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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 1023 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 ever owned

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fuel economy. Handling"

Cons: "some road noise. Low profile."

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

"I love this car. Has 160,000 miles. Rides/Drives great. No major maintenance problems. Gets close to 50 mmg on hi way/35 around town. Plenty of power. Very little engine noise. Starts good in cold weather down to 0 deg (about as cold as it gets here. Cruises comfortably at 80 mph."

Great car !

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 136,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive , reliable , good mileage"

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

"I have driven this car for the past eight years , driving 250 miles a week with no major problems except for one. There was one costly repair of a fuel ejection piece , it had sat in airport lot for a week . The engine would not turn over and the part had to be ordered from Germany . I would still recommend this car highly. Love the way it drove !"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Always something wrong

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,523

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great handling, comfortable, aesthetics."

Cons: "Reliability, cost of repairs."

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

"I purchased this car brand new. I have always performed maintenance on schedule and always cared for the car. For the first 2 years all was great, but then it started having small electrical issues. A few months after the warranty expired, the car began to experience some major electrical problems. ABS Control Module, Cooling Pump, Fuel Injection System to name a few. I have experienced a major repair every year after the warranty expired. Every MK5 Jetta owner that I have spoken to has had similar stories."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Bought new, runs and looks new

By on Tuesday, July 07, 2015

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "High millage, well built, garage kept, one owner"

Cons: "Slight body damage to driver door"

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

Taken 07/07/15

"This car has become a part of the family, always reliable, high millage, runs and looks great. Have kept up with all maintenance requirements. Hate to sell this car, but it's just one too many since my father's passing...it was his car. It's been garaged kept. We had the brakes redone about 500 miles ago. It looks, drives, and runs great. I think this car will go to 500,000+ like my dad's previous Jetta did!"

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Taken 07/07/15

We will buy another VW turbo or TDI

By on Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great value, fun to drive and well built"

Cons: "Brake wear is high when driven hard"

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

"Has been an enjoyable sedan. Above average fit & finish, low maintenance profile, good service record and very good milage if driven responsibly. Handles well on winding roads and the turbo does a great job of offering great acceleration."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever owned

By on Monday, June 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "see above"

Cons: "see above"

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

"Reliable, economic (45-50 mpg at 65-70 mph) and quick when necessary. Very effective brakes. Suspension a little soft for speed in curves, but tracks well. Overall enjoyable to drive but would be less so if automatic. (it's a six speed manual)"

8 people out of 10 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

Buying this car?