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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.

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 1009 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 have Owned -2010 Jetta Ltd Edition

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Easy to drive, great road handling, good pick-up"

Cons: "doesn't have satellite radio"

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

"I have had it for 5 years and have had no problems other than tire inflation indicator issue that was caused by me using a synthetic tire inflator. Never use that stuff...it ruined the tire and I think the service guy broker the indicator on the tire rim when he was trying to find the problem. Anyway, I replaced the indicator and it works fine now. The car runs great and handles the turns well with that German engineering. I use the tiptronic regularly instead of braking all the time, mileage is 25/30. Comfortable seating on long trips (leatherette seating) and perfect for my size 5'7 145. Also like the fold down rear seats for when I'm lugging stuff. I'll keep this car for as long as it runs."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Love it

By on Monday, April 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"We bought this car brand new in 2007 and have driven it all over the place. We have made sure we stuck to the owner's manual for all maintenance and it is a good thing we did because this car has been nothing but incredible to us. We shipped it from the US to the UK, drove it all over Europe and then shipped it back to the US with us and she is still going strong. 112k miles and we haven't had any major issues (I definitely cannot say the same about our TDI beetle). Like one other reviewer, we've had a couple of warranty items that we had fixed but other than that, our biggest issues have been the driver side headlight goes through bulbs rather quickly (really not that big of a deal) and the panel between the front and back passenger side windows had paint peel off of it (again, not that big of an issue considering its a black panel and the material under the paint is also black). My husband is a TDI lover for life now. Once this car finally dies, he plans on buying another one."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Remarkably reliable

By on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 162,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive"

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

"This has been my most reliable car, perhaps that's why I've had it for 10 years. Only 1-2 warranty issues over the years and very economical to use as my commuter car. Good comfort. Good ride quality and handling. Spacious trunk. Plenty of room."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

145k (2009) acts and rides like new, great MPG

By on Saturday, March 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "MPG, ride & handling, pickup response, looks."

Cons: "Diesel maintenance cost"

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

"Average 32 to 42 mpg and love the pickup/torque I get from this diesel. My '09 Jetta has never broken down or given any trouble in a 145,000 miles. Do all scheduled maintenance and replaced wearable items: battery, wipers, rear brakes, tires. Have only had three mechanical problems in 7 years. Diesel maintenance costs are generally higher than gas. No squeaks or rattles and the interior looks like new. It is a fun car to drive, handles well, sips fuel and takes-off like a rabbit."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I have driven this car for 8 years.

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

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

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

"I love the gas mileage. We drove a long distance to get to cancer treatments for myself and it never failed me and was inexpensive to drive. Those who drove for me also enjoyed driving this car."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great drivetrain, but Electrical,Interior is poor

By on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Excellent gas milage"

Cons: "Interior,exterior quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Electrical wiring harness recall.Class action only partially paid for replacement.Headliners only lasted a few years.Plastic coating on doorlocks radio ect. comes off in pieces.Headlight lens degrade quickly.Problem with trunk latches.My 2006 drives great but the extra cost repairing poor quality adds up."

5 people out of 5 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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