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 Vernnie on Saturday, March 21, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car with 50,000 miles from a dealer. It never made it home without a tow, I've stuck 3000.00 in parts and repairs in over just 39,000 miles. I hate this thing and will get rid of it within the month."
By Racer on Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 162,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This has been my most reliable car, perhaps that's why I've had it for 10 years. Only 1-2 warranty issues over the years and very economical to use as my commuter car. Good comfort. Good ride quality and handling. Spacious trunk. Plenty of room."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By mckan on Saturday, March 07, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG, ride & handling, pickup response, looks."
Cons: "Diesel maintenance cost"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Average 32 to 42 mpg and love the pickup/torque I get from this diesel. My '09 Jetta has never broken down or given any trouble in a 145,000 miles. Do all scheduled maintenance and replaced wearable items: battery, wipers, rear brakes, tires. Have only had three mechanical problems in 7 years. Diesel maintenance costs are generally higher than gas. No squeaks or rattles and the interior looks like new. It is a fun car to drive, handles well, sips fuel and takes-off like a rabbit."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Dick on Saturday, February 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love the gas mileage. We drove a long distance to get to cancer treatments for myself and it never failed me and was inexpensive to drive. Those who drove for me also enjoyed driving this car."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By jeff on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent gas milage"
Cons: "Interior,exterior quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Electrical wiring harness recall.Class action only partially paid for replacement.Headliners only lasted a few years.Plastic coating on doorlocks radio ect. comes off in pieces.Headlight lens degrade quickly.Problem with trunk latches.My 2006 drives great but the extra cost repairing poor quality adds up."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By larry on Saturday, February 14, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "good fuel mileage, handles well, low maintenance c"
Cons: "harsh ride, parts expensive, labor expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Bought it with 91000 miles. Something in the torque converter rattles when the engine idles but isn't hurting anything. Air conditioning doesn't blow very cold air and am told it is a design flaw. Other than that, not very many problems with it so far. Have put 15,000 miles on it in 3 years. Car has somewhat of a harsh ride but with 50 series tires, it rides somewhat better. 40 series tires makes it ride pretty rough."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful