2005 Volkswagen Jetta

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

172.3” x 56.7”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Overall performance
  • Steering and handling
  • Seat comfort and support
  • Ride comfort

The bad:

  • Performance at higher elevations
  • Engine noise when accelerating
  • Difficult manual seat adjustment

10 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2005 Volkswagen Jetta trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2024

Notable features

  • Redesigned as mid-2005 model
  • 150-hp inline-five- cylinder (new Jetta)
  • Available six-speed automatic (new Jetta)
  • Six standard airbags

2005 Volkswagen Jetta review: Our expert's take


Volkswagen has a lot riding on the 2005 Jetta, an all-new model that was introduced relatively late in the season. The Jetta is Volkswagen’s best seller in the United States, accounting for about 40 percent of VW sales, and it is perennially the top “European nameplate sold in the U.S.,” Volkswagen says. Note the use of “nameplate,” required since this European car is built in Mexico.

This fifth-generation Jetta traces its history to 1980, when the model was introduced here. Since then, Volkswagen has sold more than 2.2 million Jettas in the United States and Canada.

Less cute but more useful than the New Beetle, this new Jetta has a handsome profile that looks just slightly Japanese in general, Mazdalike specifically.

Aside from the styling, and the fact that the Jetta has, for the first time, a fully independent suspension system, the biggest news is a new engine: a 2.5-liter five-cylinder that pumps out 150 horsepower. It replaces the agricultural old 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower four-cylinder. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but the test Jetta had a new six-speed automatic.

This Jetta is bigger in most every dimension, including about 7 inches in length and 5 inches in width. This translates to substantially more room inside, especially of the elbow variety. The new car is also heavier but not by as much as its larger size suggests.

On the road, the Jetta feels suitably German, though the electric-boosted power steering needs more road feel. The ride is compliant and handling crisp, but I couldn’t warm up to the new five-cylinder engine. It’s certainly better than the old 2.0-liter, but the 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 180 horses was smoother and more fun to drive. A turbocharged engine is coming soon for the new model. Mileage for the 2.5-liter is EPA-rated at 22 miles per gallon city, 30 highway, for either the manual or automatic transmission.

Inside, Volkswagen does interiors about as well as anyone. Side air bags are standard. Instruments and controls are well-placed, seats firm and supportive. Even with the extra size, the rear seat is a tight fit for three, but two adults will be happy back there. The trunk is especially roomy for a car in this class.

The test car carried a list price of just more than $22,000. The Jetta starts at about $18,500 but can top $25,000 when loaded with options.

Volkswagen has done what it needed to do to keep the Jetta at the front of the class, and the addition of the aforementioned turbocharged, 200-horse GLI sport model and a diesel will only help. Nicely done, VW.

– – –

Sentinel Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smith’s TV reports air Wednesdays on Central Florida News 13.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.4
  • Interior 4.1
  • Performance 4.1
  • Value 4.1
  • Exterior 4.2
  • Reliability 3.8

Most recent consumer reviews


Very easy to work on and very reliable.

This car is peppy, met all my needs, got very good gas mileage. corners well. Easy to see around and make lane changes. Very fun to drive and has a sporty look and comfortable interior.


its ok but i would buy newer

i like the car but there are some problms its a 2005 jetta it needs heater core witch is over 500 to rep lace the tranny shifts little hard but its fun to drive handling is great and smoooth id recamend the car


Great car

I was in am accident and needed a new vehicle in a hurry. We found this Jetta online and purchased it from a dealer. It is simple, nothing fancy, but it is a cute, reliable, fun to drive car. Very happy with it.

See all 58 consumer reviews


Based on the 2005 Volkswagen Jetta base trim.
Frontal driver
Frontal passenger
Side driver
Side rear passenger


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volkswagen
New car program benefits
48 months/50,000 miles
144 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
MY 2016-MY 2017 vehicles/75,000 miles; MY 2018- MY 2019 vehicles/72,000 miles; MY 2020 and newer vehicles/75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Vehicles purchased on or after 1/5/21: MY 2017 & older, 2 yrs/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2018-19, 1 yr/12,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2020 & newer, 2 years/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty
Dealer certification required
100-plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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