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 Manual
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/29 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 (8 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Jetta wolfsburg is the best

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

Excellent value and features. Wasn't a big fan of the 2005 redesign (looks are too Japanese...), but the 2.0T and 6-sp manual sold me! You get the GLI/GTI powertrain and top-notch build quality for not much more than Civic money. You'd have to spend thousands more to find a car with comparable performance, features, and quality. Herbie made me a VW fan. And owning 25+ VW's over the years have only made me more enthusiastic about the brand.




2.0t is a great, great

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

I was actually looking at a Rabbit with the (Canada-only) Sport package, which ended up being more expensive than my Jetta 2.0T. (I would have considered the 2.5, which was considerably cheaper, but they only had it in beige.) My mother drives an 08 Eos with the 2.0T/6-speed manual combination, and that combination was undeniably the most fun I had ever had driving. The 2.0T/6-speed manual is wonderful in the Jetta as well; combined with 17" wheels, black bumper trim, huge trunk. Loving it. Traded in my Mazda3 Sport - which I loved - for this Jetta and have not missed my Mazda for a second. Class-leading power, comfort, interior materials, fun-to-drive quotient.




My second vw

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

I am also an outside sales rep and chose the '08 Jetta Wolfsburg fully loaded which replaced my '02 Jetta GLS. What an excellent choice for someone on the go. I've racked up 6100 in 3 months and use 91 or higher I'm getting great gas mileage, I love the Sirius radio and the more mature look. I did considered the BMW but thankful I stuck with VW. We are the most loyal owners and I love eating up the traffic as I fly by with my 6-speed triptonic. It's very fun to drive if you need more from your car I suggest stepping upto the Passat. Seriously you can't beat the quality and standard features that most other luxury vehicle build into there series upgrades. Test drive one at your local VW dealer!




Best purchase.

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

I had a Gray '06 Jetta 2.5 5-spd w/Package 1 (6 CD/MP3/Sat, leatherette, heated seats, etc.) which I purchased new. I brought it to the dealer in June for some warranty stuff (w/44k miles). As I'm waiting for the verdict, I stumbled into the showroom. Of course the inevitable happened & the sales manager approached me. So, I ended up test driving a 2.5 and a 2.0T WE which I absolutely fell in love with. Got a fantastic deal, a lower APR, a fresh warranty & more. I like that Monster Mats & Gorilla Gear were included too :) Black w/Anthracite, 6spd...plus it has the features my '06 had, for less $.




Awesome car!!

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

I was a former Jetta owner. The biggest mistake I have ever made was trading that Jetta in on a Ford Mustang GT. I have learned the biggest lesson of my life! Never again! It's unbelievable the torgue this little car has. You better hang on or she'll get away from you. I love the tiptronic transmission. So whatever mood I am in I can adjust the shifter to what I need, making it very fun to drive. The sport suspension gives it a great handling ride. It offers everything I need, from the sunroof to the 17 inch wheels. Stylish car inside and out. I love this car. VW I am so glad to be back!




My 1st v-dubb

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

Waited 4 months for an '08 Accord coupe. Walked into the v. W. Dealer, drove the auto and made the deal for the 6 spd. Love driving the car; feels like a lot more expensive car. There should be more creature comforts on this quality of build. Just picked the car up on 7/28 so haven't really "driven" the car yet. The couple of time I've gotten on it a bit lets me know the car surely feels a lot stronger than I thought it would. By the way, my reliability rating of 5 is because I haven't had the car long enough to rate it fairly. Oh, how I wish I could "rate" the dealership too!



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

Read more about the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs