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2018 Volkswagen Jetta KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.2 / 10
This Car - 2018 Volkswagen Jetta
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Consumer Rating 8.4 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

Volkswagen’s least expensive model, the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta is a sporty compact sedan with as much as 210 horsepower. Stylish, fuel-efficient and fun to drive, the new VW Jetta is available in six trim levels, Jetta S, Wolfsburg Edition, SE, SE Sport, SEL and GLI with prices starting under $20,000 with a manual transmission. All 2018 Jettas are powered by turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, ranging from a small 1.4-liter to the potent 2.0-liter in the performance-oriented Jetta GLI. This year, to help the Jetta compete with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze and Hyundai Elantra, it has bettered the sedan’s warranty considerably. New Jettas now come with a 6-year or 72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper Limited Warranty, which is better than most in the class.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you desire a sporty fuel-efficient sedan with European flair and a comfortable, high-quality interior you’ll like the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta. VW is known for its excellent turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, and the 1.4-liter, 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter variants available in the Jetta are smooth, powerful and they can surely stretch a gallon of gas.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Jetta is available only as a sedan. If you want a hatchback or a small wagon, Volkswagen offers the very similar and popular Golf. If you’re looking for a diesel engine in this class, check out the Chevy Cruze, and if all-wheel drive is on your wish list, shop the Subaru Impreza or the VW Golf SportWagen.

What's New for 2018

For 2018, every trim level of the Jetta gets some styling tweaks to modernize their look. There's also a new value-oriented Wolfsburg Edition with additional creature comforts, including heated Leatherette seats and a unique front sport bumper with fog lights. This year, all Volkswagens get a longer 6-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper Limited Warranty, which is better than most in the class.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Now in its sixth generation, the Volkswagen Jetta has been one of the most fun-to-drive small sedans since The Dukes of Hazzard aired on prime time. From behind the wheel the new 2018 Jetta feels small and agile, but also solid and strong. We appreciate the Jetta's responsive steering, and its suspension provides a taut but compliant ride, both in the city and out on the highway. The Jetta S, Wolfsburg Edition and SE models come with a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that delivers good acceleration and great efficiency, while the Jetta SEL uses a larger, 1.8-liter turbo-4 that has more punch yet still offers good fuel economy. The Jetta GLI is the most powerful variant with its 210-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo, and combined with its sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels can be thought of as a less-expensive Audi A3. Audi is the luxury-brand cousin of Volkswagen and the A3 uses the same turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.

Favorite Features

The result of collaboration between Fender and Panasonic, the Jetta’s available Fender Premium Audio System cranks 400 watts of power through nine speakers and a trunk-mounted subwoofer. The result is one of the strongest audio systems in the class with good tone, bangin’ bass and impressive highs. Crank it up.

Featured on the performance-oriented Jetta GLI this technology improves the Jetta’s cornering performance. It’s an electronic substitute for a traditional mechanical limited-slip differential. If the Jetta’s front tires lose grip with the road while turning, the system automatically applies braking to the driven inside wheel to restore traction.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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