2008 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan

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Volkswagen Jetta Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automated Manual
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta

  • With its polished interior and comfortable ride, the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta is one of the more refined players in its class, and is the only choice to consider if you're in search of a small sedan that delivers European elegance at a very reasonable price.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Pleasant ride, high-end interior materials, long list of safety features, meticulous build quality.

  • Cons

    Dull exterior styling contradicts nameplate's youthful image, unspectacular fuel economy.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Volkswagen Jetta sees a few changes. Most notably, the sedan gets a bump up in power, thanks to a revised 2.5-liter standard engine good for 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Trim levels get new names: S, SE and SEL. The 2.0T engine is available only on the newly revised limited-edition Wolfsburg Edition model and the Volkswagen GLI. (Volkswagen has dropped the "Jetta" name in a move to make the GLI similar to the GTI. The GLI is reviewed separately.) A power two-way recline feature for the driver seat is now standard across all trims.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (30 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2008 jetta wolfsberg edition

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

I bought my Jetta brand new at 0 miles and just yesterday I passed 100,000 miles and I have to say this is by far the best car I have ever owned; however, some people don't realize that owning and maintaining a VW takes a little bit of work. In order to make sure your vehicle lasts a long time it is vital that you stay up-to-date with recommended maintenance and NEVER get work done at a location other then a licensed Volkswagen dealership. If you follow those 2 simple rules you will be more than happy. I've heard horror stories about people buying a Jetta and having terrible experiences with it; yet they never really took the effort to take care of it or take it in for routine maintenance.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

First vw

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

Love It! Bought it for my wife, but haven't stopped driving it at every opportunity. Fun to drive, fast, comfortable. Only problem is the DSG transmission. Wish I bought the manual. The DSG shifts smoothly but is awkward at a start, and is difficult to start on a hill. It's kind of like driving a manual shift without the benefit of controlling it with a clutch. The dealership says it's received many complaints but "that's the way it's supposed to work". BUT they extended the DSG warranty ;) Bottom line is that there's a problem, they don't know how to fix it, so they extend the warranty to calm the masses. Poor solution. BUT Would definitely buy it again. Most fun car to drive ever!




Loving it so far!

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

I bought my 2008 Wolfsburg during a 0% financing promotion. Out the door I paid $23,770. I have been so happy with the Jetta so far. My only complaint is the cost of oil changes! $75 for my first and $80 something for my second. Are you kidding me? Then I was told I might lose my warranty if I take it to a discount place or had a family member do it for me. The Turbo is fun to drive and the car is small and zippy.




I am wow'd

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

A "career move" put me in the market for a commuter car. My 02 SS Camaro is not fuel efficient (Dont worry, I still have it) I had come to terms with purchasing a New Honda Fit. The deal did not go smooth, so I started to look at other options. I stumbled across an 08 Wolfsburg w 5k, priced at $16.5k on the internet. The next morning, I headed to the dealership and fell in love with it after the first drive. Loved all of the Wolfsburg add ons, especially the 2.0 Turbo! I never thought I would love driving a Jetta, but I do! I find it more fun to drive than my Camaro. To add to that, I have been averaging 30 MPG hwy as well. My only issue is an annoying rattle from the dash moulding.




A lot of bang for

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

We bought this car with 5000 miles on it for $17,000. It came with 19" VW wheels and was packed with all the great equipment the Wolfsburg comes with. We cannot believe how amazing of a deal we got. No problems at all. The blue lit up dash interior is great. The heated seats are fantastic and I am 6' tall and the car fits me perfectly. The turbo is smooth as well as the transmission. Plus the 6 disc/satellite radio system is amazing! I love this car!




Wolfsburg 2.0t: quality, fun, value,

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

Looked for a commuter car that is not boring to drive. Tested all Honda's, Toyota's and Hyundai's and used Mercedes and BMW in the under 25k range. They had nothing to compare to the Jetta drive quality and feel. Bought mine in June 2008. Initial climate control malfunction which I had to contact the CEO of VW USA Mr. Jacoby, since dealer Bob Baker was clueless. Dealer in Escondido Classic is awesome and fixed problems 100% with the help of factory engineers. It was a faulty temp. sensor in the left vent. Driving over hills to work, 35 miles with 15 miles city driving I get 28-29 MPG at 70-80 and 30+mpg at 65MPH regular gas. Loves the responsiveness at any speed. Handling like Porsche.



Full 2008 Volkswagen Jetta Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Volkswagen Jetta sees a few changes. Most notably, the sedan gets a bump up in power, thanks to a revised 2.5-liter standard engine good for 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Trim levels get new names: S, SE and SEL. The 2.0T engine is available only on the newly revised limited-edition Wolfsburg Edition model and the Volkswagen GLI. (Volkswagen has dropped the "Jetta" name in a move to make the GLI similar to the GTI. The GLI is reviewed separately.) A power two-way recline feature for the driver seat is now standard across all trims.

Introduction

"Upscale economy car" sounds like an oxymoron, but it's a feat Volkswagen has been managing to pull off for years. The proof is in its much-loved Jetta -- a small sedan that offers a tremendous amount of polish, all for a sub-$20,000 starting price.

With unassuming stealth, the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta sneaks up and surprises shoppers by giving them more than they'd likely expect from a car in this segment. Styling cues reflect discreet European elegance; the sedan's handsome cabin comes decked with rich materials and exceptional fit and finish. Road manners are pleasantly precise, and the VW Jetta also offers a bevy of standard safety features.

In past incarnations, the Jetta's Achilles' heel was its poor reliability; this issue was largely addressed with the 2005 redesign. Unfortunately, the redesign also revamped the angular, character-filled appearance of the previous-generation Jetta, leaving this model with a tame exterior at odds with the youthful image Volkswagen so clearly wishes to cultivate for the sedan. Another shortcoming concerns fuel economy. The car's mediocre mileage will likely prove disappointing for shoppers with frugality on the mind.

The 2008 VW Jetta isn't short on appeal, but there are other economy cars that merit a look. The Mazda 3 will give you a more engaging driving experience, and the Honda Civic's wide range of engines offer greater opportunity for fuel economy. But none in this segment can touch the Jetta when it comes to sheer refinement. If this trait matters to you, put the Volkswagen Jetta at the top of your shopping list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

2008 Volkswagen Jetta buyers get to choose among three trim levels: S, SE and SEL. The base S comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated side mirrors, a 60/40-split rear seat, keyless entry and an eight-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with an auxiliary input jack. The SE adds 16-inch alloys, a sunroof, a 10-speaker stereo with a six-disc CD changer, satellite radio, heated front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a center armrest and pass-through for the folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and leatherette upholstery. The revamped Wolfsburg Edition features the more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine as well as 17-inch alloy wheels and exclusive badging. Step up to the SEL and you get 17-inch alloys, a multifunction trip computer, a premium sound system and auxiliary steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

Powertrains and Performance

S, SE and SEL models come with a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine good for 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The Wolfsburg Edition is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Both S and SE Jettas offer a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic, while the Wolfsburg Edition boasts a standard six-speed manual. VW's slick six-speed DSG sequential-shift transmission -- which can be shifted manually or placed in auto mode -- is available as an option on the Wolfsburg Edition only. With SEL Jettas, only the six-speed automatic is offered. All Jettas are front-wheel drive.

Jettas sold in California-emissions states have reduced tailpipe emissions and receive a squeaky-clean PZEV rating. No matter the model, however, fuel economy is a bit below average for a compact car. Revised EPA ratings for both manual and automatic models stand at 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway with the 2.5-liter engine. The Wolfsburg Edition's 2.0-liter engine achieves the same numbers when paired with the manual transmission, while DSG-equipped Wolfsburgs manage a marginally better 22 mpg in the city.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants and full-length head curtain airbags are standard across the line. Stability control is optional on the Jetta S, but standard on the other two models. Seat-mounted side airbags for rear passengers are optional. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta received four out of five stars for protection of front seat occupants in head-on collisions and five stars for front- and rear-occupant protection in side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Jetta a top score of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Volkswagen Jetta's cabin is loaded with high-quality materials and put together with care. Even the base model has high-end flair, with comfortable seating and elegant trim. A tall roof line lends a sense of spaciousness to the front seats. Headroom is a little tight in the rear, but there's ample legroom for adults. Trunk capacity measures an impressive 16 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

On the road, the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta manages to provide both comfortable ride quality and agile handling. Like its more expensive German counterparts, the sedan offers a rock-solid feel and a quiet ride. There's adequate power on tap to handle most situations; the Jetta's revised base engine is a welcome addition, as it endows the car with a bit more pep than was offered by last year's model. For maximum acceleration, however, you'll want to check out either the turbocharged Wolfsburg Edition or the identically powered Volkswagen GLI.

Talk About The 2008 Jetta

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs