Pros 200 HP 2.0T engine, leather/memory seats, dual climate control, Sirius radio, sporty 17-inch wheels, 10-speaker 250-watt stereo, computer instrument cluster, and myriad other options. Amazing sunroof. More cargo than most CUVs, a blast to drive.
Cons Needs auto headlights, factory fogs, Bluetooth. Instrument cluster still too bright on lowest setting.
Summary While much of the Sportwagen focus has been on the TDI, the SEL is the unsung Jetta model. It comes loaded with many features unavailable on other Jettas (like dual climate control, memory seats/mirrors, leather). With the standard 6-speed manual transmission, this car is a hoot to drive. Handling is fantastic and comes standard--like at 2009 Jettas--with ESP (as well as ABS, of course). With top safety ratings, this car was an easy choice for us since we have a baby on the way. There really is no excuse to go the SUV route with this car available (unless 4WD is a must). Especially since this car is such fun to drive.
Pros Fantastic MPG, Features, Cargo Space
Cons No Homelink, Voice Controlled NAV or phone calling.
Summary I just bought a 2010 Jetta Sportwagen diesel (TDI) and am enjoying it. Apparently they listened to the criticisms posted here for 2009 because they definitely fixed them. The radio is great and the iPod connectivity works well with full radio touch control. Phone calls are answerable via the steering wheel and handsfree. My first check of MPG indicates 30 mpg in city driving with AC. I haven't taken a trip yet but the dynamic consumption meter on the car indicates I am getting 47 mpg driving with AC on the interstate highway around 70 mph. Considering the car has 400 miles on it that is excellent. The best part is that I have the cargo capacity of a Ford Escape 32 to 67 cu ft. with better highway mileage and potentially better city mpg too. Considering that this vehicle is about $5K cheaper plus has a tax credit that is a good thing. I do have the Continental tires the other poster mentioned but have no troubles so far. I too know from experience that tires are warrantied by their dealers not the car dealer. I went through that once too. The sportwagen is a great car for the money. I traded an Infiniti G37 that was a year old to get better MPG. While I miss the sporty extreme power I rarely could use it anyway on my commute but I paid the price for having all that power on tap at the premium pump with 16.5 mpg. city. If you are looking for a car with great cargo space and mpg and build quality then go look at one of these.I forgot to mention that the only reason I do not give the Sportwagen a 5 star rating is that it has everything but homelink, voice calling and foglamps. I had these on the Infiniti and miss them. Even though the Jetta is less expensive, Volkswagen should offer these common options as accessories at least. The latter two items are on the car in other countries.
Updated on May 27, 2010
Pros The 2009 Jetta is a very nice looking "small" car. Handles well with very few blind spots. Runs quite well with low road noise.
Cons The factory installed Contential tires absolutly suck. Dealership will not get involved. These tires will get someone killed.
Summary I have replaced 2 tires, drivers front and passenger rear. Complaints to dealer are useless as they respond "we don't warrant the tires - you'll have to deal with a tire dealership". Both tires had sidewall failures with golf ball size knots. Thank God both of mine were on the exterior so I saw them. I was told that I must have hit something which I am 100% sure I did not. No damage to rims (17") and no marks in, or around the wheel wells, no marks on the tires other that the knot itself. Rear tire replaced at 5300 miles, front tire replaced 15,700. I well replace all four before summer with all having less than 20K miles on them. I am sure that there will be a recall so until that time I am storing the take-offs in hopes that I can at least get them replaced with minimum cost. These tires are $187.00 each when you have to replace them one at a time.
Ifyou are planning on buying a new Jetta, see if you can deal with the dealership to install another brand of tire on the car before you purchase. I assure you this will save you time, money and perhaps your live.
If you have already purchased the car with these tires, please start making a weekly inspection of the sidewalls, both the interior and exterior sides looking for sidewall failure. There is no reason to go back to the VW dealer as they will not offer any assistance whatsoever. SHAME ON VW! They have turned my Jetta in to my "REGRETTA".