Volkswagen Jetta (2006 – 2011) Review

Volkswagen Jetta (2006 – 2011) At A Glance


+Comfortable, economical and a decent drive. The boot's so big your voice echoes. Key-lockable 60/40 folding rear seat backrest.

-Unrelentingly gloomy dashboard design. Handling is okay but doesn't encourage you to hustle it.

On average it achieves 96% of the official MPG figure

I have the dubious distinction of not only having owned two Atlas Grey Jettas, but of having owned them both at the same time.

One was a ‘GT', described by ‘Car' magazine as "a Golf GTI with a rucksack". We seemed to have it forever. Eventually I advertised it on my website for £150 or "free to a man of the cloth", and it reverently soldiered on in the hands of a West Country vicar.

My other Jetta was a 16v, which, in Autocar's capable hands, had actually proved to be slightly faster than the Golf 16v hatchback. 0 - 60 was just over 7 seconds, in second gear. Those old Jettas were quite raw cars. They just looked so dull that no one in a policeman's uniform ever even noticed their existence. I remember tagging a BMW 535i across Oxfordshire at 120mph. In fairness I'd better point out that the BMW was slightly handicapped by a stepladder on its roof rack. The case would never have got to court anyway because no one would have believed it. An invisible Volkswagen and a 120mph window cleaner.

Now Jeremy Clarkson has given the new Jetta his kiss of death in The Sunday Times. He could not find a single feature to redeem it, likening the prospect of a forthcoming return journey to "spending an hour in a coma". To the great man's credit he desisted from ever mentioning the name of the new Jetta's predecessor.

Actually, the Americans for whom the Jetta is built, never got a Bora. Or even a Vento. To them the new Jetta is simply the fifth incarnation of VW's Golf with a trunk, now built for them and everyone else who wants one in Mexico. JC questioned why anyone would ever want a Jetta rather than a Golf or a Passat. The answer is why Jettas, Ventos and Boras have always sold well in Europe. You can fit an LPG or CNG tank in the trunk while still leaving plenty of room for luggage.

Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Jetta (2006 – 2011)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

28–68 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

The turbo has failed on my 12 year old car - is it worth replacing or should I just scrap the car?

"The turbocharger of my 2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TDI has failed and the garage want £900 to replace it. Should I go ahead? The clutch has also not been replaced and with 90,000 miles on the clock is it worth doing the repair?"
Do you want to scrap the car? Renault is offering £3000 scrappage against a new Kadjar. A new clutch and dual mass flywheel will be about £1000 on top of the cost of the turbo, so if things like brakes and tyres are also on the way out it might make economic sense to get out of the car.
Answered by Honest John

What is the best diesel option - Volvo S40, Volkswagen Passat or Jetta?

"I'm looking for the best diesel option out of an 07/08 Volvo S40, Volkswagen Passat or Jetta. Reliability and fuel economy are my most important considerations. What would you recommend?"
The S40 has Ford 1.6 and 2.0 TDCi engines. The Passat and Jetta have the troublesome VAG EA189 1.6 and 2.0 TDI engines. None of these have great records, though the 2.0 TDCi in Ford is better than the 1.6 and the 2.0 TDI in the Jetta are better than the 1.6s, and in the Passat the old 1.9 TDI was the best. Really, your best bet is a KIA Cee'd or Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi which are chain cam diesels and in your price range will be pre-DPF.
Answered by Honest John

Will Volkswagen recall affect my 2010 Jetta TDI?

"My car seems to be affected by the Volkswagen emissions scandal. It is a Jetta 2.0 TDI from 2010. I bought this car in US from the original owner and imported the car to Guatemala. I want to know if Volkswagen would recall my car to "fix" it or to replace it with a new car?"
It does have an EA 189 engine. But no chance of a 5 year old car being replaced with a new car. Really depends on the emissions laws in Guatemala. If the car does not contravene the emissions laws there then nothing needs to happen.
Answered by Honest John

Are there alternative tyres we can fit to our Golf and Jetta to reduce road noise?

"We have a problem with what I consider to be excessive tyre noise inside our two cars. One is a two-year-old 1.4 TSI Golf running on Dunlop 205/55R16 SP Sport Fastresponse tyres. The other is a four-year-old 1.4 TSI Jetta running on the original Continental Sportcontact 2 205/55 R16 91v tyres. Is this a fault in the design of the car’s suspension, or lack of sound insulation within the cars, or a combination of both? Or is it purely down to the tyres. On some roads the drumming inside the cars is so bad you can't have a conversation with a passenger or listen to the radio. ‘Which?’ magazine rated the Continental ContiSportContact as one of the noisiest tyres it has tested. I don't know about the Dunlop. Any help you can give me on this matter, such as different tyres or anything that I can do to lesson this terrible drumming will be very much appreciated."
These tyres are not excessively wide or low profile, in fact they are basically the default size. I can tell you that you will find Toyo J48s this size fantastically grippy but you may find them a bit noisy. Toyo Proxes CF1s are noisier. CF2s should be less so. Least noisy will probably be Michelin Primacy 3. For the most comprehensive compilation of tyre reviews go to
Answered by Honest John
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