2012 Volkswagen Jetta: Video Road Test and Review

The Volkswagen Jetta provides entry-level compact car shoppers with a higher level of refinement and feature content than might be expected for its price.  The four-door Volkswagen Jetta is also larger than previous editions of the car, which makes it more competitive with small Japanese and domestic  sedans.  The Jetta is a very safe option for families thanks to the inclusion of side curtain airbags, forward airbags and front side airbags, as well as brake assist and electronic stability and traction control.

The Volkswagen Jetta starts out with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine under the hood that is rated at 115 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque.  Transmission choices for this motor include a five-speed manual and a six-speed automatic, and fuel economy shows as 24-mpg city and 34-mpg highway.  Buyers can upgrade to a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder unit that increases output to 170 horses and 177 lb-ft of twist and drops duel economy only slightly to 23-mpg city and 33-mpg highway.  The five-cylinder also maintains the same transmission options.  The most efficient version of the Jetta is the TDI, which benefits from the installation of a 2.0-liter, turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that offers up 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, managed by either a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.  Fuel economy for the Jetta TDI checks in at 30-mpg around town and 42-mpg highway.

The base Volkswagen Jetta S (MSRP $16,645) features air conditioning, keyless entry, a CD player, and power windows and door locks, while the Jetta SE (MSRP $18,725) adds a pair of armrests for front and rear occupants, vinyl upholstery, cruise control, and 16-inch steel wheels.  The SEL trim (MSRP $23,445) includes a Fender audio system with touchscreen controls, a trip computer, keyless ignition, 17-inch alloy wheels, and nicer exterior trim, while the SEL Premium (MSRP $24,805) adds unique rims and special seats.  The Jetta TDI starts at an MSRP of $22,775 and largely matches the Jetta SE in terms of features.  The TDI is also offered in Premium trim (MSRP $24,215), which adds a sunroof and the touchscreen Fender sound system.

A list of cars similar to the Jetta include the 2012 Honda Civic, 2012 Ford Focus and 2012 Mazda3.

See more details about the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta.