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A strong player is entering the domestic car market: the Chinese state-owned concern FAW has announced the start of official sales of the Jetta. A two-year or 100,000-kilometer warranty, proven chassis and units, the declared “German quality control”, three models of popular segments at once: a B-class sedan and two compact crossovers. We analyze the trim levels and prices of the Jetta and assess its chances of pushing out the “Chinese” and… Lada Vesta!

Officially, the Volkswagen concern is not even thinking about returning to Russia: even recall campaigns in our country will be carried out by AGR. However, the Russians will not be left without German “budget cars”: the Jetta brand has suddenly emerged from the shadows!

We are talking about a young brand: this year, the Jetta turned five years old. Initially, Jetta was conceived as a budget alternative to Skodas and Volkswagens for Chinese consumers, but the inexpensive sedans and crossovers did not become absolute bestsellers – annual sales fluctuate around 150-180 thousand units. Rhythmic deliveries of Jetta to Russia from the FAW-Volkswagen plant began two years ago, but the official website has only just started working!

Base Jetta VA3 Sedan Base Jetta VA3 Sedan

In our country, the same three models are available as in China: the VA3 sedan (4.5 meters long), the VS5 crossover (4.4 meters long) and its stretched analogue VS7 (4.6 meters long). In terms of technology, all of these are close analogues of the VW Polo/Skoda Rapid and VW Taos/Skoda Karoq familiar to Russians: the same platforms (PQ25 and MQB, respectively) are at the core, German engines are under the hood, but no DSG is provided: only a classic automatic with a torque converter.

Base Jetta VA3 Sedan

From the front, the Jetta VA3 looks like a 2020 Kaluga VW Polo, which is understandable, because the headlights and bumper are the same! But there is no complete unification of body elements, because despite the almost identical dimensions, the form factor is different: a regular sedan is supplied from China, and a liftback is assembled in Russia. The “atmospheric” is also new to us: under the hood is an EA211-DLF unit with a working volume of 1498 cubic centimeters.

EA211-DLF engine under the hood of Jetta VA3

The engine debuted in China in 2016, and there are no complaints about reliability, although AI-92 gasoline is acceptable in the Celestial Empire. The design is simple: Otto cycle operation, distributed injection, two phase shifters. The cylinder head is aluminum, but the block itself is cast iron. The output is almost the same as on the 1.6 MPI engine – 110 hp and 145 Nm of torque. It is not surprising that the gearboxes are common: both the 5-speed MQ200 manual and the 6-speed Aisin automatic are familiar to Russians.

Base Jetta VA3

In Russia, the VA3 is offered in three assembly options, but there are two trim levels: basic and maximum. The top version is only available with an automatic, and for poor sedans, the gearbox can be selected. Such “Jettas” are very ascetic: stampings, rear drum brakes, halogen headlights and taillights, a black monochromatic interior, a steering wheel with a single horn button, a simple radio with four speakers.

Interior of the base Jetta VA3 Base Jetta VA3 Interior of the base Jetta VA3 Interior of the base Jetta VA3 Jetta VA3 Trunk

The “free” options include a stabilization system and ABS, two airbags, electric windows, air conditioning, a tire pressure monitoring indicator, and electric mirrors. The downsides include no reach adjustment for the steering wheel, no full-size spare tire, and no ability to transform: there is a steel partition between the trunk and the passenger compartment. The Jetta VA3 with a manual transmission costs 1,928,000 rubles, and the extra charge for an automatic transmission is 85 thousand rubles.

The interior of the richly equipped Jetta VA3

The top-end trim now costs 2,022,000 rubles, that is, only 9,000 rubles more than the “base” with an automatic. This sedan is much better equipped: it has rear disc brakes, 15-inch alloy wheels, a media system with an 8-inch touchscreen, side airbags and curtain airbags, rear parking sensors, an electric sunroof and cruise control. However, the Jetta VA3 in any case lacks “warm” options, such as heated seats and windows. Adaptation to Russian realities is still ahead.

The richly equipped Jetta VA3 The richly equipped Jetta VA3

However, even in its current form, the richly equipped Jetta VA3 can be an alternative to the Lada Vesta NG with a CVT. The difference with the top Togliatti sedan is 156 thousand rubles, while the “Chinese” with German filling surpasses the domestic sedan in safety. The advantage over other “budget” B-segment cars from China (Omoda S5, Kaiyi E5, Geely Emgrand) is an understandable resource and partial unification with the bestsellers of past years.

Jetta VS5 Jetta VS5

But the Jetta VS5 has less in common with the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Taos. The thing is that for China, they took the body frame of another “twin” – the Seat Ateca. Lighting, glass and body panels have changed, although “under the skin” there is a familiar filling with an adjustment for the design of the rear suspension – it is multi-link regardless of the configuration. They did not save on the “five”: disc rear brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels and LED optics are available by default.

Jetta VS5 Rear Suspension

Even in the basic configuration for 2,752,000 rubles (taking into account the direct discount), the crossover has four airbags, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, cruise control, keyless entry, a media system with a 10-inch touchscreen, a driver fatigue monitoring system and an electric sunroof. By overpaying 200 thousand rubles for the top version, you can get heated mirrors, heated front seats, interior lighting, safety curtains and factory antichrome.

The fully equipped Jetta VS5 for Russia lacks a digital instrument panel … although China has both it and a climate sensor unit

In terms of dimensions and technology, the Jetta VS5 is almost identical to the Volkswagen Taos familiar to Russians: the difference in body length is one millimeter, under the hood is a combination of a 1.4 EA211-DLE turbo engine (150 hp, 250 Nm) and a 6-speed Aisin automatic. The “old” Russian-assembled cars have two obvious advantages: the Japanese gearbox was more modern (8-speed), and all-wheel drive was offered as an option. Among the nuances of the “Jetta” is the lack of height adjustments for seat belts and hooks in the trunk.

The interior of the top version of the Jetta VS5 The interior of the top version of the Jetta VS5 Jetta VS5 Engine Jetta VS5 Trunk

There will also be compromises in equipment: the Jetta comes with a start-stop system by default, the media system on Chinese-assembled crossovers is local, not Volkswagen, the trunk only has a spare tire, and the difference between the four trim levels is insignificant – sometimes only decorative elements are changed. The VS7 crossover is fundamentally different only in its increased rear overhang and a wheelbase stretched by 100 millimeters, but is allocated as a separate model.

Jetta VS7 Jetta VS7 Jetta VS7

The “seven” will cost at least 3,017,000 rubles (taking into account the direct discount), and in addition to a more spacious interior, the buyer will receive an expanded set of options. As standard, there is a panoramic roof, perforated seats and all-round cameras. However, for climate control, adaptive cruise control, heated front seats and side curtain airbags, you will have to pay an additional 162 thousand rubles.

Interior of the top version of the Jetta VS7 The interior of the top version of the Jetta VS7 The interior of the top version of the Jetta VS7 The trunk of the top version of the Jetta VS7

The basic Jetta VS5 costs comparable to the Russian bestsellers Haval and Chery. At the same time, Jolion will be in the top configuration with a whole galaxy of electronic assistants, and Tiggo 7 Pro Max – in the “medium” version. Both “purebred” “Chinese” for this money will offer all-wheel drive, “warm” options and adaptation to Russian realities.

The FAW representative office gives a cautious forecast: the plan for 2024 is ten thousand Jetta, that is, from July to December they plan to sell 1300-1400 cars per month. There will be no separate dealer network: Jettas can be purchased through the brand’s official partners. Despite all the nuances, Jetta is already very competitive, because under a new brand, a well-known auto giant has returned to us. /m

Geely Emgrand. For those who want the good old Lada Vesta with a CVT. We’ve finally got it! The updated Haval Jolion. I wish it was like this right away

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