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A facelift and more benefits

Pala's Auto Services Ltd
Saturday, November 25, 2017

THE term facelift alludes to a mild visual update, and that certainly is the case with the Volkswagen Jetta, though the main developments are further beneath the skin. Outwardly, the main exterior revisions applied to the refreshed Jetta include a new grille, front and rear bumper and lights.

The new car is built on a chassis that is largely unchanged from the pre-facelift, with key changes being under the bonnet. There's a new heart inside the Jetta, with the previous, twin-charged 1.4L TSI & 2.0L TDI engines having been replaced by another 1.4 litre engine, the single turbo EA211.

The unit, already in service in the updated Golf 1.4, offers 150 PS and 250 Nm of torque from 1500 rpm to 3500 rpm here. The numbers are 10 PS down and 10 Nm up from that on the previous engine. Meanwhile, performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 8.6 seconds and a 220 km/h top speed, a shade slower than the pre-facelift (8.3 seconds and 221 km/h).

Some notes about the new mill. In order to make up for the comparative, inevitable turbo lag when going to a single turbo setup from a supercharged and turbocharged configuration, a number of measures were taken.

The integrated exhaust manifold allows for a shorter path for the exhaust gases to travel before it reaches and spins the exhaust turbine, while on the inhaling side of the engine, the intake manifold is also integrated into the engine block, with a smaller volume charge air system allowing the engine to attain the required charge air pressure more quickly.

A different wastegate design enables more precise control of turbocharger pressure, while a variable valve timing setup varies the characteristics on both intake and exhaust sides. In theory, the ingredients for it to do what it says on the tin are there.

Volkswagen's seven-speed dry dual-clutch gearbox hasn't had the best of times in terms of reliability, and the automaker has acknowledged the matter by updating the DQ200 transmission with a redesigned, more robust mechatronic unit, along with a new clutch lining material and software to resolve the transmission's juddering symptoms, particularly on part-throttle loads at low speeds. Volkswagen also claims a reduction in DSG mechatronic failure by 90 per cent since the switch to mineral oil for the unit.

In the Highline trim level we sampled, seats are upholstered in black Vienna leather, whereas that on the two other available models (the Trendline and Comfortline) are trimmed in cloth, while the driver gets a 12-way electrically adjustable seat in place of manual adjustment found on the other variants.

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