2020 Volkswagen Jetta review: Spacious and mature, but hardly exciting

Victoria D. Doty

The Jetta’s styling is clean and easy. Craig Cole/Roadshow Cars and trucks really don’t get substantially much more center-of-the-street than the Volkswagen Jetta. Mature searching and roomy inside of, it really is as smart as a pair of sweatpants, if not really as snug.  Like Superb real-entire world gasoline economy […]

The Jetta’s styling is clean and easy.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Cars and trucks really don’t get substantially much more center-of-the-street than the Volkswagen Jetta. Mature searching and roomy inside of, it really is as smart as a pair of sweatpants, if not really as snug. 


  • Superb real-entire world gasoline economy
  • Roomy backseat and trunk
  • Strong infotainment process

Never Like

  • Occasional small-pace stumble
  • Engine will get winded conveniently
  • Park-bench front seats

The Jetta migrated to VW’s ubiquitous MQB architecture very last year, a platform that underpins a big array of vehicles in the Volkswagen Group automotive empire, from the Golfing hatchback to various Audis, Seats, Škodas and much more. This foundational shift allowed engineers to give the car or truck a more time wheelbase, plus raise its width and top, all while reducing the front overhang for much more appealing proportions, however the grille… yeah, it really is obtained a lot of grille.

Apart from much better appears, these changes also increased cabin area. Passenger quantity now clocks in at ninety four.seven cubic ft, while the trunk actions a generous 14.one. This indicates the Jetta is roomier than the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 sedan, however the Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra are a bit much more capacious according to the spec sheets, but in normal use you happen to be not probably to detect a difference. 

There is loads of room for legs and heads in this car’s backseat, plus the decrease cushion and backrest are the two easily angled. When decreased, the fold-down centre armrest is also at the same stage as the doorway-panel armrests, a considerate touch that even more enhances ease and comfort.

Heated outboard rear seats are one more great amenity, 1 which is common on SEL and SEL High quality types, but optional on SE and R-Line variants. Curiously, my top rated-of-the-line tester nonetheless lacks air vents for travellers in steerage even with there remaining an evident put for them. Like an off-placing but challenging-to-trace odor emanating from some overlooked corner of your refrigerator, there are other small whiffs of cost-cutting in the Jetta. There is only a solitary seatback storage pocket, for instance. The car or truck also lacks a capless gasoline filler, there is certainly no latch on the front centre armrest, nor does it ratchet and lock in distinct positions like they applied to in older Volkswagens. Even the quantity knob appears like the result of 1 far too many pinched pennies, its on/off graphic turning so it really is practically in no way aligned properly, one thing that will generate depth-oriented men and women nuts.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

There are far even worse locations to invest time than in this Volkswagen’s cabin.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

In the same way, some of the Jetta’s secondary controls feel flimsier than a mud hovel in a hurricane, like the climate-management dials and headlight swap. However, other buttons are tremendous great, like the rock-sound ignition swap and the generate-method selector. 

The Jetta’s front seats are flat and broad, far far too sprawling for anyone as emaciated as me, however most men and women will possibly find them really accommodating. In my SEL High quality Jetta, leather is common. It appears wonderful and feels great to boot, however most types in the array element leatherette seating surfaces, while the entry-stage S variant comes with cloth. My car’s front chairs are heated and ventilated, far too, creating the Jetta an attractive alternative every single season of the year. The steering wheel will also keep your arms heat at the force of a button.

Complimenting the handsome leather is a smattering of comfortable plastics. Upper portions of the Jetta’s dashboard and front doorway panels are properly textured and plush when you prod them. Some of the interior’s rigid polymers are not really as appealing, but you can’t expect Kobe beef on a bologna funds.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

In-car or truck tech is 1 of the Jetta’s highlights. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The star of this Vee-Dub’s cabin is the infotainment tech. SEL High quality types element a common Explore Media process with an eight-inch touchscreen and integrated navigation. (Lesser types occur with a six.five-inch monitor, however all element common Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle.) This infotainment featuring is snappy and intuitive. Swipe via its various screens and all the things responds instantly. Pinch-to-zoom on the map functions fairly well, far too. It’s not the swiftest or smoothest, but neither is it like picture enhancing in the motion picture Blade Runner. In general, this infotainment process is much better than what Honda and Toyota are carrying out these days, and it really is at the very least as great as Hyundai and Kia’s most recent choices.

In addition to that touch-enabled panel, Volkswagen Electronic Cockpit is involved on SEL High quality Jettas as well, which replaces regular instruments with a reconfigurable 10.twenty five-inch monitor. Apparent, crisp and astonishingly totally free of glare, this is 1 of the nicer choices of its sort obtainable currently, surely in the Jetta’s class.

If you can swing the month to month payment, SE types and earlier mentioned occur with some common package you happen to be guaranteed to enjoy, characteristics like dual-zone climate management, keyless entry with pushbutton start and a sunroof. SEL and SEL High quality variants are also graced with a Beats Audio process and ambient inside lighting, amongst other matters. 

Forward-collision warning and blind-location checking with rear cross-targeted visitors warn are common across the array, preserve for the foundation model, exactly where it really is optional. A responsive and clean adaptive cruise management process, plus lane-retaining support and computerized higher beams are common on the top rated two trims. 

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

This one.4-liter motor punches well down small and is tremendous successful, but its enthusiasm wanes at greater speeds.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If the Jetta’s sterile exterior styling weren’t ample warning that it really is a no-enjoyment zone, what is underneath the hood will broadcast that loud and apparent. All variations of this car or truck are propelled by a one.4-liter 4-cylinder motor. With a turbocharger, immediate gasoline injection and a cleverly designed air-to-water intercooler developed suitable into the intake manifold, it provides a modest 147 horsepower and 184 pound-ft of torque. 

Two transmissions are obtainable. In the entry-stage S and midrange R-Line types, a six-pace stick is common for three-pedal enjoyment. If you’d somewhat not row your individual, simply shell out an extra $800 for the obtainable 8-pace computerized. That is just 1 Ben Franklin for every forward equipment, an exceedingly realistic selling price. 

Naturally, my SEL High quality tester comes common with that auto-magic gearbox. It’s moderate-mannered and prompt, leaving small to complain about. It does what it requires to without the need of drawing consideration to by itself.  

Primarily clean, the Jetta’s motor operates in hushed tones. This car or truck is by no indicates a rocket, but small-pace acceleration is really great many thanks to a generous slathering of torque which is all-in at just one,four hundred rpm. Sadly, it will get rather winded at speeds earlier about 50 mph. Overtaking on the highway or even on secondary streets is slower than I would like. If you want real performance, go get a Jetta GLI. It’s powered by a wonderful two.-liter motor with 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

On many occasions while driving, I detect a slight stumble or sag. It takes place when the car or truck is just scarcely shifting and it feels like the motor is cutting out for a split 2nd, which is really unwanted. At the very least the Jetta’s real-entire world gasoline economy is stellar. In blended driving it really is returned much better than 38 miles for every gallon without the need of even hoping. In accordance to the EPA, it really is only intended to ordinary 34, a determine derived from its town ranking of 30 mpg and its highway score of 40. Around town, motor quit-start without doubt assists goose people numbers. This element is the two clean and swift, so there is certainly almost nothing to complain about here.

The Jetta’s steering is rather forgettable. It evinces no negative routines but neither does it wow you with telepathic crispness. The car’s journey is a little bit stiffer than I envisioned, far too. It’s not severe or clopping, somewhat, a dense emotion, form of like the wheels are designed of concrete.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

What do you think of the Jetta’s conservative design?

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta is provided in five grades: S, SE, R-Line, SEL and SEL High quality. An optionless entry-stage variant with a six-pace handbook transmission goes for a small fewer than $twenty,000, which include $920 in place costs. That really should make it the most economical VW provided in The us. My zenith-trim model checks out for $28,865, a not-unreasonable determine for a generously sized sedan with some rather attractive characteristics. More enticing benefit-minded drivers, it comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile guarantee and totally free scheduled maintenance for the to start with two many years or twenty,000 miles.

The Jetta is a great car or truck, but I really don’t get the impression VW is swinging for the fences with this merchandise. Confident, it really is roomy and wrapped in developed-up styling, but in some means it feels unremarkable. I would get 1 in excess of the Toyota Corolla or Subaru Impreza, but it really is not really as comprehensively excellent as a Honda Civic or Mazda3.

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