2008 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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Volkswagen Jetta Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power Info is not yet available.
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 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.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Brakes

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

This is my 3rd VW Jetta. I have driven these vehicles for over 10 years now. This one is nice, but the 5 cylinder burns much more than my last 4 cylinder and without much more pep. My real complaint is the brakes, I am at 23,898 miles and about to change the rear brakes, AGAIN, for a cost of around 370 dollars. Coming from vehicles (VW included) that I went almost 50,000 miles on rear brakes this is disturbing to say the least. Still a great car, a few flaws and electronic issues as every Jetta I have owned or known anyone to have owned has had and would still recommend it if they fixed the brakes. Hope this helped.




Nice power and no problems!

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

This is my third VW and the best so far. I have been driving my Jetta since July 2008 and haven't experienced any problems. The car has nice power and many features (e.g. power everything, nice stereo) are standard. The only negative is the gas mileage isn't great but not much of a problem for me because I take mass transit to work.




Should have bought a chevy

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

This is my 2nd attempt at owning a VW. The first one a Fox was less than stellar but I figured a lot of time had gone by so I would give VW another shot. So I traded my Honda Accord for a 08 Jetta 5 cyl. 5 spd. it is a lot more comfortable and the gas econ. is about the same. Now a almost a year into ownership and about 12k on the od. the car has developed an issue its missfired on the 3rd cyl. and ate the coil pack a week later and less than 500 miles it did it again although I wont know if its the same problem until it goes back to the shop. I will be looking into the Lemon Law soon. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR JUNK! I had similar prob. with the first one. Its too bad overall a good car.




Good value

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

Have had this car for about a year now and really like it. Jettas had a bad rep a few years ago for electrical problems but that appears to have been worked out. However I do have an annoying rattle on the dash and its a bit noisy on the freeway. It is a very fun car to drive and handles well in snow/ice even though I have low profile performance tires. TIP: if you are trying to get out of the snow then turn off ASR! It's a great safety feature when you're driving but if you need to get un-stuck then you don't want it on! I love the blue lit dash at night and the red lights that beam down from the roof. Very cool. My teenage son loves it and is now a VW fan. Car is very sharp looking.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Dissapointed

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

When I first drove the car I fell in love with it and immediately bought it. The very responsive engine coupled with 18" performance tires made this car fun to drive. Just two months later and the clutch has way too much transmission feel and the gas consumption is not even close to the quoted technical specifications. Unless my dealer can solve the consumption issue I am estimating that this car will cost me $400-500 more per year than I should expect based on quoted estimates. In terms of the clutch, the feel has drastically changed from when I first took delivery. My dealer is claiming that it is operating normally. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.




08 jetta manual trans

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

The 08 Jetta has very good, solid build quality, good power, excellent interior, and a huge trunk at this size of car. Mileage is so so, mine is right on the EPA estimate of 21-22 city, and 29 highway. Ride is smooth, and steering precise. Just enought road feed back to be useful to the driver. Driver seat should be wider, it is a little narrow in the seat, and I am not fat, just average size. Radio could be a bit stronger, and the ipod connector should be on the dash. If the Jetta just got slightly over 30 MPG, and slightly higher mileage in town it would be one of the best small to mid size cars. Plenty of interior space for 4 persons, 5 is a reach. The trunk is longer than my Camry.



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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.

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Talk About The 2008 Jetta

2008 Volkswagen Jetta Discussions See all Started By

cajphoto1
cajphoto1
08-29-2013
I have a 2008 Jetta Wolfsburg 2.0 Turbo Black that I purchased in June 2013 with 75k miles. So far the car runs very well and I have only had to change the rear brakes. Front brakes are at 75%. I s...


hills2
hills2
02-19-2010
I have a 2008 Jetta that just stops moving. You shift into gear and it will not move. Turn it off for a minute and it will go for a short distance. All the various gears (F, R, etc) on the dash are...


roughrider1
roughrider1
12-30-2007
Anyone having problems with this one yet! I am considering buying one but am waiting to see how many problems arise!...



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