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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 993 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

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."

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."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

TDI Joan Jetta is a tank

By on Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "MPG, brakes, easy to maintain, trunk space"

Cons: "exterior color choices are slim (no green)"

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

"Original owner (this is our 3rd TDI) and Joan Jetta is a tank -- she's made it through Hurricane Ike and a couple of falling tree limbs as well... Common repairs are an EGR heater hose replacement, RCV (refrigerant control valve), DMF (dual mass flywheel) replacement. Also, I've done all the maintenance since Day #1, so yes, the supplies are specific and somewhat expensive, but all 4 filters (oil, fuel, air, cabin) can be changed in less than 1 hour. She routinely gets mid-30 mpg in rough Houston city driving and I've gotten 49 mpg highway at consistent 70 mph. Also, there is no DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) required and she is exempt from the TX annual exhaust testing for the inspection sticker. Finally, like the title says, Joan Jetta is a tank, so don't hesitate to allow your teenager to drive her"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best car! Most bang for my bucks!!

By on Sunday, November 02, 2014

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

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: "Perfect car, great on fuel, super fun ride!"

Cons: "no con's from my point of view!"

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

"I've owned my TDI Jetta for 7 years now and I love it!! Its a beautiful car and super on fuel mileage! I will be buying another new one next year!!!"

Best car I've bought

By on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

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: "MPG, fun to drive, fit and finish"

Cons: "Maintenance difficult to do yourself"

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

"We have the Cup Edition and it's the best vehicle we've owned. It's fun to drive around town and even better on the highway. My wife drives 75 miles each way to work and she averages 47mpg. The inside is nice. I don't know what else to say other than we love the car."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Sunday, October 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Gas milage is awesome, handles great, reliable"

Cons: "no leg room"

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

"This car is the third VW Jetta TDI I've owned and I will continue to buy them. The gas mileage is phenomenal! I average about 46 mpg highway. It is very reliable and handles pretty well in cold weather and snow considering its size and weight. The only problem I've had with any of the three I owned is the wiring in the steering column. I had this problem on my second Jetta, but not the one I own now. I feel very safe in these cars as well. The handling is great and the safety ratings are good too. The trunk fits a lot."

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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