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#17

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $16,215 - $31,670
Invoice: $15,567 - $30,403
MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
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Volkswagen Jetta Review

The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta ranks 17 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Jetta, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta is ranked:

While some say its tech features could be improved, the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta pleases reviewers with a spacious cabin and a range of responsive engine choices. 

Test drivers say that the 2015 VW Jetta’s base engine provides adequate power, particularly when paired with the standard manual transmission. However, many critics prefer the turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine found on higher trims, which they say feels lively in most situations. A new turbodiesel four-cylinder engine comes in the Jetta TDI, and reviewers agree that it delivers ample power off the line. A manual transmission is standard on all Jetta models, while an available automated manual (automatic) transmission earns praise for its quick gear changes. The base 2015 Jetta earns an EPA-estimated 25/34 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low for a compact car. However, with up to 31/46 mpg city/highway, the Jetta TDI returns some of the best fuel economy estimates in the class. Auto writers agree that the 2015 Jetta offers precise steering and poised handling. Most note that the Jetta also rides comfortably for a compact car, though some say that the larger wheels found on higher trims result in a harsh ride.

While some critics point out a few hard plastic surfaces inside the 2015 VW Jetta, most agree that interior updates like a revised instrument cluster and piano-black trim give the Jetta’s cabin a premium look and feel. The automotive press agrees that the 2015 Jetta is remarkably spacious for the class, with roomy front and rear seats and a large trunk that offers 15.5 cubic feet of space. Test drivers appreciate upgrades like the powerful Fender audio system and a navigation system that’s easy to program. However, some also point out that the navigation system has a small display, and that having to use an iPod adapter instead of a USB port means that not everyone will be able to charge and control their smartphone. The 2015 VW Jetta S comes with heated mirrors, Bluetooth and cruise control. Available features include a rearview camera, push-button start, proximity key, a touch-screen audio system with satellite radio, a Fender premium audio system, an iPod adapter, a sunroof, navigation, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning and front and rear parking sensors.

  • "As you'd expect from any midcycle enhancement, the changes to the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta aren't exactly revolutionary, but our drive suggests that they are significant enough to help the refreshed Jetta keep pace with the key competitors in its market segment." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "Volkswagen revised the Jetta in areas where it needed changing and left the rest untouched -- and to us, that's a good thing." -- AutoTrader 
  • "No matter what flavor 2015 Volkswagen Jetta drivers want, they're not likely to be disappointed. The cabin is spacious and comfortable. There's a powertrain for every kind of driver. And some excellent technological touches upgrade the Jetta in a meaningful way without emptying a customer's wallet." -- Motor Trend 
  • "It's a sweet car made even more impressive, mainly by brand-new engines." -- USA Today 

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Other Cars to Consider

The Mazda3 is available in sedan and hatchback body styles, and it gets excellent fuel economy for the class. Additionally, reviewers praise the Mazda3 for its athletic handling, as well as its long list of available tech features.

The Honda Civic uses less fuel than many competing compact cars, and reviewers say that its continuously variable transmission (CVT) is smooth and responsive. The Civic also comes with standard features that are rare for the class, such as hands-free text messaging and a rearview camera.

Compare the Jetta, Mazda3 and Civic »

Details: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta

The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta seats five and has front wheel drive. A number of trims and powertrain options are available, ranging from the base Jetta with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission, to the top-of-the-line Jetta GLI SEL with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic. For 2015, the Jetta gains interior and exterior styling updates, newly available features and new engines on certain trims. Aside from these updates, the Jetta hasn’t changed much since it was redesigned for the 2011 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011 through the current model year.

See 2015 Volkswagen Jetta specs »

Review Last Updated: 10/3/14

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