Used 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews - 63 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

2012 Volkswagen Jetta

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63 Total Reviews

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First-time Volkswagen owner
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
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By Liz
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Jetta S 4dr Sedan w/Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I bought this car certified pre-owned as a leased car someone had turned in. So far, I'm very satisfied with it. One issue would be with the engine -- my previous car was a Toyota Corolla and its 2.0L engine seemed to have much more zip than this Jetta, especially going up hills. This Jetta is a manual shift and it is very smooth going from one gear to another and now that I have a new set of tires on it, my gas mileage is much better, in the 33-36 mpg range, rather than 29-31 mpg with my old tires. The interior is appointed nicely -- the controls are easy to read and accessible while driving. There are lots of options for seat adjustment, in both the nearness to the steering wheel but also seat height. Since I'm an audiophile, the sound system is important to me and it doesn't disappoint. Those controls are also easy to navigate and program. Another thing I'd suggest is for Volkswagen to include a couple USB ports on the lower trim models. Right now, I have an external port plugged into my cigarette lighter (not a problem since I'm a non-smoker), but even it seems to integrate well with the sound system. This car is a daily driver for me, but occasionally, I have passengers and they have all commented on the roominess not only in the passenger seat, but in the rear seats. The last suggestion I'd have is that there should be a daytime/nighttime function on the driver's side and passenger side mirrors to alleviate glare on all the trim models. Otherwise, as I said, I'm relatively happy with this car and I intend to keep it as long as possible.


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Comments after 1 month
7 of 10 people found this review helpful
Performance
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By Bob
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE 4dr Sedan w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.5L 5cyl 6A)


Review

I typically wait at least 6 months before I write a review on a vehicle. But I got bored and decided to write one on this car after having it only a month. This is the second German-built vehicle I've owned (1982 Scirocco was the first) and told myself I would never own another one again. My wife has owned a Jetta (2001) and loved it. We needed to find a car for our daughter, who just started college and this seems to be a smart purchase. Ok...enough of that.

First off, after putting approximately 500 miles on the car, the check engine light came on. I went to the local auto parts store to have the code(s) downloaded. It’s something to do with the air mapping system…after 37,000 miles. I did some research and found this is common problem with this car. Check out codes P0491 & P0442 and do your own research. I also found out that most German cars have volatile memory built into the computer. So disconnecting the battery to clear the codes will not work. I though it may have been a gas cap issue so, I disconnected the battery for 10 minutes and reconnected it. In most cars, this will clear the computer and the light will disappear. Not in this case. You have to have a scanner remove the code and auto parts stores will not do this.

On with the review…

INTERIOR: I'm a 6'-2" 240lb 44-year-old male that drives a full-size SUV because I like elbow room so, small cars are not my thing. The cabin in this car is actually pretty roomy. The back seats had decent leg room with me in the driver’s seat (14-year-old 5’6” tall behind me). The front seat positions are decent but, the seat adjustments are sometimes difficult to find and adjust. That's not that big of a deal for us since only my daughter will be driving the car. If multiple people will be driving the car, that may be an issue. I drove the car 400 miles the day after I bought it and the ride was quiet and comfortable...which surprised me. At 75 MPH the cabin noise was barely noticeable. We had the sunroof open…which took a while to figure out to operate it, and the mesh visor that pops up cuts the noise down a little. The instrument cluster is easy to figure out...if you're use to driving German cars. This car came with the synthetic leather that I actually like a lot. It’s easy to clean and appears to wear decent. The rest of the material in the cabin is nothing to write home about. There’s not much storage inside the car but, I’m used to having ample storage that’s in my SUV. The biggest issue I have with the car is the “entertainment system”. Yes it has Bluetooth but connecting to it is a pain. The touch-screen is nice but, is very basic. I’m an audiophile and the system in this car is lacking in everything. Granted, I purchased this car used and who knows what the previous owner did to it. Like using voice commands? 9 out of 10 times I used the voice command in this car…it didn’t work. I don’t know if it just didn’t like my voice or what. Gave up on that and told my daughter good luck. If you have small kids…don’t give them the keys! The key fob has a “switch-blade” key that pops out when you push a button. I’ve found myself playing with it and could imagine what a 4-year-old would do with it.
EXTERIOR: The exterior styling is "OK" and if it wasn't for the front-end fascia, it would be on the edge of boring. The panels fit good as most German cars do and the trunk is large. Windows and sunroof seal tight. The stock wheels are typical for an entry-level car. VW…come back with the Electric Blue paint! Not much more to say on that subject.
DRIVETRAIN: I was impressed with the acceleration and the handling. The car shifts smooth and zipping up and down the foothills of Georgia is fun. This Jetta is fun to drive and sticks to the road well. I had the tiptronic style shifter in an older car I had and never used it. It’s the same with this car.

Overall I’m happy with my purchase.


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Um, no. Just no.
7 of 19 people found this review helpful
Performance
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By ZH
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)


Review

I wanted to own a European car. Well that was a huge mistake and I only had the car for a little over a year. The car was too cramped and it was just a boring car all around. Too many electrical problems. I had to constantly change the headlights and rewire fuses. The car was crappy in the snow and rain. I was under the impression that the car was suppose to get decent gas mileage, but it was crap compared to my Supra. If people want a reliable car, do NOT get European cars. Stick to the Japanese cars for reliability, comfort, technology, and safety.


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Numb steering and bad gas mileage
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
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Reliability
By Edmund Liu
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)


Review

The steering is so numb that a U-haul Ford cargo van drives better than this little car. Comfortable ride compared to Japanese rivals. Only gave me one trouble that the lock housing cracked and was fixed by warranty. I mostly drive around town so I got 16.5 MPG no matter what kind of gas I used ( I noticed that Chevron gets a little better, not the tire pressure problem ) I never see a 200 miles out of a full tank ( 14.5 Gal ). I believe the max MPG I got on freeways is 29. It feels safe. Doors are very heavy. Solid build quality. AC vents want to fall apart all the time, and I don't know why. Engine is sluggish when started if the day is cold. Overall, if you want a safe car and don't care about anything else, this is the one for you.


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A little German car feeling
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
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Exterior Design
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Reliability
By Manuel L.
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A)


Review

I purchased this 2012 as a CPO with 30k miles on it and have 57k now after one year of primarily interstate driving. So far I have only had oil changes every 10k miles and a broken drive belt replaced under warranty. The car required a set of new tires at 52k and brakes are still like new. The interior has a cheap feeling for a German car but that's OK for the price of a Korean car. Leatherette is very durable and comfortable. I chose the 2.5 engine with 6 speed auto transmission because this combination appears to be very reliable. I don't see why people buy the TDI with diesel being more expensive than gas in the United States. In Europe it is the other way around. I wish I had a Jetta with a hatch but actually the sedan is very roomy inside out. Can highly recommend this car so far and plan to drive it up to 100k or until problems appear. MPG is not as good as all the 4 cylinders around but it does feel more like a 6 cylinder.


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