THE Jetta has always been a somewhat forgotten and overlooked member of the Volkswagen family.
Sitting somewhere between the Golf and the Passat it could easily be dismissed as simply a saloon version of the Golf.
While it hasn't been around as long as Volkswagen's long-serving hatchback, the Jetta is hardly a newcomer.
It's actually been available in some form or other since 1979, albeit with a few name changes along the way.
The Jetta does share its underpinnings with the Golf, so comparisons with it are to be expected.
Despite that common ground, in reality the Jetta is very much a scaled-down Passat, though to be fair it does have its own distinct identity and to fair it's not a bad looking compact saloon.
The current incarnation of the Jetta is the result of a mid-life makeover that refreshes rather than radically overhauls the car.
The main changes are styling enhancements front and rear, including a more eye-caching grille and trim revisions which offer more variety and equipment.
The latest Jetta also benefits from Volkswagen's fuel-efficient BlueMotion technology across the range.
The cabin is roomy and pleasant and has a suitably upmarket feel to it thanks to Volkswagen's high quality fixtures and fittings and attention to detail.
The build quality is as sturdy as one would expect - another VW trademark.
The instrumentation and switchgear also exude an essence of quality - soft touch plastics abound an everything is wonderfully intuitive and easy to use.
Engine-wise there's a raft of petrol and diesel options to choose from. Volkswagen's 2.0-litre diesel engine might have been the subject of much scrutiny and criticism of late with the ongoing emissions saga but there's no disputing it's a capable performer - smooth, refined and potent in equal measure.
Combined with Volkswagen's proven DSG automatic gearbox it makes for a car that can deliver decent performance and everyday usability.
It's one of the reasons diesel cars have done so well and this one will complete the 0-60mph sprint in under nine seconds while at the same time boasts a combined fuel economy figure of more than 60mpg. Opt for a manual and economy is closer to 70mpg.
It handles well too, feeling sharp, agile and poised, with just enough of a hint of wolf in sheep's clothing for what is essentially a fairly standard family car.
A comfortable and cosseted ride adds to the overall driving experience.
While most families tend to opt for traditional hatchbacks, or the ever increasing crop of crossovers in all their shapes and sizes, the Jetta offers a tempting alternative.
While it doesn't have hatchback-style seat folding versatility it boasts whopping a 510 litres of boot space - 130 litres more than a Golf.
All models, S, SE and GT come generously equipped and include DAB digital radio, ESC electronic stability control, electric windows and air conditioning.