Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2008 Volkswagen Jetta

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Volkswagen Jetta Review

By

A cut above the generic four-door sedan, the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta borrows mechanical components from the upscale Audi division, provides 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---although the new GLI model's turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant delivers the power of a V6 with the fuel economy of a frugal four. Due to EPA Tier 2 regulations, however, the high-mileage TDI diesel will not be offered in the first part of 2008, but VW indicates it will return soon.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a sedan with European ride and handling capabilities, the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta offers German engineering at an attractive price.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2008

For 2008, VW simplifies the Jetta line with three trims (S, SE, SEL) all powered by a new 2.5-liter engine. The GLI trim becomes its own model, although it shares almost all of the Jetta's major components.

Driving the Jetta

Driving Impressions Although a full seven inches longer and 300 pounds heavier than the previous-generation Jetta, the 2008 Volkswagen 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 modes---regular and sport automatic modes, plus a manual mode.

Rear Seat Side-Impact Airbags
When combined with the standard side-curtain airbags, this option adds another level of security for rear-seat passengers.

2008 Volkswagen Jetta Details
Interior

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. This model marks the largest Jetta to date, touting seven additional inches over the previous generation. 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2008 Volkswagen 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 and power recline. 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

Optional equipment on the Jetta varies by trim and includes heated front seats, leather or V-Tex leatherette seating, power-adjustable driver's and passenger's seats, 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 (standard on SEL), power sunroof, premium sound system, navigation, alloy wheels, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and 12-way adjustable front seats with driver's memory.

Under the Hood

Volkswagen offers only one engine for the Jetta: A newly-improved 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Delivering 20 additional horsepower without sacrificing much in the way of fuel economy makes this upgrade a win/win for consumers. No firm word yet whether the high-mileage TDI diesel will be offered later in the model year.


2.5-liter in-line 5
170 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
177 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (manual), 21/29 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1006 Ratings for the 2005 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

I have driven this car for 8 years.

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great drivetrain, but Electrical,Interior is poor

By on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

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."

nice car

By on Saturday, February 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

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."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great Mileage

By on Monday, January 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Workhorse with power and great fuel mileage,"

Cons: "Maintenance and diesel fuel price differnce"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Not luxury but very functional. No major issues...just normal maintenance. VW Diesel maintenance is more costly than a gasoline fuel vehicle."

13 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Awesome Car!

By on Friday, January 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Bright daytime running lights"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love my Jetta! I got it last summer (2014) and I absolutely love driving it. It had 77K miles on it when I got it, and it runs great. I will be going to college in 2 years, and I plan on keeping it for at least another 6 year, if not longer."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Worst vehicle ever bought.

By on Monday, January 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 146,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Looks good"

Cons: "the transmission is faulty and cost a fortune"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"At first I thought the vehicle was great and looked great but after the first year I started having issues with the transmission which the dealership kept telling me that nothing was wrong. After the warranty ran out I took it to another company who replaced the transmission stating that most of these transmission have been having issues and caused most owners to have to replace the transmission. It ran fine for about a year and I am having issues again and they can't tell me where it is coming from but it is shifting hard, getting stuck in gear, and has all of the shift gears light up at once on the dash. My engine light is also on again for the hundredth time. I also had to replace the catalytic convertor six month ago when it went out which cost over a thousand dollars. I have had other small issues as well but they didn't cost me that much or I just ignore it like the fact that all the paint came off the stereo buttons, not normal wear."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?