What’s New for 2018
2018 brings a brand new variant, the Wolfsburg, that offers luxury upgrades like heated front seats and a leather shifting knob. Most of the trims have new wheel designs, and some of them offer a new type of front grille. One trim, the SEL, now comes with a spoiler, and the Sport trim sports bigger wheels, a spoiler, a sunroof, and built-in automatic blind spot warnings. The engine and transmission types remain the same.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Volkswagen Jetta – The Pros
1. Cool Infotainment System
The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta offers a new menu system on its infotainment system that is intuitive and pleasing to use. While many compact sedans have a confusing and slow infotainment system, the Jetta’s is certainly the opposite of both of those. Easy navigation through the menus and many apps and options make it a breeze to learn.
2. Great Gas Mileage
One of the most astounding aspects of the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta is its crazy gas mileage. Most compact sedans have solid fuel economy, but most don’t come close to the Jetta’s. The Jetta comes in at an above-average 28 miles per gallon in the city and an over-the-top 40 miles per gallon on the highway. You’ll be saving so much gas on the highway that you won’t know what to do with the extra money.
3. Solid Built-in Safety Features
Volkswagen takes great care to make sure its cars are as safe as possible. The 2018 Jetta received high marks in all of its safety tests, including an Advanced rating in a front crash prevention test and a maximum Good score on all crash tests. The way in which the car’s body is designed allows for maximum crumple while still maintaining passenger and driver safety if something goes wrong.
4. Multiple Engine Choices
If you’re an engine fanatic, then it’ll be exciting to hear that the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta is the first of Volkswagen’s vehicles in the United States to have the turbocharged four-cylinder 1.4-liter engine. This is just one of three possible engines for the Jetta, though. The base trims come with the 1.4-liter engine, while the upgraded Sport and SEL trims get a 1.8-liter engine. The top of the line GLI trim gets a 2.0-liter engine that offers a powerful 210 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque.
5. Advanced Safety
Upgraded trims like the SEL and the GLI include built-in advanced safety features. These trims have assistance features such as forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors. Most of the options in the GLI are geared toward city driving and parking, while those in the SEL are more for safety on the highway.
6. Smart Shifting
One of the biggest pains on the road is hearing your car grind through the gears as you either accelerate fast or brake quickly. The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta does neither of those, shifting smoothly throughout. This is in part due to a new semi-continuous variable shifting transmission.
7. Massive Trunk Space
Compact sedans are often lacking in trunk space, but the Jetta is a clear outlier. All trims offer 15.7 cubic feet of space, enough to fit multiple luggage items without a problem. This is by far one of the Jetta’s best features.
8. Many Trims
Though the trims have been mentioned before, the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta comes in five different trim options. The base S and SE trims are similar feature-wise, but the SE offers more potential upgrades like a sunroof, heated seats, and keyless entry. The S only offers Bluetooth connectivity, a 5-inch touchscreen, and a useful rearview camera. The Sport trim offers more integration with its infotainment system, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. It also adds larger wheels and a bigger touchscreen. The SEL and GLI come with the previously mentioned safety upgrades, and also include premium upgrades like a Fender audio system and dual-zone climate control.
9. Smooth Transmission
The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta offers a few different transmission types. On base models, you have the choice of a five-speed manual system or a six-speed automatic transmission. Sport and SEL trims only have the six-speed automatic, while the GLI offers the automatic or a six-speed manual. All of the transmissions are perfect for their respective trims, giving you top-tier performance on the road.
10. Responsive Steering
While compact sedans may be known for their safety, they’re usually left in the dust when it comes to steering and handling. That said, the Jetta handles extremely well and the steering feels very responsive in most situations. Only at low speeds does the steering feel a bit sluggish, but at high speeds it’s perfect.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Volkswagen Jetta – The Cons
1. Lack of Active Safety Unless Upgraded
If you want some of those safety features like automatic emergency braking or adaptive cruise control, only the upgraded GLI and SEL trims offer them. The base S and SE models do not include even the option to purchase active safety or technology upgrades like these.
2. Suspension Sometimes Unresponsive
Though the Jetta accelerates well and feels good on the road, sometimes the suspension itself can feel stiff. Admittedly, Volkswagen isn’t known for its sporty or comfortable suspensions, but the stiffness of the Jetta can come as a surprise.
3. Cheap-Feeling Interior
Though the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta still feels like a luxury car in the compact sedan class, some parts of the interior are noticeably cheap. Some segments are made of plastic that does not mesh well with the cloth seating or other interior designs.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
Though there are many competitors in the compact sedan class, such as the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic, the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta still is ahead of its competition. With so many options to choose from in terms of both trim level and engine, the Jetta feels more customizable. Furthermore, its cargo space makes it more usable than many other choices in its class.
The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta is a fantastic compact sedan that does its job well. With a single test drive and a glance at all of your options for upgrades, you’ll be convinced that this is a great car.
• Why buy a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta? w/ pros vs cons