Volkswagen Jetta Review & Buyer's Guide

Volkswagen Jetta Review & Buyer's Guide

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Since its introduction, the Volkswagen Jetta has been a well-engineered compact sedan that provides a good blend of German engineering, spirited performance, and affordability.

In addition to those qualities, the VW Jetta is also safe, reasonably priced, and stylish.

While many other small cars on the market may be reliable and achieve excellent fuel economy, they aren't much fun to drive and lack personality. 

But the VW Jetta brings plenty of unique European flair to the compact sedan segment at an affordable price.

Let's look at the front-wheel-drive Volkswagen Jetta and why it's a good choice when you're in the market for a compact sedan.

Volkswagen Jetta price and trim levels

For 2022, the VW Jetta comes in four trim levels:

  • S — $21,190 MSRP 
  • Sport — $22,090 MSRP
  • SE — $24,790 MSRP
  • SEL — $28,790 MSRP

The Sport trim is especially appealing, with many exclusive details, and it doesn't cost much more than the base trim. Standard features on the VW Jetta Sport include an electronic-locking front differential for improved performance, black styling touches inside and out, and unique 17-inch alloy wheels.

But the base model S also features excellent standard equipment, like the driver assistance package with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.

Upgraded Jetta models include other appealing options like adaptive cruise control and a panoramic sunroof.

When you're in the market for a compact sedan like a Jetta, buying a used car can save you thousands. But finding one in excellent condition can be a hassle. Even if an advertisement looks good, how can you know a pre-owned vehicle isn't hiding mechanical issues? But when buying a car from Shift, there's no need to worry about that. Shift's certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on every car and have complete vehicle history reports, so you know your used car feels as good as new.

Shift's website has a large selection of fully inspected vehicles located across the country that are ready to go. Whether you want a Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, or Volkswagen Jetta GLI, Shift has what you need. If you need to finance, we have that covered too. Shift works with a network of trusted lenders who compete for your business, so you get the best deal on financing. Applying for financing with Shift is quick and easy, with no cost or obligation.  

Volkswagen Jetta horsepower

For 2022, the VW Jetta receives an updated turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine — also found in the VW Taos SUV.

Producing 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, this spirited motor offers plenty of power for zipping around town or taking a long road trip. And not only does it provide satisfying acceleration, but it also achieves excellent fuel economy, with an EPA-rated 31 mpg city and 43 mpg highway on the S model with an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

And if you like to row your own gears, the S model comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission for additional driver involvement. 

With their many years of experience building turbo engines, Volkswagen knows how to design motors that offer a good blend of performance and fuel efficiency.

Volkswagen Jetta interior 

The VW Jetta provides drivers with a sophisticated, upscale interior with plenty of room even with its reasonable pricing.

While interior features increase with each successive trim level, all models are driver-focused with a great view of the road. 

Optional interior features on more expensive trim levels include ventilated front seats, wireless charging for devices, and ambient interior lighting.

No matter which trim level you decide on, you'll receive an excellent infotainment system with the connectivity of Android Auto and Apple Carplay. 

The standard infotainment system uses a 6.5-inch screen, four-speaker stereo and includes a WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. 

The upgraded infotainment system has an 8-inch touchscreen that adds a nine-speaker BeatsAudio system, navigation, and wireless charging. 

And with 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space, the Jetta's roomy trunk has enough space to hold seven carry-on bags. 

Additionally, the Jetta features a voluminous center console bin and handy door pockets.

Volkswagen Jetta reliability

The 2022 model year VW Jetta received a 76 out of 100 rating for quality and reliability from J.D. Power. 

J.D. Power quality and reliability ratings consider defects, malfunctions, and design issues experienced by actual owners. This rating considers the entire vehicle, from the wheels to the engine.

The higher the score on a J.D. Power quality and reliability rating, the fewer issues reported.

The Jetta's reassuring new car bumper-to-bumper warranty covers the first four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. VW also covers the powertrain for the same period.

Although regular maintenance is an essential part of owning a car, be it a Jetta or other model, it can be time-consuming and costly. But VW makes it easier with their complimentary maintenance for the first two years or 20,000 miles.

Volkswagen Jetta review in summary

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta is an excellent choice for those seeking a compact car with good driving performance, a pleasant interior, and good safety features.

The Jetta S base model has excellent standard features like a digital gauge display, driver assistance package, and a peppy 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The Jetta's well-engineered turbocharged engine provides good acceleration while either touring around town or cruising on the highway, and it does so while achieving excellent mpg.

When you drive the VW Jetta, the interior may feel like something costing thousands more, with its high-tech digital gauges, infotainment system, USB ports, and optional wireless charging.

And for extended trips or grocery runs, the Jetta's spacious trunk with 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space ensures you can carry everything you need. 

Volkswagen's solid warranty coverage means you can drive with peace of mind, knowing you have coverage for mechanical issues over a significant period. And with free maintenance for two years or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first, your Jetta will stay running smooth. 

Whichever type of used car you're in the market for, whether a compact sedan or a full-sized model with extra room, it can be a challenge finding one that's good for the long haul. Because even vehicles with a good maintenance history can experience mechanical issues with high repair costs. But with Shift's best-in-industry service contracts, you know your vehicle will stand the test of time.

With a Shift Vehicle Protection Plan, not only are essential components covered, but you also receive roadside assistance. Wherever you happen to be in the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada, help is just a toll-free phone call away, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And for extra reassurance, any car you buy from Shift has a seven-day refund policy. In case you aren't fully satisfied with your purchase, you can return it with no questions asked.

Want to take a test drive before you buy? If you live in one of Shift's many service areas, a concierge will drive to you, letting you get a feel for the performance before signing the papers.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta (from $22,200)

2021 Volkswagen Jetta (from $22,200)
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30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
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Shop Used Volkswagen Jetta
2021 Volkswagen Jetta (from $22,200)
30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Volkswagen Jetta
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2019 Volkswagen Jetta (from $23,800)

2019 Volkswagen Jetta (from $23,800)
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Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Volkswagen Jetta
2019 Volkswagen Jetta (from $23,800)
30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Volkswagen Jetta
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Author
Shift Editorial Team