No idea why, but it seems like sedans are more popular in the states and the hatches are more popular in UK. (Maybe big expansive roads, compared to small roads, or maybe big SUVs compared to other hatches)
When I went in to speak to a VW dealer about the Jetta here in Aus, he mentioned that the Jetta, the new Passat, etc are a long time coming. At the moment, close to 90% of all passenger VWs they sell in Au are the Golfs...
Bottom line, Americans historically shun small hatchbacks. It's the negative image of being typical cheaply-made, dull, underpowered little commuter appliances, and in the land of multiple-lane highways and big cars and SUVs, perceived safety. This is one reason the Jetta exists and outsells the Golf in the showroom.
On the other end, I can see people in Europe prefer the Golf for economical reasons and being that most streets in European villages are cramped.
Overall, I have to agree with Clarkson here. The latest MkV Jetta is so boring-looking and Toyota-esque. The GLI isn't so bad, but I'd take a 5-door GTI over that. I personally don't like Jettas that much, and the MkV is the worst-looking of all generations.
Heh, the demographics for Jettas are interesting. Though around these parts, I see tons of silver MkIV Jettas with Hawaiian floral-print seat covers and Roxy decals in the back windows. It's such a sorority girl's car.