We purchased our 2008 Jetta SE (auto) brand new.
My wife was the primary driver on our Jetta and we could not have been more pleased with the Jetta.
In fact, 7 months later I bought a 2007 Jetta GLI for myself.
We considered an Accord Coupe but the Jetta was $3,000 less and had more features.
The car now has over 50,000 miles on it and still has not had any repairs--just regular maintenace...still on original brakes and tires, even.
City driving returned around 22 mpg and highway driving would return up to 35 mpg...usually averaged 32-33 mpg on road trips.
Quiet and comfortable to drive, cavernouse trunk and loaded with features.
Jetta SE (at least in 2008) came with sunroof, 5-spoke alloys, cruise, heated "pleather" seats (which are more durable than real leather), power windows, locks and mirrors, keyless entry, 6-disc in-dash changer, satellite radio, 4-wheel disc brakes, etc.
The automatic transmission has manual and sport modes which work well...the manual mode allows you to select whatever gear of the 6 you want and the sport mode will noticeably increase throttle response, hold gears longer before upshift and downshift to lower gears at higher rpm's.
Overall, the car works and performs very well and has been reliable as the sun coming up.
On top of that, it is a good looking car inside and out.
Only gripe with 2008 Jetta SE:
The in-line 5 cylinder engine sounds thrashy but it is very smooth and as stated earlier returns good mileage and decent performance.
The 2.0L turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine is noticably more responsive, quieter and smoother.