2018 Volkswagen Jetta

Pros: Class-leading interior room and comfort; clean, simple control layout; broad model range; high-performance fun of GLI model

Cons: Some interior materials don’t live up to Volkswagen’s typical standards; throttle lag when pulling away from a stop; occasionally awkward performance from the GLI’s automated manual transmission

CG Says: The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta gets revised grilles and wheels for most models. Wolfsburg Edition and SE Sport are new trim levels and the GLI loses its manual transmission option. Jetta is Volkswagen’s compact sedan. VW’s Golf is similar to Jetta, but has a hatchback instead of a trunk. Jetta S, Wolfsburg Edition, and SE models are powered by a 150-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Midrange SE Sport and SEL have a 170-hp turbocharged 1.8-liter four cylinder with a six-speed automatic, while the sporty GLI is powered by 210-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four with a six-speed automated-manual transmission. All Jettas are front-wheel drive. Available features include forward-collision warning and mitigation, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic monitor, and adaptive cruise control. Jetta offers great passenger and cargo room, as well as powertrain refinement that exceeds the class norm. At the same time, its ride/handling balance and quality of interior materials on lower-line models fall short of the lofty standards we expect from a Volkswagen. VW’s compact sports sedan, the GLI, maintains the Jetta’s practical and roomy package but is much more fun to drive. While GLI has a much lower horsepower rating than many competing sporty compacts, in practice it offers fine power and is very refined. Responsive handling and livable ride quality are other positives.

The Facts
Class Compact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Nation of Manufacture Mexico
Base Prices 1.4T S: $19,495
1.4T Wolfsburg Edition: $21,195
1.4T SE: $22,095
1.8T SE Sport: $24,095
1.8T SEL: $27,095
GLI 2.0T: $30,395

Base Engine
turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder (S, Wolfsburg Edition, SE)
Horsepower
150
Std. Transmission
5-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
28
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
38-40

Optional Engine
turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder (SE Sport, SEL)
Horsepower
170
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
24
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
33

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (GLI)
Horsepower
210
Std. Transmission
6-speed automated manual
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
24
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
33

2018_jetta-large-7437
2018 Volkswagen Jetta
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - 5
100%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 4
80%
Side Crash - 5
100%
Rollover - 4
80%

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