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2008 Jetta

Consumer Reviews

2008 Volkswagen Jetta

$2,132 - $8,280  MSRP Range
2008 Volkswagen Jetta

Review Score

4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6

61 Reviews
92% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.6 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.6 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.4 out of 5 stars Performance
4.3 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 61 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

An excellent choice for the money.

by Happy Jetta Owner from Long Island, NY on Thu Apr 08 2010

I have a 2008 VW Jetta SE 2.5 5 cylinder with the 5 speed manual. I paid 21,000 out the door and I can't beat the car for the money. The build quality is far superior to anything else in the class and even exceeds that of much more expensive cars. It handles very nicely mixing a blend of European sportiness with the practicality of a roomy, efficient daily driver. I've read a few other of the reviews and someone commented negatively about the gas mileage and the resale value and I have to politely disagree with both of those points. The gas mileage for one, is pretty much dead on with what it's rated. I average one mile per gallon less than the city rating of 21mpg, and one mile per gallon higher than the highway rating of 29. I am also not the most conservative driver and I do routinely calculate my mpg. It must be remembered too that this is a five cylinder car that has more power and torque than most fours but is capable of the same gas mileage as one. Secondly, the resale value; all cars lose a substantial chunk of value as soon as they're driven off the lot. All of them. This car amazingly has lost next to none of it. I could sell it today two and a half years and 32,000 miles later for just about 3,000 or so less than what I paid and that is something not everyone can boast about their cars. Keep in mind, most of that value loss occurred in the first year and does not continue to drop as rapidly in the time after. As far as reliability, I couldn't ask for better so far. I have had only one problem which was a defective armrest that needed to be swapped out. Again, it could be much worse. These cars do have one quirk that I know of which is the tendency of the rear brakes to wear down quicker than the fronts. My rears went at 18,000 miles while the fronts still had plenty of pad left. My rotors however did not need replacing since I changed the brakes as soon as I noticed they were on their way out. My front pads are still fine. The research I've done on the subject seems to indicate that VW designed the brake system so that the back brakes do more work so the car doesn't nose dive upon braking. Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, I can't say, but if I have to change my rear pads every 18,000 miles and have no other major issues, I can deal with that. Overall, I do love the car. To sum it up, it's a well designed fun, reliable, efficient car that is well worth the money. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a car in this price range.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

My First Volkswagen

by New VW Owner from Oakland County, Michigan on Wed Aug 15 2007

Well, I chose a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta SE. It was between a Scion tC, a Honda Civic, and the VW Jetta. I ultimately chose the Jetta because of how much car I got for the money. Living through winters in Southeast Michigan all of the safety features were great selling points for me. ie: Anti-Lock Brakes, Brake Assist, Anti-Slip Regulation, Electronic Stabilization Program, Electronic Differential Lock, Tire Pressure Monitor, Heated Exterior Mirrors, Heated Washer Jets, and a headrest in the center of the backseat -- Not to mention airbags galore! And all that for about $21k. I also like that the '08 Jetta has 170 horsepower. (Civic 140hp, tC 161hp.) It handles much like a sports car though it's a sedan -- Very tight and precise steering with minimal body roll. The Jetta comes with leatherette upholstery which cleans easily and I think looks much nicer than cloth -- And the seats are very comfortable! I'm especially impressed and happy that all four windows are automatic one-touch down AND up! BIG BONUS! The cons... Placement of auxiliary input jack, it's in the glove box all the way to the very right-hand side. A better place would be in the center console, perhaps under the armrest. Not enough storage, there's not one small bin -- Where do I put coins? The storage compartment/indirect air outlet has been omitted. (The large area on the dash above two center air outlets above the stereo.) Small 16" wheels, would like to see 17" standard on the SE. Sirius Satellite Radio -- Wish I had a choice between XM & Sirius. Or, I wish it were possible to convert to XM at my expense, but it's not possible with the VW factory radio. Let's hope XM & Sirius really do merge. I'm missing the radio controls on the steering wheel that were on my last car, I wish my Jetta had that. (The Civic and tC do.) The exterior styling isn't sporty or youthful enough, it's a bit boring and conservative. I would definitely recommend a Volkswagen Jetta SE. The list of standard features for the price is a no-brainer. And it has German engineering which typically means an overall well made, well designed, good performing automobile.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Unexpected Luxury

by Deutch in da house from Tampa, FL on Mon May 19 2008

I owned a 1996 Jetta, and then many other cars since then. I liked my 96' Jetta, but would not say I loved it. It was a small, economic car with good handling...but that was it. Not the case anymore. The moment I sat inside this 2008 Jetta SE at the dealership I fell in love. The first thing I noticed is how the leatherette seats supported me and felt very nice. Although not real leather, they feel just as good but without the maintenance and wear of real leather. Real leather wears and can get real ugly over time. The second thing I noticed is how elegant the dash looked (like a Lexus). Then I felt the leather wrapped steering wheel and the rest of the gadgets. The overall feel was perfect. The car is very comfortable. Then the drive. I was surprised at how much power it had, not like my 96'. However, like my 96' the 2008 Jetta keeps with its tradition of excellent handling. There is really no other car that offers all the Jetta offers at $21k...170HP, 16" Alloys, great handling, leatherette back-supporting seats, sunroof, 6 disc MP3 w/ Siruis, and 6 airbags (LOWER CAR INSURANCE than its competitors to my surprise). The only gripe I have is gas mileage. I'm only getting around 21 mpg. I do roughly 75% city, 25% highway. I drive a little spirted, but still expected a little better mpg. Hopefully it will get better once the engine gets broken in - I only have 900 miles on it so far. Bottom line - If you want a luxury, sporty sedan with moderate power this is your car. If you want one with more power, get the GLI for a grand more. If you have 6'5" kids and take long trips frequently with your car full of passengers, maybe then consider the Altima, Camry, or Accord....or perhaps the Passat. Comparing to the Corolla, Civic, or Sentra...you've got to be kidding me. I used to sell 07 Corollas, rented an 07 Civic, and test drove an 08 Sentra. Not even close. Good cars, but no where near as fun and comfortable. They have less power, same or less space, less supportive seats, and are about the same price when similarly equipped.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous Car for a Great Price

by College Student from Cleveland, OH on Fri Sep 10 2010

I've owned my Pre-Loved Jetta for about two months now and absolutely love it. I was able to get my car with about 31,000 miles on it and hardly even noticed that it had been driven previously to my owning it. The car handles beautifully; I've tested it out on curvy country roads doing 65 mph on sharp turns and on the highway just cruising to wherever my destination may be. It's fast, reliable, and so much fun to drive. Not only does it drive great, but it looks great, too. It'll turn heads and gives a good impression to anyone that may see you driving. The Pre-Loved warranty was definitely a greatly appreciated feature that helped me settle my decision on this car quickly. I highly recommend Volkswagens, especially Jettas.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Great car!!

by Sporty Lady from Los Angeles, CA on Wed Apr 16 2008

I'm leasing the new '08 Jetta SE. I have leather interior which is great. I was afraid of it getting too hot in the summer, but it's fine. I upgraded from a '00 honda accord coupe. I like the jetta muchhh better. Much more power and a lot more comfortable. It has great power for such a little car, but don't get the wrong idea. The trunk is HUGE. so is the back seats. Three adults can fit fine back there. The dash lights up pretty red and blue at night. Love the sun/moonroof. It is a little noisey on a cold morning when you start it up, but it goes away in literally 20 seconds... i counted =) plus you can't hear the noise unless you're outside of the car. Love this car for the price.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Best compact in it's class

by Moorish Brown from on Sat Jan 29 2011

Stylish with all the bells and whistles for an affordable price. Only issue is gas mileage. For a compact it only gets 22 mpg in city and 28 mpg on highway.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

great car

by German convert from Little Rock, AR on Fri Apr 04 2008

I have had an 08 Jetta SE for 1 month. I looked at the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry but found they were noisy with a poor seating position (I am 6"3) and just didnt have the features that the Jetta had. The fit and finish are much better than the other cars I looked at. They car is very stable on slick/wet surfaces and the crash test results are very impressive.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Can't wait............

by vw4Life from on Fri Nov 07 2008

Wife currently drives a 2003 Jaguar and I drive a 2008 Jetta. Whenever we go ANYWHERE we take the Jetta! We both love it! Currently has about 8800 miles and the mileage we are getting on long trips (35+mpg) is fantastic. I can't say enough positive things about it. When its time to trade the Jag (which may be soon) we'll be getting the new CC.......can't wait!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

My 5th V-DUB

by JK from Florida on Mon Mar 24 2014

Bought my 08 Jetta SE new. (Sunroof, heated seats, power seats, V-tec seats, leather wheel, leather shifter, Alloy whls, Surius radio, chrome pipes) Currently 102,000 and still looks new, Great fit and finish for the price. If this car had a upscale badge on the grille people would pay 30K even with whats in my car. Love the V-TEC seats, better than leather. Mines a 5-spd manual. I've been in upscale cars and yes they are awesome but for almost twice as much, Why? Save your coin. Still get German engineered car and for half the price. Only drawback would be HP. Mine is 170HP. A bit slow out of the gate. 200 would have been better. GLI has that, costs more, hindsight I should have bought the GLI. Only because of the HP. Jetta SE, A lot of bang for the buck. If you are getting one used, this is a well built car, but like any car, if it's well maintained, the Jetta is reliable. But do think VW has cut some corners with the 2014's, One obvious was the dashboard was plastic in the 2014 SE, mine is the molded soft rubber, much richer higher-end feel, also noticed no chrome pipes, And that's just from a quick glance. VW needs to put back what they left out. Anywho, VW is still a bargain reliable, fun to drive car.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Fun Family Car

by Joy from Chicago on Fri Jun 11 2010

We bought a Jetta in mid 2008 and have nothing but praises for the product after 35000 miles since. The car has taken us on road trips with the assurance of safety and has taken me on business trips with sure footed handling. My only complaint would be the somewhat tight rear seating but hey, this is a compact after all.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
2 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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Our Take on the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta


Maybe I'm just slow on the uptake, but Volkswagens are much nicer cars than I thought. The VWs of my youth were affordable little cars for hippies and folks who couldn't afford anything nicer. They were loud and smoky and good only as an excuse for punching my little brother in "Slug Bug." The 2008 Jetta makes all of that a vague, distant memory.

This Jetta is luxurious. It's a pleasure to drive. It's downright posh. The 2008 Jetta boasts all the features and luxury of a car twice the price. We've got smooth leather seats. We've got a primo sound system with a six-CD changer and Sirius Satellite Radio. We've got navigation. We've got keyless entry. We've got spiffy alloy wheels. We've got a sunroof with... Read More