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Reader test: VW Jetta 4 V5

2007-10-24 15:54

Neels Britz, Roodepoort

One of my dreams was, like thousands of men, to be a motoring scribe, driving the latest and greatest cars with clever technology and ridiculous power outputs.

I didn't pursue the dream actively and frankly I am satisfied with my current environment. I don't have wealth beyond measure, but rather a happy and healthy life together with enough resources to live comfortably.

Avoiding the "knock"

To me, this also means being able to purchase second-hand cars cash, since lower depreciation values and zero interest make a lot of sense. Of importance is a car in good shape, with low kilometers accompanied by a full service history.

I purchased a second-hand 2006 Jetta 4 V5 recently. One of the last Jetta 4s produced in SA, it has completed 23 000km within its first year.

The silver paintwork complements the well-proportioned exterior styling of the vehicle and this is positively the best looking Jetta produced by Volkswagen thus far.

My beauty's front wheels are driven by a narrow angle V5 with 125 kW on tap - more than adequate in my books.

Engine underrated

I've found this engine to be much underrated, considering it is smaller than the previous generation VR6 motor that was, at the time, heralded as a remarkable engineering feat due to its packaging.

My car's multi-valve V5 motor produces power similar to that of the original VR6, so it is more efficient than the original engine, but definitely not strained.

The engine output might pale in comparison to the latest generation compact sport saloons, but the progressive shove of the engine when planting the accelerator pedal, combined with the solid build quality of the vehicle, creates the impression of driving a steam-powered locomotive.

This puts a satisfying grin on my face, especially as the forward motion is combined with a distinctive growl from the exhaust.

The interior is in good nick and the size and layout of the cabin is practical and accessible. Seats are covered mainly in equally serviceable black leather Recaros that give a reassuring hug when moving on. There are also dark wood inserts splattered across the cabin that adds to the generally warm ambience.

I am looking forward to spending plenty more time with my V5 since I think, like a good wine, it will be appreciated more as the time passes. I am also sure my stockbroking portfolio will grow in equal measure to one day allow me to acquire more gems of this nature.

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