2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI

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2018 Volkswagen Jetta
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2018 Volkswagen Jetta
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Pros

  • Spacious cabin feels like a class larger
  • Large trunk has plenty of space
  • Quick acceleration with optional engines
  • New, longer warranty coverage

Cons

  • Downmarket cabins in many trim levels
  • Limited availability of advanced safety features
  • Not much fun to drive because of lifeless steering and handling


Which Jetta does Edmunds recommend?

The range-topping GLI is the most compelling of all the Jetta trims for those shoppers who prioritize performance. But we recommend that most buyers take a look at the SE Sport, which hits the sweet spot among Jettas for performance, comfort and value. Its engine has more oomph than the one in the base Jetta, and it has a solid complement of standard creature comforts.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

In previous generations, the Volkswagen Jetta delivered a decidedly European driving experience and had refinement in spades. In its current iteration, the 2018 Jetta is all about size — a large cabin and trunk are its standout features. Refinement and fun are nowhere to be found. It's as if Volkswagen finally caved and traded the Jetta's uniquely Germanic values for generic attributes in the search for mass-market appeal.

Certainly, having a lot of interior space is a good thing. And the Jetta boasts a couple of turbocharged engines that provide strong acceleration and agreeable fuel economy. But your choices for a small sedan are varied, and many of them surpass the Jetta in terms of style, handling and features.

It's likely that Volkswagen will completely overhaul the Jetta for the 2019 model year. In the meantime, might we suggest taking a look at models such as the Honda Civic, Kia Forte and Mazda 3? Volkswagen's Golf hatchback is a more desirable choice as well.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Jetta is available in six trim levels — S, Wolfsburg Edition, SE, SE Sport, SEL and GLI. All Jettas are four-door sedans that seat five occupants, and all are offered exclusively with front-wheel drive. The trim levels are differentiated mainly by engine and feature content.

The base S model is pretty sparse. It has 16-inch aluminum wheels, cloth upholstery, manual seats, heated side mirrors, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split rear seats, a rearview camera, and a four-speaker sound system with a 5-inch touchscreen interface, a CD player, a USB port, and an auxiliary audio jack. An optional Cold Weather package adds heated front seats and windshield washer nozzles; this package is standard on every other trim level.

A 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (150 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque) is the only engine available in S, Wolfsburg Edition and SE trims. All three of those trims have a standard five-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission.

New for 2018 is the Wolfsburg Edition trim, which is largely similar to the S trim save for a few additional features. It adds foglights, simulated leather upholstery and driver lumbar, heated front seats, a backseat pass-through, and a leather-wrapped transmission selector knob and parking brake cover.

SE models add a few goodies, including a sunroof, color-keyed mirrors and chrome side window trim, blind-spot monitoring, keyless ignition and entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 6.3-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

The SE Sport model is like an SE with more power. SE Sport models come with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (170 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque) and a six-speed automatic. A trunklid spoiler, 17-inch wheels, gloss black cabin trim, and a black headliner and roof are part of the deal.

SEL models share their engine and transmission with the SE Sport and add a few creature comforts such as automatic headlights, automatic wipers, a power-adjustable driver seat, navigation, a premium Fender sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a cooled glovebox. Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking are also included.

The GLI trim is where things get zesty. It gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (210 hp, 207 lb-ft of torque), a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, larger brakes, 18-inch wheels, and unique body and cabin trimmings. Standard equipment includes sport seats, a unique steering wheel with shift paddles, parking alerts and a self-dimming mirror. Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking are two notable deletions, however.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium (turbo 1.8L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Jetta has received some revisions, including the addition of driver assistance features and minor revisions to the infotainment system. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Jetta.

Driving

3
The Jetta with the 1.8-liter engine is a bit of a drag racer among compact cars — faster than almost all its rivals. But show it a corner, and it fails to deliver any semblance of responsiveness, engagement or confidence. Lower trims with the smaller 1.4-liter engine would fare even worse.

Acceleration

4.5
The 1.8-liter turbo-four is a superb engine (lower trims have a 1.4-liter turbo-four). Low-end power galore makes it feel every bit as quick as it is — 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds is topped only by a few, very quick competitors.

Braking

4
In our emergency braking test, the Jetta posted impressive performance for a small sedan. Around town, the brake pedal has a long-travel, low-effort feel.

Steering

2
The steering has an elastic-band quality — it's numb, with ample dead play at center, then weights up when turning increases. Scarce response and feedback. It's hard to think of a competitor that is worse.

Handling

2.5
Overall grip is on a par with rivals, but there's an awful lot of body roll when you're going around a turn. It's not at all playful, and it utterly lacks feedback. You don't feel confident driving it energetically, nor would you want to.

Drivability

2.5
Many will dislike brake pedal effort and travel, along with its positioning relative to the accelerator. Jumpy acceleration at times.

Comfort

3.5
The Jetta is a small sedan you could envision taking a cross-country road trip in as it is suitably quiet and comfortable. Is it more so than its competitors? Not really, and it also can't match the altogether more impressive Volkswagen Golf.

Seat comfort

3.5
Power seats, even on loaded trims, adjust only six ways (there's no front-seat bottom lift), reducing potential driver comfort. Acceptable adjustment in lower trims. The seats themselves are firm and supportive.

Ride comfort

4
The Jetta is composed, and it imparts a sense of solidity when going over bumps and undulations. No impact harshness detected over potholes and especially bad pavement. This is one of the few ways the Jetta feels like a proper German sedan.

Noise & vibration

3.5
The turbocharged engine is more pleasing to the ears than most other four-cylinders in the segment. Levels of wind and road noise are average for the segment. A road trip would not become tiresome.

Interior

5
The Jetta's generous size would be the reason to consider this car, especially in one of its less expensive lower trims. Quite simply, this is one of the most affordable ways to get a new family-friendly sedan.

Ease of use

4
The smallish infotainment screen is mounted a bit low, but it has crisp graphics, quick responses and nicely sized icons. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard with this 6.3-inch system. Straightforward controls elsewhere.

Getting in/getting out

4.5
With its sizable interior proportions and big doors, this is an easy sedan to get in and out of. The squared-off roofline provides additional head clearance for rear passengers.

Roominess

5
The Jetta is a lot like a midsize sedan, as a pair of 6-footers can easily sit in a row. Headroom is plentiful, even with a sunroof. A viable family car — most competitors cannot claim that.

Visibility

4
The big windows, thick pillars and squared-off roofline create good visibility all around. A rearview camera is standard on all but most basic Jetta. Excessive reflections from plastic trim front and rear.

Quality

2.5
High-quality switchgear, but the only soft-touch surface is the squishy dashboard found on upper trims. Everything else is hard and shiny. Materials are subpar for this segment and in no way indicative of an as-tested $28,000 car.

Utility

4.5
A huge trunk goes a long way toward making the Jetta a truly practical sedan. Its cabin storage isn't quite as impressive, ranking about average.

Small-item storage

3.5
Small-item storage for the front occupants is just OK. The forward bin works well to keep a phone and wires out of the way.

Cargo space

5
This trunk is enormous — wide and very deep. Its 15.5-cubic-foot dimension is on par with capacity in midsize sedans and easily bests compact rivals.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta.

Overall Consumer Rating

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Features & Specs

MSRP
$29,545
MPG
24 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Gas
210 hp @ 5300 rpm
See all 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Jetta safety features:

Blind-Spot Warning System
Alerts you with visual and audible warnings if other vehicles are in your blind spot.
Post-Collision Braking System
Applies the brakes once the airbags go off to reduce the possibility of further damage during an accident.
Forward Collision Warning
Sounds an alert when a front collision is likely, and primes and applies the brakes if necessary.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Good
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI for Sale

Volkswagen Jetta 2018 1.4T Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
8,258 miles
Used 2018
Volkswagen Jetta
1.4T Wolfsburg Edition
List$18,782
Est.Loan: $342/mo
View Details
Volkswagen Jetta 2018 1.4T Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
5,595 miles
Used 2018
Volkswagen Jetta
1.4T Wolfsburg Edition
(7)
King Volkswagen
16.8 mi away
List$16,777
Est.Loan: $306/mo
Good Deal!Good Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
CARFAX One-Owner. Clean CARFAX. Platinum Gray Metallic 2018 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg FWD 6-Speed Automatic with Tiptronic 1.4L TSI Titan Black wV-Tex Leatherette Seat Trim, Electronic Stability Control, Exterior Parking Camera Rear, Front fog lights, Heated front seats, Low tire pressure warning, Radio: Composition Color w5 Touchscreen, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Wheels: 16 Linas Alloy.2018 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg FWD. Recent Arrival! 3828 HighwayCity MPG
Volkswagen Jetta 2018 1.4T S 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
14,145 miles
Used 2018
Volkswagen Jetta
1.4T S
Porsche Bethesda
19.7 mi away
List$14,583
Est.Loan: $272/mo
Great Deal!Great Deal!
$300 Below Market
View Details
Dealer Notes
****ONE OWNER***CLEAN CARFAX***LOW MILES***TSI***AUTOMATIC***USB/AUX READY***ABS***HEATED MIRRORS***MP3 CD PLAYERS***BLUE TOOTH CONNECTION*** PLEASE CALL FOR DETAILS****

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More about the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta

Ever since the Jetta was redesigned in 2011, we've had trouble accepting its new mission in life. Jettas of the past represented the best of European cars, more refined and better to drive than competing compact sedans. The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta is all about offering a big interior for a small price, as if it were designed not for demanding drivers but for bargain-minded warehouse-club shoppers.

To be fair, Volkswagen has made a lot of changes to the Jetta over its model run, refining the interior and replacing some of the low-cost mechanical bits with more sophisticated hardware. And when it comes to passenger and trunk space, the current Jetta trounces its predecessors, not to mention a few midsize sedans. Backseat comfort is excellent, and trunk space is generous.

That said, the Jetta's cabin consists of staid styling and cheap trim bits. Lower-trim models are characterized by hard, shiny plastic, a cheap material that most automakers did away with years ago. At least the Jetta's technology is up-to-date, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and — finally! — a proper USB port in place of VW's proprietary media port (which required an expensive dealer-supplied connector to hook up a smartphone).

Base-model Jettas come with a slick 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 150 horsepower. However, it's the 170-hp 1.8-liter turbo that's the real gem. You can also get a 2.0-liter turbo engine with 210 hp in the sporty Jetta GLI model. EPA fuel economy estimates range from a high of 33 mpg combined (28 city/40 highway) for the manual-equipped 1.4T model down to 27 mpg combined for the GLI.

As a group, Jettas are comfortable and reasonably engaging to drive, though they no longer stand head and shoulders above the competition the way the previous-generation Jetta did. And while the GLI is very quick in a straight line, its road manners lag behind those of its high-performance competitors, including Volkswagen's own GTI.

Volkswagen has simplified the Jetta lineup by reducing the number of available options; equipment is now largely determined by trim level. The S and Wolfsburg Edition models take up the price leader end of the spectrum, while the SE adds several nice-to-have features. SE Sport is a good middle-of-the-roader, SEL is the luxury version of the Jetta, and the GLI stands alone as the performance-oriented model. Which is the best one to buy? Edmunds can help you find the perfect 2018 Volkswagen Jetta.

2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI Overview

What do people think of the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Jetta 2.0T GLI.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Jetta 2.0T GLI featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI here.
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI?
2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI 2.0T GLI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI 2.0T GLI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $30,860. The average price paid for a new 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI 2.0T GLI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM) is trending $10 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $10 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$30,850.

The average savings for the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI 2.0T GLI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM) is0% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI 2.0T GLI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new 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.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI and all available trim types. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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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