Published on June 7th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
How Fuel-Efficient is the Volkswagen Jetta?
So you’re afraid that Germans don’t know how to make cars are fuel-efficient as the Japanese? Well, you’re in for a surprise. We know we were.
Let’s start with the way the Jetta performs on the PLUS highway. Quite frankly, it’s a star. If you’re light-footed and have the discipline to keep speeds between 100-110km/h, you can easily get well over 1000km out of one full tank. This usually reads out 5.2l/100km on the Multi Information Display, but your results may vary slightly. On our last 350km journey from Johor Bahru to Shah Alam, we only used about RM30 on petrol.
That’s quite exceptional because:
- This isn’t a tiny city slicker like the Axia, this is a mid-sized sedan with a large boot and space for a family to sit comfortably
- We weren’t exceptionally light-footed, and were even caught in 3 slowdowns totalling about 30 minutes of bumper to bumper crawl on the PLUS highway itself (Sunday afternoon, during school holidays, this is to be expected). The journey took about 4 hours. The rest of the time we kept speeds at 100km/h
- It’s not a diesel-powered vehicle
- The car is still capable of class-leading performance. 0-100km/h in just over 8 seconds! No other C-segment car cruises at 140-160km/h quite as comfortably as the Jetta either.
This is thanks to the low displacement 1.4-litre motor. It has plenty of power thanks to its supercharger and turbocharger, but if you keep the engine turning at about 2000RPM for the majority of your long distance trip, you’ll easily be able to replicate the results of our test.
In urban, day-to-day driving, things aren’t quite as optimal. But thanks to the 7 gear ratios and ultra-quick shifting DSG, it’s still a very good performer. I habitually pour RM50 a week, which gives me 320-350km of range. With my 1991 1.5-litre Honda Civic, I was able to hit this target as well.
But the amazing thing is that the Jetta does this with about 300kg more steel and equipment. To have 6 airbags and loads more space without sacrificing fuel-efficiency? Well that’s just impressive.
Typically, the on board computer shows between 7-8l/100km on an average day in Kuala Lumpur. If you live in a particularly hilly area like Bangsar or Kg. Kerinchi, or get caught in jams often, it can rise to about 8-10l/100km. Still acceptable. The new Golf TSI gets slightly better mileage thanks to its Start-Stop function which cuts power to the engine when the car is idling. Personally, we find the feature a little annoying and would take the Jetta’s thirst over constantly hearing the engine turn on in traffic.
In summary, the Jetta gets top marks in the fuel-efficiency department. Some smaller vehicles will obviously get better results but in its class, very few cars can deliver that blend of performance and fuel efficiency.