Volkswagen SA has given its elegant-but-conservative Jetta range a performance boost with new 132-kW 1,8T Executive and 110-kW 1,8T Highline models. There’s also a two-litre automatic.

Volkswagen SA has given its elegant-but-conservative Jetta range a performance boost with new 132-kW 1,8T Executive and 110-kW 1,8T Highline models. There’s also a two-litre automatic.

The high-output five-valves-per-cylinder 1,8-litre turbo engine from the recently-uprated Golf GTI has been slotted into the 1,8T Executive and mated with a six-speed manual gearbox. Volkswagen claim that the engine, which produces maximum torque of 235 N.m at 1 950 r/min, will propel the Jetta from zero to 100 km/h in only 8,2 seconds and help the mid-size family sedan to reach a top speed of 228 km/h.

The Jetta 1,8T is differentiated from its siblings by a red "T" emblem and a chrome package comprising trim strips in the bumpers and on the sides of the body. It also has 16-inch Pau style alloy wheels as found on the Jetta V5.

Each model in the range has twin full-sized front airbags, a multi-function computer, an integrated alarm-immobiliser, central locking, power steering, a bee-sting roof antenna, a steering column adjustable for both rake- and reach-, height-adjustable safety belts front and rear, a 12-volt auxiliary power socket in the boot and a high level rear brake light.

Other across-the-range features include air conditioning, a height adjustable driver's seat, height adjustable front and rear headrests, 60:40 split rear seats with lockable backrests and a fold-down centre armrest, tinted glass all round, heated rear window, colour-coded bumpers, front grille and exterior mirrors, and two-speed and intermittent wipers.

Meanwhile, the 110kW version of the same motor does duty in 1,8 T Highline. The cabin features height and lumbar support adjustable front sports seats and head restraints as standard, with leather being an optional extra.

The Jetta 1,8T Highline is also fitted with tinted glass all round,

including the windscreen and electric windows. Heated rear view mirrors, equipped with anti-dazzle sensors, are electrically operated.

Volkswagen SA claims a zero to 100km/h sprint time of 8,5 seconds and the top speed at 216km/h for the 1.8T Highline. Fuel consumption is a claimed 9,3l/100km on the urban cycle and 5,9 litres per 100km at 90km/h.

In line with the new wheel programme across the Jetta range, Montreal II 205/55 16-inch wheels are standard, as well as a full-sized spare wheel. The Le Castellet alloys of the same size available on all Jetta Highline models currently will still be available as an optional extra.

Inside, the 1,8T Highline features an on-board computer, front and rear reading lights, and decorative wood inserts and eight-speaker Gamma radio system. A six-disc CD shuttle, satellite navigation and multi-function steering wheel are factory-fitted options.

The third new Jetta launched this week is the 2,0-litre Automatic, using the same 85kW naturally aspirated four-cylinder powerplant as found in the Golf range.

The new model is equipped with a four-speed transmission. Previously the only automatic derivative in the Jetta range was available in 1,6-litre form and like its 1,8 T Highline stablemate the 2.0 Automatic offers 17-inch Long Beach alloy wheels as an option.

A 12,2-second zero to 100 km/h time is claimed for the 2.0 Automatic, with a 195km/h top speed. Overall consumption is claimed to be in the region of 8,5 litres per 100 km.

The new Volkswagen Jetta 1,8T Executive is priced at R235580, the Highline 1,8T R212 800 and the 2,0 Automatic R209 400. All models come with a three-year/120 000km mechanical warranty, a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and a five-year VW Automotion servicing plan as standard.