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2008 Volkswagen Jetta

Overview
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2008 Volkswagen Jetta Review

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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)

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2008 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1009 Ratings for the 2005 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Best Car I have Owned -2010 Jetta Ltd Edition

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Easy to drive, great road handling, good pick-up"

Cons: "doesn't have satellite radio"

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

"I have had it for 5 years and have had no problems other than tire inflation indicator issue that was caused by me using a synthetic tire inflator. Never use that stuff...it ruined the tire and I think the service guy broker the indicator on the tire rim when he was trying to find the problem. Anyway, I replaced the indicator and it works fine now. The car runs great and handles the turns well with that German engineering. I use the tiptronic regularly instead of braking all the time, mileage is 25/30. Comfortable seating on long trips (leatherette seating) and perfect for my size 5'7 145. Also like the fold down rear seats for when I'm lugging stuff. I'll keep this car for as long as it runs."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Love it

By on Monday, April 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"We bought this car brand new in 2007 and have driven it all over the place. We have made sure we stuck to the owner's manual for all maintenance and it is a good thing we did because this car has been nothing but incredible to us. We shipped it from the US to the UK, drove it all over Europe and then shipped it back to the US with us and she is still going strong. 112k miles and we haven't had any major issues (I definitely cannot say the same about our TDI beetle). Like one other reviewer, we've had a couple of warranty items that we had fixed but other than that, our biggest issues have been the driver side headlight goes through bulbs rather quickly (really not that big of a deal) and the panel between the front and back passenger side windows had paint peel off of it (again, not that big of an issue considering its a black panel and the material under the paint is also black). My husband is a TDI lover for life now. Once this car finally dies, he plans on buying another one."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Worst Car I've ever owned

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
3/10

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."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Remarkably reliable

By on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 162,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

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."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

145k (2009) acts and rides like new, great MPG

By on Saturday, March 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

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."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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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

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