Pros You don't own a VW :)
Cons Lame review
Summary Stick to reviewing computers buddy. Your a tool
Pros Fit and finish, tourque, standard features, price
Cons MPG not that great, repair costs, made in mexico
Summary Ok, let me start off by saying I actually own the Rabbit (hatchback brother of the Jetta) but I do have friends/family with the Jetta and I've driven every model (GLI, TDI, and the 2.5). That being said, I really have to disagree with the editor on his review.
The Jetta/Rabbit isn't for everyone, but it is worth consideration if you are looking at a sub $20k car. Yes, the car may have some odd features, but nothing beats a Jetta or Rabbit in the sub $20k price range. Go to VW and check out what comes standard on the Jetta/Rabbit...it's insane. I would list all of the base features here, but it would take me all day. Good luck finding a Japanese car with all of that stuff for under $20k, it doesn't happen. When I was looking for a new car I had it down to the Mazda3 and the Rabbit. I really liked both cars but the VW was cheaper, came with WAY more stuff, had a better warranty, and the fit and finish was in a different class (you feel like you are in an Audi).
My big thing with this car is safety. My little two door Rabbit has 8 airbags (yes 8, that's not a typo) ABS, electronic brake force distribution, and traction control standard. Once you get into this car you feel SAFE...it's like a tank. My gf's sister was in a horrific accident in a Passat and walked away from the crash unharmed. VW's are freaking TANKS.
The Jetta's real downfall is that it's made in Mexico. I have nothing against Mexico (great place to vacation) but that wouldn't be the first country on my list of places to have my car built. If you are really concerned with this, get a Rabbit. Rabbits are made in Wolfsburg which means quality SHOULD be better.
My only other "beef" is engine options. I wish there were a few engine options (i.e. diesel, turbo, 4 cylinder, etc.). There should be a blue-tech option in a few years and you can get the GLI with a 2.0T, but I like stuff a la cart. The 2.5 has a ton of torque which makes for a nice ride, but it isn't the most technologically advanced engine in the world. MPG is "ok" (I'm averaging 26mpg of 60/40 mixed) but I think it could be much better if they took a little more time to tune this beast up.
Now to address the editorâ€™s insane reviewâ€¦
Ok, I understand this is a tech site, but you are critiquing the climate controls on a sub $20k car...seriously? I can see your argument with the temperatures written on the knob, but the vent setting knob makes total sense. You need to be able to have a combo of the 4 settings. (Defrost and vent on feet, Vent above and below, etc.) If there were just the 4 settings the car would be awful.
Another thing that he was WAY off on was the price. You can get into a Jetta or a Rabbit for around $15-16k. Base does not start at $20k; you can get into a loaded up Wolfsburg edition Jetta for under $20k.
I really do enjoy the Car Tech reviews; I just hope people arenâ€™t totally dismissing cars based upon reviews on this website. These are TECH reviews, not compete car reviews. Check out Edmunds.com or MSN Auto Reviews if you want a site that will give you a good 360* review of a vehicle.
Pros The 5 cylinder engine sounds great and the fit and finish is way better then any toyota or honda I have been in.
Cons There is nothing I don't like about my 2008 Jetta.
Summary This guy needs to stick to reviewing computer software. Leave the car reviews to the big guys.
Pros Extensive standard equipment, clean interior
Cons engine fuel economy
Summary The cnet reviewer really missed the boat on this review. How many times can he mention that this car lacks the navagation system that he doesn't like. Honestly auto reviews should concentrate a little more on driving dynamics, the equipment included and car build quality rather than the editors preconceptions, idiosyncrasies and professed passion for a couple mainstream automobiles.
If this reviewer was as informed as he is in love with the Camry and Accord that he gives high marks, he would realize some staggering differences. For around the same price as the tested Jetta, he would be driving the previously mentioned cars in rather basic trim levels that are lacking many of the nice features included with the Jetta. You would lose the six-disc changer, sat radio, leatherette heated seats, moonroof, alloy wheels, semi-automatic climate control, and six-speed automatic to call out a few things. These are quite glaring review omissions that would influence just about any buyer that I know. Instead there are complaints about lacking Bluetooth and navigation, which aren't going to fit within the budget of any $20,000 new car buyer.
I laughed out loud at Mr. Cunningham's trouble operating the climate controls. Really, if you can't operate two simple knobs that are clearly labeled, you aren't gaining much credit from me about being an objective reviewer. If the indicated temperatures of are too confusing, just stick with notion of blue means cold and red means hot. Then to follow that by comparing the engine sounds to a peanut grinder. Honestly, the engine sounds are more on par with other much more expensive German brands than anything else in this price range due to the extra cylinder this engine has next to the competitors.
I would recommend that if you are the market for a new automobile around $20,000 do yourself a service and at least go to your Volkswagen dealer and test drive the Jetta. Don't let this narrow minded, nonobjective reviewer limit your choices.
Pros Too numerous to mention
Cons Non that I know of
Summary I purchased my Jetta used, just a few months ago. I find it to be an exilherating car to drive. It just so happened that I test drove some Japanese crap before making my purchase. They were tinny, noisy, and had atrocious handling. They had no power to speak of and the rides were bumpy. The whole driving experience was totally unremarkable.
Then I drove the 2008 Jetta 2.5 SE. Like night and day! Quick off the line, the automatic shifted briskly and smoothly. This car went like a scalded cat. I love the control offered by the Tiptronic feature. It offered far more options than the Japanese models and felt solid when you threw it into the curves where the *** cars wandered and swayed.
This guy needs to stick to reviewing the geek stuff he's used to. He obviously is NOT and driver.