The 2010 VW Jetta offers a great value and rather high amount of performance in this small sedan. The Jetta has been a popular VW seller for many years and it brings many of the best features from the Golf to a new body style. Starting at only $15,995 the VW Jetta is highly affordable and offers a lot of car for the money. The sport tuned Jetta package from the past has now been dropped, but there is a TDI trim level that brings a surprisingly strong small diesel to the Jetta. The Jetta is a small car, but there is an amazing amount of room both in the cabin and the trunk of the Jetta. This car is surprisingly comfortable and well equipped for long drives.

The sporty design of the Jetta make it very popular with young adults and anybody looking for a very solid 4 door car offering a nice ride at a very nice price. The Jetta offers a nice mileage economy that ranges from 31 – 42 mpg depending on which model and transmission you choose.

Bodystyles: Sedan, wagon
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, 6-speed auto-clutch manual (DSG)
Engines: 2.5L I-5, 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4
Models: S, SE, SEL, TDI, Limited, SportWagen S, SportWagen SE, SportWagen TDI

Stopping short of a full makeover, the 2010 Jetta gets a refreshed interior with a new radio and climate control unit. The sporty GLI model is gone, but new TDI Cup and Limited Edition models are available.

While some might call the Jetta’s sheetmetal bland, we find the styling to be refreshingly subtle with a hint of sport. In addition, the SportWagen models are far from boring and look even more Euro-trendy than the sedan version.

Volkwagen’s interiors continue to impress and the slight revamp for the 2010 Jetta falls in line with the cabin of its new Mark VI Golf cousin. Ergonomics and simplicity are hallmarks of the Jetta’s cabin, as are quality materials for a vehicle in its class.

The Jetta is sporty and nimble on the road, with slightly heavy steering feel that is distinctively Teutonic. The 2.5-liter engine makes for somewhat slow going, but the torque of the 2.0-liter TDI unit is impressive. We find the DSG transmission to be weaker with the diesel engine than it is with VW’s 2.0-liter turbo gas engine, so we’d lean toward pairing a manual with the TDI model.

Front, side curtain and side thorax airbags are standard for the driver and front passenger, side thorax airbags are optional for rear passengers. Traction and stability control are also standard equipment.

S, SE, SEL, Limited, SportWagen S, SE: 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway (manual); 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway (automatic)
TDI, SportWagen TDI: 30 mpg city/41 mpg highway (manual); 30 mpg city/ 42 mpg (automatic)

  • Frugal, yet punchy, TDI engine
  • SportWagen boasts huge cargo space
  • Quality and drive a step above Toyota, Nissan
  • Sporty character
  • Panoramic sunroof option is pricy, noisy
  • TDI performance comes at a premium
  • 17-inch wheels not available on all models
  • No aux-in on base radio

European compact style, bargain price


  • Ford Focus
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Honda Civic
  • Suzuki SX4
  • Mazda3

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