Best Bet
  • (4.6) 52 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $2,854–$8,702
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 24-25
  • Engine: 170-hp, 2.5-liter I-5 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual w/OD
2008 Volkswagen Jetta

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Volkswagen Jetta

What We Don't Like

  • Wide center console

Notable Features

  • More powerful five-cylinder engine
  • Manual or automatic
  • GLI performance model
  • Six standard airbags

2008 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Volkswagen last redesigned its Jetta halfway through the 2005 model year. For 2008, the base 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder engine gets a horsepower boost, and the model's trim levels have been revised; the Jetta is now offered in S, SE and SEL forms. Competitors include the Honda Civic and Mazda3.

The Jetta GLI is a performance-oriented version of the model that features a turbocharged four-cylinder under its hood. The GLI's ride height is reduced for a sportier appearance, and launch control comes standard for models with the DSG transmission.

(Skip to details on the: GLI)


Exterior
Exhibiting a sleeker look than the prior-generation Jetta, the current model has a large trapezoidal grille. The S trim level has standard 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, but alloy wheels of the same diameter are optional. The SEL comes with 17-inch wheels. A sunroof is optional.

Interior
Up to five people can fit inside the Jetta, which has front bucket seats and a three-place 60/40-split folding rear seat. Non-intruding hinges help provide sufficient luggage space in the trunk, which holds 16 cubic feet of cargo.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a CD stereo, and power windows, locks and mirrors.


Under the Hood
The Jetta's 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder now produces 170 hp — 20 hp more than last year — and drives either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual gear selection and a Sport mode.

Safety
Antilock brakes, traction control, active front head restraints, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags are standard. Side-impact airbags for outboard rear passengers are optional. Volkswagen's Electronic Stabilization Program is standard on all models but the S, where it is optional.

GLI
Featuring sportier styling than regular Jettas, the GLI uses a direct-injection, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 200 hp and 207 pounds-feet of torque. The four-cylinder teams with a six-speed manual or a six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox automated manual transmission.

Standard GLI features include 17-inch wheels, high-intensity-discharge headlights and a six-CD stereo. A navigation system is optional. Back to top


Driving Impressions
The Jetta feels particularly substantial, if a little on the heavy side. The suspension is definitely firm, but it doesn't impair the ride on smooth highways. Steering feel is excellent, and the Jetta stays neatly on course. With wholly predictable handling, it's simply masterful through curves. Body lean is minimal through tight mountain switchbacks.

The Jetta is spacious up front but a tad restricted in terms of elbowroom, and some drivers could hit their right knee on the wide console. The gauges are large and easy to read, and visibility is very good. The seats are beautifully cushioned and appropriately bolstered; they also offer good thigh and back support.


Consumer Reviews

(4.6)

Average based on 52 reviews

Write a Review

Fun to drive, very efficient design

by Car enthusiast from Queens NY on November 25, 2017

Excellent engine and transmission. Very powerful car that holds the road very well for its price. Advanced design and technology for its price. Quality parts and built

Read All Consumer Reviews

4 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Volkswagen Jetta trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Volkswagen Jetta Articles

2008 Volkswagen Jetta Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Volkswagen Jetta S

Head Restraints and Seats
M
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Volkswagen Jetta S

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
M
Overall Rear
M
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
M
Structure/safety cage
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Volkswagen Jetta S

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Volkswagen Jetta S

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 4 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

48mo/50,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

48mo/50,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years