By KBB.com Editors
Volkswagen's popular Jetta sedan is a cut above the generic family four-door sedan, with mechanical components borrowed from the upscale Audi division, an exceptionally strong safety rating and a list of standard and optional equipment rarely found in this class. With slightly less rear-seat legroom than the more expensive Passat, the Jetta still provides the kind of "big car" feel you won't find in many of its competitors. On the downside, the Jetta does not offer a V6 engine optionalthough the turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant delivers the power of a V6 with the fuel economy of a frugal four. Due to EPA Tier 2 regulations, the high-mileage TDI diesel is not offered for 2007, but VW promises its return early in 2008.
If you're looking for that "old-school" VW look and feel, the fifth-generation Jetta's styling doesn't convey the same sense of youthful enthusiasm as its predecessors. Although improving, VW's reliability and repair history still lag behind its Japanese competitors.
For 2007, VW has slashed the Jetta's base price by nearly $1,400. New standard features include a tire pressure monitor, audio auxiliary input jack and a simplified cruise control unit.
Driving Impressions Although a full seven inches longer and 300 pounds heavier than the previous-generation Jetta, the new Jetta offers very crisp handling. While it isn't the fastest car in its class,...it's now fast enough to nose its way past the pack when it has to. Highway ride is firm, while road, wind and engine noise are all perceptible but not unpleasant. And if your favorite leg of any journey is the twisty one, the Jetta delivers ample cornering ability complemented by quick, smooth manual Tiptronic downshifts and a satisfying exhaust note.
Six-Speed Tiptronic Transmission
The newest VW transmission shifts quickly and smoothly in three distinct shift modesregular and sport automatic modes, plus a manual mode.
Automatic Dual-Zone Climate Control
A comfort feature not commonly offered on most $20,000 vehicles.
Rear-seat passengers will appreciate the marked improvements in space afforded by the new Jetta's increase in overall length and wheelbase. They might also enjoy the available rear-seat armrest, which allows for a useful trunk pass-through as well. Overall, the interior is attractive and refined, with materials and finish that are tough to match in the category.Exterior
Ironically, the newest version of the best-selling European car in the U.S. features several styling elements seemingly imported from Japan. The new Jetta is also seven inches longer than the previous generation, which no doubt contributes to its more refined appearance. Whether you find the less-playful styling more appealing may depend on whether you think of the Jetta as a fun beach cruiser or a high-value German sedan.
The Jetta comes with an AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player, one-touch up/down power windows, power mirrors, exterior key opening and closing feature for the windows and optional sunroof, cruise control, manual climate control, outside temperature display, four-way adjustable steering column and eight-way adjustable cloth front seats with manual lumbar support. Standard safety equipment includes traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), active head restraints and front side-impact and full-length side-curtain airbags.
Optional equipment on the Jetta varies by trim and includes automatic dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leather or leatherette seating, power adjustable driver's and passenger's seat, in-dash AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible six-disc CD changer, iPod connector, rear-seat armrest/trunk pass-through, trip computer, electronic stability program and heated washer nozzles. Additional options include a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, leather seating, power moonroof, premium sound system, navigation, alloy wheels, HomeLink, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and 12-way adjustable front seats with driver's memory.
Volkswagen offers a wide variety of engine choices that directly affect the Jetta's personality. The base 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine is peppy, but not quick, and its fuel economy figures are not terribly impressive, either. If you can swing the extra cash, get the 2.0-liter turbo. This engine delivers better fuel economy than the 2.5-liter and it's fast as well. This same engine is used in the Audi A3 and A4, it's amazingly refined and has minimal turbo lag.
2.5-liter in-line 5
150 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual), 22/30 (automatic)
2.0-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100-6000 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 (manual), 25/32 (automatic)
By Lacey on Saturday, July 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Styling, looks, amenities."
Cons: "premium fuel"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Wonderful-looking car, and fun to drive. Super looks. At this point, though (86,000 miles and just out of warranty), strange things are going on, costing me over $2000 in repairs this summer."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By cim on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "small, fun to drive, space inside,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The car is very difficult to work on yourself. I think that is why i've rated it so poorly. German cars are too difficult and expensive to work on. i took my car to walmart to get an oil change and they wouldnt even do it for me!"
By Chuck on Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliability, great price, delivers as advertised"
Cons: "driving can be a bit rough with automatic shifting"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I needed a reliable car, peppy and with good gas mileage; I found them all in the Jetta TDI. Reliability: besides regular schedule maintenances and tire replacement, I have not fix or replace any thing in this car. I like the power that the TDI engin delivers, although, the automatic DSG transmission makes it feel like driving a standard, it is an advantage for saving brake usage. I never had a car that lasted 100k without brake service, automatic or standard. I commute long distance for work, I couldn't have done without it, my average gas mileage is in the low 40's, my best was 50 mpg."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Tony_V on Thursday, July 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great engine, Awesome Fuel economy, good handling"
Cons: "Radio and AC bad before 70K miles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Purchased my Jetta TDI in November 2009. Great car to drive. The only complaint I have about the cabin quality is noise. Road noise is not good and even the heat/AC system is loud on high. Maintenance every 40K miles is ~$1000. A point the salesman never mentioned. My problem is reliability. @ 67,000 miles I am on my second $1000 plus repair. First was an AC compressor @ about 60,000 miles. After the repair in December, I had no cold air in June. Had to recharge it myself. This time the radio went out (@67,000 miles). It's just dead. Radio's don't wear out. Swapping it out is no easy task. Even to order a new one you need the old one out of the car for the model number. I may not fix it, just take my lumps and trade it in."
By G on Friday, June 27, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: terrible car
Pros: "I'ts a "drivers car" when it runs"
Cons: "Breaks down and strands you over and over again"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased my Jetta TDI new. Turbo went out at 30K and 60K. Car left me stranded on the road due to other "electronic issues". Hard to start or would not start in the winter. This is by far the worst car I've ever owned - and I've owned some American cars built in the 70's... Volkswagen - you fooled me once."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Bannie on Thursday, June 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "It drives like a dream. Great price for me."
Cons: "Cup holders are back a bit too far for me."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had a 1967 or 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. I drove 45 miles to and from work each day. It never let me down. Gas at that time was about 19 cents a gallon. I filled it up once a week for around $5 to $6. I knew how great a car Volkswagen was and was very happy when I was showed the Volkswagen Jetta. I bought it in January 2014 with about 53,486 miles on it. The color is silver, beautiful. It was a used car, but still had that new smell. I am very petite (4'9") and it sits me up where I can see over the steering wheel and still reach the petals with complete comfort. It is so snappy to drive. I hope to have it until I pass away since I'm elderly. That could be tomorrow or 10 to 20 years from now, if I'm lucky."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful