Jetta drives and corners well

Musa Zondi

Musa Zondi

Those of us who used to be black, now and then find time to return to our roots in townships or rural areas, invariably to find ourselves. Sort of.

So it was that on a Saturday morning I brushed the cobwebs off my shoes and duly drove to Soweto for a funeral.

After the service and approaching a state of complete dehydration - what with the tears falling and all - we sat under a tree and pumped our bodies full of liquid.

And then he emerged. He is one of those people you cannot forget, even if you tried.

The liquid had taken over his mental capacities and he came to greet me with the exuberance reserved for close friends who had emigrated to Australia and come back, having realised that there is no place like home.

"Seeing you again is deja vu all over again," he said, repeating it many times.

When I stepped behind the wheel of the VW Jetta recently, this phrase popped into my mind.

The feeling of "deja vu all over again" that he kept mouthing.

But it took a while to work out why I associated this phrase with the car.

It came back to me at 3am the next day and I burst out laughing, a trait that is not advisable lest people think you have just escaped from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

The car looked and almost felt the same as the Passat that I had driven a few weeks before. That is where the overwhelming sense of having been there before came from.

My inebriated friend could not have come up with a better description. VW has created a family of cars in the two marques that look similar, but I am sure the company would argue otherwise.

They both drive well, which is cold comfort really because it takes away the differentiation that, as a driver, you want from one car to another.

Once you recover from the shock of that feeling, you will find that the Jetta is a very capable car in its range.

It drives and corners well, providing the driver with the comfort that the road will not slip away from underneath him. It is generous in terms of space, though head space is seriously an issue, especially when you enter ane leave the car.

Many a time I hit my head getting in, which tends to give one a headache, especially if you get in and alight a lot .

The 2,0litre version that we had to test gives a credible performance, even with a full complement of passengers.

The boot space is generous, making the Jetta one of those cars you would really like to take on a long journey.

The 2,0 delivers 85kW with a claimed top speed of 189kmh.

This packaging comes at a cost of R198000 - before you run wild and add other goodies. Fair value for what you get.