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Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta
2011 Volkswagen Jetta (A6)
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Production 1979–present
Body and chassis
Class Compact car / Small family car (C)
Platform Volkswagen Group A platform

The Volkswagen Jetta is a small family car produced by the German manufacturer Volkswagen since 1979. Positioned to fill a sedan niche above the firm's Golf hatchback offering, it has been marketed over six generations variously as the Atlantic, Fox, Vento, Bora, City Jetta, Jetta City, GLI, Jetta, Clasico, Voyage, and Sagitar.

The Jetta was originally adapted by adding a conventional trunk to the Golf hatchback, and some distinctive styling (usually the front end, and sometimes slight interior changes). It has been offered in two- and four-door saloon (sedan), and five-door station wagon versions - all as five-seaters. Since the original version in 1980, the car has grown in size and power with each successive generation.[1] By mid-2011, almost 10 million Jettas have been produced and sold all over the world. As of April 2014, over 14 million had been sold with the car becoming Volkswagen's top selling model.[2]


  • Nameplate etymology 1
  • First generation (A1, Typ 16; 1979–1984) 2
    • Safety 2.1
    • Testing and review 2.2
  • Second generation (A2, Typ 1G; 1984–1992) 3
    • Safety 3.1
    • North America 3.2
    • Testing and review 3.3
    • IRVW 3 3.4
    • Worldwide production 3.5
    • Engines 3.6
  • Third generation (A3, Typ 1H; 1992–1999) 4
    • Safety 4.1
    • Testing and review 4.2
    • Specifications 4.3
    • Vento (India) 4.4
  • Fourth generation (A4, Typ 1J; 1999–2006) 5
    • Diesel 5.1
    • Safety 5.2
    • Testing and review 5.3
    • Engines 5.4
    • Station Wagon (Estate) 5.5
    • Ongoing production 5.6
  • Fifth generation (A5, Typ 1K; 2005–2011) 6
    • Features 6.1
    • Engines 6.2
    • Safety 6.3
    • Testing and review 6.4
    • Engines 6.5
    • Golf Variant/Jetta SportWagen 6.6
    • 2010 Jetta TDI Cup "Street" edition 6.7
  • Sixth generation (A6, Typ 1B; 2011–present) 7
    • Jetta GLI 7.1
    • Jetta GLI Edition 30 (2014) 7.2
    • Lamando 7.3
    • Jetta 1.8T Sport (2015) 7.4
  • Alternative propulsion cars 8
    • Biofuels 8.1
    • Electric vehicle 8.2
  • Awards and recognition 9
  • Motorsport 10
  • Recall 11
  • Volkswagen emissions violations recall 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Nameplate etymology

Though numerous sources suggest the Jetta nameplate derives from the Atlantic 'jet stream' during a period when Volkswagen named its vehicles after prominent winds and currents (e.g., the Volkswagen Passat (after the German word for trade wind), Volkswagen Bora (after bora), and Volkswagen Scirocco (after sirocco),[3] a 2013 report by former VW advertising copywriter Bertel Schmitt, says that — after consulting knowledgeable VW sources including Dr. Carl Hahn, former Volkswagen of America Chief and WP Schmidt, former sales chief at Volkswagen — no conclusive evidence suggests that Volkswagen employed a naming theme for its then new front-drive, water-cooled vehicles; nor that the names trace etymologically to any particular theme; nor that any naming system "was ever announced, either officially or confidentially."[4]

First generation (A1, Typ 16; 1979–1984)

Volkswagen Jetta (Mk1, Typ 16)
Also called Volkswagen Atlantic
Volkswagen Fox
Production August 1979–February 1984[5][6][7]
571,030 built[8]
Assembly Wolfsburg, Germany
TAS Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Uitenhage, South Africa
Puebla, México
Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
2-door sedan
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Platform Volkswagen Group A1 platform
Related Volkswagen Golf Mk1
Engine 1.1 L I4 (petrol)
1.3 L I4 (petrol)
1.5 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (petrol)
1.8 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (diesel)
1.6 L I4 (turbo diesel)
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length 4,270 mm (168.1 in)
Width 1,600 mm (63.0 in)
Height 1,300 mm (51.2 in)
Volkswagen Jetta rear

Although the Golf had reached considerable success in the North American markets, Volkswagen observed that the hatchback body style lacked some of the appeal to those who preferred the traditional three-box configuration. The styling of the 1970 AMC Gremlin was controversial for truncating the Hornet sedan, but Volkswagen stylists reversed the process by essentially grafting a new trunk onto the tail of the Golf to produce a larger Jetta saloon (sedan).[9] The Jetta became the best-selling European car in the United States, Canada, and México.[10][11] The car is also popular in Europe, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Turkey.[12]

The Jetta was introduced to the world at the 1979 Frankfurt Auto Show.[13] Production of the first generation began in August 1979[5] at the Wolfsburg plant.[14] In México, the Mark 1 was known as the "Volkswagen Atlantic".

The car was available as a two-composite headlights, while in the USA, it was only available with rectangular sealed beam lamps due to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 (FMVSS 108). The suspension setup was identical to the Golf and consisted of a MacPherson strut setup in front and a twist-beam rear suspension in the rear. It shared its 2.4 metre (94.5 in) wheelbase with its hatchback counterpart, although overall length was up by 380 millimetres (15 in). The capacity of the luggage compartment was 377 litres (13.3 ft3), making the Jetta reasonably practical.[15] To distinguish the car from the Golf, interiors were made more upscale in all markets.[16] This included velour seating and color coordinated sill to sill carpeting.

Engine choices varied considerably depending on the local market. Most were based on 827 engines of the era. Choices in petrol engines ranged from a 1.1 litre four-cylinder engine producing 37 kilowatts (50 PS; 50 bhp), to a 1.8-litre I4 which made 82 kilowatts (111 PS; 110 bhp) and 150 newton metres (111 lbf·ft) of torque. Some cars were equipped with carburetors, while others were fuel-injected using K or KE Jetronic supplied by Robert Bosch GmbH. Diesel engine choices included a 1.6-litre making 37 kilowatts (50 PS; 50 bhp) and a turbocharged version of the same engine which produced 51 kilowatts (69 PS; 68 bhp) and 130 newton metres (96 lbf·ft) of torque.

Jetta (UK specification)

In 1984 Volkswagen offered the Jetta GLI in the US and Canada, adding many of the drivetrain features and improvements of the 1983–1984 US GTI, including the fuel-injected 90 hp engine, close-ratio 5-speed manual transmission, sport suspension, front and rear anti-sway bars, and ventilated front disc brakes. Externally, the Jetta GLI was distinguished by wide body-side moldings, a black airfoil on the driver's-side windshield wiper, black plastic trim panel between the rear taillights and GLI badging. The interior of the car sported leather 4-spoke steering wheel and shift knob, three additional gauges in the center console, sport seats similar to those in the GTI, and distinctive upholstery and interior trim. The Jetta GLI was offered in 5 colors, black, Atlas grey and red (with black interior) and white and Diamond silver (with blue interior). The GLI was offered to the US in Sedan only where Canada got the Sedan and Coupe.

Volkswagen briefly considered producing the Jetta in a plant located in Sterling Heights, Michigan in the USA.[17] However, due to declining sales in North America, the decision was postponed and finally abandoned in 1982.[18] The site was subsequently sold to Chrysler in 1983 and is still in operation as of 2009.[19] This generation was also produced in Bosnia under the joint venture Tvornica Automobila Sarajevo (TAS) for the Balkan area.[20]


Volkswagen was an early adopter of passive restraint systems. The first generation cars could be equipped with an "automatic" shoulder belt mounted to the door. The idea was to always have the belt buckled thereby doing away with the requirement that the driver and passenger remember to buckle up. Instead of a lap belt, the dashboard was designed with an integrated knee bar to prevent submarining underneath the shoulder belt.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Mark 1 received five out of five stars in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal crash test for both driver and passenger protection.[21]

Testing and review

Jetta (North American specification)

The first generation was met with generally positive reviews. Testers found the car handled precisely, although the lack of power steering contributed to heavy steering when parking.[22] The brakes worked well for a car of the day, but some Volkswagen Passat/Dasher and the Audi 80/4000.[24]

The Volkswagen Atlantic was introduced in the Mexican market in February 1981. The sole competition for the Atlantic in the Mexican market was the Renault 18. The Mark 1 continued to be manufactured and marketed in South Africa after the introduction of the Mark 2, badged as the "Fox".[25]

Second generation (A2, Typ 1G; 1984–1992)

Volkswagen Jetta (A2, Typ 1G)
Production 1984–1992[6][7]
1991-2013 (China)
1,708,390 built[26][27]
Assembly Wolfsburg, Germany
TAS Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Changchun, China (FAW-VW)
Chengdu, China (FAW-VW)
Lagos, Nigeria
Uitenhage, South Africa
Puebla, Mexico
New Stanton, Pennsylvania, United States, (Volkswagen America)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
2-door sedan
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Platform Volkswagen Group A2 platform
Related Volkswagen Golf Mk2
Volkswagen Scirocco Mk2
Volkswagen Corrado
SEAT Toledo Mk1
Engine 1.3 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (petrol)
1.8 L I4 8-valve (petrol)
1.8 L I4 16-valve (petrol)
2.0 L I4 16-valve (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (diesel)
1.6 L I4 (turbo diesel)
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Length 1985-88: 4,346 mm (171.1 in)
1989-92: 4,385 mm (172.6 in)
Width 1,680 mm (66.1 in)
1985-88 base models: 1,665 mm (65.6 in)
Height 1,410 mm (55.5 in)

The Mark 2 series is the longest running Jetta so far. Introduced to Europe in early 1984 and to North America in 1985, the second generation Jetta proved to be a sales success for Volkswagen. The car secured the title of best-selling European car in North America, Farmers Journal COTY 1991 and outsold the similar Golf by two-to-one in that market.[28] Based on the all new second generation Golf platform, the car was larger, heavier, and could seat five people instead of four as in the Mark 1. Exterior dimensions increased in all directions. Overall length was up by 100 millimetres (3.9 in), the wheelbase grew 66 millimetres (2.6 in), and the width went up 53 millimetres (2.1 in). The suspension setup was basically unchanged from the first generation, although refined slightly, for example by the inclusion of a separate subframe for mounting the front control arms to help noise isolation, as well as improved rubber mountings for all components. Aerodynamics improved considerably, with a drag coefficient of 0.36.[29] With a 470-litre (16.6 ft3) luggage compartment, the trunk had grown nearly as large as some full-sized American sedans.[30] Interior room was also increased 14%, which changed the EPA class from sub-compact to compact.

Cars built in Germany were assembled in a brand new (at the time) plant at Wolfsburg in Assembly Hall 54. The plant was heavily robotised in an effort to make build quality more consistent.[31] New innovations on the second generation included an optional trip computer (referred to as the MFA, German Multi-Funktions-Anzeige), as well as silicone dampened engine and transmission mounts to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness levels. In 1988, a more advanced fully electronic fuel injection system became available. This arrangement is known as the Digifant engine management system.

1985–1987 Volkswagen Jetta 2 door saloon (North American specification)

Like the Mark 1, the second generation was offered as a two-door or four-door sedan. External changes throughout the series' run were few: the front-quarter windows were eliminated in 1988 (along with a grille and door trim change), and larger body-colored bumpers and lower side skirts were added from 1990.

In 2007, Volkswagen of America held a contest to find the diesel powered Volkswagen with the highest distance traveled on the original engine.[32] The winning car was a 1986 Jetta Turbodiesel found in Blue Rock, Ohio which had 562,000 miles (904,000 km).[33] A local dealer verified the odometer reading. Notable on this particular car was that it also had the original muffler despite being located in an area subject to road salt in the winter.


Jetta 4-door (German specification)

In a crash test conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Jetta received three out of five stars for both driver and passenger protection in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal crash test. The Highway Loss Data Institute (part of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) found the injury and collision losses for the Jetta to be among the best of the small 4-door sedan category.[34] It was topped only by the Golf. Earlier models had the dubious distinction of having an especially high rate of radio theft.[35] Apparently, the mounting of the radio made it especially easy to remove quickly. To correct the problem, Volkswagen introduced a theft protection system to all cars. When the power supply to the radio was removed, it automatically went into "safe" mode. When plugged back in, it would not work unless a secret code was entered. This made it essentially useless to thieves, although provided a hassle to customers who misplaced their code card. The dealership maintains a database of codes, and can replace a lost code if the radio serial number is provided.

North America

The Jetta did not differ greatly from its European twin (at least as much as the Golf did), besides requirements such as bumpers, glass, etc. Also, North American models in general have a narrower range of specification available. For example, most models had things like a bigger engine, full console, door panel pockets, velour seating, and, later on, power steering, height adjustable steering column, and tachometer, standard. They also lacked some higher level options of European variants. The Jetta was perceived as slightly upmarket from the Golf. The level of features always was a step above (standard passive restraint in 1988, standard power steering in 1990, 14-inch wheels available for most years, etc.).

Canadian spec models were even better equipped. Generally, the Canadian base models received the same level of options as an American GL, and the same with the GL and Carat. Other Canadian specification differences were diesel engines (both naturally aspirated and Turbo) available for all years (in the US, there was no diesel for 1988, and only the n/a for 1989 and 1990), a 2-door model for 1992 (it was dropped in the US), the early Carat model (which had heated velour sport seats, a GLi engine, and optional automatic), and color and trim differences.

Testing and review

The car received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the car's excellent handling, as well as a roomier interior compared to the last generation.[29] Stiff shifting manual transmissions were a downside, and braking worked reasonably well although some brake fade was evident in the lower trim lines equipped with solid discs in front and drums in back. A number of reviews noted that the ride was stiff and busy, even though it did have good control typical of German cars. Despite additional sound insulation, road noise was evident especially on coarse pavement.[36] In top sport trim (sometimes called the GLI or GTX), some reviewers noted the car was a less expensive alternative to a BMW or Audi.[37] The sport trim added larger wheels, a stiffer suspension, and closer ratios on the manual transmission. Later models of the Mark 2 GLI had a 16 valve dual cam engine, originally a 1.8-litre engine first was used in the mid-1987 GLI and beginning in 1990 with the newer Mark 2 body style an upgrade to a 2.0-litre 16 valve (in North America).


The IRVW 3 ("Integrated Research Volkswagen") was a 1983-1984 research study based on the not yet released Jetta II. In appearance it looked like nothing more than a slightly sporting Jetta, but it was packed with highly refined technology for its time. It was essentially a feasibility study for newly developed technology such as Anti-lock braking system and electric power steering.[38] A number of functions were computer controlled, such as the overdrive gear for its four-speed manual gearbox. The engine was the familiar 1.8 litre inline-four from the Golf GTi, but here equipped with a Roots-type supercharger for a max power of 175–180 PS (129–132 kW). Top speed was 212 km/h (132 mph). The IRVW 3 also had a pneumatic suspension which automatically lowered the car when the speed surpassed 120 km/h (75 mph).[38]

Worldwide production

1991 Volkswagen Jetta (testing vehicle) in Jilin University, China
Volkswagen Jetta König
Volkswagen Jetta Pionier

Besides the Volkswagen production base in Germany, this generation was produced in a number of other countries, including China, Nigeria, Mexico, South Africa, USA, and the former Yugoslavia. The Mark 2 Jetta went on to become the first Volkswagen model produced in China by Volkswagen Group China's second joint venture partner FAW-Volkswagen. Production began on 5 December 1991. Initially sold as complete knock down (CKD) kits, local manufacturing has gradually taken over in the form of Semi-Knocked Down kits in 1992, and full local production in 1995.[39]

The car has had three revisions since its inception in China, the first facelift borrowed front-end styling from the fourth generation Volkswagen Passat in 1997. Production started in August 1998, and its name was changed to "Jetta König" (German for "king"). The second facelift was revealed in March 2004 (taking influences from Volkswagen's most expensive model, the Phaeton). On 29 July 2007, it was announced that First Automotive Works expanded its production of the Mark 2 Jetta by building a new assembly plant in Chengdu, Sichuan Province in Southwest China.[40] The expansion was driven by the high demand for the car, a desire to expand in the western part of the country, as well as the long-term goal of FAW to develop new derivatives from the car's platform independently of Volkswagen.

The third facelift was released in March 2010, which took some inspirations from stylings of Volkswagen models of the newest generation.[41] A diesel version of the Jetta is also on sale, but a large proportion are in service as taxis in many cities in China, rather than as private cars. In March 2013, the Jetta Pionier was replaced by the Jetta Night (de; Type NF).


Volkswagen Jetta engine 2.0TDI 103kW BMM
Model Years Engine and code Displ. Power Torque
Petrol engines without catalytic converter
1.3 1983–1992 I4 Carburettor HK/MH/2G 1,272 cc (77.6 cu in) 40 kW (54 PS; 54 hp) @ 5200 rpm 94 N·m (69 ft·lbf) @ 3300 rpm
1.6 1983–1992 I4 Carburettor EZ/ABN 1,595 cc (97.3 cu in) 55 kW (75 PS; 74 hp) @ 5000 rpm 125 N·m (92 ft·lbf) @ 2500 rpm
1.8 1983–1991 I4 Carburettor GU 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) @ 5200 rpm 145 N·m (107 ft·lbf) @ 3300 rpm
1.8 1985–1987 I4 FI (K-Jetronic) MV 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) @ 5200 rpm 145 N·m (107 ft·lbf) @ 3300 rpm
1.8 GT 1984–1987 I4 FI EV 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 82 kW (111 PS; 110 hp) @ 5500 rpm 155 N·m (114 ft·lbf) @ 3100 rpm
1.8 GT 1987–1991 I4 FI PB 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 82 kW (111 PS; 110 hp) @ 5400 rpm 159 N·m (117 ft·lbf) @ 4000 rpm
1.8 GT 16V 1986–1991 I4 FI KR 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 102 kW (139 PS; 137 hp) @ 6100 rpm 168 N·m (124 ft·lbf) @ 4600 rpm
Petrol engines with catalytic converter
1.3 1985–1992 I4 FI NZ 1,272 cc (77.6 cu in) 40 kW (54 PS; 54 hp) @ 5200 rpm 97 N·m (72 ft·lbf) @ 3000 rpm
1.6 1985–1992 I4 Carburettor PN 1,595 cc (97.3 cu in) 51 kW (69 PS; 68 hp) @ 5200 rpm 118 N·m (87 ft·lbf) @ 2700 rpm
1.6 1986–1991 I4 Carburettor RF 1,595 cc (97.3 cu in) 53 kW (72 PS; 71 hp) @ 5200 rpm 120 N·m (89 ft·lbf) @ 2700 rpm
1.8 1983–1988 I4 FI (K-Jetronic) GX 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) @ 5200 rpm 137 N·m (101 ft·lbf) @ 3300 rpm
1.8 1986–1990 I4 Carburettor RH 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 62 kW (84 PS; 83 hp) @ 5000 rpm 142 N·m (105 ft·lbf) @ 3000 rpm
1.8 1986–1991 I4 FI RP 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) @ 5250 rpm 142 N·m (105 ft·lbf) @ 3000 rpm
1.8 1985–1992 I4 FI (KE-Jetronic/Digifant) HT/RV 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 74 kW (101 PS; 99 hp) @ 5250 rpm 146 N·m (108 ft·lbf) @ 3000 rpm
1.8 syncro 1988–1991 I4 FI 1P 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 72 kW (98 PS; 97 hp) @ 5400 rpm 143 N·m (105 ft·lbf) @ 3000 rpm
1.8 GT 1985–1992 I4 FI (KE-Jetronic/Digifant) RD/PF 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 79 kW (107 PS; 106 hp) @ 5250 rpm 154 N·m (114 ft·lbf) @ 3250 rpm
1.8 GT 1986–1987 I4 FI RG 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 79 kW (107 PS; 106 hp) @ 5500 rpm 154 N·m (114 ft·lbf) @ 3500 rpm
1.8 GT/GLI/GTX 16V 1986–1991 I4 FI (KE-Jetronic) PL 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 95 kW (129 PS; 127 hp) @ 5800 rpm 168 N·m (124 ft·lbf) @ 4250 rpm
2.0 GLI/GTX 16V 1990–1992 I4 FI (KE-Motronic) 9A 1,984 cc (121.1 cu in) 100 kW (136 PS; 134 hp) @ 5800 rpm 180 N·m (133 ft·lbf) @ 4400 rpm
Diesel engines
1.6 D 1983–1992 I4 diesel JP/ME 1,588 cc (96.9 cu in) 40 kW (54 PS; 54 hp) @ 4800 rpm 100 N·m (74 ft·lbf) @ 2300–2900 rpm
1.6 ECOdiesel 1991–1992 I4 Turbodiesel 1V 1,588 cc (96.9 cu in) 44 kW (60 PS; 59 hp) @ 4500 rpm 110 N·m (81 ft·lbf) @ 2400–2600 rpm
1.6 TD 1983–1992 I4 Turbodiesel JR/MF 1,588 cc (96.9 cu in) 51 kW (69 PS; 68 hp) @ 4500 rpm 133 N·m (98 ft·lbf) @ 2500–2900 rpm
1.6 TD 1989–1991 I4 Turbodiesel RA/SB 1,588 cc (96.9 cu in) 59 kW (80 PS; 79 hp) @ 4500 rpm 155 N·m (114 ft·lbf) @ 2500–3000 rpm

Third generation (A3, Typ 1H; 1992–1999)

Volkswagen Vento (A3, Typ 1H)
Also called Volkswagen Jetta
Production January 1992 – February 1999[5]
Assembly Wolfsburg, Germany[5]
Osnabrück, Germany[5]
Uitenhage, South Africa
Puebla, Mexico[5]
Designer Herbert Schafer
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Platform Volkswagen Group A3 platform
Related Volkswagen Golf Mk3
Engine 1.6 L I4 (petrol)
1.8 L I4 (petrol)
2.0 L I4 (petrol)
2.8 L VR6 (petrol)
1.9 L I4 D (diesel)
1.9 L I4 TD (diesel)
1.9 L I4 SDI (diesel)
1.9 L I4 TDI (diesel)
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Length 4,400 mm (173.2 in)
Width 1,690 mm (66.5 in)
Height 1,430 mm (56.3 in)

For the third generation, the Jetta name was discontinued, and it was officially renamed the Volkswagen Vento in European countries, following the precedent of naming cars for winds, debuted in 1992. The Jetta 3 debuted in North America in 1993 after production delays and quality problems at the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexico.[42] The name "Vento" means "wind" in both Portuguese and Italian. It went on sale in most of Europe in the first quarter of the year, though it did not arrive on the British market until September 1992.

Because of the success of the second generation in North America, Volkswagen decided to keep the Jetta nameplate. However, in Europe the car was given its new name to appeal to a younger market.[43]


Styling was penned by a design team led by Herbert Schafer, and again the car became more aerodynamic than the previous generation. Although visually similar to the Mark 2, there were many refinements underneath. The two-door model was dropped, aerodynamics were improved, with the car now having a drag coefficient of 0.32.[44] This included a new structure which now met worldwide crash standards.[45] Suspensions were an evolutionary rather than revolutionary refinement of the setup on previous editions, and mainly consisted of a wider track, and even maintaining backwards compatibility with older models. In addition, the car became more environmentally friendly with the use of recycled plastics, CFC-free air conditioning systems, and paint that did not contain heavy metals.[46]

This generation of the car is widely credited for keeping Volkswagen from pulling out of the North American market.[42][47] At the time of its introduction in 1993, Volkswagen of America's sales hit a low not seen since the 1950s. The division sold only 43,902 cars in that year. Sales began slowly due to the aforementioned issues at the Puebla plant.[48] However, sales rebounded dramatically in the following years, mostly based on the strength of the Jetta, which continued to be the best-selling Volkswagen in the USA.[49]


1993–1995 Jetta (US)

When equipped with dual airbags, the Mark 3 received three out of five stars in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal crash test carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.[50] In a 64 km/h (40 mph) frontal offset crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the car received a score of "Marginal".[51]

Testing and review

Newly available on the third generation was Volkswagen Group's 1.9 litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) 67 kilowatts (91 PS; 90 bhp) diesel engine. Fuel economy was a strong point with ratings of 5.7 L/100 km (50 mpg-imp; 41 mpg-US) urban cycle and 4.8 L/100 km (59 mpg-imp; 49 mpg-US) extra urban. In top trim lines, the 2.8-litre VR6 DOHC six-cylinder engine was available. In one car magazine's test, the 128 kilowatts (174 PS; 172 bhp) power plant was able to accelerate the car from 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) in 6.9 seconds.[49]

Vento (German specification)

Reviews were generally positive, with testers praising the crisp handling and comfortable ride, as well as a greater level of refinement compared with the previous generation.[52] However, some reviews noted that the more sporty suspension tuning found in some trims made the car bouncy, especially on the expressway.[53] The manual transmission shifted crisply; however, the automatic transmission reduced acceleration noticeably. Some critics complained that the controls had some quirks, including a cryptic windshield wiper control, where the "off" position was unfittingly placed between the "intermittent" and "continuous" modes. If equipped, power window controls had the unusual arrangement of the front buttons located on the door, while the rear buttons were located on the center console. As with previous generations, the luggage compartment provided generous space. In earlier build cars, the glove compartment was deleted if the car was equipped with dual airbags, and in the later models (when airbags became standard equipment), the glove compartment was small and could barely hold the owner's manual and a folding paper map. There were also some complaints about the lack of cup holders in the earlier cars, as well as the lack of a safety interlock which would require the driver to press the clutch pedal prior to starting the car. The 1994 through 1996 models of the Jetta had some electrical issues causing the car not to start and shorting to occur in some of the electrical devices due to a non existent plastic V underneath the windshield, which was added in later models to divert rain water flowing to the electrical box.[54] The catastrophe of this glitch can be avoided by removing leaves and debris that have accumulated below the windshield and by installing adhesive weather sealant linings underneath the plastic cover directly onto the windshield.

Another major complaint was that the North American TDI model was not rated to tow a trailer, which, according to the owner's manual, is "for technical reasons." Contrary to the American market, The European TDI model, which has an identical power train and chassis, was rated to tow a trailer according to the owner's manual. Many North American TDI owners speculated that Volkswagen decided not to risk liability issues on the American market, and some owners disregarded the owner's manual and installed hitches on their vehicles. Owners argue that the diesel engine delivers superior towing performance compared to a gasoline engine.


Vento (India)

An unrelated Volkswagen Vento model was launched in India in 2010. A sedan version of the Polo Mk5, it has a length of about 4.4m and has several engine options which are based on petrol and diesel.[57]

Fourth generation (A4, Typ 1J; 1999–2006)

Volkswagen Bora (A4, Typ 1J)
Also called Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen City Jetta
(Jetta City in 2009)
Volkswagen Bora Classic Edition (China)
Volkswagen Clásico (2010 onwards in Mexico)
Volkswagen Bora (Australia, Argentina, Brazil)
Production 1999–2006 (Europe)
2002–2010 (China)
1999–present (Mexico & Argentina)
Model years 1999–2007 (US, Canada, Europe)
Assembly Wolfsburg, Germany[5]
Bratislava, Slovakia[5]
Changchun, China (FAW-VW)[5]
Uitenhage, South Africa[5]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door wagon
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Platform Volkswagen Group A4 (PQ34) platform
Related Volkswagen Golf Mk4
Audi A3 Mk1
SEAT León Mk1
SEAT Toledo Mk2
Škoda Octavia Mk1
Engine 1.4 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 16-valve (petrol)
1.8 L I4 turbo (petrol)
2.0 L I4 (petrol)
2.3 L VR5 (petrol)
2.8 L VR6 12-valve (petrol)
2.8 L VR6 24-valve (petrol)
1.9 L I4 SDI (diesel)
1.9 L I4 TDI (diesel)
Transmission 5-speed manual
6-speed manual
4-speed automatic (01M)
5-speed automatic(09A)
6-speed automatic (09G)
Wheelbase sedan: 2,510 mm (98.8 in)
estate: 2,520 mm (99.2 in)
Length sedan: 4,380 mm (172.4 in)
estate: 4,410 mm (173.6 in)
Width 1,730 mm (68.1 in)
Height sedan: 1,440 mm (56.7 in)
estate: 1,490 mm (58.7 in)
'08 City Jetta sedan: 1,445 mm (56.9 in)
Volkswagen Bora (Germany)
2004–2005 Volkswagen Jetta sedan (US)
1999–2001 Volkswagen Bora (1J) sedan (Australia)

Production of the fourth generation car began in July 1999.[58] Carrying on the wind nomenclature, the car was known as the Volkswagen Bora in much of the world. Bora is a winter wind which blows intermittently over the coast of the Adriatic Sea, as well as in parts of Greece, Russia, Turkey, and in the Sliven region of Bulgaria. In North America and South Africa, the Jetta moniker was again kept on due to the continued popularity of the car in those markets.

The Mk4 debuted shortly after its larger sibling, the Passat, with which it shared many styling cues. The rounded shape and arched roofline served as the new Volkswagen styling trademark, abandoning traditional sharp creases for more curved corners. A distinguishing feature of the Mk4 is its Whiptenna, a trademark for the antenna on the rear end of the roof, which claims to incur less drag than traditional antennas due to its short length and leeward position. For the first time, the rear passenger doors differed from those of a 5-door Golf. The car was also offered as an estate/wagon (whose rear doors are also non-interchangeable with the others). New on this generation were some advanced options such as rain sensor controlled windshield wipers and automatic climate control. However, these were expensive extras and many buyers did not specify them on their cars; as a result the used market is full of sparsely equipped models.

Although slightly shorter overall than the Mark 3, the fourth generation saw the wheelbase extended slightly. Some powertrain options were carried over. Nevertheless, two new internal combustion engines were offered, the 1.8-litre turbo 4-cylinder (often referred to as the 1.8 20vT), and the VR5 (a 5-cylinder derivative of the VR6 engine). The suspension setup remained much as before. However, it was softened considerably in most models to give a comfortable ride, which was met with some criticism as it was still quite hard in comparison with rivals such from French makers.[59]


2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI turbodiesel (US)

In 2004, a new range of "Pumpe-Düse" Unit Injector diesel engines were offered. This new design employed advanced unit injectors, along with additional electronics and emissions equipment to meet new air emissions standards in Europe and North America, and is considerably more complex than the older diesel engines previously offered. To accomplish the task of producing sufficient power while meeting emissions standards, the "PD" technology injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber at pressures up to an incredibly high 2,050 bar (30,000 psi).[60] The purpose of the high pressure is to promote fine atomisation of the fuel which supports more complete combustion. To reduce noise, the engine employs a "pilot injection" system which injects a small amount of fuel prior to the main injection. All of the new generation of diesel engines require a special motor oil which meets Volkswagen oil specification 505.01 (or newer). Serious damage to the engine, particularly the camshaft and injectors will result if oil not meeting this standard is used.


Safety on the fourth generation cars was a high priority for Volkswagen.[61] The car was built using such advanced processes as highly mechanised presses, improved measuring techniques, and laser welding of the roof. In crash tests, the fourth generation car received very good marks. In the New Car Assessment Program tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car received five out of five stars for both driver and passenger protection in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal impact.[62] New side impact tests at 62 km/h (38.5 mph) awarded the car four out of five stars for both driver and rear seat passenger protection. Side curtain airbags became standard in the 2001 model year. In the more severe 64 km/h (40 mph) offset test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Mark 4 was awarded the highest score of "Good".[63] Injury, collision, and theft losses were low for a car of its class.[64]

Testing and review

Critics usually found the fourth generation acceptable. The car was praised for its adequate handling as well as a moderately comfortable ride.[65] Other reviewers noted the car to be an ugly and somewhat expensive choice in the compact car segment, some simply referred to it as a Golf with a boot (trunk) on the back added as a last minute addition.[66] Some complaints were made that the back seats lacked adequate room for two adults.[67] Some found the seat cushioning too firm. The interior was praised for the high level of fit, but is quite bland, sparsely equipped, and uninspiring.[68] New in this generation was Volkswagen's signature blue and red instrument lighting which became standard in all models in 1999. The climate controls were placed low on the console. The recirculation mode cannot be turned on when air is vented to the windshield, and if the driver changes the climate control to vent air to the windshield, an internal mechanism would turn off the recirculation mode. The power outlet is recessed next to the ash tray and is covered with two flaps, one of which is shared with the ash tray. Retractable cup holders were placed directly above the stereo, obscuring vision of the stereo display and allowing beverages to spill on the stereo, gear selector, and other sensitive components during erratic vehicle movements. The flimsy plastic construction of the retractable cup holder is likely to fail with normal use. Rear passengers have a pair of retractable cup holders located under the cylindrical ash tray on the center console. These problems were rectified in 2003 for the US market by placing two recessed cup holders in tandem in the center console and another behind the arm rest pedestal for rear passengers. The driver must raise the arm rest to access the center cup holder, and a large beverage occupying the front cup holder obstructs the driver's ability to pull the hand brake. European cars were given a redesigned retractable cup holder in front.

Drivers complained that the front bumper cover does not have adequate ground clearance to clear a curb in a parking space. In addition to scratching the cover, if the driver drives the Jetta too far forward into a parking space, the bumper cover would have a tendency to hook onto the curb like a barb, and as the driver backs out of the parking space, the entire front bumper cover would be torn off the vehicle. In the US, a class action lawsuit regarding this problem was filed in 2009,[69] and a settlement was reached awarding owners a $140 reimbursement for repair costs.[70]

The earlier models have a few quality control issues, as a number of owners reported windows falling into the doors, electrical problems, and emissions system defects.[71][72] The fourth generation takes approximately 52 hours per vehicle to assemble in the Puebla factory.[73]


Station Wagon (Estate)

Volkswagen Jetta wagon (US)

Volkswagen introduced an estate/station wagon version of the fourth generation car in January 2001 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.[74] This was the first time an "A" platform Volkswagen was available in North America with that body style. Although the sedan was built in a number of locations, all Jetta estate models were built in the Wolfsburg plant.[75] In back, 963 litres (34 ft3) of space was available in the cargo compartment. When the rear seats were folded, the car could hold 1473 litres (52 ft3). Like the sedan, the estate/wagon received high marks from most reviewers.[76][77] They noted that the cargo area was large and useful. Additionally, the interior kept its top quality fit and finish, although the rear seat was still a bit small.

In Europe, the estate version was sometimes sold as part of the Golf line, either in addition to or instead of the Bora. Other than different front bumpers, fenders, headlights, and hood, the cars were identical. In some countries were sold both Golf and Bora Variant.

Ongoing production

2008 Volkswagen City Jetta (Canada)
2009 Volkswagen Lavida (China)

As of 2009, the fourth generation car is still sold in addition to the newer Mark 5, due to higher pricing of the fifth generation in some countries such as Colombia, China, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Like its second generation predecessor, the Mark 4 continues to be manufactured and marketed in China by Volkswagen Group's joint venture partner FAW-Volkswagen.

In China, the car received a facelift in the summer of 2006, with a Passat Mk5 lookalike face. A hatchback version (i.e. the Golf) is also produced, but is badged as the Bora HS.[78] The model available in Mexico, Canada, Brazil and Argentina from 2008 was likewise facelifted with the same design found in China. There is also a heavily modified Jetta called Volkswagen Lavida for the Chinese market, developed by Shanghai Volkswagen on the same platform.

In October 2006, Volkswagen re-released the fourth generation car in Canada (for the 2007 model year) as the City Jetta.[79] The move was made to allow Volkswagen to be more competitive with the rest of the compact class as the fifth generation Jetta had moved upscale versus much of the competition. In 2008, the car was restyled to bring its looks up to date with the rest of the Volkswagen lineup. The only engine available is the 2.0-litre 8-valve SOHC 86 kilowatts (117 PS; 115 bhp) gasoline four-cylinder with an available six-speed tiptronic (with Sport mode) that was added as an option in 2008. In 2009, both model names were changed to Jetta City and Golf City. The Jetta City (since 2010MY) and Golf City (since 2011MY) are now both discontinued. The City Jetta is built alongside the fifth generation in the Puebla Assembly Plant.

In Mexico, the fourth generation Jetta has been Volkswagen's most successful model for years, peaking in June 2009 on the top in sales and being fourth as of October 2009, just below Nissan's Tsuru (Sentra B13), Chevrolet's Chevy (Opel Corsa B) and the Brazilian Volkswagen Gol. Nevertheless, it is the best-selling compact car in the country. Volkswagen decided to keep sales along with the Bora (Jetta V, which is the fifth best seller) with the tagline Why do we want a Jetta? Because the heart gives no reasons. In October 2010, the name "Jetta" was dropped, and the simpler name "Clasico" (Spanish for "classic") was chosen, suggesting this model may still be offered for years to come. In the model range, a 1.8-litre 178 hp (133 kW) turbo in the Clasico GLI and a TDI 1.9 L 100 hp (75 kW) engine are available. After the 2013 model year the Clasico lineup was reduced to a single trim level which is the base model called CLasico CL Aire (which means it is equipped with air conditioning). The GLI and TDI were also discontinued. The CL Aire trim level features 15 inch steel wheels with full covers. Antilock brakes and front airbags its available in manual and automatic transmissions as optional. Rumours indicate that the 2014 model year will be the last being dropped of the Mexican lineup in favor of the more modern Vento.

In China, the model received further modifications in 2007, being marketed as the New Bora, and from 2010, only as the Bora. This new model was developed by FAW-Volkswagen and is based on the newer PQ35 platform.

Fifth generation (A5, Typ 1K; 2005–2011)

Volkswagen Jetta (A5, Typ 1K)
Also called Volkswagen Bora
Volkswagen GLI
Volkswagen Sagitar
Volkswagen Vento
Volkswagen Golf Wagon (Canada, 2010-)
Production 2005–2011
Model years 2005.5–2011
Assembly Puebla, Mexico
Changchun, China (FAW-VW)
Aurangabad, India (Volkswagen India)
Uitenhage, South Africa
Kaluga, Russia
Algiers, Algeria (SOVAC)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Platform Volkswagen Group A5 (PQ35) platform
Related Volkswagen Golf Mk5
Audi A3 Mk2
SEAT León Mk2
SEAT Toledo Mk3
SEAT Altea
Škoda Octavia Mk2
Engine 1.6 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 FSI (petrol)
2.0 L I4 (petrol)
2.0 L I4 FSI (petrol)
2.5 L I5 (petrol)
1.4 L I4 TSI (petrol)
1.8 L I4 20-valve TSI (petrol)
2.0 L I4 TFSI (petrol)
1.9 L I4 TDI PD (diesel)
2.0 L I4 TDI CR (diesel)
Transmission 5-speed manual (04A)
6-speed manual (02Q)
6-speed automatic (09G)
6-speed semi-automatic (DSG 02E)
7-speed semi-automatic (DSG 0AM)
Wheelbase 2,580 mm (101.6 in)
Length 4,554 mm (179.3 in)
Wagon: 179.4 in (4,557 mm)
Width 1,781 mm (70.1 in)
2010- Wagon: 70.1 in (1,781 mm)
Height 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Wagon: 59.2 in (1,504 mm)

The fifth generation debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show on 5 January 2005. It was only the second Volkswagen product to make its world debut at a U.S. Auto show (the other being the New Beetle).[80] Furthermore, the Mark 5 sedan went on sale in the USA prior to any other country, reflecting the importance of the car in that market for Volkswagen.[81] US$800 million was spent upgrading the factory in Puebla for its production. This included a US$290 million new engine production line for the 5-cylinder power plant, a US$50 million investment in the press shop, as well as a US$200 million purchase of 460 robots, which increased automation by 80%.

Although produced in the largest volumes in Mexico, final assembly of the car also takes place in China and South Africa for those respective markets.[82] Like initial production of the second generation in China, the Asian and African plants build the car from a complete knock down (CKD) kit shipped from the factory in Puebla. Local assembly in Kaluga, Russia, started in early 2008.[83] Production also began in India in 2008.[84] Currently, the Skoda factory in Aurangabad is used for final assembly.[85] As with the previously mentioned assembly plants, CKD kits from Volkswagen de México will be used.

The fifth generation car has the widest variety of names of any generation. In most countries, it is referred to as the Jetta. Exceptions to this include "Bora" in Mexico and Colombia, "Vento" in Argentina and Chile, and "Sagitar" in China.[86][87][88] The Mark 5 is 170 millimetres (6.7 in) longer, 30 millimetres (1.2 in) wider, and has a 70 millimetres (2.8 in) longer wheelbase than the previous iteration. Interior room has increased from 2.46 cubic metres (87 cu ft) to 2.58 cubic metres (91 cu ft). In particular, rear legroom was increased by 65 millimetres (2.6 in) over the fourth generation. Luggage compartment volume is up to 453 litres (16 cu ft). One major change is the introduction of the first multi-link independent rear suspension in a Jetta. The design of the rear suspension is nearly identical to the one found in the Ford Focus.[89] Volkswagen reportedly hired engineers from Ford who designed the suspension on the Focus.[59]

Styling reflects a new direction for the Volkswagen brand, with a new chrome front grille, first seen on the Volkswagen Golf Mk5 R32, which has spread to other models.[90] Some critics appreciated the new styling, whilst others dismissed it as just as bland as the 4th generation.[91][92]

For model year 2009, certain markets saw a new base model internal combustion engine and automatic transmission. The previous 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, and six-speed automatic transmission, were replaced with a smaller, more powerful, and more fuel efficient, 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and six-speed DSG transmission (the same as used in the new Golf Mk5). As a result of the change, fuel consumption has been improved (by 17% for the manual, from 8.2 L/100 km (34 mpg-imp; 29 mpg-US) down to 6.8 L/100 km (42 mpg-imp; 35 mpg-US)), and 23% for the automatic, from 8.6 L/100 km (33 mpg-imp; 27 mpg-US) down to 6.6 L/100 km (43 mpg-imp; 36 mpg-US). Power has increased 7%, from 110 kilowatts (150 PS; 148 bhp), to 118 kilowatts (160 PS; 158 bhp), while torque is up 20%. In addition, acceleration times 0–100 kilometres per hour (0.0–62.1 mph) have improved, from 9.2 s to 8.5 s for the manual (an 8% improvement), and from 9.9 s to 8.5 s for the automatic (a 14% improvement).


Jetta (German specification)

The body of the fifth generation uses extensive high strength steel, and use of laser welding is up from 5% to 35% of body parts.[93] This results in double-digit increases in both dynamic and torsional rigidity. Other body innovations include an impact-absorbing front bumper which yields slightly in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, reducing the chance of injury. A new door design allows just the outer panel to be removed and replaced if damaged, rather than the entire door.[94] Safety was again enhanced with many active and passive features available or standard. These included side curtain airbags, seat-mounted rear side airbags, new generation Electronic Stability Programme with Anti-Slip Regulation and Brake assist, as well as active head restraints. A Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission, available dual-zone automatic climate control, and electro-mechanical power steering are also new innovations.

Halogen headlamp showing the bulb shield incorporating the VW logo

The fifth generation car has a totally redesigned electrical system.[95] Control modules are used for everything from the radio to the powertrain, transmitting over Controller Area Network (CAN) buses. Transmission of signals is done digitally at 500 kilobits per second, which reduces the number of wires needed, and thus reduces the chance for faults. Cars equipped with halogen headlamps have a 'VW' logo integrated into the bulb shield. In most of the world, the rear lights use light-emitting diodes (LEDs). However, in North America, standard filament bulbs with a different design are used, to comply with FMVSS 108.

Volkswagen has developed a very strict motor oil quality standard, oil meeting this standard must be used to ensure full warranty coverage.[96]


Volkswagen 2.5L Engine.
Volkswagen 2.5L Engine.


  • Autoevolution.comTest Drive: VOLKSWAGEN Jetta 1.4 TSI (122 HP) - 2009 by
  • Volkswagen Jetta worldwide site
  • VW JETTA microsite (USA)

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In September 2015, Volkswagen lost public trust due to emissions violations popularly known as "emissionsgate" or "dieselgate" that would result in the recall of nearly every diesel Jetta sold in the U.S. in recent years.[149]

Volkswagen emissions violations recall

On September 30, 2011, Volkswagen of America announced a recall involving 2009–2012 Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen models with the 2.0L TDI engine; this recall points to a resonance condition with the number 2 fuel injector line and the fuel injector pulses, causing small cracks in the line, which could leak.[148]


For the 2010 SCCA World Challenge season, Irish Mike's Racing is campaigning GLIs in the touring car class. Todd Buras won rounds 1 and 2 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg[145] and round 10 at Virginia International Raceway[146] while Chip Herr won round 4 at Mosport.[147]

From 2008 through 2010, Volkswagen and the Sports Car Club of America hosted the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, using factory prepared 2009 Jetta TDIs.


As a result of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the Green Car Journal rescinded this award.

The Jetta TDI won MotorWeek's 2009 Driver's Choice Awards for "Best Eco-Friendly" and " Best of the Year".

Awards and recognition

The second concept vehicle was called the Bora Electric. It had a power rating that varied according to the operating conditions. The Bora Electric could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 10 seconds with a range of 160 km. The energy needed to drive the vehicle is stored in a Lithium-ion battery. It was noted that its chance of success was limited in the marketplace given the high cost of the electric drive system.[143]

In the early 1980s, Volkswagen released a limited production electric Jetta called the Jetta CitySTROMER. It featured a 24.8 hp (18.5 kW) powertrain (later 37.5 hp (28 kW)), with a range of 190 km (250 in the later version).[142]

Electric vehicle

In Brazil the Jetta is being sold with the 2.0l Flexfuel engine. It can run on either E100 or Petrol.

Use of the two most popular blends of Biodiesel that are mostly Biodiesel, B80 and B100, is not recommended in 2009 and 2010 US TDI engines.

Volkswagen also released a Bora TDI which was powered by SunFuel, a synthetic fuel developed in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell.[140] The company also displayed Bora TDI powered by SunDiesel that Volkswagen also developed with DaimlerChrysler along with Choren Industries.[141]

However Volkswagen does not approve fueling petrol models or non TDI diesel models with Biofuel. Some owners have converted their diesel cars to run on vegetable oil used as fuel. There is a common misconception that this can only be done on indirect injected diesel vehicles, but in recent years pioneers in the SVO industry have developed fuel systems for Direct Injection engines.[138] This can be obtained from most fast food restaurants for a minimal fee (if any). However, there has been at least one report of catastrophic engine damage resulting from the use of waste vegetable oil when not maintained properly.[139] Running the car on biofuels of any type has the advantage of being at least partly carbon neutral.

Volkswagen approves fueling Jetta TDIs with up to 5% biodiesel (B5).[136] The diesel engine can sometimes be run with higher percentages of biodiesel, particularly during warm months. However, if the car experiences a fault, Volkswagen may deny warranty coverage if unapproved fuel is used.[137]

Volkswagen released a Jetta MultiFuel in 1991, at first to the governments of the state of California and New York, and then for limited retail sale in those states to the public. They are an early example of an E85 vehicle, burning a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. These Jettas can still be found on U.S. roads.

Wagon being fueled with Biodiesel


Volkswagen had considered producing a mild hybrid version of the fifth generation mainly for the North American market.[135] In 2013 Volkswagen produced a turbocharged full hybrid sixth generation offering for the North America market.

In 2002, Volkswagen, along with Paul Scherrer Institute released another hydrogen powered car called the Bora Hy.Power. The car was powered by hydrogen compressed to a pressure of 320 bar (4600 psi). It had ratings very similar to the HyMotion; with a 75 kW (100 hp) power source. A special feature of the car was a 60 kilowatt super capacitor which could boost power when needed and also recover energy when coasting.[134]

The Bora HyMotion was a hydrogen powered Mark 4 with a 75 kW fuel cell that could accelerate from 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) in 12.5 seconds. With a 49-litre tank of cryogenically stored hydrogen, it had a range of 350 km (220 mi). Top speed was 140 km/h (87.0 mph).[133]

In 2001, at the 18th International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition in Berlin, Volkswagen released two environmentally friendly cars: the Bora HyMotion and the Bora Electric.

Alternative propulsion cars

In MY2015 Volkswagen offered a limited-edition Jetta Sport in the US market. Based on the 1.8T SE with Connectivity(minus the sunroof), this trim adds a sport suspension, RNS 315 navigation with rearview camera, 17-inch “Joda Black” alloy wheels; two-tone heatable sport seats; foglights; black headliner; contrast stitching on leather-wrapped steering wheel, seats, handbrake and shift lever; rear spoiler. It is available in a five-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission. Choice of four body colors (Black, Pure White, Tornado Red, and Platinum Grey Metallic) A lighting package similar to the GLI is an available option which includes High-intensity Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and an Adaptive Front-lighting System along with interior ambient lighting. [132]

Jetta 1.8T Sport (2015)



The vehicle was set to go on sale in 2014.[130]

Including Edition 30 and the Edition 30 with Navigation, they are versions of 2014 Jetta GLI commemorating 30th anniversary of Jetta GLI in the US market. Changes include 18-inch "Laguna" aluminum-alloy wheels, red trim on the front grille, a trunklid-mounted spoiler, Edition 30 badging, Bi-Xenon headlights (Edition 30 with Navigation), contrasting color V-Tex leatherette seats with red accents; red contrast stitching on the steering wheel, shifter, brake lever, and armrests; carbon-look trim inlays; Edition 30 kickplates; floormats with red stitching, Choice of four body colors (Deep Black Metallic, Pure White, Tornado Red, and Reflex Silver Metallic).

Jetta GLI Edition 30 (2014)

The Jetta GLI, a sedan version of the Golf GTI based on the new Jetta, was revealed at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show with the 2.0 TSI 200 hp engine and a fully independent suspension, as well as the European Jetta's soft touch materials. A black honeycomb grill, aggressive lower intakes, side adorning foglights, smoked taillights, dual tailpipes, red painted calipers, and red stitching are all elements to separate it from its run-of-the-mill counterpart.[128] The GLI, as well as the Jetta TDI, are the only two trims to receive Volkswagen's 6-speed manual transmission as well as the optional 6-speed DSG gearbox.[129]

Jetta GLI

The revised 2015 VW Jetta has secured the highest ratings from most of the key crash testing agencies across the world: Top pick+ in IIHS, 5 stars in NHTSA, 5 stars each in EURONCAP and AUSNCAP. It is recognised as one of the safest vehicles in its class.

It was launched in Australia and South Africa during September 2011.

Volkswagen will launch the 2015 Jetta facelift in the Indian car market on February 17. The sedan will come as completely Knocked Down (CKD) kit, and will be locally assembled at Volkswagen’s Chakan factory, near Pune.[127]

The sixth-generation Jetta went on sale on July 22, 2010 in Mexico, thus becoming the only country in the world where both the fourth (sold as the Volkswagen Clásico), and sixth generation Jetta are available simultaneously. (Both models are also both available in Colombia and Argentina). The sixth generation Jetta replaced the fifth, known in Mexico as the Volkswagen Bora. A special edition called the "Volkswagen Jetta Edición Especial Bicentenario" and approved by the Mexican Federal Government commemorates that country's 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence, on September 16, 1810. It is also the first car in Mexico with granted permission to use an official government logo (a "2010" plaque).[126] It was launched in India on 17 August 2011.

In Europe, the Jetta maintains its luxurious small saloon status. The engine range consists of the 1.2 TSI, 1.4 TSI (122 or 160 PS), 2.0 TSI, 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI engines.[117] The European version will differ in some respects, particularly in having multi-link suspension at the rear.[121] The European version will also incorporate soft-touch plastics on most of the dashboard (not the doors for this generation), and the rear seat center air vents have been restored. For the 2015MY, Volkswagen made numerous improvements to the Jetta such as new front and rear fasicas, headlights, reworked interior, fully independent suspension for all US models, a suite of driver-assistance systems such as blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, and standard rearview camera.

Other updates for 2014 include an independent multilink rear suspension as found in European counterparts, and electronic power steering (1.8 TSI models only.)[125]

New for 2014, VW is replacing the 2.5 L inline 5 with the new 1.8 L TSI turbo-charged 4 cylinder. Based on VW's EA888 platform, the 1.8 TSI is listed as one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2014, producing 170 HP and 184 lb.-ft of torque, all while achieving an EPA rating of 25 MPG city / 36 MPG highway.[124]

VW Jetta 1.6 TDI (Germany)

In North America, the base model (S in the US, Trendline in Canada) receives a 2.0-liter 8-valve four-cylinder engine with 115 horsepower and 125 lb·ft (169 N·m) torque. Sales of the 2013 model year Jetta Turbo Hybrid are scheduled to begin in the U.S. by late 2012.[123]

Volkswagen's target of increasing its North American sales removed the Jetta from the premium compact car market. This forced many cost-cutting measures to be made for the North American models, which include a lower quality trim material for the interior and the replacement of leather with leatherette as an optional seating upholstery. Leather is still available on Canadian-spec models. The North American version also loses the multi-link rear suspension of the previous generation.[121] Engines from the MK5 Jetta carried over include the 170 hp 2.5 L (five-cylinder) as well as the economy-minded 140 hp 2.0 TDI (diesel) engine. A Turbo Hybrid, 150 hp 1.4 L TSI intercooled turbocharged engine mated with a 27 hp electric motor providing a combined 170 hp and 184 lb·ft (249 N·m) became available in 2013, due to Hybrid popularity in North America. Additionally, the SEL Premium model retains the upscale soft touch interior, as well as the multi-link independent rear suspension found on the GLI, though softened for a more comfortable ride. It also has as standard a 7-speed automatic manual DSG gearbox, with Sport and Tiptronic modes. The Jetta Turbo Hybrid has an estimated combined fuel economy of 45 mpg-US (5.2 L/100 km; 54 mpg-imp).[122] The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid was unveiled in January 2012 at the North American International Auto Show.

Although no longer sharing any body panels with the Golf and having a longer wheelbase, this model is partly based on the same PQ35 platform.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI (US)
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

The sixth-generation Volkswagen Jetta, known as the NCS (New Compact Sedan) during its development, was announced in the North American market in June 16, 2010.[117] The new model is larger and cheaper to produce than the previous Jetta[118] making the vehicle more competitive against rivals such as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra[119] as part of Volkswagen's goal of reaching sales of 800,000 units in the North American market by 2018.[118] Production of the vehicle is at Volkswagen's Puebla, Mexico, facility.[117] The sixth generation Volkswagen Jetta was primarily designed by Volkswagen Mexico under the supervision of Volkswagen Germany and 70% of the parts are designed and manufactured in Mexico.[120]

Volkswagen Jetta (A6, Typ 1B)
Also called Volkswagen New Compact Sedan (Under Development)
Volkswagen Vento (Select South American Countries)
Volkswagen Sagitar (China)
Production 2011-present
Model years 2011–present
Assembly Puebla, Mexico
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (GAZ, since 2013)
Aurangabad, India (Volkswagen India)
Chengdu, China (FAW-VW)
Pekan, Malaysia (DRB-HICOM)
São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan,
5-door station wagon (2011-2015, North America only)
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Platform Volkswagen Group A5 (PQ35) platform
Related Volkswagen Golf Mk6
Audi A3 Mk2
  • 1.2 L I4 (turbocharged petrol)
  • 1.4 L I4 (turbocharged petrol])
  • 1.4 L I4 (turbocharged hybrid petrol / electric)
  • 1.6 L I4 (petrol)
  • 1.6 L I4 TDI (turbocharged diesel)
  • 1.8 L I4 (turbocharged petrol)
  • 2.0 L I4 (petrol)
  • 2.0 L I4 (turbocharged petrol)
  • 2.0 L I4 TDI (turbocharged diesel)
  • 2.5 L I5 (petrol)
Transmission 5-speed manual
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
7-speed semi-automatic (DSG 0AM)
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104.3 in)
Hybrid: 2,655 mm (104.5 in)
Length 4,644 mm (182.8 in)
Hybrid: 4,628 mm (182.2 in)
Width 1,778 mm (70.0 in)
Hybrid: 1,778 mm (70.0 in)
Height 1,450 mm (57.1 in)
Hybrid: 1,453 mm (57.2 in)

Sixth generation (A6, Typ 1B; 2011–present)

  • 78 manual transmission
  • 108 DSG automatic transmission

Laser Blue: 186 Produced

  • 89 manual transmission
  • 162 DSG automatic transmission

Salsa Red: 215 Produced

  • 171 manual transmission
  • 314 DSG automatic transmission

Candy White: 485 Produced

  • 250 manual transmission
  • 329 DSG automatic transmission

Black: 579 Produced

Per VW North America, worldwide only 1,501 Jetta TDI Cup Editions were produced; 588 were manufactured with a manual transmission, and 913 were built with DSG transmissions. Listed below is a breakdown of how many were produced in each of the four color options:

The vehicle was unveiled in 2008 SEMA show. The production version went on sale in January 2010 with a base MSRP of $24,990USD (not including destination or options).[116]

It can be purchased with either a 6-speed Manual or DSG transmission (DSG includes paddle shifters), and a "Thunderbunny" body kit is optional (and available from VW only on the Cup edition).

It is a version commemorating the 2008+ Jetta TDI Cup Race series, the last year of the MKV, and based on the TDI Clean Diesel sedan. The same 140 hp (104 kW), (240 lbf·ft torque) diesel motor is supplied, but the package includes GLI brakes, suspension, and sway bars. Additional upgrades from the base TDI are "TDI Cup Edition" body side stickers, 18-in wheels with Pirelli P-Zero or Yokohama ADVAN 225/40R18 sport tires, aluminium pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome door linings, aerodynamic body kit (front, side & rear), an Interlagos cloth interior with heated sport seats, short shifter, carbon fiber inlays (as opposed to metallic), and a black interior (headliner/doorcards/dash).

2010 Jetta TDI Cup "Street" edition

The 2010-model Jetta SportWagen is based on the fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf, despite the sixth-generation front facelift.

A similar model is sold as the Golf Variant in most markets outside the United States. In Mexico it is sold as the Bora Sportwagen and later Golf SportWagen with front fascia updates, Jetta Variant in Brazil, Vento Variant in Argentina, Jetta Wagon in Canada (2009 only), Golf Wagon in Canada (2010 onwards), and Golf Estate in the United Kingdom.

The SportWagen has 930 litres (33 cu ft) of cargo space with the rear seats upright, or 1,894 litres (66.9 cu ft) with the seats folded. One unique option is a panoramic sunroof. The available roof is a full 1.18 square metres (12.7 sq ft) in area, giving both front and rear seat passengers an expansive view of the sky.

At the 2007 New York International Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled a station wagon version dubbed the Jetta SportWagen.[115] The Jetta wagon was not sold for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 model years in the United States.

2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sportwagen (US)

Golf Variant/Jetta SportWagen

VW engine in Jetta 2.0 TDI (PD) DPF


Although improved over the fourth generation, the Mark 5 still takes over 42 hours to assemble at the factory in Mexico.[73] Part of this disparity is blamed on the switch to the more complex independent rear suspension. Volkswagen has publicly stated its discontent over the excessive assembly time, and pledged to streamline manufacturing in the next generation of A platform cars.[114] In the interim, Volkswagen de México is making a concerted effort to further increase productivity at the plant, by consulting outside experts from Toyota and other Japanese companies.[82] By implementing many lean manufacturing principles and techniques, a goal has been set to increase productivity levels at the factory by 30% or more in the coming years.

The fifth generation has received generally positive reviews. Nevertheless, some critics have complained that the car lost some of its distinctive European character with the redesign.[108] Most reviewers found the ride to be firm and well controlled, but not always as forgiving as the previous generation. Handling was a strong point, with quick and precise steering and minimal body roll. Fit and finish received excellent marks, with reviewers noting the car felt very upscale.[109] The front seats were firm but well liked, and the rear seat was roomy, in contrast to the cramped quarters in the fourth generation. Controls and displays were generally good.[110] Reviewers were particularly impressed with the "Sportline" models (known as the GLI in North America). Equipped with sport seats, a firmer suspension lowered by 15 millimetres (0.59 in), and low profile tyres, critics praised the excellent handling that was an improvement over the already good performance on the standard model.[111] Additionally, the 2.0 Turbo FSI engine also won commendation for its high power figures, smooth operation, and low fuel consumption.[112] Along with its hatchback brethren, the fifth generation ranks among the top cars on the market in independent reviews of resale value.[113]

Volkswagen Jetta GLI Fahrenheit (US)

Testing and review

The VW Jetta received the maximum 5 stars in the China NCAP crash tests.[107]

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing the Jetta received an overall "Good" rating in both front offset and side impact tests. In the side impact test the Jetta received "Good" marks in all nine measured categories.[102][103] In 2005, the Institute noted that the side impact protection performance was the best they had ever rated.[104] In 2006, the car received a "Top Safety Pick" award from the Institute.[105] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the fifth generation Jetta for both driver and passenger protection in a frontal impact, while the car received stars in a side impact crash test.[106] To tout the safety of the car, a series of television commercials with the tag line "Safe happens" showed the car being involved in a collision whilst afterward the occupants are shown to have emerged unscathed.

A 2005 Jetta crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


In the U.S., in August 2010, it was reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was investigating 37,889 2009 Jetta TDI's regarding a stalling problem. There were complaints to the agency about the Jettas going into "limp-home" mode and then stalling almost immediately while being driven. Motor Trend reported that there were also complaints about premature failures of its high-pressure fuel pump.[101]

2009 VW Jetta TDI A6 2010 Toyota Prius 2010 Honda Insight 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid 2009 MINI Cooper M6
Back roads 41.2 47.2 44.1 39.6 38.5
City loop 31.6 48.7 43.4 35.1 30.1
Highway 40.6 47.4 38.6 36.0 33.3
Overall 38.1 47.6 42.3 37.3 34.5
EPA City/Hwy 29/40 51/48 40/43 41/36 28/37
Jetta (French specification)

In the U.S., Edmunds pitted a Jetta TDI automatic against hybrids like Prius, Insight, Fusion hybrid and a MINI Cooper with manual transmission over two days of mixed city and highway driving.[100]

When the Mark 5 Jetta was introduced, the Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine was not offered in five U.S. States due to the tight emission standards promulgated by the California Air Resources Board. In addition to California, four other states adopted the more stringent California standards. Where it was available, it fell into the least-restrictive emission category. That category was removed in 2007, prompting the diesel Jetta to be unavailable for more than a year until the introduction of a new common rail diesel engine, which appeared in August 2008. The introduction was delayed for approximately six months due to technical issues with the new emissions control system.[99] The TDI Clean Diesel engine is rated 140 metric horsepower (103 kW; 138 bhp), and uses advanced features such as a diesel particulate filter and NOx-storage catalyst (vs. AdBlue) to reduce NOx in order to qualify as a Tier II Bin 5 vehicle (equivalent to California's LEV II rating), and thereby allowing it to be sold in all 50 U.S. states. AdBlue (urea injection fluid) is not required, further reducing maintenance requirements.


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