The Jetta sedan emerged from its 2011 redesign as something altogether more humdrum than the compact, agile and tautly-sprung European car it had been. The cabin is roomier and the trunk is huge, but handling fell short on agility and cornering grip. Interior quality, formerly impeccable, was subpar. The hoary 170-hp, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine carried over.
    There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

    Overall Owner Satisfaction

    Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

    Overall Owner Satisfaction

    Owner Satisfaction with:

    Driving Experience

    Includes acceleration and handling

    What Owners Say

    "acceleration is a little slow"

    Phillip M., NY (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Car has great acceleration, excellent handling, good fuel economy, very comfortable."

    John O., NY (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "It takes some time to get used to that half second delay in acceleration d he to it being a diesel."

    JEANNE B., MD (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Despite the fact that the 2012 is not as plush inside as our previous 2006, I LOVE the way this car drives!"

    KATHERINE S., CO (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Hydraulic clutch went out at 118,000 miles."

    Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "everything is great"

    Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Like everything about the VW, it is a TDI and on a recall"

    ROY Z., MN (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "It's all good. Plenty of power very little lean in the curves. Michelin replacement tires further expanded quality of ride and handling. Tires are a C.R. top pick. Lighting went out due to a drain line that wasn't secured properly at the factory. Fixed under warranty."

    RONALD P., IN (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "The torque is amazing. This car moves."

    Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "I love the way this car handles. I drive rental cars a lot for personal travel and work. I had driven roughy 50-60 rental cars in the two years before I bought this car, so I am familiar with the way a wide variety of cars handles. Several of my rental cars in 2011 and 2012 had been VW Jettas, so I had an extended test drive with that model. I am a short person, and visibility is great. Also, the car handles well and makes it easy to park in the tight space at my condo and around Miami."

    Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "This is a peppy car what is fun to drive. I won't have it much longer because it is a diesel that is going to be bought back. Very sad about that. I love this car."

    KEVIN T., GA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "This car is peppy. It has no problem accelerating into highway traffic or maneuvering in heavy traffic."

    Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "The acceleration is excellent. Power is very satisfactory on the highway when passing. Handling, while not like a sports car seems pretty good to me."

    Anonymous, NS (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "The TDI is awesome. diesel is zippy and economical and the Jetta handles very good"

    JOHN D., IL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Really fun to drive. Great acceleration and fuel economy."

    Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "It handles really well. It gets through tight traffic places, accelerating and handling with power and confidence."

    LESLIE T., KS (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Turbo charged 2 L engine with 6 spd. manual provides excellent acceleration. Sport suspension with low profile tires provides excellent handling"

    Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Good: acceleration & handling, significant improvements to interior materials, engine, gearbox. Bad: check engine light for leaking evaporative gas system, oil leaks from turbo, coolant leaks at pump, bad coolant pump & way too much use of plastic on engine."

    PEDRO V., FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Very good handling and acceleration."

    Anonymous, PA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "love the turbo diesel, not the cheat software to much."

    Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Amazing acceleration and torque on my TDI. If I need a little extra gusto, I know it's available and I can count on it."

    Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Awesomei like the way it drives"

    Anonymous, IL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Diesel engine makes this an exceptional car for around town driving (very responsive and punchy). Even the top-of-the line gasoline engine is feels anemic; slow throttle response never quite getting there before running out of road. On the highway the diesel is on par with the top gasoline but lags in top speed i.e. speed above the limit on most roads/states."

    Keith R., BC (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Responsive to steering, handling is quick and acceleration is enhanced when needed through sport shifting or manual gear changes"

    Anonymous, PA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "This car is fun to drive. It handles and corners great and is reliable in all weather situations. The acceleration is fast and it holds the road very well. It also has a great turning radius and fits into small spaces. It is excellent on fuel economy and takes regular gas."

    Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "acceleration and handling, reliability"

    Anonymous, OH (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Car drives well. Was disappointed for a period of time as a front wheel bearing took 2 years to pin point as it slowly failed . Service people all thought it was tires /road noise. This made the car very frustrating to drive . Once wheel bearing replaced car is pleasurable to drive again"

    Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Acceleration and handling both good. Ride is a bit stiff."

    William M., WA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Excellent fuel economy and very responsive at both low and high speed. Engine torque is also very good as it's a diesel."

    Bryan A., ME (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Good power to weight ratio, more than enough torque. Rewarding, connecting the driver to the road, typical german built and driving experience."

    Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Stiff suspension with low profile tires on large wheels provide very good road feel. The 2 liter turbo charged engine provides the acceleration of 6 cylinder"

    Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "I LOVE driving this vehicle. Before the recall, it drove like a muscle car. Now, after the recall, it no longer drives like a muscle car, but it is still fun to drive and has amazing torque for the fuel efficiency. I feel safe, comfortable and happy driving this car. I LOVE THIS CAR."

    Anonymous, AZ (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Great road handling and driving comfort, huge trunk"

    Anonymous, AZ (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Great fun to drive!"

    Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Great acceleration when needed. Easy handling on the highway. Very stable at high speeds. Very little sway. Holds the road well on winding back roads."

    Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "I had the court mandated emissions modification complete on 31 August 2017. Since that time the fuel economy has been much worse. My average fuel economy dropped from 36.3 MPG to 32.2 MPG. Additionally, the modifications made the engine rev higher from idle making the car more likely to peel out when starting from a stop. The emissions modification make a car with great styling and fuel economy into just another station wagon with blah fuel economy."

    Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "I love the VW Diesel products. Turbo diesel gives great acceleration and fuel mileage with a sporty fun experience. The cheating scandal will have unfortunate market affects."

    John D., IL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "ok for size of engine."

    Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Great little car for around town lots of pep."

    Leonard P., AZ (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)


    Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

    What Owners Say

    "Quiet ride, seats are ok"

    Anonymous, IA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "On a long drive seat becomes uncomfortable because of pain on hips (trochanter). Seat design too narrow."

    DANIEL B., NB (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "This car has had all four doors sticking at times,. It comfort is less than my previous Suburu. Bought it for mileage and overall better for environment so have been very distressed by problems with emission."

    Anonymous, NH (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Window noise on the driver's side."

    BONNIE-JEAN R., MA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Noise: it's noisy and you can't open back windows while on the road driving. Tunnel effect. Very hard to live with."

    Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "For the category of vehicle, the Jetta is very quiet and comfortable, as well as quiet."

    JOEL T., FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "need more inside space."

    Anonymous, TN (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "The ride of the Jetta was very rough. I had new shocks, struts, and tires put on. This helped a little, but still a very rough riding car."

    MICHAEL B., TX (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Very little noise dampers. Rain hitting car sounds like someone hitting the car with pennies."

    Anonymous, TN (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Not well suited for a tall person."

    FRED B., FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "seating position is to low,hard to adjust after wife change to her size."

    JACKIE N., WI (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Too noisy at 60 to 70 mph."

    PAUL R., VA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Love the seat heaters. They are warmer than the outback. Rides very nicely."

    Therese M., OR (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Handling/Ride limitations of the single rear axle suspension is obviously poor - rear feels unsettled when cornering. Later models included independent rear suspension with observably better ride/handling"

    Keith R., BC (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "I wish there was more leg room. I really like this car but we have 2 small kids and a backward facing car seat makes for a tight fit for an adult in the front seat. I always thought if the car was just 1 foot longer my legs would be so much more comfortable."

    Anonymous, IL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "The panoramic in roof has rattled in the vent position from day 1. Replacing the rails didn't help. This is the worst feature in an otherwise well-engineered car that I absolutely love to drive. Second-worst feature: they cheaped out and did not put a telescoping sun visor on the passenger side. I find I need that too often, and Volkswagen just doesn't view that as a driver issue. Clearly they don't drive with early or late-day sun angles."

    Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "fine handling for the price. does ok in winter snow in mountain foothills."

    Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "This vehicle rides comfortably on long trips and fits large people. It is relatively quiet given the terrible condition of local roads and it feels sturdy and handles well in weather and also on dirt roads."

    Anonymous, AZ (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Heated seats are wonderful in winter"

    Anonymous, OH (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Lumbar support nonexistent"

    Sheila B., CO (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "This model year Jetta had much higher quality than normal for VW."

    Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "hard to see out of-too low"

    Russ F., MA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Front of leather bucket seat ( under thighs) is high and very firm . I need to use pillow to improve comfort"

    Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)


    Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

    What Owners Say

    "I purchased a 2012 VW TDI in good faith and I have ended up with an automobile that is currently impossible for me to unload. This is my third VW but I will never purchase another."

    Anonymous, VA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)


    ELLEN F., OR (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Bit of a mystery, really, since resolution to the pollution control falsification is not fully revealed. It is certainly unnerving to know VW is comfortable with dishonesty in its products."

    GUY P., PA (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "The overall fuel economy surpassed any of my expectations. It's almost 'Prius' like."

    JULIUS F., CT (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "I bought this as a certified used car from a local VW dealer. This was one of their company cars that had been in use for only 8 months. It was under manufacturer's warranty, with the certified warranty to follow once that warranty ended."

    Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Great car but being recalled and buyback because of the cheating on VW regarding emissions on diesel engine"

    Anonymous, CO (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Overall I have enjoyed this problem free car. Excellent mileage, comfortable and still looks new dispite 166,000 km."

    JIM T., ON (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Tremendous pollution due to company cheating on pollution control software."

    GLENN G., OH (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "The gas mileage is lower than I expected."

    C B., UT (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)


    How it looks inside and out

    What Owners Say

    "Super sleek and great lines."

    Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "We had our dealer add tinted windows to our vehicle after we purchased it. It is a very professional, "from factory" look that conforms to the window tinting laws in our state. We also purchased 18" VW wheels and Michelin all season sport tire's from our VW dealer. These add on's that we purchased from our VW dealer greatly add to its overall apperance, comfort, ride, handling, and stability."

    DEREK R., NC (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Fairly sleek styling on the outside. Inside a bit too much plastic"

    Anonymous, NS (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "My only complaint is that, compared to the 2006 GLI that we owned previously, the 2012 GLI is a downgrade."

    KATHERINE S., CO (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "very stylish for a Volkswagen"

    Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "Even though this car is several years old it has a nice paint job and looks as good as a brand new car. The interior styling is minimalist with all of the controls within reach. The perforated leather seats are comfortable even with the manual adjustment and it looks good."

    Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "The styling is beautifully understated. I like that it doesn't draw too much attention to itself. It's very easy to see out of."

    MICHAEL N., AZ (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)

    "It has very styling lines that I feel makes it look new despite its age"

    JIM T., ON (2012 Volkswagen Jetta)
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