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

The Jetta’s styling is cleanse and very simple. Craig Cole/Roadshow Automobiles do not get much

The Jetta’s styling is cleanse and very simple.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Automobiles do not get much more middle-of-the-highway than the Volkswagen Jetta. Experienced searching and spacious within, it is as smart as a pair of sweatpants, if not very as snug. 


  • Great genuine-environment gas economic climate
  • Roomy backseat and trunk
  • Strong infotainment program

Don’t Like

  • Occasional low-speed stumble
  • Engine receives winded quickly
  • Park-bench entrance seats

The Jetta migrated to VW’s ubiquitous MQB architecture past calendar year, a system that underpins a big assortment of vehicles in the Volkswagen Team automotive empire, from the Golfing hatchback to many Audis, Seats, Škodas and more. This foundational shift authorized engineers to give the auto a extended wheelbase, moreover increase its width and peak, all although decreasing the entrance overhang for more eye-catching proportions, nevertheless the grille… yeah, it is bought a great deal of grille.

Apart from better looks, these variations also enhanced cabin space. Passenger volume now clocks in at 94.seven cubic toes, although the trunk actions a generous 14.one. This means the Jetta is roomier than the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 sedan, nevertheless the Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra are marginally more capacious according to the spec sheets, but in standard use you’re not probably to notice a variance. 

You will find a good deal of room for legs and heads in this car’s backseat, moreover the reduced cushion and backrest are equally comfortably angled. When lowered, the fold-down center armrest is also at the similar level as the door-panel armrests, a thoughtful touch that additional improves convenience.

Heated outboard rear seats are a different wonderful amenity, just one which is common on SEL and SEL Top quality models, but optional on SE and R-Line variants. Curiously, my leading-of-the-line tester however lacks air vents for travellers in steering regardless of there being an apparent area for them. Like an off-placing but challenging-to-trace odor emanating from some neglected corner of your fridge, there are other minimal whiffs of cost-chopping in the Jetta. You will find only a solitary seatback storage pocket, for occasion. The auto also lacks a capless gas filler, there’s no latch on the entrance center armrest, nor does it ratchet and lock in unique positions like they made use of to in more mature Volkswagens. Even the volume knob looks like the consequence of just one far too quite a few pinched pennies, its on/off graphic turning so it is pretty much never aligned beautifully, one thing that will travel depth-oriented people today nuts.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Equally, some of the Jetta’s secondary controls come to feel flimsier than a mud hovel in a hurricane, like the weather-command dials and headlight swap. Even now, other buttons are super wonderful, like the rock-sound ignition swap and the travel-mode selector. 

The Jetta’s entrance seats are flat and wide, far far too sprawling for anyone as emaciated as me, nevertheless most people today will possibly uncover them very accommodating. In my SEL Top quality Jetta, leather is common. It looks wonderful and feels wonderful to boot, nevertheless most models in the assortment feature leatherette seating surfaces, although the entry-level S variant will come with fabric. My car’s entrance chairs are heated and ventilated, far too, creating the Jetta an desirable decision each individual season of the calendar year. The steering wheel will also retain your fingers warm at the thrust of a button.

Complimenting the handsome leather is a smattering of delicate plastics. Upper portions of the Jetta’s dashboard and entrance door panels are nicely textured and plush when you prod them. Some of the interior’s rigid polymers are not very as eye-catching, but you won’t be able to count on Kobe beef on a bologna budget.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

In-auto tech is just one of the Jetta’s highlights. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The star of this Vee-Dub’s cabin is the infotainment tech. SEL Top quality models feature a common Find Media program with an 8-inch touchscreen and integrated navigation. (Lesser models arrive with a six.five-inch display, nevertheless all feature common Apple CarPlay and Android Car.) This infotainment featuring is snappy and intuitive. Swipe by its many screens and almost everything responds instantly. Pinch-to-zoom on the map performs moderately well, far too. It’s not the quickest or smoothest, but neither is it like image boosting in the film Blade Runner. Total, this infotainment program is better than what Honda and Toyota are carrying out these times, and it is at minimum as fantastic as Hyundai and Kia’s newest offerings.

In addition to that touch-enabled panel, Volkswagen Electronic Cockpit is involved on SEL Top quality Jettas as well, which replaces classic instruments with a reconfigurable 10.twenty five-inch display. Clear, crisp and amazingly cost-free of glare, this is just one of the nicer offerings of its variety obtainable today, unquestionably in the Jetta’s class.

If you can swing the monthly payment, SE models and higher than arrive with some common kit you’re confident to appreciate, characteristics like dual-zone weather command, keyless entry with pushbutton begin and a sunroof. SEL and SEL Top quality variants are also graced with a Beats Audio program and ambient interior lights, among other issues. 

Ahead-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-targeted traffic alert are common across the assortment, help save for the foundation design, in which it is optional. A responsive and sleek adaptive cruise command program, moreover lane-holding assist and automated high beams are common on the leading two trims. 

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

This one.4-liter engine punches well down low and is super successful, but its enthusiasm wanes at higher speeds.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If the Jetta’s sterile exterior styling were not sufficient warning that it is a no-enjoyable zone, what’s underneath the hood will broadcast that loud and very clear. All versions of this auto are propelled by a one.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. With a turbocharger, direct gas injection and a cleverly created air-to-h2o intercooler built suitable into the intake manifold, it delivers a modest 147 horsepower and 184 pound-toes of torque. 

Two transmissions are obtainable. In the entry-level S and midrange R-Line models, a six-speed adhere is common for a few-pedal enjoyable. If you’d somewhat not row your personal, just shell out an extra $800 for the obtainable eight-speed automated. That’s just just one Ben Franklin for every forward gear, an exceedingly affordable price tag. 

Naturally, my SEL Top quality tester will come common with that vehicle-magic gearbox. It’s delicate-mannered and prompt, leaving minimal to complain about. It does what it wants to with no drawing awareness to alone.  

Generally sleek, the Jetta’s engine operates in hushed tones. This auto is by no means a rocket, but low-speed acceleration is very fantastic many thanks to a generous slathering of torque which is all-in at just one,four hundred rpm. However, it receives fairly winded at speeds earlier about fifty mph. Overtaking on the highway or even on secondary streets is slower than I might like. If you want genuine effectiveness, go get a Jetta GLI. It’s run by a charming 2.-liter engine with 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

On a number of situations although driving, I notice a slight stumble or sag. It takes place when the auto is just hardly moving and it feels like the engine is chopping out for a break up next, which is very unwanted. At minimum the Jetta’s genuine-environment gas economic climate is stellar. In mixed driving it is returned better than 38 miles for every gallon with no even trying. In accordance to the EPA, it is only meant to ordinary 34, a determine derived from its metropolis ranking of thirty mpg and its highway score of 40. All over town, engine prevent-begin without doubt will help goose these quantities. This feature is equally sleek and swift, so there’s almost nothing to complain about below.

The Jetta’s steering is fairly forgettable. It evinces no bad routines but neither does it wow you with telepathic crispness. The car’s journey is a little bit stiffer than I predicted, far too. It’s not severe or clopping, somewhat, a dense feeling, kind of like the wheels are made of concrete.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta is supplied in 5 grades: S, SE, R-Line, SEL and SEL Top quality. An optionless entry-level variant with a six-speed guide transmission goes for a minimal considerably less than $twenty,000, like $920 in vacation spot fees. That should make it the most inexpensive VW supplied in The usa. My zenith-trim design checks out for $28,865, a not-unreasonable determine for a generously sized sedan with some fairly desirable characteristics. Even more engaging price-minded motorists, it will come with a 4-calendar year/fifty,000-mile warranty and cost-free scheduled maintenance for the to start with two years or twenty,000 miles.

The Jetta is a fantastic auto, but I do not get the impression VW is swinging for the fences with this merchandise. Guaranteed, it is spacious and wrapped in developed-up styling, but in some techniques it feels unremarkable. I might take just one in excess of the Toyota Corolla or Subaru Impreza, but it is not very as comprehensively exceptional as a Honda Civic or Mazda3.