Volkswagen Magazine


The complete package.

Quality is meant to come at a price. So how do you explain the price tag on Volkswagen’s stylishly European Jetta?

There’s a new premium sedan in town.

The latest addition to the new Volkswagen Jetta range, the Jetta 155TSI Highline Sport combines European styling, class and practicality in a way rarely seen in one package. It’s what sets the Jetta Highline Sport apart from so many of its peers—a vehicle brimming with technology and comfortable features, propelled by a powerful and efficient engine, and attractive enough to turn heads.

The premium Highline Sport is one of four Jetta variants currently available, each featuring significant levels of additional equipment and Volkswagen’s signature ride and handling quality. But it’s the Jetta’s elegant European form that is most likely to make an impression at first glance. The Jetta borrows styling cues from its predecessor but adds extra sporty elements front and rear to give the model a thoroughly modern look.
It’s with the Jetta’s European pedigree in mind that a plan was devised to visit some of Sydney’s best European eateries and food producers; places that are stylish, authentic and full of character, not unlike the Jetta itself.

In expert hands

My companion and tour guide for our day-long culinary adventure around Sydney is Pepe Saya, whose European-style cultured butter has found its way onto plates at several of Australia’s best restaurants. He also supplies his butter to the first-class and business-class cabins of Qantas – a partnership between food producer and airline carrier that, he says, helped put him on the map.

Despite his high-end-of-town connections and a brand caricature that suggests a bit of haughty connoisseur, there’s nothing remotely arrogant or aloof about Pepe, who is instantly disarming and always quick to laugh.

Not only is he extremely well regarded in food circles – for the quality of his product and for the manner in which he does business – he’s also a Volkswagen man through and through.

Soon after getting his business up and running, Pepe decided to invest in a small fleet of Volkswagen vehicles to assist him to move his product: two Caddys, one of which is refrigerated; and a Polo, which acts as sales vehicle and general runabout. He says he chose Volkswagens as company vehicles because he has always found them to be reliable and practical.


Model: Jetta Highline Sport
Engine: 2.0-litre TSI turbocharged

with direct-injection petrol
Transmission: 6-speed DSG
Max power: 155kW
Max torque: 280Nm
0–100km/h: 7.2 seconds

The tour begins

We’re lucky to have the top-of-the-range 155TSI Highline Sport as our ride for the day. The premium Jetta packs plenty of luxurious touches throughout, such as comfortable leather-appointed seats, but both it and the other variants in the Jetta range have plenty in common.

One feature shared by every new Jetta is class-leading boot space, which is extremely generous at 510 litres. That boot space is put to good use with a morning stop at Iggy’s Bread of the World bakery in Bronte.

Yugoslavian-born artisan baker Igor Ivanovic and his wife, Ludmilla, set up shop in Bronte after establishing themselves in Boston, and rare is the day when their loaves don’t sell out in a hurry. Igor has invested heavily in the best bread-making equipment a baker can buy, but the technological wizardry would count for nothing if it wasn’t for the passion that he and his team bring to making Iggy’s distinctive artisanal sourdough.

Pepe takes as much bread as he can feasibly carry and loads up the car, the smell of freshly baked bread in the boot and the back seat simply unbeatable.

It’s then a brief journey to Bitton Café on the cusp of Alexandria and Erskineville in Sydney’s inner south-west for lunch.

Frenchman David Bitton has invested 15 years in building a successful café and line of gourmet products. He delights in chatting to the many regulars who come and go, and I suspect many of them come for his easy conversation and flattery as much as the exquisite food. Bitton’s chefs claim to crack open more than 2000 eggs a week to make French staples such as omelettes and crepes, but it’s the café’s beef eye fillet that David says is the real crowd-pleaser.

For gourmet food producers such as Pepe, Igor and David, using the best possible ingredients and knowing the provenance of their products is absolutely key.

Nowhere is food’s provenance more important than at our next stop, Pino’s Dolce Vita butchery in Kogarah, in Sydney’s south. Owner Pino Tomini Foresti, who has operated his family-run store for 37 years, represents the seventh consecutive generation of butchers in his family, which originated in Calabria, in Italy’s south.
Pino’s staff will proudly tell you there’s no middleman involved in the meat they sell. They deal with the farmers directly as much as possible, to the extent that they can get on the phone and find out how each animal was raised and fed and the qualities of each breed.

Quality foodstuffs aside, it’s worth a visit to Pino’s purely to see the ham hanging in the store’s enormous glass-fronted curing room, and miscellaneous knick-knacks on display from the family’s ancestral home.

A feel for the car

The journey from Pino’s back up the Princes Highway gives Pepe a chance to say what he thinks of the car he’s been driving for most of the day – much of the conversation so far has, not surprisingly, been about food.

“It’s certainly quick off the mark,” he says, referring to the Jetta Highline Sport’s turbocharged 2.0-litre TSI engine and advanced DSG transmission.

“I do a lot of driving around town and it’s exactly what you need in the city,” he says. “At the same time, it’s obviously very economical.”
The Jetta’s very large boot and leather-appointed seats have significant advantages for Pepe, who often has his young kids in tow. The Black Vienna leather appointed interior, which is particular to the Highline and Highline
Sport grades, exudes luxury, not to mention being easy to clean. (The Trendline variant receives black cloth upholstery; Comfortline receives high-grade black comfort cloth as standard.)

“The Jetta is such a good size, too,” Pepe says. “It’s compact enough that you can park it in tight spots around the city, as we’ve done all day, really.”
What he likes most about the Jetta, however—and what keeps him coming back to Volkswagens time and again—is the build quality. He opens and shuts the driver’s door to illustrate his point, the door coming to with a reassuring ‘thunk’. There’s a good reason for this. The Jetta’s component body parts have been assembled using laser seam welding, not a claim that many of the Jetta’s
competitors can make.

Among the other features that are standard across the Jetta range are leather multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and Media Device Interface (MDI) in the cabin, and advanced safety features such as Extended Electronic Differential Lock (XDL) and the advanced Driver Fatigue Detection system.

The Highline Sport packs in a number of quality enhancements. As well as Charleston 18” alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime driving lights and dynamic cornering lights, the Highline Sport possesses a number of features common to vehicles in the Volkswagen Performance Range, such as sports suspension, gearshift paddles, and dark tinted rear side and rear window glass.

The day ends in style

With night falling, Pepe nominates 10 William Street wine bar and restaurant in Paddington to sample some finger food. Our appetities are close to sated by the good food we’ve sampled during the day, but that doesn’t stop us enjoying some whipped ‘bottarga’ (fish roe), a chewy/crusty pretzel and marinated olives.

The wine list reads like a ‘best of the best’ from Italy and France, with the extremely knowledgeable bar staff on hand to recommend a drop to satisfy every palate. The wines aren’t inexpensive, but no-one ever said very good European wine should be.
With our day’s culinary adventure at an end, I know there’s no danger that anyone will need to pay over the odds to own a piece of European motoring heritage.

We’ve enjoyed some of the best European food Sydney has to offer—and not broken the bank doing so. Similarly, the Jetta promises a premium European package, but without the expense.

As the Jetta spirits Pepe and me through the night, the Bi-Xenon headlights cutting through the darkness and the swivel beam lighting every turn, we both agree: You just can’t beat that.

With thanks to:

Pepe Saya,
Iggy’s Bread of the World, 49 Belgrave Street, Bronte,
Bitton Café, 36-37a Copeland Street, Alexandria,
Pino’s Dolce Vita, Shop 10, 45 President Avenue, Kogarah,
10 William Street, Paddington,