The Volkswagen Jetta appeals to the buyer who wants plenty of space, solid feel and a European driving experience. The broad line offers a number of turbo powertrains 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 7 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 offers a number of turbo powertrains 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
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 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 2017 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

Apple CarPlay

"When I plug my iPhone in, it regularly is unable to connect to carplay. The screen shows that it's attempting to connect, but it never does. Soemtimes it will even just turn black after it tries. This sometimes persists for the entire drive, no matter how many times I unplug my phone or restart the head unit."

Anonymous, TN (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"Backup can=maer either doesn't turn on when backing of for some period of time or then doesn't turn off once you shift into first got 15 -30 secs"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"Display became unusable showing black and purple rectangles. Dealer fixed in about 2 hours under warranty"

Anonymous, NC (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"Upon Startup, the screen does not boot up completely and hangs with a VW logo or blank. It won't reset until the car has been turned off, let rest a minute, open and close the car door and then restart the car. Since it only happens on occasion, VW can't replicate and won't replace."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Due to the HD channel of the radio, once the whole infotainment system including the GPS shut down completely."

Luke N., TX (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Apple Carplay randomly disconnects, drop calls, etc..."

Anonymous, GA (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"HD radio channels often were not available or available then disappeared suddenly."

Luke N., TX (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Required replacement"

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Slow switching modes and range of radio was poor"

Glenn A., ON (2017 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The satellite radio loses connection periodically. VW has replaced a couple of parts, but it occurs occasionally. It resets itself to channel 1 a lot as well, indicating that it has lost connection."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The rear window defrost had some wires that did not heat. VW dealer had the entire window replaced, and then the AM radio would not get a signal. After working with the window installer firm, the window was replaced again. Still did not work. Finally, several months later the dealer took out the hedliner, traced the wired, determined an antenna wire had been misconnected to send the wrong signal. None of this actually made any sense. It works now. The dealer neer balked, but the response was incredibaly slow, and they dodn't seem concerned."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"left rear wheel speed sensor faulty. Caused multiple warning lights."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Calipers

"See previous comment"

Muara H., PA (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Parking brake

"Hand breaks got lose, according to the dealership the internal spring got seized and inoperable."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Premature brake wear

"Told that the brakes were worn due to the emergency brake being left engaged while driving. My belief is that there is a problem with the e brake cable and it sticks even though not engaged as I now have to replace brakes and rotters for a second time while only owning the car since Jan of 2018"

Muara H., PA (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Immediately after the car was purchased (same day), the brakes started to smoke significantly after driving for ~15-30 minutes. The dealer initially didn't believe this was happening, but after several back and forths they agreed to exchange the car for another new one."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Volkswagen Jetta)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Driver's door and window let's water and air in. Seems to be a problem with vw Jetta. Not a problem with my golf. Just both jettas I owned."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Jetta Unsure 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"We have a rattle in the drivers door. We live on a dirt road and it can be very irritating, but since it's not covered under warranty, we cannot afford to have it looked at."

Anonymous, NE (2017 Volkswagen Jetta)

"My breaks seem to make a sound that's between a hum and a squeak pretty often. I went to the dealer and they said it was because of the rain/cold weather, but it happens a lot more often than that."

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Unsure)

"There are a lot of interior rattles that I can't seem to fix."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Jetta Unsure 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"Noisy in car. USB port doesn't work well"

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Jetta Unsure 1.4-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)

"Before I leased the car I had reservations about VW's exterior tail lights. I noticed many other VW's on the road that had non functioning tail lights. Turns out this is a constant problem with this car."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Heated or cooled seats

"Driver's heated seat quit working. Repaired under warranty"

Anonymous, OR (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"stopped working coil shorted and failed"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Horn

"Wire coating for horn is made with a bio materials that are like catnip for mice, rats, squirrels. Had wiring for horn eaten through twice, engine wires that prevent starting without foot on the brake (engine would push button start without foot on the brake. Had to pay Volkswagen to replace wiring for horn but all they had was the same type of wire coating that is a problem and rodents ate through it a second time. Ended up fixing my self and adding hard plastic overwrap to all wires that I could including engine wires and horn wires. Was disappointed that VW dealer knew this was a problem the first time I had them fix it and they didn't have any additional fixes or alternate wiring without the rodent bait coating."

Anonymous, TX (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 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

Automatic climate control

"we brought the car into the dealer for a recall correction and when we left our AC would not work. Took it back and they fixed the problem. Something to do with the computer."

Anonymous, NE (2017 Volkswagen Jetta)
Heater system

"When temp goes below -20C the cab will not stay warm. VW knows about problem and have not been able to correct it. Plus did not tell me about it wen I bought it. Let me find out 3 months later. Had to go back and drive my 2002 Jeep."

Lee A., AB (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Very POOR heating (ie heat directed at feet and footwell area). Weird (and buggy?) switching a/c on any time recirc feature is used (even with heat on -- ie going into a tunnel with heat on and fresh air--changing to recirc)"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Terrible heating system--very anemic overall and takes 20 mins to begin to generate heat. Air-conditioning is anemic and effectiveness worsening over last year. HVAC controls are buggy and erratic--sometimes multiple features go on with one touch; sometimes a/c goes on when heat recirc is turned on, etc"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.4-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

"It is a small problem but some small parts on the car constantly fall off. So far I've noticed each time and reattached them but the day will come that I will lose the part. What parts: the plug in the bumper, the passenger door reflector a cap in the liner of the trunk."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The car was a full day late in being delivered because the dealer was busy cleaning the car. It was delivered with power polisher swirls in the paint and now, five months later, the paint is showing signs of rust (lower front passenger door and other places.) VW sent me a clay bar to clean the paint. I did not request it. It just arrived the mail. Odd. I am going to complain to the dealer and to VW Canada."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I have paint chipping on my back bumper. I haven't had any accidents so I can't imagine why this would be happening. I'm pretty disappointed because I have a white exterior so it's extremely noticeable."

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Unsure)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Less than a month after I bought the car, the clutch failed suddenly and catastrophically, in traffic. There had been no slipping or other issues prior to this failure. Despite the dealer claiming that they couldn't find a defect, the clutch was replaced completely, and Volkswagen paid for most of the repair. They should have paid for all of it, since it was not driver error (I've been driving a manual transmission for 30+ years), and I had less than 200 miles on the car at the time"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"During a 3 hour trip, the transmission completely failed disabling the vehicle at a traffic light. Volkswagen replaced the transmission under warranty at 20000 miles."

Anonymous, MA (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 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

Rough shifting

"Shifting is increasingly rough and problematic (manual). Sometimes gears seem to grind and sometimes it's hard to downshift properly. REAL problems sometimes getting into reverse from forward or neutral, or from reverse into forward - and this problem seems to be betting worse in last 6 months. A potential safety hazard, and potential cause of an accident."

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Difficult to shift into reverse at times, either from neutral or first gears. Increasing problems DOWNSHIFTING--where gears grind or hard to shift into desired gear. Problems shifting from N or 1 into 1 or 2"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Airbag sensor was bad. Dealership repaired it and it was covered."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The warning light was unrecognizable as a warning light due to the color. I think the warning light should be in red in order to identify a problem or potential problem."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"It was a very expensive job covered by warranty that was discovered by my mechanic. Oil leak between the engine and transmission bell housing. If he hadn't caught it I would have been paying thousands for the repair after warranty."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0-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

Seat controls - movement

"Cheap and seating is hard for a long trip"

Anonymous, PA (2017 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

What Owners Say

Engine harness

"It failed."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 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

Bushings

"When I hit a bump, there was a squeaking sound coming from the front wheel area. VW quickly diagnosed it and replaced a few things at no charge to me. Now it works great."

Anonymous, TN (2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Overheating

"An air dam motor malfunctioned causing slight operating temperature variations and setting a CEL. Re[aired under warranty."

Stephen W., CO (2017 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.

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.

Drive System

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

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