The Volkswagen Jetta appeals to the buyer who wants plenty of space, solid feel and a European driving experience. The broad line spans a frugal hybrid and diesel versions and tops out with a sporty, upscale GLI. While the current-generation Jetta started out as a coarse and decontented car, continual updates have significantly improved how the Jetta drives and how it scores in our testing.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
2010
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
2007
NA
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard, available in rear from 2006. Head protection air bags standard from 2001. ESC available in 2003, standard from 2009.
Road Test

The Volkswagen Jetta appeals to the buyer who wants plenty of space, solid feel and a European driving experience. The broad line spans a frugal hybrid and diesel versions and tops out with a sporty, upscale GLI. While the current-generation Jetta started out as a coarse and decontented car, continual updates have significantly improved how the Jetta drives and how it scores in our testing. Now it's a solid, competent and well-rounded sedan with good driving dynamics, roomy interior, easy controls, and competitive performance and fuel economy -- all of which make it very competitive in its compact sedan class.

Introduced for the 2016 model year is a 1.4-liter, 150-hp turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline variant, which might be the most satisfying of all of the small turbos on the market.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.4-liter 4 hybrid (170 hp)
  • 1.4-liter 4 turbo (150 hp)
  • 1.8-liter 4 turbo (170 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (210 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Volkswagen Jetta owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Android Auto

"Android Auto routinely causes system crashes, fails to pair, causes screen graphical degradation, conflicts between Car interface and Android Auto interface, audio ceases and cannot be resumed, and the system will at least two times a week attempt to connect via MirrorLink instead of Android Auto. Android Auto is NOT a safe piece of software to use while driving. It emphasizes animation and appearance over ease-of-use and response time. It displays both too much and too little information in menus."

Jake S., WA (2016 Volkswagen Jetta Sport 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen difficult to see

"in bright sunlight screen almost wiped out"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Volkswagen Jetta Sport 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"This happens most often when Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is functioning. The head unit will freeze, go blank, and the startup VW logo appears. It generally boots back up again in several seconds, but for an entirely touch-based system this is incredibly unsafe for a driver to have to use to get things back the way they were when driving."

Jake S., WA (2016 Volkswagen Jetta Sport 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The entertainment system just quits and reboots at random times."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Jetta)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"In-dash Navigation system is difficult to set up, let alone use, and requires a bit of a "technology driven mind-set, which as an older American I do not have the mental desire to mess w/ frequently. Therefore I seldom use it and rely on a "simple" Garmin GPS. VW needs to adhere to the "KISS principle" when it comes to auxiliary items in VW's, in consideration of non-techy" driven individuals/owners. We have a 2006 Jetta Diesel that is 2nd to none for dependable service and simplicity, and 60 mpg."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Dated maps, current and only update of maps is dated June 2015"

Michael M., IN (2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"It doesn't always pair"

Anonymous, TX (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"Certain buttons and functions on the touchscreen radio do not always perform their intended function. For example, one of the presets on the radio sometimes will go to a different channel than the one that is preset."

Adam P., IN (2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Sirius XM freezes up and goes blank"

K S., FL (2016 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Speakers

"Rear right speaker doesn't work"

Anonymous, TX (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Since new, the windows have squeaked when rubbing against the top door gaskets."

Manuel P., TX (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Noise"

Anonymous, MD (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"Since brand new, the windows have always squeaked when nearing the top of its travel. I suspect it is due to the top horizontal window gaskets that are are too stiff"

Manuel P., TX (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"annoying noise coming from left side of dashboard, intermittent and quite loud"

Anonymous, AB (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The interior of the car has developed rattles inside of the car both near the driver and passenger doors. The driver setback has developed creaks"

Grant H., MD (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The car feels solid, but lots of cheap plastic all-around the dash and doors rattles often, even if the car is new (3800km). Some roads are bad around here, but still surprising with a car this new. My 2014 Jetta had very little squeaks or rattles"

Serge B., NB (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Driver and passenger side windows squeak when putting up. Driver side Door squeaks when putting up"

Anonymous, NS (2016 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"Noise6"

Anonymous, MD (2016 Volkswagen Jetta Sport 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"Strap that stops length of 'throw' became loosened"

Joshua A., IN (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sunroof

"Sunroof would not close completely. Dealership repaired at no cost."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Windows

"The passenger rear window came off the rails and wouldn't motor up and down. A plastic clip came off and was put back on by dealership at no cost. No problem since."

Anonymous, GA (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Either the Regulator or Motor started to make noise - signalling a potential failure"

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Brake light lamp"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Gauges

"Digital screen went black"

Anonymous, NS (2016 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Heated or cooled seats

"The heated seats failed about 400 miles within the 36,000 mile warranty, so I chose to take my 190,000 mile van on a roadtrip the next day to avoid going over the 36,000 miles. Warranty completely replaced it but it was a big inconvenience."

Anonymous, MN (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"it stopped working at 40k miles and is t covered. y warranty. It cost $1750 to repair.the car also has bad air temp sensos a d whenthe a/cco.pressor blew, it blew other fuses also"

Anonymous, IN (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Refrigerant leaks

"has never cooled adequately. When brought in, they said that it was low on refrigerant (after 1 year). They filled it, still was not cool enough. They said that it was the best that the car can do. Since then, it has degraded again"

Alan J., AZ (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"During previous oil service, the dealer reported need for realignment. They wanted too much and Service Manager had already permanently damaged trust relationship. Took it to a nearby Firestone shop and paid for a lifetime alignment service at a reasonable price. Did the same with the battery (replaced it myself), and will do the same with the tires. I believe the alignment problem goes back to mediocre alignment work by body shop, after I was rear-ended."

Anonymous, TX (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Shocks or struts

"They broke and went flying out of the car"

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"The transmission slips in 1st gear causing the vehicle to jerk when accelerating from the stopped position. The electric engine has completely stopped working causing the vehicle to fully function on the gas engine alone."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid Unsure)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"It started throwing a code for the upstream O2 sensor heating circuit and idling a little rough at the end of a long (~200 mi) trip. After clearing the code the car started fine the next day but started running a little rough after it warmed up/got into closed loop. The next time I started the car it threw several codes for the upstream O2 sensor. Replacing the sensor remedied the issue. It hasn't had any issues since."

Anonymous, IL (2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"Loose drivers side visor"

Norm G., TX (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"It was actually an intermittent failure of a sensor that monitors cam position, but the master computer put the car in limp-home mode, which changes throttle and shifting behavior, making it a broader category. In truth, using the tiptronic-type manual shifting overcame most of the drivability issues so I got where I needed to go, and while waiting for the part over a weekend, the issue did not repeat, so it might have been something I could have ignored until it did repeat. Since the car had over 110k miles on it at the time, I didn't think it was unreasonable to have this type of sensor fail, so I wouldn't ding VW on reliability for this, especially since limp home mode was quite manageable."

David H., NY (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Cooling fan

"I was unaware that many VW models come with a radiator motorized damper that closes when cold and opens when it begins to warm up. I was rear-ended and pushed into another car, which most likely slightly damaged the damper. Body shop did not replace this part and it failed recently. The bandits at the VW dealership want almost $1000 to replace the part and I need to get it replaced to pass safety inspection. Service Manager was of no use and she permanently harmed the dealership's reputation. I'm looking into alternate repair shops that are more reasonable. I like the turbo power of the Jetta, but I hate the radiator damper problem."

Anonymous, TX (2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

"The turbo blades broke under normal driving conditions. The dealer replaced the part."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"over the course of 2 years, this car has been in the shop 5 times because of different engine warning light alarms...MUTLIPLE different alarms and electrical issues."

Ernest O., TX (2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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