2008 Volkswagen Jetta Review – German Design and Engineering at an Economical Price

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The Jetta cuts a nice sleek profile and generally looks like a slightly smaller, sportier version of the Passat. The front end of the car is quite aggressive, with a bold grill and chrome accents that are similar to those used by Audi, VW’s corporate sibling. Multi-spoke 16” alloy wheels and a dual-tip chrome exhaust compliment the athletic look of the car. The easy to use moonroof and dark interior colors also add a nice touch of style.

2008 VW Jetta


For a compact car, the Jetta doesn’t seem like an exceptional value. The $22,000 price of our SE test model is quite a bit more than most compacts, and this isn’t the most expensive model. A fully loaded GLI will set you back close to $25,000. For that money you could get a nicely equipped Honda Accord, or even a gently used BMW 3 series. So, if basic transportation is the goal, the Jetta is not a great deal. Yet, given the level of build quality, design, styling, and luxury, the Jetta is in a different league from most compacts, and could even be compared with some entry-level luxury sedans. From that perspective, the Jetta might just be the greatest value in the compact segment, and it is definitely a great value when you compare it to other cars with a “made in Germany” label.

RATING 4.5 4.5 4.25 4.5 5.0 4.25 4.5 / A-

Who should buy it

If you’ve just entered the workforce and want to buy a nice new car, but can’t afford anything too fancy, the Jetta could be just the right compromise. It’s more stylish and luxurious than other compacts, but still affordable enough for the masses. Volkswagen should sell a ton of them.

2008 VW Jetta

>> See all of the Volkswagen Jetta photos in our photo gallery



>> Volkswagen of America presents U.S. vehicle information, pricing, incentives, deals, comparisons on Eos, GTI, Jetta, New Beetle, New Beetle Convertible, Passat, Passat Wagon, Touareg 2, Rabbit, R32 and the GLI with links to VW dealers, owner information, Volkswagen merchandise, and VW accessories.


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  • g says:

    just had to replace my totaled prius .I chose a 08 jetta 2.5 se and I love it mpg is not all that but it is a tight comfotable reliable sedan Much more than I expected for the price espectaillty after driving and pricing the audi a3 and a4 Jetta wins hands down Fit and finish are way above my prius aswell as seating quaility .. das boot wins so far no complaints on the overall …

  • strangways56 says:

    my jetta does whatever i ask it to no complaints nice car!

  • Angie says:

    I owned a 2007 jetta wolfsburg edition and loved it. It got totaled on 2-14-11 and I miss it badly. Thinking about buying another one.

  • Richie says:

    car continues too have ongoing electrical issue and warning light a plenty—What a hassle to own a VW

  • Jen says:

    Less than impressed.

    I’ve had my 08 Jetta 15 months, bought it with 11 miles on it. I experienced a whacky lurching within the first 1,000 miles that the service dept could not explain. Now I have electrical issues with my door locks-the back passenger side and driver side doors won’t lock, and when they do, they won’t unlock. My service experience has been TERRIBLE! They take the car for a full day and don’t even fix the problem, let alone give you a loaner!

    After owning a Nissan Pathfinder for 3 years, I say Japanese cars all the way!

  • James Hadden says:

    My mother came down for a visit and she was given a Jetta 2.5 (2008).She wanted me to drive her down to see her Mother in Miami.She said “you can drive my rental” Needless-to-say, I was VERY impressed with the exeleration.It really gets out of it’s way.The tourque converter mated well to provide effective torque in the powerbands.The layout is smart BUT the ONLY two things I hated were; You have to lift up the [right] arm rest to insert the seat belt clip.I also felt the egress and degress akward.I am 6’0″ and 230#’s I kept hitting my head on the A pillar-roof of the car, everytime I got in or out! The electric windows are not like American cars. They are Fully Automatic on ALL the windows (usually only the drivers window has the “Toll booth” option) I had drove the car for 3 days. It was a little confining around my head. I am used to my SUV.

  • Anthony P. says:

    You guys are both wrong. Jettas are made in Mexico. They are just as reliable no matter where they are built.

    The Jetta Wolfsburgs’ final assembly point is also Mexico, which happens to be a state of the art factory.

  • John says:

    the only ones made in Germany are the 12,500 Wolfburg Editions. I’ve had the new body style since 2005.5 and it is rock solid with absolutely no issues… oh and made in Mexico.

  • iamunknown says:

    The thing is, so many reviews say that the jetta is not that great and many things go wrong with it. But that is if it is one thats made in Mexico. The ones assembled in Germany are much more reliable.

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