I loved my Volkswagen Jetta, bought a new 2012 SE with Convenience and Sunroof. It was a dark, rainy, and foggy night and i was traveling at around 40mph when i failed to see a stop sign and went right through an intersection. My Jetta was hit on the left side causing both driver and passenger side airbags to deploy. The vehicle then struck a tree and spun around once again before coming to a halt in someones front lawn. The car had immediatley shut itself off, activated the hazards and unlocked all the doors. My friend and i both walked away from the incident. The police all had agreed that had i not been in a car as safe as the Jetta, my friend and i could have both been easily killed
While the Base and S (4 cylinder 115-hp) models are not like previous VW's, the SE model (5 cylinder 170-hp) holds up the VW's reputation. I am extremely pleased with my purchase (2012 SE manual W/ Convenience) . I was a bit hesitant to look at new Jetta's due to the awful reviews. After I did some research, the SE model and above is a totally different car than the S and Base models. You get a low price for an extremely basic car. But the SE, SEL, and TDI all have a lot to be pleased about. Don't believe the bad reviews stand for all the Jetta models, only the Base and S. With a different engine, transmission and interior, the SE model and above is a totally different car.
I don't understand why there are so many complaints about the New Jetta. After looking at everything, I settled on the smartly priced Jetta S with Sunroof and manual trans. Admittedly, it's no speed merchant, but it does just fine, has no trouble keeping up, and returns decent mileage in the process. I just don't see how you can look at most of the direct competition and find the Jetta lacking. The Americans are either too small (Fiesta and Sonic) or more expensive (Focus and Cruze). The Japanese competitors are just crappy. Complaints about the Jetta's interior??? Seen a Civic lately? Yikes! And perhaps most importantly, all 6'3" of me fits in the Jetta with room to spare in back.
Picked it up 5/31 and this Candy White with Corn silk/Black accent interior has proven to be a handsome, comfortable second family car. Critics of the interior materials were too harsh. The leatherette is more attractive and comfortable than we expected. Just returned from a round trip to PGH. My 6 foot plus son did not find the rear seats tiring or cramped. Very smooth ride and honestly quieter than our Accord on the road. The engine is a bit "throaty" but the slight rumble doesn't sound weak or cheap. Solid feel. In 'S' mode you get all the kick you need for passing fun. Low end torque takes a bit of getting used too but that comes quickly. Confident handling. Touch screen radio is cool.
Bought a certified pre-owned 2.5L SE Convenience w/18K miles on it and am very happy with it so far. For the price, I feel this car is a great balance of a sporty but safe family sedan, with a large trunk and roomy backseat, good handling and power (with the 2.5L engine), and decent fuel economy. Its well-styled and comfortable (i'm 6'1 and my wife is tall). A few very minor complaints (see below). Was concerned about the lack of independent suspension, but my wife and baby are totally fine even in rough city roads in winter.