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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 997 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

110,000 miles and drives like it did on day 1

By on Monday, December 15, 2014

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
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "powerful smaller car with good fuel efficiency"

Cons: "Diesel pricing, but..."

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

"Purchased this because it was a clean diesel with a strong engine. Have had for 5 years. 110,000 miles later and it still drives as well today as it did on day one. I drive about 60 miles roundtrip every day in not so great city driving conditions. Regular maintenance has kept this running really well. Fuel efficiency is a bonus!"

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Great dependable, low maintenance, good looking -

By on Saturday, December 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Roomy, good looking, dependable, low maintenance"

Cons: "none"

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

"Sharp car, fun to drive, good looking, low maintenance, very comfortable. Still looks gray after 7 years - good gas mileage, great wagon."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Absolutely hate this car!!!

By on Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "None."

Cons: "Expensive parts for repairs."

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

"Where to began. The headliner started to come loose after about 2 years. That was going to cost about $1k. Of course, the warranty was done. This car nickeled and dimed for repairs for almost 7 years. Now the transmission is bad and will cost about $4k-$5k to fix. And it is only at 133,000 miles. I say this after driving a 1986 Honda Prelude 295,000. Still driving a 2001 Mit. Montero at 249,000. I had a Datsun 200sx that I drove for about 300,000 before I sold it. I try to drive the wheels off of my cars before I get another. I'm selling the jetta asap. Oh, and I paid the jetta off."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

do not get a jetta

By on Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
4/10

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

"This car was the worst car I have ever owned. I have owned a 2006 Altima, a 2009 Altima, a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and each one blows the Jetta out of the water. The Jetta has had constant maintenance issues since it hit 90,000 miles. Bought this car for $14,000 last July and I regret that more than just about anything"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Almost good

By on Sunday, November 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "too many small problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I was pretty satisfied with this car, until I started having trouble with so many little things. First the cover the rear windshield wiper fell off, might have been from car wash. Then my rear hatch would only open sometimes. Then the driver side door would not lock, Now the rear driver side door won't unlock, and can't even open from the inside. I believe it's bad lock actuators. I also had to replace the Turbo actuator, which the dealer was unable to diagnose, they wanted to replace the whole turbo, but luckily found a good local shop to fix it. I really wanted to like the car. I love the handling and the awesome MPG, but overall I'm disappointed with the car."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Love it

By on Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

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: "Great price, dependable, reliable"

Cons: "tdi jetta get even better mileage"

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

"Best car I have ever owned, couldn't be happier with the 2010 jetta. I tried out a lot of cars but being 6'2" was an issue. this has plenty of room for my feet and head. Ive owned it since 2010 and almost have it paid off and don't plan on getting rid of it. Everything seems top of the line and the ride is the smoothest and quietest ride out there as far as I'm concerned."

5 people out of 8 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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