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2018 Volkswagen Jetta Overview
The sixth-generation Volkswagen Jetta has had a storied journey. With the 2011 release, Volkswagen gambled that American buyers were gravitating toward cheaper, more cost-cut compacts. In fact, the market was headed toward full-featured small cars. Gradually, Volkswagen restored the Jetta with better materials, suspension, and features, and replaced the engines with efficient and sophisticated turbocharged units. As the current-generation Jetta enters its eighth and final year on the market, the 2018 has fully reclaimed any features lost in 2011.
The Jetta’s styling has endured quite well. The sharp creases and simple surfaces continue to look current in 2018. Inside, drivers find simple shapes, high-quality materials. Overall, the car exudes the solid Germanic feel for which Volkswagen is known.
Trims for 2018 remain largely unchanged. The base trim, S, comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a 5-inch color touchscreen, and Bluetooth connectivity. New for 2018, Volkswagen offers a Wolfsburg Edition trim equipped with stylish 16-inch alloy wheels, sport bumpers, fog lights, partial-power and heated seats, and leatherette upholstery. SE builds upon S with a larger 6.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, partial-power and heated seats, keyless entry, and Volkswagen’s Car-Net telematics technology. SE Sport adds 17-inch wheels, fog lights, and a unique black roof. The SEL trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a power sunroof, a Fender audio system, and navigation. Topping the range, the GLI gets the sport bumpers, 18-inch wheels, LED taillights, interior lighting accents, and a color LCD instrument cluster.
The standard engine for the Jetta is a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline 4-cylinder with 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, good for up to 28 mpg city, 40 highway, and 33 combined. This engine gets either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic, and comes in the S, SE, and Wolfsburg Edition trims. SE Sport and SEL trims get a more-powerful turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that develops 170 hp and the same torque rating. The only transmission option for this engine is a 6-speed automatic, lead to a drop in fuel economy ratings to 24, 33, and 28. Lastly, the GLI packs a 210 hp and 207 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder and a 6-speed “DSG” automatic transmission. Fuel economy is comparable to the 1.8-liter, at 24, 33, and 27 mpg.
The Jetta gets six standard airbags, frontal and side units for the driver and passenger and a curtain airbags for all outboard occupants. A reversing camera is standard; the SEL model benefits from standard adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. In addition, the sedan will apply its brakes after a collision to prevent a secondary collision and can shut off its fuel pumps, turn on hazard lights, and unlock the doors.The 2018 Jetta rates Good in most crash categories, Acceptable in the passenger front overlap, and Advanced for frontal crash prevention.
Today’s Jetta is a solid choice, especially with Volkswagen’s aggressive pricing and a new-for-2018 6-year, 72,000-mile full warranty. For those looking for a bargain in a new compact car, the 2018 Jetta may be just the ticket.
Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.
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2018 VW Jetta SE
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