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

The Jetta’s styling is thoroughly clean and uncomplicated.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Cars you should not get considerably extra middle-of-the-street than the Volkswagen Jetta. Mature searching and roomy inside of, it is as wise as a pair of sweatpants, if not very as comfy. 

Table of Contents


  • Great genuine-environment fuel economic climate
  • Roomy backseat and trunk
  • Strong infotainment system

Really don’t Like

  • Occasional reduced-pace stumble
  • Motor gets winded conveniently
  • Park-bench entrance seats

The Jetta migrated to VW’s ubiquitous MQB architecture past 12 months, a system that underpins a huge array of cars in the Volkswagen Group automotive empire, from the Golf hatchback to several Audis, Seats, Škodas and extra. This foundational shift permitted engineers to give the vehicle a for a longer period wheelbase, as well as raise its width and height, all even though reducing the entrance overhang for extra eye-catching proportions, while the grille… yeah, it is bought a lot of grille.

Aside from greater appears to be like, these adjustments also enhanced cabin place. Passenger volume now clocks in at ninety four.7 cubic ft, even though the trunk measures a generous fourteen.one. This suggests the Jetta is roomier than the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 sedan, while the Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra are a little extra capacious in accordance to the spec sheets, but in usual use you’re not likely to discover a difference. 

There is certainly loads of space for legs and heads in this car’s backseat, as well as the reduce cushion and backrest are both of those comfortably angled. When decreased, the fold-down middle armrest is also at the same stage as the door-panel armrests, a considerate contact that further boosts comfort and ease.

Heated outboard rear seats are another great amenity, one which is common on SEL and SEL Top quality styles, but optional on SE and R-Line variants. Curiously, my leading-of-the-line tester continue to lacks air vents for passengers in steerage even with there staying an apparent location for them. Like an off-putting but really hard-to-trace odor emanating from some neglected corner of your fridge, there are other very little whiffs of expense-cutting in the Jetta. There is certainly only a single seatback storage pocket, for instance. The vehicle also lacks a capless fuel filler, there is certainly no latch on the entrance middle armrest, nor does it ratchet and lock in distinctive positions like they made use of to in more mature Volkswagens. Even the volume knob appears to be like like the end result of one far too numerous pinched pennies, its on/off graphic turning so it is practically under no circumstances aligned completely, anything that will drive depth-oriented individuals nuts.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

There are considerably worse places to commit time than in this Volkswagen’s cabin.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Likewise, some of the Jetta’s secondary controls feel flimsier than a mud hovel in a hurricane, like the climate-command dials and headlight switch. However, other buttons are tremendous great, like the rock-stable ignition switch and the drive-method selector. 

The Jetta’s entrance seats are flat and broad, considerably far too sprawling for a person as emaciated as me, while most individuals will possibly come across them very accommodating. In my SEL Top quality Jetta, leather is common. It appears to be like excellent and feels great to boot, while most styles in the array aspect leatherette seating surfaces, even though the entry-stage S variant will come with fabric. My car’s entrance chairs are heated and ventilated, far too, generating the Jetta an appealing option each individual season of the 12 months. The steering wheel will also preserve your palms warm at the drive of a button.

Complimenting the handsome leather is a smattering of delicate plastics. Upper parts 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 usually are not very as eye-catching, but you can not assume Kobe beef on a bologna spending plan.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The star of this Vee-Dub’s cabin is the infotainment tech. SEL Top quality styles aspect a common Discover Media system with an 8-inch touchscreen and integrated navigation. (Lesser styles come with a six.5-inch screen, while all aspect common Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile.) This infotainment providing is snappy and intuitive. Swipe via its several screens and every thing responds instantly. Pinch-to-zoom on the map functions reasonably nicely, far too. It is really not the speediest or smoothest, but neither is it like photograph boosting in the film Blade Runner. In general, this infotainment system is greater than what Honda and Toyota are undertaking these times, and it is at the very least as great as Hyundai and Kia’s newest offerings.

In addition to that contact-enabled panel, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit is incorporated on SEL Top quality Jettas as nicely, which replaces classic devices with a reconfigurable ten.twenty five-inch screen. Distinct, crisp and amazingly totally free of glare, this is one of the nicer offerings of its sort offered now, undoubtedly in the Jetta’s class.

If you can swing the month-to-month payment, SE styles and previously mentioned come with some common package you’re certain to appreciate, attributes like dual-zone climate command, keyless entry with pushbutton commence and a sunroof. SEL and SEL Top quality variants are also graced with a Beats Audio system and ambient inside lights, amongst other items. 

Forward-collision warning and blind-spot checking with rear cross-targeted traffic warn are common across the array, conserve for the base product, the place it is optional. A responsive and easy adaptive cruise command system, as well as lane-keeping help and automated higher beams are common on the leading two trims. 

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

This one.four-liter motor punches nicely down reduced and is tremendous economical, but its enthusiasm wanes at greater speeds.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If the Jetta’s sterile exterior styling were not sufficient warning that it is a no-fun zone, what is less than the hood will broadcast that loud and obvious. All variations of this vehicle are propelled by a one.four-liter 4-cylinder motor. With a turbocharger, immediate fuel injection and a cleverly created air-to-drinking water intercooler constructed proper into the ingestion manifold, it provides a modest 147 horsepower and 184 pound-ft of torque. 

Two transmissions are offered. In the entry-stage S and midrange R-Line styles, a 6-pace stick is common for three-pedal fun. If you would relatively not row your personal, basically shell out an extra $800 for the offered eight-pace automated. Which is just one Ben Franklin for each ahead gear, an exceedingly affordable rate. 

Normally, my SEL Top quality tester will come common with that automobile-magic gearbox. It is really moderate-mannered and prompt, leaving very little to complain about. It does what it demands to devoid of drawing awareness to by itself.  

Largely easy, the Jetta’s motor operates in hushed tones. This vehicle is by no suggests a rocket, but reduced-pace acceleration is very great thanks to a generous slathering of torque which is all-in at just one,four hundred rpm. Unfortunately, it gets fairly winded at speeds past about 50 mph. Overtaking on the highway or even on secondary roads is slower than I might like. If you want genuine efficiency, go get a Jetta GLI. It is really run by a pretty 2.-liter motor with 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

On several situations even though driving, I discover a slight stumble or sag. It transpires when the vehicle is just scarcely relocating and it feels like the motor is cutting out for a break up 2nd, which is very undesirable. At the very least the Jetta’s genuine-environment fuel economic climate is stellar. In mixed driving it is returned greater than 38 miles for each gallon devoid of even hoping. According to the EPA, it is only meant to common 34, a determine derived from its city score of 30 mpg and its highway rating of forty. All-around city, motor quit-commence unquestionably assists goose these quantities. This aspect is both of those easy and swift, so there is certainly very little to complain about here.

The Jetta’s steering is fairly forgettable. It evinces no poor patterns but neither does it wow you with telepathic crispness. The car’s journey is a little bit stiffer than I envisioned, far too. It is really not harsh or clopping, relatively, a dense emotion, sort of like the wheels are created of concrete.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta is available in five grades: S, SE, R-Line, SEL and SEL Top quality. An optionless entry-stage variant with a 6-pace manual transmission goes for a very little a lot less than $twenty,000, such as $920 in place expenses. That really should make it the most very affordable VW available in The united states. My zenith-trim product checks out for $28,865, a not-unreasonable determine for a generously sized sedan with some fairly appealing attributes. Even further attractive worth-minded motorists, it will come with a four-12 months/50,000-mile warranty and totally free scheduled maintenance for the initial two a long time or twenty,000 miles.

The Jetta is a great vehicle, but I you should not get the impression VW is swinging for the fences with this product or service. Sure, it is roomy and wrapped in developed-up styling, but in some techniques it feels unremarkable. I might consider one more than the Toyota Corolla or Subaru Impreza, but it is not very as comprehensively great as a Honda Civic or Mazda3.