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Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI

In shadow blue, with 16-inch alloys, the Jetta is a large attractive family car which could be easily mistake for its sister saloon, the popular Passat.  The Volkswagen Jetta SE comes with body coloured door mirrors with integral indicators, body coloured door handles, bumpers and bumper strips, accessorised with a chrome grille.

Inside, the Jetta there is a three spoke steering wheel, chrome plated gear knob surround, front and rear cup holders, height adjustable steering wheel and handy storage in the roof console as well as in the door panels plus a tray on the dashboard.

The trim level is pretty basic, with typical textile seats and a plastic dash but all three rear seats have head restraints and two Isofix points for child seats. The driver's seat is height adjustable and both driver and passenger seats have active head restraints.

It comes with a good safety package, which includes ABS, traction control, ESP and hydraulic brake assist - all great additions to a good family car.

The Jetta TSI has a four cylinder, 1390cc engine with a six speed manual gearbox. I'm regularly surprised by 1.4-litre engines. I've always had a bit of a mental block about most cars below 1.6-litre, deeming them to be sluggish on the motorways. However, the Jetta and the 1.2 TSI Polo, for that matter have both surprised me with how quiet and drivable they are on long distances.

One thing I did find was that the driving position is very low. Even with the seat adjusted to the highest setting, I still found that the steering wheel was just a little too high. Nothing too drastic for me as I'm 5ft 6 but for shorter ladies, I could envisage this causing a few problems.

The Jetta is a large car, bigger than the Golf but not quite as big as the Mondeo. It makes a  solid companion for long distance journeys. Fuel economy averaged at 45mpg on our test. The 1.4 TSI sits in band F for road tax and will cost you £125 per year.

The Jetta is a robust family car, packed with safety features. A practical buy, for a growing family.

All cars are supplied kindly by Motorpoint Newport. Founded in 1998, Motorpoint is the UK's number one car supermarket group. It currently operates from five locations - Burnley, Derby, Glasgow, Newport and Peterborough. In 2008, Motorpoint sold 35,000 new and nearly vehicles.

For more information call Motorpoint Newport on 0845 4133000 or visit www.motorpoint.co.uk

I am comparing nearly new forecourt cars with within the same year of manufacture and with similar mileages. Prices featured are available at Motorpoint at the time of going to press. These prices may be subject to change at any time.

Read the full Car-by-Car review here.

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