The executive sedan segment in India is seeing a lull period, but VW India has just launched the Jetta facelift. The VW Jetta facelift competes with the Skoda Octavia, Toyota Corolla Altis, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze and the Renault Fluence in the diesel segment, while the Cruze and Fluence aren't available with petrol engines in India.
At 4,659 mm in length, the Jetta and the Octavia are the longest in this segment, though the Fluence and Elantra sport a longer wheelbase at 2,703 mm and 2,700 mm respectively. The Octavia is the widest in this class, and thanks to its notchback, has the largest boot at 590 liters. In comparison, the Cruze has the smallest boot at 450 liters.
The Jetta and Octavia share the 2.0-liter engine (though the Skoda makes slightly more power), the Cruze features the most powerful engine here at 166 PS, while the Corolla Altis produces only half as much from its 88 PS 1.4-liter engine.
This clearly reflects in the power-weight ratio, with the Corolla sporting the lowest figure at 69.29 PS/tonne, while the Octavia and Cruze offer nearly 106 PS/tonne.
All cars get a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, with VW and Skoda offering an optional 6-speed DSG, and Chevrolet and Hyundai offer an optional 6-speed torque converter. At 20.6 km/l, the Octavia is the most fuel efficient of the lot, though it should be mentioned that Toyota and Hyundai did not disclose the ARAI fuel efficiency figures for the Altis and Elantra.
At INR 13.85 lakhs, the Altis is the most affordable car in this segment, while the Octavia is the most expensive followed by the Jetta facelift.
Toyota and Hyundai offer their cars with naturally aspirated 1.8-liter petrol engines, while the VW Group opts for the turbocharged route with their TSI motors. The Jetta facelift gets a 1.4-liter 122 PS engine, and the Octavia offers the same engine at 140 PS and a more powerful 1.8-liter 180 PS TSI engine matched to a 7-speed DSG.
We didn't have to use the calculator to figure the Octavia 1.8 has the highest power-weight ratio at 130.81 PS/tonne, while the Jetta is the lowest at 90.1 PS/tonne.
Again, Hyundai and Toyota did not disclose the ARAI-rated efficiency of their cars, and hence the comparison boils within the VW Group. Despite producing fewer horsepower and torque, the Jetta 1.4 returns 2.11 km/l less compared to the Octavia 1.4. Thanks to its lightweight MQB platform, even the Octavia 1.8 TSI AT delivers 0.01 km/l more than the Jetta facelift.
Coming to prices, the Jetta facelift is just about a lakh more expensive than the Corolla Altis, and in fact INR 2,000 more than the Elantra. The Octavia continues to be the most expensive car in this segment.