Suited and booted

The Volkswagen Jetta.

The Volkswagen Jetta.

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Many will be sold on the Volkswagen Jetta as soon as they clap eyes on one in the metal.

It is undoubtedly a very tidy piece of product design backed up by solid build quality and a range of very strong engines.

Quite how large this body of customers will be returns us to the nub of the Jetta’s problem. It’s never been a big seller as the bottom line is that most customers in this sector prefer the practicality of a hatchback.

No body panel is carried over from its predecessor lending the Jetta an elegant appearance that marks the latest evolution of a new phase of Volkswagen design.

It’s a significantly bigger car than before as well, the overall length swelling by 90mm to 4,644mm. In addition, the wheelbase has also been extended to 2,648mm, an increase of 70mm resulting in 67mm more legroom for back seat passengers.

A 510-litre boot offers serious carrying capacity and a pragmatic layout.

Even given our natural suspicion for compact cars with boots, it’s hard to see how Volkswagen could have done much more.

One option would have been to undercut the Golf on price but risking killing a goose that has laid so many golden eggs would never be on the cards.

If you are one of the minority who favours four doors over five, the Jetta is a smart pick. Volkswagen has sold 9.6 million worldwide since 1979, so perhaps it’s the UK who needs to play catch up.