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2009 Volkswagen Jetta

Overview
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2009 Volkswagen Jetta Review

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A cut above the generic four-door sedan, the 2009 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 sporty GLI model's turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant delivers the power of a V6 with the fuel economy of a frugal four. The really big news, however, is the availability of a 50-state compliant TDI clean diesel engine, which can achieve upwards of 40 miles per gallon in highway driving.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a sedan with European ride and handling capabilities, the 2009 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 2009

The TDI clean diesel engine is added to the option list, as is a new wagon variant (reviewed separately). New standard features on all Jetta models include electronic stability and traction control, front and rear floor mats and heated front seats, side mirrors and windshield washer nozzles.

Driving the Jetta

Driving Impressions The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta provides good handling, a competent and quiet ride and some of the best seats for long distance driving we've experienced. While the 2.5-liter five cylinder doesn't...

make the Jetta the fastest car in its class, it's now fast enough to nose its way past the pack when it has to. The five-cylinder is bit buzzy at times, and its flat torque curve does little to inspire daring passing maneuvers. At highway speeds the Jetta remains composed and stable, but 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.
Favorite Features

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.

2009 Volkswagen Jetta Details
2009 Volkswagen Jetta photo Interior

While rear-seat passengers won't sit with their knees at their chins (a position well known to passengers of previous Jetta models), there is still not as much rear seat leg room as found in the similarly priced Mazda MAZDA6. To be fair, the Jetta competes with the likes of the Honda Civic and Mazda MAZDA3, which offer roughly the same interior dimensions. Fit and finish is first rate, as are overall ergonomics. A height-adjustable passenger seat with manual lumbar support, a rarity on so many vehicles, is standard on the Jetta, as are heated front seats. Volkswagen's familiar red and blue dash lighting still delights the eye, and at night every switch, knob or button seen during the day is backlit for your convenience. The 60/40 rear seats can be folded flat and, on SE, SEL and TDI trims, include a center armrest trunk pass through. Other cool features unique to the Jetta are power windows with pinch protection that can be raised or lowered when the key is turned and held in the door lock.

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 last generation. It also ranks high in content, offering such useful cold weather features as heated side mirrors and washer nozzles. 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 2009 Volkswagen Jetta comes with an AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player, one-touch up/down power windows, power mirrors, cruise control, manual climate control, outside temperature display, heated front seats and washer nozzles, four-way adjustable steering column and eight-way adjustable cloth front seats with manual lumbar support and power recline (driver's seat only). Standard safety equipment includes electronic traction and stability 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 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 side-impact airbags, a 115-volt outlet (SEL) and a trip computer, 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 two engine choices for the Jetta: a 2.5-liter in-line five cylinder and a 2.0-liter turbodiesel. The recently-improved 2.5-liter is good for 170 horsepower, which is greater than most of the cars in its class. The long throws and sloppy feel of the standard five-speed manual transmission, however, is a bit of a disappointment, especially coming from a company known for its enthusiast-oriented cars. Best stick with the Tiptronic automatic with this engine. Also available is the new 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel, which offers less horsepower but an amazing 236 pound-feet of torque, the power you need for rapid acceleration. The TDI also gets a vastly better six-speed manual gear box.

2.5-liter in-line 5
170 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
177 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (manual), 20/29 (automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
140 horsepower @ 4000 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750-2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/41 (manual), 29/40 (automatic)

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2009 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 952 Ratings for the 2005 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Don't buy one of these!

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Shotty Electronics, Transmission issues

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, great interior, comfortable ride"

Cons: "Expensive to maintain, breaks w/o warning"

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

"I have owned a 2008 VW Jetta for around 4 years, it was my first car and I loved it. It is a blast to drive and the interior is comfortable yet functional. I have taken it to and from San Diego many times, the Grand Canyon, Moab and put around 70,000 miles on it. All was good in the world until it reached 100,000 miles, thats when it all started to fall apart. The electronics stopped functioning properly, the back left door wouldn't lock and the alternator lost power completely on multiple occasions. First it was the alternator, then an O2 sensor, then it was a temperature sensor, then the tires started leaking air and the automatic transmission started to hard shift very violently. I was ALWAYS up to date with maintenance, as any VW owner should be. The driving is great and lots of fun, the maintenance on the other hand is ridiculous, excessive and expensive. If you buy one, make sure its under 100,000 miles and trade it in right before you get there. Its not worth the financial commitment."

Wont drive anything else

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I have owned 2 of these vehicles. I will never own any other kind of car. The fuel milage is crazy good, up to 55 mpg"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Wonderful car, handles great, fun to drive

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

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: "Economical to drive"

Cons: "heated leather seats are awesom"

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

"Jetta TDI is the best car I have ever owned. I still enjoy driving it, and it has been very dependable."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Wonderful car, handles great, fun to drive

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

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: "Economical to drive"

Cons: "heated leather seats are awesom"

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

"Jetta TDI is the best car I have ever owned. I still enjoy driving it, and it has been very dependable."

i have been a chevy person

By on Thursday, April 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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: "gas milage great, well made"

Cons: "expensive to fix, but i have not had problems yet"

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

"we bought the vw wagon, for the great gas milage and comfort. I get around 30 mpg. its a normal gas car with sport package. low profile is nice for entering and exiting. the only thing I don't like is the skid plate. takes way longer to get an oil change. these are very smart made cars, it even let me know when my tail light was out:)"

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Lemon constant electrical problems

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Great drive and comfortable"

Cons: "been to service center every 2 to 3 months"

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

"Car has had a check engine, and airbag light on ever since the car was repaired for a wiring harness recall. They work on it goes away, 2 to 3 months later its back on."

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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