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Volkswagen Jetta (A2)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Volkswagen Jetta (A2, Typ 1G)
1985 Jetta 4-door (U.S. specification)
1991–2013 (China)
1,708,390 built[3][4]
AssemblyWolfsburg, Germany
Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Changchun, China (FAW-VW)
Chengdu, China (FAW-VW)
Lagos, Nigeria
Uitenhage, South Africa
Puebla, Mexico
New Stanton, Pennsylvania, United States, (Volkswagen America)
Body and chassis
Body style4-door notchback sedan /saloon
2-door notchback sedan / saloon
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
PlatformVolkswagen Group A2 platform
RelatedVolkswagen Golf Mk2
Volkswagen Corrado
SEAT Toledo Mk1
Engine1.3 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (petrol)
1.8 L I4 8-valve (petrol)
1.8 L I4 16-valve (petrol)
2.0 L I4 16-valve (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (diesel)
1.6 L I4 (turbo diesel)
Transmission4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Length1985-88: 4,346 mm (171.1 in)
1989-92: 4,385 mm (172.6 in)
Width1,680 mm (66.1 in)
1985-88 base models: 1,665 mm (65.6 in)
Height1,410 mm (55.5 in)
PredecessorVolkswagen Jetta (A1)
SuccessorVolkswagen Vento (A3)

The Volkswagen Jetta (A2) is a compact car, the second generation of the Volkswagen Jetta and the successor to the Volkswagen Jetta (A1). The Mark 2 series is the longest running Jetta so far. Introduced to Europe in early 1984 and to North America in 1985, the second generation Jetta proved to be a sales success for Volkswagen. The car secured the title of best-selling European car in North America, Farmer's Journal COTY 1991 and outsold the similar Golf by two-to-one in that market.[5] Based on the all new second generation Golf platform, the car was larger, heavier, and could seat five people instead of four as in the Mark 1. Exterior dimensions increased in all directions. Overall length was up by 100 mm (3.9 in), the wheelbase grew 66 mm (2.6 in), and the width went up 53 mm (2.1 in). The suspension setup was basically unchanged from the first generation, although refined slightly, for example by the inclusion of a separate subframe for mounting the front control arms to help noise isolation, as well as improved rubber mountings for all components. Aerodynamics improved considerably, with a drag coefficient of 0.36.[6] With a 470-litre (16.6 ft3) luggage compartment, the trunk had grown nearly as large as some full-sized American sedans.[7] Interior room was also increased 14%, which changed the EPA class from sub-compact to compact.

Cars built in Germany were assembled in a brand new (at the time) plant at Wolfsburg in Assembly Hall 54. The plant was heavily robotised in an effort to make build quality more consistent.[8] New innovations on the second generation included an optional trip computer (referred to as the MFA, German Multi-Funktions-Anzeige), as well as silicone dampened engine and transmission mounts to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness levels. In 1988, a more advanced fully electronic fuel injection system became available. This arrangement is known as the Digifant engine management system.

Volkswagen Jetta 2 door saloon (European specification)
Volkswagen Jetta 2 door saloon (European specification)

Like the Mark 1, the second generation was offered as a two-door or four-door sedan. External changes throughout the series' run were few: the front-quarter windows were eliminated in 1988 (along with a grille and door trim change), and larger body-colored bumpers and lower side skirts were added from 1990.

In 2007, Volkswagen of America held a contest to find the diesel-powered Volkswagen with the highest distance traveled on the original engine.[9] The winning car was a 1986 Jetta Turbodiesel found in Blue Rock, Ohio which had 562,000 miles (904,000 km).[10] A local dealer verified the odometer reading. Notable on this particular car was that it also had the original muffler despite being located in an area subject to road salt in the winter.


Jetta 4-door (German specification)
Jetta 4-door (German specification)

In a crash test conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Jetta received three out of five stars for both driver and passenger protection in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal crash test. The Highway Loss Data Institute (part of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) found the injury and collision losses for the Jetta to be among the best of the small 4-door sedan category.[11] It was topped only by the Golf. Earlier models had the dubious distinction of having an especially high rate of radio theft.[12] Apparently, the mounting of the radio made it especially easy to remove quickly. To correct the problem, Volkswagen introduced a theft protection system to all cars. When the power supply to the radio was removed, it automatically went into "safe" mode. When plugged back in, it would not work unless a secret code was entered. This made it essentially useless to thieves, although provided a hassle to customers who misplaced their code card. The dealership maintains a database of codes, and can replace a lost code if the radio serial number is provided.

North America

1990-1992 Volkswagen Jetta photographed in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
1990-1992 Jetta 4-door (Canadian specification)

The Jetta did not differ greatly from its European twin (at least as much as the Golf did), besides requirements such as bumpers, glass, etc. Also, North American models in general have a narrower range of specification available. For example, most models had things like a larger engine, full console, door panel pockets, velour seating, and, later on, power steering, height adjustable steering column, and tachometer, standard. They also lacked some higher level options of European variants. The Jetta was perceived as slightly upmarket from the Golf. The level of features was always a step above the Golf (standard passive restraint in 1988, standard power steering in 1990, 14-inch wheels available for most years, etc.).

Canadian spec models were even better equipped. Generally, the Canadian base models received the same level of options as an American GL, and the same with the GL and Carat. Other Canadian specification differences were diesel engines (both naturally aspirated and Turbo) available for all years (in the US, there was no diesel for 1988, and only the n/a for 1989 and 1990), a 2-door model for 1992 (it was dropped in the US), the early Carat model (which had heated velour sport seats, a GLi engine, and optional automatic), and color and trim differences.

Testing and review

The car received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the car's excellent handling, as well as a roomier interior compared to the last generation.[6] Stiff shifting manual transmissions were a downside, and braking worked reasonably well although some brake fade was evident in the lower trim lines equipped with solid discs in front and drums in back. A number of reviews noted that the ride was stiff and busy, even though it did have good control typical of German cars. Despite additional sound insulation, road noise was evident especially on coarse pavement.[13] In top sport trim (sometimes called the GLI or GTX), some reviewers noted the car was a less expensive alternative to a BMW or Audi.[14] The sport trim added larger wheels, a stiffer suspension, and closer ratios on the manual transmission. From mid-1987 the Mark 2 GLI was offered with a 16-valve Twin-cam 1.8-litre engine, and was upgraded in early 1990 with the newer Mark 2 body style to a 2.0-litre 16-valve power plant (in North America).


The IRVW 3 ("Integrated Research Volkswagen") was a 1983–1984 research study based on the not yet released Jetta II. In appearance it looked like nothing more than a slightly sporting Jetta, but it was packed with highly refined technology for its time. It was essentially a feasibility study for newly developed technology such as Anti-lock braking system and electric power steering.[15] A number of functions were computer controlled, such as the overdrive gear for its four-speed manual gearbox. The engine was the familiar 1.8 litre inline-four from the Golf GTi, but here equipped with a Roots-type supercharger for a max power of 129–132 kW (173–177 hp; 175–179 PS). Top speed was 212 km/h (132 mph). The IRVW 3 also had a pneumatic suspension which automatically lowered the car when the speed surpassed 120 km/h (75 mph).[15]

Worldwide production

Besides the Volkswagen production base in Germany, this generation was produced in a number of other countries, including Brazil, China, Nigeria, Mexico, South Africa, USA, and the former Yugoslavia.


The first known Jetta in China was the A2 model that was used as a passenger car and a taxicab.

The A2 was then given a facelift in April 1997 where it was known as the Jetta King. Available engines were a 1.6 litre petrol engine called the EA113 for civilian cars and a 1.9 litre diesel engine only available for taxi models. A 4-speed manual gearbox was standard, which could be replaced by a 5-speed manual gearbox, and then a 4-speed automatic gearbox was made available from November 1998. For 2002, the Jetta King was facelifted with a new exterior. Trim levels consisted of the AT, ATF, Avantgarde, CDX, CiF, CiX, CT, GDF, GiF, GT, GTI, GTX and Meeresbrise. This model was also converted into a 2-door pickup truck in limited numbers.

The A2 was facelifted again in March 2010 with the same engines used by its predecessor; it was known as the Jetta Pioneer. This version of the Jetta was not offered in different trim levels and was a single model for the Chinese market. A2-based Jetta production ended in March 2013 where it was replaced by an independent model called the Jetta Night and the new model exclusive to China was developed based on the Volkswagen Group A05+ platform.

Volkswagen Jetta (China)
Volkswagen Jetta King (China)
Volkswagen Jetta King minor facelift (China)
Volkswagen Jetta Pioneer (China)


Model Years Engine and code Displ. Power Torque Notes
Petrol engines without catalytic converter
1.3 1983–1992 I4 Carburettor HK/MH/2G 1,272 cc (77.6 cu in) 40 kW (54 hp; 54 PS) at 5200 rpm 94 N⋅m (69 ft⋅lbf) at 3300 rpm
1.6 1983–1992 I4 Carburettor EZ/ABN 1,595 cc (97.3 cu in) 55 kW (74 hp; 75 PS) at 5000 rpm 125 N⋅m (92 ft⋅lbf) at 2500 rpm
1.8 1983–1991 I4 Carburettor GU 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 66 kW (89 hp; 90 PS) at 5200 rpm 145 N⋅m (107 ft⋅lbf) at 3300 rpm
1.8 1985–1987 I4 FI (K-Jetronic) MV 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 66 kW (89 hp; 90 PS) at 5200 rpm 145 N⋅m (107 ft⋅lbf) at 3300 rpm
1.8 GT 1984–1987 I4 FI EV 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 82 kW (110 hp; 111 PS) at 5500 rpm 155 N⋅m (114 ft⋅lbf) at 3100 rpm
1.8 GT 1987–1991 I4 FI PB 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 82 kW (110 hp; 111 PS) at 5400 rpm 159 N⋅m (117 ft⋅lbf) at 4000 rpm
1.8 GT 16V 1986–1991 I4 FI KR 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 100 kW (134 hp; 136 PS) at 6100 rpm 168 N⋅m (124 ft⋅lbf) at 4600 rpm
2.0 CLI 16V[16] 1990–199? I4 FI (KE-Motronic) -- 1,984 cc (121.1 cu in) 110 kW (148 hp; 150 PS) at 6400 rpm 175 N⋅m (129 ft⋅lbf) at 5000 rpm South Africa
Petrol engines with catalytic converter
1.3 1985–1992 I4 FI NZ 1,272 cc (77.6 cu in) 40 kW (54 hp; 54 PS) at 5200 rpm 97 N⋅m (72 ft⋅lbf) at 3000 rpm
1.6 1985–1992 I4 Carburettor PN 1,595 cc (97.3 cu in) 51 kW (68 hp; 69 PS) at 5200 rpm 118 N⋅m (87 ft⋅lbf) at 2700 rpm
1.6 1986–1991 I4 Carburettor RF 1,595 cc (97.3 cu in) 53 kW (71 hp; 72 PS) at 5200 rpm 120 N⋅m (89 ft⋅lbf) at 2700 rpm
1.8 1983–1988 I4 FI (K-Jetronic) GX 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 66 kW (89 hp; 90 PS) at 5200 rpm 137 N⋅m (101 ft⋅lbf) at 3300 rpm
1.8 1986–1990 I4 Carburettor RH 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 62 kW (83 hp; 84 PS) at 5000 rpm 142 N⋅m (105 ft⋅lbf) at 3000 rpm
1.8 1986–1991 I4 FI RP 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 66 kW (89 hp; 90 PS) at 5250 rpm 142 N⋅m (105 ft⋅lbf) at 3000 rpm
1.8 1985–1992 I4 FI (KE-Jetronic/Digifant) HT/RV 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 74 kW (99 hp; 101 PS) at 5250 rpm 146 N⋅m (108 ft⋅lbf) at 3000 rpm
1.8 syncro 1988–1991 I4 FI 1P 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 72 kW (97 hp; 98 PS) at 5400 rpm 143 N⋅m (105 ft⋅lbf) at 3000 rpm
1.8 GT 1985–1992 I4 FI (KE-Jetronic/Digifant) RD/PF 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 79 kW (106 hp; 107 PS) at 5250 rpm 154 N⋅m (114 ft⋅lbf) at 3250 rpm
1.8 GT 1986–1987 I4 FI RG 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 79 kW (106 hp; 107 PS) at 5500 rpm 154 N⋅m (114 ft⋅lbf) at 3500 rpm
1.8 GT/GLI/GTX 16V 1986–1991 I4 FI (KE-Jetronic) PL 1,781 cc (108.7 cu in) 95 kW (127 hp; 129 PS) at 5800 rpm 168 N⋅m (124 ft⋅lbf) at 4250 rpm
2.0 GLI/GTX 16V 1990–1992 I4 FI (KE-Motronic) 9A 1,984 cc (121.1 cu in) 100 kW (134 hp; 136 PS) at 5800 rpm 180 N⋅m (133 ft⋅lbf) at 4400 rpm North America
Diesel engines
1.6 D 1983–1992 I4 diesel JP/ME 1,588 cc (96.9 cu in) 40 kW (54 hp; 54 PS) at 4800 rpm 100 N⋅m (74 ft⋅lbf) at 2300–2900 rpm
1.6 ECOdiesel 1991–1992 I4 Turbodiesel 1V 1,588 cc (96.9 cu in) 44 kW (59 hp; 60 PS) at 4500 rpm 110 N⋅m (81 ft⋅lbf) at 2400–2600 rpm Catalyzed
1.6 TD 1983–1992 I4 Turbodiesel JR/MF 1,588 cc (96.9 cu in) 51 kW (68 hp; 69 PS) at 4500 rpm 133 N⋅m (98 ft⋅lbf) at 2500–2900 rpm
1.6 TD 1989–1991 I4 Turbodiesel RA/SB 1,588 cc (96.9 cu in) 59 kW (79 hp; 80 PS) at 4500 rpm 155 N⋅m (114 ft⋅lbf) at 2500–3000 rpm

See also


  1. ^ Werner Oswald: Deutsche Autos 1945–1990, vol. 3. Motorbuch Verlag Stuttgart 2001. ISBN 3-613-02116-1, p. 72-87.
  2. ^ Mike Covello: Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946–2002. Krause Publications, Iola 2002. ISBN 0-87341-605-8, p. 826-829.
  3. ^ Werner Oswald: Deutsche Autos 1945–1990, vol. 3. Motorbuch Verlag Stuttgart 2001. ISBN 3-613-02116-1, p. 86-87.
  4. ^ Eberhard Kittler: Deutsche Autos seit 1990, vol. 5. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2001. ISBN 3-613-02128-5, p. 224. Note: 1984–1989 German production only, 1990–1992 worldwide deliveries.
  5. ^ Robson, p. 182
  6. ^ a b Smith, David C. (December 1984). "Golf, Jetta much improved and, with them, VWA's hopes". Ward's Auto World.
  7. ^ "Consumer Reports". February 1986: 124. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ Robson, p. 186
  9. ^ "VOLKSWAGEN NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR OLDEST AND HIGHEST MILEAGE DIESEL VEHICLES" (Press release). Volkswagen of America. 2 March 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  10. ^ "VOLKSWAGEN DIESEL HERITAGE SEARCH FINDS HIGHEST MILEAGE DIESEL IN OHIO" (Press release). Volkswagen of America. 23 August 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Injury and Collision Loss Experience by Make and Model" (PDF). Highway Loss Data Institute. September 1992. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  12. ^ "Advisory" (PDF). Insurance Institute for Highways Safety & Highway Loss Data Institute. February 1988. p. 1. Retrieved 14 April 2007.
  13. ^ Consumer Reports, February 1986
  14. ^ Jedlicka, Dan (7 August 1986). "Practically speaking, Volkswagen Jetta GLI at the top of its class". Chicago Sun - Times. p. 106.
  15. ^ a b Renaux, Jean-Jacques (23 February 1984). "Volkswagen soulève un coin du voile: Wunderbar!" [VW raises the veil: Wunderbar!]. Le Moniteur de l'Automobile (in French). Brussels, Belgium: Editions Auto-Magazine. 35 (789): 5–6.
  16. ^ Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1992 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. 1992. p. 1154.
This page was last edited on 13 June 2020, at 22:15
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