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2010 Volkswagen Jetta

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2010 Volkswagen Jetta Review

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A cut above the generic four-door sedan, the 2010 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 Wolfsburg 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 42 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 2010 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 2010

The 2010 Jetta receives a revised interior, including a new instrument cluster, air conditioning control panel and steering wheel. SE, SEL and TDI trims all acquire standard Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and premium audio upgrade. The sporty GLI has been discontinued.

Driving the Jetta

Driving Impressions The 2010 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. If you can swing the extra cash, go for the Wolfsburg Edition. It offers the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine used in the GTI, giving great performance and, depending on your transmission choice, identical or better fuel economy as the non-turbo 2.5.

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.

2010 Volkswagen Jetta Details
2010 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
2010 Volkswagen Jetta photo

Ironically, the newest version of the best-selling European car in the U.S. features several styling elements seemingly imported from Japan, and oddly fails to receive the sleek new front end provided to the Jetta Sport Wagon and Golf. 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 2010 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 interface, rear seat side-impact airbags, a 115-volt outlet (SEL and TDI) and a trip computer. Additional options include a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission (standard on SEL), six-speed DSG automatic (TDI and Wolfsburg), 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 three engine choices for the Jetta: a 2.5-liter in-line five cylinder, a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter turbodiesel. The recently-improved 2.5-liter is good for 170 horsepower, which is on par with 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 diesel and turbocharged Wolfsburg Edition trims also gets a vastly better six-speed manual gear box or the option of the wonderfully quick DSG auto manual transmission.

2.5-liter in-line 5
170 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
177 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual), 23/30 (automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4, turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 (manual), 24/32 (automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4 diesel, turbocharged
140 horsepower @ 4000 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750-2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/41 (manual), 30/42 (automatic)

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2010 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1039 Ratings for the 2006 - 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

Gets 26 MPG around town

By on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Has more than enough exceleration."

Cons: "The horn does not sound like the old classic VWs'"

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

"Enjoy the heated seats especially when my back is sore on cold winters mornings. Turning on the AC will defog all the side windows during cold rainy days, neat."

Excellent performance and mpg at a modest price

By on Sunday, November 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fantastic to drive, unbelievable value for price"

Cons: "Not a luxurious interior"

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

"We purchased this vehicle new in 2008 for it's nimble handling characteristics in combination with good reported mpg. We have not been disappointed! The twin turbo 4 cylinder engine contributes to the GLI's lightweight while providing consistent torque throughout the acceleration range. It is startlingly fast for a vehicle priced under 30K, but exhibits great manners in handling at the same time. The low profile tires of course make for a slightly sportier ride, but pay off in stickiness and sureness of handling on the straights and the corners. The twin turbos with the 4 cylinder make it two cars in one. If we're light on the pedal once we reach cruising speed, we consistently get over 30 mpg on the highway, even at higher speeds, because the turbos aren't engaged and the six speed is geared high in the upper two gears. But if you're on a windy road and want a little tiger of a sports car, the twin turbos can be engaged. With one covering the lower rpm's and the other the upper, there's a consistent hand off of power all the way to redline. The brakes are also excellent and predictable. The interior is not luxurious, but quite sporty and more importantly, both comfortable and ergonomic in design. All instruments and even the radio are cleanly and intuitively position for the driver. There is a tremendous amount of room inside, and the 60/40 foldable rear seat with a separate center passway for long narrow objects with both seats still up adds to the already capacious trunk--feels more like a full size sedan than a midsize or compact in the trunk space. With the seats down, there are very few objects that can't be carried inside. The standard sound system is quite nice, although it is easy to max out the speakers as the volume goes up. It's good for everything from classical/jazz to hard rock. Surprisingly good for a basic sound system. The AC is excellent, even for our black vehicle in Southern California, it has no problem handling 110 in the desert. Again, the controls are intuitive, simple, and easy to us, even while driving hard. The 6 speed double clutch racing transmission is simply awesome. Shifts are much faster than with a manual transmission, and very smooth, whether you're going up or down.There are three choices--standard drive mode is very nice. But move the shifter to locked to the side, and you can up or down shift either with the paddle shifters or with the primary shift lever mounted between the seats--back for downshift and forward to upshift. The third mode is sport mode, where the transmission is set for higher revs before upshifting and more aggressive downshifting for performance. In this mode, you can either let the transmission respond to your foot on the accelerator, or "manumatically" shift with the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The steering wheel itself is a bit unusual n a good way--quite thick and ergonomically design--one of the best I've every used, including in much pricier sports cars. We have had very few reliability issues in these first 72,000 miles, restricted to an occasional reluctance to fire up immediately when cold (fixed with a tuneup at the required interval) and some engine light showing that turned out to be a loose gas cap. The standard tires, Michelin Pilots, are excellent but they are soft rubber performance tires, so the harder you drive, the more you'll replace them, of course. Offering stylish looks, the GLI offers performance and handling comparable to cars at close to twice its price. A very unusual combination, and a terrific value for a car priced just under $30,000."

4 people out of 10 found this review helpful

i love my car

By on Monday, October 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "so much fun to drive, head lights are amazing!"

Cons: "no cons."

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

"I've had my car for a few years now. I had a 2001 VW and it had no extras to it; manual windows and the full works. Now i have my amazing 2006 GLI VW, im very happy with it. It's a sporty car for me, love the way it drives, headlights are super bright but replacing them are expensive, and comfortable. I really love this car and it has a lot of room. I always drive my car around and i put on 100 + miles per day for work and it is very reliable."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Dad's Ride

By on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive. No rattles. Quiet with no wind noise"

Cons: "Replaced cat converter, Trans Valve Body and Alt"

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

Photo taken last month

"My dad bought this car new in 2006. It is the "Value Edition" and everything is standard except for the traction control. It runs very well. Dad always liked this car and took good care of it. We just got back from a weekender in Spokane and put quite a few miles on the car. We averaged about 36.4 miles per gallon. The interior has held up reasonably well. My dad's fingernails were a bit on the long side to there are various scratches to the knobs and doors. The exterior is in good shape. The color is Platinum Gray. The engine is terrific. It's the 2.5 liter 5 cylinder, which some people don't like but it is a good one, burns no oil and has a reasonable amount of get up and go. Dad passed on this year so I will keep driving her as my everyday car."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Photo taken last month

Excellent car!

By on Monday, October 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

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 car!"

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

"Excellent car with low mileage and great gas mileage. Well maintained, new battery and tires. Have all service records. One driver, always garaged. Tons of space for traveling. Fun to drive, comfortable to drive and ride."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Reliable and easy to drive.

By on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

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
8/10

Pros: "Reliable and easy to drive."

Cons: "Expensive to operate and maintain."

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

"This car handles very well and has been reliable. Just a couple things that will prevent me from buying another would be maintenance of the vehicle. It is expensive. Oil changes require synthetic oil for the turbo high compression motor. $70. Coolant is $45 a gallon but a quality coolant will work well. Changing the timing belt, spark plugs, or A/C compressor is pricy. This is due to the access of these components. This car will run great if taken care of but it will not be cheap. I had the intake manifold cleaned recently. $1000. I think you get the point. Its a quality car but whether you use a dealer or a certified technician this car is expensive to maintain. The worst performing part on this car is the Air Conditioner. It blows cool air not cold. This probably takes a load of the 200 HP motor. Overall a decent car for the money."

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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