
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 09:58
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Pottsy, that review could be a red rag to a distant past frequent poster on here, I just can't remember his name, but he did love his Jetta.

To open a can of worms (as I do every now and again), it show that IRS is not the be all and end all of suspension design, engineers knowledge is far more important. I do agree about the pre CR VAG PD engines though!!!
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 10:03
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 10:04 Thread Starter
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Alan,

Remember that it's the front end that is at fault here, and it's not multilink in FWD hatches. I think they have just jellied up the Golf front suspension and ruined the car in the process.

And Mr Jetta I seem to remember was Eddie. I can understand a certain car buyer's priorities leading them away from the Civic towards a Golf, but not the ruined Golf.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 10:10
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The 1.9TDI golf they did about 4 years back was a superb car, not as aestetically pleasing as the Civic, but boy was the engine good and the car well made...... TBH if you want a reliable car, with a good history, it's usually odds on golf is a good bet.......

Tom
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 10:24
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Pottsy, I realise it was the front suspension that is at issue here, I was just (badly) trying to show that if 2 similar cars with similar suspension set ups can be so different then there is more to suspension design that clear cut 'IRS good' or 'torsion beam' bad approach.

Anyhow back on topic, VW must have tried really had to ruin the Jetta as under normal circumstances the saloon should be better than a hatch owing to better structural rigidity.

Just mentioning Eddie's name allows all the posts and rants to come flooding back.....
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 11:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanwalne View Post

Just mentioning Eddie's name allows all the posts and rants to come flooding back.....

YUK YUK YUK
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 13:54
 
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Seems to me the Jetta is an unnecessary model in between the golf and passat.
I'm in the process of getting rid of my Civic and will then be driving my wife's 55 plate golf with 87k on it. It is still rattle free and returned 63mpg driving 350 miles back from Devon last week. She's getting a mk6 which is much much quieter than the mk5.

On reflection the civic was never the car for me. Leading edge design and looks but too many annoying rattles. More exciting to drive than the golf but I guess at the end of the day economy, reliability and no rattles wins the day for me.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 16:56
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Its such a shame because the car it replaced, the Bora, was a very good car and all the Mk5 Golf wasnt at the time IMO
I had one.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 17:40
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Great Review Pottsy good to hear that even the Germans can botch up a good car
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 18:12
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By a coincidence, I've just driven home in a 2007 Golf TDi (5-speed manual) ...

Don't panic ! - I haven't "turned" - it's just that my Civic is at the resprayer (bonnet and front bumper) until tomorrow - the Golf is a company pool-car, that I was able to borrow for a couple of days ...

My thoughts ? ...

1} Yes, the suspension (ride and handling) are the best bit about it, but it's by no means - IMHO - anything startling

2} The diesel lump under the bonnet sounds like a tractor with asthma, and while not a bad performer, it just didn't "do it" for me

3} The interior - Oh God the interior - black plastic everywhere, switches and knobs that need several kg of effort to make them work, piss-poor level of equipment (and all that in a car that then cost the same as my 2007 Civic Executive)

4} Overall - boring, mundane, unexciting, dull, depressing - get my drift ?

p.s. - no 'rattles' inside - but plenty from the engine at low revs ...

Last edited by J. Derek Riddell; 27th July 2009 at 18:14. Reason: "typos" and the p.s. ...
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 20:08
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Great review Pottsy - gave me a bloody good laugh!!!!

My bro in law has a 04 (i think - he has a personal plate) 2ltr diesel golf - i think it's awful, soooooooo bland, but he seems to like it...........
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 21:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Derek Riddell View Post
By a coincidence, I've just driven home in a 2007 Golf TDi (5-speed manual) ...

Don't panic ! - I haven't "turned" - it's just that my Civic is at the resprayer (bonnet and front bumper) until tomorrow - the Golf is a company pool-car, that I was able to borrow for a couple of days ...

My thoughts ? ...

1} Yes, the suspension (ride and handling) are the best bit about it, but it's by no means - IMHO - anything startling

2} The diesel lump under the bonnet sounds like a tractor with asthma, and while not a bad performer, it just didn't "do it" for me

3} The interior - Oh God the interior - black plastic everywhere, switches and knobs that need several kg of effort to make them work, piss-poor level of equipment (and all that in a car that then cost the same as my 2007 Civic Executive)

4} Overall - boring, mundane, unexciting, dull, depressing - get my drift ?

p.s. - no 'rattles' inside - but plenty from the engine at low revs ...


Very Funny, JDR!!
Reading your posts always amuses me..

I still haven't been able to figure out why so many people buy boring, overrated, rather expensive cars like the VW's...it,s still beyond me
They have no (never had) "sex-appeal" whatsoever on me...

But on the other hand, thats fine by me - it just make us civicpilots even more exclusive out there.

Last edited by amronno; 27th July 2009 at 22:11. Reason: Added the inverted comma's
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 27th July 2009, 22:31
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Because they are German designed and some built there... and they percieve the brand as bulletproof..which is not a bad perception
They are not bought for 'sex-appeal', although the Scirocco has made a damn good attempt, they are bought as a functional quality item..again percieved, in the case of Seat.
As present VAG owners..We too have 'fallen into the trap'
We have have Skoda!
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 28th July 2009, 07:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo51 View Post
Because they are German designed and some built there... and they percieve the brand as bulletproof..which is not a bad perception
They are not bought for 'sex-appeal', although the Scirocco has made a damn good attempt, they are bought as a functional quality item..again percieved, in the case of Seat.
As present VAG owners..We too have 'fallen into the trap'
We have have Skoda!
Any woman who finds the internal machining/engineering of a VW sexy, is not really one you want to appeal too............ (Is she????????)

Tom
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 28th July 2009, 17:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amronno View Post
Very Funny, JDR!! Reading your posts always amuses me ... I still haven't been able to figure out why so many people buy boring, overrated, rather expensive cars like the VW's...it,s still beyond me They have no (never had) "sex-appeal" whatsoever on me ... .......
I do aim to please ! ...

Now, drifting just a tad off topic, I find the 'VAG thingy' extremely useful in "energetic" pub discussions re cars \ car makes, here in Stavanger, with Norwegian colleaguse or acquaintances ...

Choosing my timing carefully, I'll point to admitted VAG owners and (in my very best Basil Fawlty voice) say - " VAG ? - VAG ! - don't you remember the sodding war ?!?!?! " ...

The response is invariably (and as I expected \ planned) - " Well, you've got a Japanese car, so you can't talk, you 'bar steward' ! " ...

Then, my closing 'argument', that I have ready prepared - " What ? - I don't remember the bloody Japanese actually invading Norway ! " ...

Always good for a mass chuckle or two - just not from the poor sod who realises that I've just neatly set him up ...
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