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Dear Volkswagen, please bring back the Jetta! Love, SA readers

2020-05-29 16:00

Janine Van der Post

peter mammekwa,jetta mk3 vr6

1995 VW Jetta Mk3 VR6

• Wheels24 readers react to the losing the Jetta in SA
• Rated as one of the best compact sedans 
• Fans asking VWSA to reconsider the model

We might not all support the same rugby or soccer teams, and we might not all enjoy some 'snoek and patats', but if there's one thing I am sure of is that we'll all agree that the Jetta was to Volkswagen, what the Corolla is to Toyota - and that it should have stayed here in South Africa.  

Earlier this week, Wheels24 contributor Robin Classen, wrote that the local automaker should have never discontinued the Passat and Jetta models and replaced it with the Arteon. It just didn't work.

The Jetta has been a long-standing model, and has had much success since the 1980s when it was launched and arrived here. Sadly, the automaker announced the Jetta and Passat would no longer be available locally when the Arteon was brought in locally in its place.

South African fans were a lot more heartbroken by this news than the company might have realised, and our article sparked a monumental response from Wheels24 readers that we just had to share some of them.

VW jetta mk4

Image: Wheels24 reader Franklin Van Wyk

Aadil Mohamed wrote this letter to CarMag in 2018, and still feels exactly the same. He says: The Jetta was the formula that worked for VW, at least here in SA: it was a Golf with a boot. It featured all the top models of Golf, and I owned all of them from the Jetta Mk2 until the Mk5.

"Currently, all the Jettas that were sold alongside the GTi's are still sought-after vehicles and attract respectable resale values.

"Trying to entice us, customers, to Passat and Arteon wouldn't work (and it didn't - Ed). As shown by the CC, and now Passat sales locally. There is no doubt that the CC, Passat, and Arteon are great vehicles but they should be compared against Audi A5, Volvo S90, Kia Optima, Mazda 6 and maybe Lexus GS. And, let's not even talk about their resale values, you'll never want to own it.

"Comparing them with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class shows VW's lack of understanding their customer profiles. A similar mistake Honda made with the Accord.

"The Jetta 6 Coupe Concept shown a few years ago would have been a winner. The Jetta brand here has been so marginalised that VW never even offered an R-Line package with a bit of oomph.

"Why VW SA had decided to move Jetta off the Golf platform is anyone's guess. I'm sad to say the Jetta will now be confined to history in SA because Edition 6 is the last. Fortunately for the left-hand drive customers, this is not the case. 

"Many may say that I should buy an SUV like the Tiguan, but I am a compact sedan person by heart.

"So VW, you have just lost a loyal customer, and I'm sure there are thousands out there like me. Thank you anyway for leaving me with great motoring memories.

vw jetta, vusi mthombeni

Image: Peter Mammekwa

Alan Halvorsen: "VW should definitely have kept the Jetta and Passat, and instead upgraded or enhanced these ranges than introduce a new, more expensive model. No wonder the sales of the Arteon speak for themselves. No longer a car for the people. VW you missed the point in doing this, sorry for you and us.

Peter M says: "Yes, the Jetta is a good format and should have been ongoing. Fantastic-sized boot. Good mid-priced car. The Arteon is over-priced, and I would instead buy the Mercedes C180.

Peter Mammekwa says: "VW SA should bring back the Jetta production to the South African market, and also include the GLi top of the range Jetta model similar to the GTI. I'm currently the owner of a 1995 VW Jetta Mk3 VR6 2.8 since 2008.

Rob Walters says: "The best car I ever had was a Jetta 1.9 TDI. Comfortable, powerful and very economical averaging 6.0-litres/100km over the 12 years I had it.

Stephen says: "Agreed, the VW Jetta was affordable and an icon. I had the pleasure of having a 2014 Tdi. Great car. Then I made a mistake and traded it for a Mercedes C-Class 220d. This is not really a family car as the Jetta had all the space one could possibly want and need. My Jetta did not go through a set of tyres every 35 000km either. I wanted to return to the Jetta, but it was taken from the market. It would have been more affordable, and still have all the little luxuries. 

Franklin Van Wyk: "I own a Jetta Mk4. It currently has 415 000km on the clock and is now treated as a family heirloom. It is very reliable and still turns a few heads when we take it for a drive. The Jetta, in my view, is a classic, no-nonsense family saloon that was affordable and classy. It should have never been discontinued."  

Mike Crowley says: "Discontinue? No."The Jetta has not had a great track record. I bought a new one in 2000. Made in Mexico. Too much Tequila and grass on a Monday morning?"My Jetta was so bad I got rid of it a year and a half later."Fast forward 15  years. I purchase a 2015 Passat Sport, and five years later, I still have this great car and have had no problems. Tennessee built. The whiskey does not flow as much as the Tequila.

vw jetta, vusi mthombeni

Image: Vusi Mthombeni

Vusiwagen Mthombeni, the Jetta lover, says: "I agree with you 100% with regards to VW discontinuing both Jetta and Passat, replacing them with a highly-priced Arteon. In the last ten years, I owned three Jettas, wonderful and reliable family cars which were affordable. I believe that VW let my beloved compact sedan down by focusing on making Golf more attractive with GTi and R-lines, yet Mk5 and Mk6 merely reached the ceiling at Highline's.

"Jetta had GLi as the top of the range that equalled the GTi, that made it sportier and attractive to young families and average to middle-class motorists. The absence of the GLi might be the reason as to why most sedan lovers opt for other powerful sedans in Mercedes-Benz, BMW, etc

"I can write a lot about this beautiful sedan(Jetta) that carried my family for the past ten years, which my three-year-old daughter can identify effortlessly, and loves so dearly.

"I hope VW will reconsider reversing their decision with regards to the Jetta and go back to basics of making a Jetta a total sibling to a Golf across all trims. 

"Thanks for letting the admirers of this iconic sedan that touched our shores in the '80s share their opinions." 

Heinrich November says: I think the Jetta should have remained in production. 

They should have just went over budget and dropped a GTI engine in. With manual gearbox. DSG optional. 

For a young man like me who also has the only car in family, a Jetta makes sense. 

It has heritage, brand name, style, and more importantly, space. 

I could easily install a decent sound system, and still take long commutes to the Klein Karoo with family. 

Whilst the Arteon was a great stride for VW, the Jetta should have been here with it. Three engine options: Diesel, TSI and CLI (GTI-powered). 

We could only hope for better days. 

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists, and or readers published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Wheels24.

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