2010 Volkswagen Jetta Review

Pros & Cons

  • Diverse selection of strong engines, stellar fuel economy in TDI trim, upscale look and feel, comfortable seats, impressive cargo capacity in both body styles, pleasant ride.
  • Below-average fuel economy with 2.5-liter engine, lackluster brake performance, small backseat compared to midsize competitors.
List Price Range
$3,977 - $7,500

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 Volkswagen Jetta remains the only discount-price European sedan (and wagon) offered for the U.S. market. A large array of trim levels and powertrains further increases the Jetta's appeal.

Vehicle overview

It's hard to imagine in this era of model proliferation, but the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta manages to exist in its own niche, one deftly carved out by its forebears. An upscale compact, the Jetta proves that just because a car is small and reasonably priced doesn't mean it has to have an economy car feel to it. Indeed, the Jetta has long been a refined, well-built alternative to the humdrum offerings more typical of the segment. The Jetta also provides the confident handling and supple ride of a German-bred car. This generation of the Jetta debuted five years ago, and though some feel the styling is not as distinctive as Jettas of yore, the stout little Vee-Dub maintains its tradition of providing a European road car at a price point comparable to more plebeian offerings in the small sedan and wagon segment.

Last year, the lineup was considerably sweetened with the return of the Jetta TDI and the debut of the Jetta SportWagen. The former offers strong performance along with the stellar fuel economy of a turbodiesel while the latter, as its name implies, combines the solid personality of a Jetta along with the practicality of a wagon body style. The TDI, which returned after a hiatus prompted by ever-stiffening emissions standards, is so clean that it's 50-state compliant and also boasts an impressive combined (city and highway) fuel economy number of 34 mpg. The SportWagen, meanwhile, offers significantly more cargo space than VW's own Tiguan compact SUV -- 18 more cubic feet with the seats up, 10 more with them folded.

Though the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta still stands apart from the compact pack, it nonetheless competes indirectly against a wide variety of models. The lower Jetta sedan trims may be cross-shopped with economy cars like the Mazda 3 or Honda Civic, while higher trims can be compared with entry-level luxury models like the Volvo S40 or midsize family sedans like the Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima or Suzuki Kizashi. For any of these categories, the Jetta is a smart choice. The SportWagen is also worthy of strong consideration if you're contemplating a small wagon or compact crossover, while the TDI makes for an excellent alternative to hybrids. On its own merits, any Jetta is a good choice for those who want a premium German sedan but find themselves with a bier rather than a champagne budget.

2010 Volkswagen Jetta models

The 2010 Volkswagen Jetta is available in sedan and SportWagen body styles. The sedan is available in S, Limited, SE, SEL, Wolfsburg Edition, TDI and TDI Cup "Street" Edition trim levels. The SportWagen is available in S, SE and TDI trims.

The Jetta S comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors and washer nozzles, air-conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, eight-way-adjustable front seats with power recline, heated front seats, a 60/40-split rear seat and an eight-speaker stereo with a single-CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The Limited (sedan only) adds 16-inch alloy wheels, leatherette vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth The Jetta SE adds a rear-seat armrest, a sunroof (sedan only), a 10-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer and satellite radio, and most of the Limited's items on the SportWagen SE.

On top of this, the Jetta SEL sedan adds 17-inch wheels, a multifunction steering wheel, iPod integration and a trip computer. The Jetta TDI sedan is equipped similarly to the SEL sedan but comes with 16-inch alloy wheels and doesn't have a sunroof. The TDI Cup "Street" Edition adds 18-inch wheels with all-season performance tires, a sport body kit, larger brakes with red calipers, the sport-tuned suspension from the GLI, cloth sport seats, and paddle shifters when equipped with the DSG transmission. The SportWagen TDI is equipped similarly to the SportWagen SE, but it adds a trip computer.

The Jetta Wolfsburg Edition is basically an SE sedan with a turbocharged engine, 17-inch wheels, no exterior chrome window trim and Wolfsburg badges.

Optional on all Jettas is an aerodynamic body kit and rear side airbags (except the Wolfsburg), while a touchscreen navigation system (with a 30GB hard drive, digital music storage, SD memory card slot, USB port and DVD playback) is optional on all but the Jetta S. A panoramic sunroof is a stand-alone option on the SportWagen. Last, a couple of the upper trim features, such as Bluetooth and the dedicated iPod connection, can be had on the S, SE and TDI versions.

2010 Highlights

For the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta, there is a refreshed instrument panel and cabin trim, a new climate control system and a new radio. Most trims also see a new leather-wrapped, multifunction steering wheel and standard Bluetooth connectivity. An iPod connection becomes a separate option (you had to get the navigation system before) while the SportWagen loses its SEL trim level and the accompanying turbocharged engine. The sport-tuned GLI has been discontinued. Finally, there's a new Limited Edition trim and the TDI Cup "Street" Edition debuts with an extra helping of tuner flavor.

Performance & mpg

There are three engines available for the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta. All S, Limited and SE trim levels, as well as the SEL sedan, are powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual, while a six-speed automatic with manual shift control is optional. In performance testing, a Jetta SE with the manual went from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates with the automatic are 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. Manual-equipped cars earn 1 fewer mpg in the city. In California and California-emissions states, this engine earns a squeaky-clean PZEV tailpipe emissions rating.

The 2010 Wolfsburg Edition sedan gets the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in VW's temporarily discontinued sport-tuned GLI sedan. It produces a zesty 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, while VW's slick dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission is optional. The Wolfsburg should sprint from zero to 60 mph in the 7-second range. The manual yields 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined, while opting for the DSG improves fuel economy to 24/32/27 mpg.

The Jetta TDI features a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that utilizes VW's clean diesel technology, making this car compliant with all 50 states' emissions requirements. This diesel produces 140 hp and a healthy 236 lb-ft of torque. With DSG, it goes from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds. The TDI shares the same six-speed manual and DSG transmission choices as the Wolfsburg. Fuel economy for the TDI with a manual is estimated to be 30 mpg city/41 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined, while the DSG rates 30/42/34.


Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear side airbags are optional on all Jettas except the Wolfsburg.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Jetta sedan and SportWagen four out of five stars for frontal collision protection, and a perfect five stars for side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta sedan received the highest rating of "Good" for frontal-offset and side crash protection.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Jetta SE sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 134 feet, while the TDI stopped in 130. These are below-average distances, and pedal feel is notably nebulous at best.


For most shoppers in this segment, a comfy ride matters more than razor-sharp moves. By this measure, the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta is a fine companion in day-to-day driving. It swallows bumps and provides a relatively quiet cabin from which to endure the daily grind. If you do decide to drive aggressively, the Jetta's steering is nicely weighted and accurate, though significant body roll puts a damper on the level of fun.

With the TDI models, expect a little more vibration, a tad more noise and less high-end kick when trying to charge up that highway on-ramp from a stop. However, the diesel's prodigious low-end torque makes it feel downright muscular around town, as it pulls away from traffic lights with authority.


The Jetta's cabin is a strong selling point, with high-grade, soft-touch materials and metallic trim. The vinyl "leatherette" upholstery found in most Jettas is finely stitched and does a good impression of real cowhide, with the added bonus of being easier to clean. Stereo and climate controls are straightforward and easy to use, and we're also fans of the cool blue lights used for the instruments and radio display. The state-of-the-art navigation system features an intuitive touchscreen interface and a 30GB hard drive that not only decreases processing time but also devotes significant space to digital music storage.

The Jetta's tall roof line lends a sense of spaciousness to the front seats, which boast a wide range of adjustment in order to accommodate drivers of various sizes. Headroom is a little tight in the rear, however. Nonetheless, there's an adequate amount of legroom in back, particularly compared to past Jettas, although even an economy sedan like the Toyota Corolla offers more.

The sedan's trunk capacity is very impressive at 16 cubic feet, while the SportWagen is naturally even larger -- cargo volume for the latter is 32.8 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seat up and 66.9 cubic feet with it down.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

AC garbage
TDI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)
Do not buy this car or any VW-they refuse to stand by their product! In 7/13 my AC completely quit. VW said I needed a new AC compressor for $1700. VW of America helped-cost brought down to $700. AC worked until 5/14 where delayed/intermittent cooling started. 6/13 VW said AC had a leak. Problem continued. Had diagnostic done today and told I need a new AC unit. The AC compressor- new 7/13- is breaking down and sending debris thru system-cost to replace $2+K. VW of A will not help to replace AC system because 93K miles on car even though new AC comp was put in 7/13.. Warranty on 7/13 work was 12 month/12K miles-17K put on car in 10 months no warranty. Go read VW forums. Update 8/19/17- Car bought back by VW
Love Hate relationship
Als VW,03/23/2018
Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
I have a 2010 Wolfsburg Jetta with the 2.0T engine with the dsg its loaded leather sunroof heated seats I fell in love at first sight very well clean in mint condition for 78k I have had her for a little over a year purchased in Indiana 1 owner moved back to new jersey with it ... actually my first car my parents purchased me was a 2004 GLI that I completely fell in love with then I purchased 3 newer bmws and after totaling a 335i I felt coming back to Volkswagen would be an inexpensive fun vehicle that I could drive, for a couple of years was I wrong!!! . I do love the performance of this vehicle it will get up and go kind of feels like it has endless power on tap espically in S mode.. but will drink gas like a cow in S mode... love to take on road trips. Now I feel as though the gas mileage is sub par granted I do run regular in it. The brakes are mushy which I'm not used to coming from a bmw & to be honest they scare me sometimes in situations when traffic has come to a sudden hault. I've flushed the brakes I take the car to Volkswagen here in New Jersey for all my services and they say my brakes are fine.. Ive also have had multiple oil issues since day one its been quite frustrating. Ive had more issues with this vehicle then combined of any problems ive ever had with any of my 3 bmws. leaks oil in my drive way.... Oil pressure valve replaced, Oil leak from mainseal had to have the engine taken out for the main seal job also oil leaking from vacume leak which needed to be replaced ofcourse I take it to Volkswagen because I'm scared of anyone else working on the vehicle and it not being done properly.. purchased with 79k now have 92k... also ive had transmission issues which used to get worse in the summer time transmission would jump and shake the car and would get worse if I was in stop and go traffic it scared me to the point of me not wanting to drive it anymore... seems as though the dsg services where never done from previous owner.. took to vw did dsg service for 400$ has gotten better considerable... engine is loud I've gotten used to it I remember my 2004 gli, was also loud and sounded like a diesel truck. also randomly my key got stuck in the vehicle and the car would not turn off Police had to turn my car off with pliers and broke my key in half.... there for leaving me stranded in Philadelphia lol... had to have towed to dealer dealer needed to replace ignition column as well as order a key from Germany... I've been disgusted with the quality of Volkswagen I will never ever buy another VW product!! not reliable.. The seats are very comfortable I am 5"7 124 pounds and I feel as though Volkswagen has the most comfortable seats!! in the winter time I keep the heated seats on love how hot they get!! I think the leather is of very good quality looks very nice as well... in the last 5 months alone ive spent well over 5k in repair bills... ride is a bit bumpy car handles New jersey- Philly pot holes very well I would say... Also I do think the headlights are very bright I usually don't need to turn on my high beams on dark county roads but when I do I can see everything!!! lol I will continue to drive it especially since I've paid cash for it until I feel tired of it.. I think its hard to get tired or bored of driving a Volkswagen honestly but I am tired of the repair costs!!!
Thinking of buying a VW?
Well 700 characters is hard. here are excerpts: After years of owning Toyota’s and Honda’s I was ready to purchase a new car. Bought 2010 VW Tdi with 39,700 miles. After purchase found out with the original owner, it was in for repairs (not maintenance) at the following mileages: 1916, 12258, 14062, 21409, 23772, 33602, 35413, 39361, 39426, 39554. Note how soon after that last repair visit the previous owners sold it. I now have 59k on it and has been in the shop 6 times in 11 months. nav/radio replaced, heating/cooling control panel replaced, broke down with engine issues, seat heater replaced, etc etc etc.,
2010 VW Jetta 2.5L SE
I bought my 2010 Jetta in May 2010. It is my second Jetta and 4th VW/Audi product I've owned. By far this is the best Jetta ever made. The 2010 includes many improvements over the 2009 and earlier models. The seats were given my cusion making them even more supportive. The lumbar is very good. User interface ergonomics are excellent. Interior build materials are on par with premium level vehicles. The Mk. V Jetta compares well against the likes of the Mercede-Benz C-230. The standard audio system is 8 speakers with excellent sound quality. Sunroof is smooth and quick. Everything is right where is should be in this car. It is a joy to drive or ride in around town or cross country.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta
More About This Model

Wagons and diesel engines have been battling outdated misconceptions for decades here in the U.S. However, those negative undercurrents seem to be subsiding, thanks to spikes in oil prices and the recent shift away from large SUVs. The 2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI looks to capitalize on the new normal, offering all of the benefits associated with a wagon as well as a diesel's frugal nature.

As is the case with most wagons, the VW Jetta SportWagen benefits from a boxy interior that can accommodate plenty of cargo and transport up to five passengers. Its carlike proportions and driving dynamics make it easier to pilot than a crossover SUV, while its economical diesel engine returns an EPA-estimated 34 mpg in combined driving compared to the gasoline-powered SportWagen's 25 mpg.

The average driver should be able to recoup the $2,475 price difference between the two within seven years. This may seem a bit long to some, but driving more than 15,000 miles annually will bring this figure down. Despite its benefits, the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI undoubtedly has an uphill battle ahead of it, as crossover SUVs still have a stranglehold on the market when it comes to family haulers.

For shoppers who need to transport more than five people at a time, a vehicle like Ford's Flex certainly has an edge over the VW. For those with their sights set on wagons, the Jetta's most direct competitor is the more expensive Audi A3 TDI — which is based on our SportWagen test vehicle and can be had with all-wheel drive. Other alternatives like the Subaru Outback and the Toyota Venza are also worthy of consideration.

Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Overview

The Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta is offered in the following submodels: Jetta Sedan, Jetta Wagon, Jetta Diesel. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A), SE PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A), S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A), SportWagen S 4dr Wagon (2.5L 5cyl 6A), S PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A), TDI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), SportWagen SE 4dr Wagon (2.5L 5cyl 6A), SE 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M), SportWagen S PZEV 4dr Wagon (2.5L 5cyl 6A), SportWagen TDI 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), SportWagen SE PZEV 4dr Wagon (2.5L 5cyl 6A), S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M), SEL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A), S PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M), Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), SEL PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A), SE PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M), TDI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M), SportWagen TDI 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M), SportWagen S 4dr Wagon (2.5L 5cyl 5M), Wolfsburg Edition PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), SportWagen S PZEV 4dr Wagon (2.5L 5cyl 5M), Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Limited Edition 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A), Limited Edition PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A), Wolfsburg Edition PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Limited Edition PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M), TDI Cup Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), Limited Edition 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M), and TDI Cup Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Limited Edition is priced between $5,880 and$5,880 with odometer readings between 148329 and148329 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Limited Edition PZEV is priced between $7,500 and$7,500 with odometer readings between 34685 and34685 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta S is priced between $3,977 and$3,977 with odometer readings between 147200 and147200 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta S PZEV is priced between $5,999 and$5,999 with odometer readings between 107954 and107954 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen SE PZEV is priced between $5,990 and$5,990 with odometer readings between 113714 and113714 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition PZEV is priced between $4,900 and$4,900 with odometer readings between 52028 and52028 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Volkswagen Jettas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Volkswagen Jetta for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2010 Jettas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,977 and mileage as low as 34685 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Volkswagen Jetta.

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Find a used Volkswagen Jetta for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $20,741.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Volkswagen Jetta lease specials