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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 1029 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

A solid car

By on Saturday, August 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,100

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Gas mileage"

Cons: "Interior quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"This car has been pretty good to me. The gas mileage is great, and it has a pretty fair amount of room for a sedan. The trunk is quite spacious. The interior is disappointing. The driver seat is already ripping in spots, and the center console also has cracking and wear from where my elbow rests. I have had to replace the blower motor once, and on occasion my sunroof will crack open for no reason while driving or even when the car is off. No idea how that is happening. It doesn't happen often....probably 3-4 times a year, but it does happen. Also, my clock spring has been out for a year, which is a 200-400 dollar repair that I would rather not spend. Why should I pay for that??? All I did was drive my car. Grrrr. But, it should be noted that I have had no issues with anything that would put my car out of commission. Everything that I have had to fix has not been engine related. If I had to do it all over again, I would still get this car. It's safe and gets good gas mileage. I may have waited a year as the newer models seem a bit nicer in the interior."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car for the price.

By on Monday, August 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Lot of car for the money"

Cons: "Headlights have manual switch"

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

"Perfect small sedan for driving just about anywhere. Lots of features for the price. Only problem was no automatic headlights. Just oil changes and tire rotations and about ready for a new battery. Car's fit and finish is solid. Very reliable car."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great on fuel

By on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 156,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Peppy engine, excellent handling, and comfortable."

Cons: "Low reliability and short warranty"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I purchased this car new in late 2008 near the peak of gas prices. Got a great deal on exactly what I wanted. Overall, I have loved the car. Comfortable, peppy, great handling, and 40+ MPG. The 3 yr, 36000 mile free maintenance was a nice deal to top it off. I have driven this car for 25,000+ miles per year and it has never left me stranded when away from home. There are a couple of downsides to the vehicle that I will point out. This was the first model year of the new 2.0L TDI clean diesel engine. I have typically avoided first model year cars, they will have unknown issues due to the lack of past performance. The car itself was three years old but the engine was a complete new design from the former 1.9L TDI. The other downside is the short warranty, 36K miles or 3 years. Until all issues are fixed, it is worth it to get an extended warranty on this car. In the time I have owned the car, I have had almost every now known issue that has been discovered happen to my car (Plus a couple extra). 1. A/C compressor imploded after the first year - fixed my VW under warranty 2. Exhaust flapper valve - fixed under VW warranty 3. Intake flapper valve - out of warranty repair ($350 + labor), over 36K miles. 4. Cracked diesel particulate filter (DPF)- VW warranty replaced everything but the DPF until car was out of warranty. Now they will not repair and the part is $900 plus labor. Now I just have a constant check engine light. 5. High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) - A known issue with these engines that VW blames on drivers putting gas in the tank instead of diesel. I believe it is just a poorly designed pump. Just in the last month VW finally issued a warranty extension to 120K for repairs. Mine died at 157,000 and has an estimated $5K repair. Dead in my driveway, repairs cost more than car is worth. 6. Sunroof drains leaked - VW refused to repair since car was out of warranty period. VW has since lost a class action lawsuit regarding this issue. I had to repair myself with a little bit of silicon. Overall, I love the car but upset at the number of repairs I have had to deal with outside of the short warranty."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Highly disappointed

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 242,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
5/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Bought the 2009 VW TDI had it four months ... the high pressure fuel pump went out ... called VW of America .. told them I know this is common problem with cars of all mileages from 30,000 miles to as high as mine ... nope not covered no recalls ... 1 week later get a recall notice .. imagine that it's covered but of course only 10 years or 120,000 miles... VW to repair over $10,000 private garage over $7,000 and they didn't even want to take on the job .. highly disappointed with all the hype I heard for so long re: VW and Diesel .. they run forever ... I paid cash for my car ... and it lasted 4 months ... now stuck trying to sell as is .. and buy another car ... was so disappointed as I paid cash for the car it's what I had wanted for over 2 years I saved to pay cash ... to have nothing .. lucky if I can get $2000 for it ... the way it sits ... nice ..."

1 person out of 5 found this review helpful

Love My 2006 Jetta

By on Tuesday, August 04, 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
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, great look, comfortable, fast"

Cons: "No transmission dip stick, difficult repairs"

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

"I bought my Jetta four years ago. I love to drive fast and this car does too. Great on winding roads, mountain roads, highways, and local in-city streets. Gets about 23 mpg. Looks great and sounds great. Excellent stereo. However, the car is made to deter owner repairs. No transmission dip stick!"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great Car Despite the Kinks

By on Tuesday, August 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value, fun to drive, great MPG"

Cons: "maintenance cost"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Bought this car new in 2010. Driving dynamics, ride, steering, and composure are excellent as is the fuel economy. I drive lots of highway miles and consistently see mileage in the 40's. On one trip with one person in the car and at 55 mph I saw 49.4 MPG which is crazy good. The diesel turbo is also a lot of fun where it matters off the line. Not the fastest car on the road but certainly great bang for the buck. Downsides were an unhonored extended warranty (may have been a dealer issue) and expensive servicing. We also ran into a problem wit biodiesel that VW did not disclose when we first bought the car. Diesel in the US has a higher biodiesel content than this car was designed for and one day the car just shut off. It ended up shredding the internal components and was quite a pain to get vw to replace. We were told they have since corrected the issue on later models."

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