The Jetta sedan has been lauded as a Volkswagen Golf with a trunk due to its careful driving dynamics, and it's easy to see why. It holds up well against newer models such as the all-wheel drive Mazda 3 or the more powerful Honda Civic.
The Jetta's excellent handling means that it's fun to drive on its 158-horsepower turbocharged inline-four engine. If you want more power and performance, check out the 228-hp Jetta GLI (reviewed separately). You can get a six-speed manual transmission as standard, or pay a little extra for an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Jetta is equipped with standard safety features and a variety of excellent infotainment options, and we were impressed to find that the previous Jetta model
we tested achieved an impressive 42 mpg on our real-world 75-mph highway fuel-economy test.
The Volkswagen Jetta was refreshed last year, but only minor cosmetic changes have been made for 2023. The SE trim level now has remote start ignition capability.
The Sport trim level is the Jetta to get, with unique design elements and a price tag that's not too high. The Sport comes with standard 17-inch wheels, black exterior and interior accents, and an electronically locking front differential for improved performance.
The Jetta comes standard with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, powering the front wheels. You have the option of a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic--we recommend the latter as our test vehicle with the automatic SEL reached 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds, 0.6 seconds faster than the last automatic Jetta we tested.
The sedan's ride is comfortable and quiet, while its light steering makes it easy to handle without compromising precision. However, compared to other models such as the Mazda 3, the Jetta isn't quite a speed demon but can hold its own when going above the posted limit. Despite this, its tranquility will be appreciated by those who value peace and quietness in their transportation.
Interestingly, the VW Jetta performed even better than expected during our fuel-economy test at 75 mph, managing a very efficient 42 mpg. Although there is not much difference between the EPA ratings of new Jettas with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, the base automatic model is most economical with an estimated 31 mpg in city driving and 41 mpg on highways.
Jettas with three pedals have an EPA-rated 29 mpg for city driving and 42 mpg highway. Jetta Sport, SE, and SEL trims get slightly lower ratings due to equipment differences, with an EPA-rated 29 mpg for city driving and 40 mpg during highway cruises. If you would like more information about the Jetta's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
The Jetta's interior is designed to be sophisticated and provide ample space for passengers. While the available features are most desirable in the higher trims, every cabin focuses on the driver and offers great outward visibility. Top content like customizable ambient lighting, wireless device charging, and ventilated front seats can only be found in the priciest models. Interestingly enough, the Jetta was able to hold more carry-on luggage than its counterpart, the regular Golf hatchback.
The sedan could hold seven bags in its trunk, while the Golf's rear seat only accommodated five. With the back seats folded, likewise, the Jetta held three extra bags more than the Golf (18 total). In addition to this, The Jetta's interior cubby storage included useful door pockets and a deep center-console bin.
According to RepairPal, the Volkswagen Jetta earns a 4.0 out of 5.0 for reliability due to these three factors: Cost: On average, the annual repairs and maintenance on a Volkswagen Jetta cost $609 while the average for compact cars is $526 and $652 for all vehicle models.
The Jetta is available in four trims for model year 2023—S, Sport, SE, and SEL. The 2023 GLI is offered in one fully-equipped Autobahn trim. After receiving a refresh for MY22, the Jetta family adds minor cosmetic changes and remote start for SE models.
Yes, the 2023 Jetta is a good car. It has a comfortable ride, capable and fuel-efficient engines, a user-friendly infotainment system and spacious seating. If you want a high-class cabin or a more engaging drive, however, the Jetta isn't the best choice.
We expect the 2022 Jetta will have about average reliability when compared to the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019 and 2020 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.