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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 982 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

Good car but major electrical issues

By on Friday, September 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price"

Cons: "Bad on gas, electrical issues always a problem"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I have n 09 Jetta SE Sedan. The car is nice but be prepared as this car constantly has electrical issues. Many people who have had VW's in the past say this is a major issue with having this type of car. It's not good on gas. I travel a lot for work and use rental cars so I get different cars. I can see some brand cars are very good on gas in which my Jetta can not compare."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Beware over 80,000 miles

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Tight steering, sunroof"

Cons: "Engine trouble, little things that don't work"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Bought new. Car had few problems in the beginning other than some small things (and a small engine problem that was repaired under warranty). Then, all went downhill. First, the hatchback would not open. Ended up spending $1000 to replace locking feature. The back doors don't lock, which we chose not to replace because that would have cost about $500 to diagnose and replace. At approximately 100k miles, replaced some sort of emmision flaps ($2000). Then the whopper.... Balance shaft assembly ($3000). We maintain our cars at the dealership and this has put me over the edge. We bought the car for the tdi and have been very disappointed. Buyer beware... There are only a handful of mechanics that will even touch the tdi and then they charge a ton. Love the sunroof and it does get better gas mileage than most, but we never got the 50 mpg advertised."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great Car!

By on Thursday, September 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Sporty, comfortable, dsg transmission"

Cons: "no MFSW, no bluetooth,"

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

"If you are looking for a sedan that's sporty like a GTI but still practical, here's where you need to be. This 2008 Jetta Wolfsburg Edition has been great to me. I haven't had very many problems with the car, the only issue was one thing a couple years back, with less than thirty days after buying the car so it was warrantied, but I can't recall what it was. The suspension is not sporty, it is very comfortable - even though it has the sporty engine, the same one that comes in the 2008+ GTI and GLI, the ever so reliable 2.0TSI (which I adore). The DSG shifts like butter. It's great. The steering wheel is responsive and easy to turn. It's stylish and bubbly. The only thing I really wish this car had was more convenience. Since it's still a "Jetta" not a GLI or GTI it didn't come with steering wheel functions, or even the little menu on the dash they have that tells you your fuel consumption and miles until your tank is empty. Though I didn't keep track of the MPGs I got while driving, I usually averaged about 350 miles per tank, or 375+ when only highway driving. All-around great car."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

TDI is a great car for long-distance driving

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fuel efficiency and driving comfort"

Cons: "Fuel availability. VW does not recommend bio fuel"

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

"The TDI desiel is very efficient. The average mileage we expect is 46 and that has stayed consistent over the life of the car. The cost differental for fuel becomes a non-issue with this mpg. The car is very comfortable for long-distance driving. With the fold-down rear seat there is considerable capacity for alomost any trip. Our travel is usually just two passengers. This acr will not be great for a family. We use it as our primary car year-round but do most of our travel in warm weather. It handles well in bad weather. Fuel is becoming increasingly available, but remains a question in some parts of the country. Fuel avaialblity is the only real question if I decide to replace it in the future."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Summary of Experience

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"A few excellent features (handling, cruise control, lights) Mostly average features, and a few very annoying features (disappointing gas mileage, difficult to read controls, very annoying door locks)"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love my VW

By on Monday, September 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"My second TDI Jetta. Fuel economy 42 to 50. Overall thousands of miles 43.9. Great quality and comfort, with a surprisingly large trunk! Not one problem in 4 yrs, follow the service manual with dealership service. Moved into our subdivision 10 yrs. ago and 5 neighbors now drive VW's, due to my advertising! Next VW will be a Passat with the TDI as rear leg room on the Jetta is snug unless the front seats are moved fairly forward."

3 people out of 4 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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