2012 Volkswagen Jetta

The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta is an affordable compact sedan that receives a lot of praise because of a spacious trunk with enough passenger room. The Jetta was redesigned in 2011 and is now more affordable and roomy than before.

The Jetta joins the old “Beetle” as symbols of what Volkswagen has given to the world, a car you can depend on. Far from what the Beetle had been in decades past, the Jetta proves to be as dependable and popular.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $16,675.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gallons (55l) MPG: 24 city / 34 hwy
Length: 182.2 in. (462.7 cm) Wheel Base: 104.4 in. (265.1 cm)
Height: 57.2 in. (145.3 cm) Width: 70.0 in. (177.8 cm)
Curb Weight: 2804 lbs (1271 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.5 in. (14 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 15.5 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 2.0L Inline-4 DOHC Compression Ratio: 10.3: 1
Horsepower: 115 HP Max RPM: 5000 RPM
Torque: 125 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Available Trims & Engine
Option:SE MSRP: $18,995; MPG: 23 city / 33 hwy
Option:SEL MSRP: $22,895; MPG: 23 city / 33 hwy
Option:TDI® 2.0L Diesel MSRP: $22,990; MPG: 30 city / 42 hwy
Option:GLI MSRP: $23,945; MPG: 22 city / 33 hwy
Option:GLI Autobahn MSRP: $26,195; MPG: 22 city / 33 hwy

Engine & Performance

The 2012 VW Jetta has 3 engine options. The base and the S trims use a 2.0L 4-cylinder that makes 115 hp and 125 lbs-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a standard 5-speed transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic gearbox. The engine nets a fuel economy estimate of 23/29 mpg city/highway with the automatic, and 24/34 mpg with the manual.

The SE, SEL and the SEL Premium are fitted with a 2.5L inline-5 powertrain that generates 170 hp and 177 lbs-ft of torque. Transmission choices remain the same as those of the 2.0L inline-4. However, this engine gets a fuel economy of 24/31 mpg with the automatic, and 23/33 with the manual.

The TDI trims feature a 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 engine that makes 140 hp and 236 lbs-ft of torque. A standard 6-speed manual gearbox is combined with this engine, while a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission if offered as an option. This engine gets an excellent fuel economy of 30/42 mpg city/highway, with any of the available transmissions.


The Volkswagen Jetta is a sedan with 6 trim levels: Base, S, SE, the SEL, the SEL Premium and the TDI model. The base trim comes with 15-inch wheels, while the S trim adds power/heated mirrors and keyless entry; while a sunroof is offered as an option.

Jetta SE trims come with 16-inch steel wheels, and optional exterior features like heated windshield washer nozzles, sunroof, and 16-inch alloy wheels. SEL models come with all optional features found on the SE (except the sunroof) in addition to chrome exterior trim, fog lamps, keyless entry and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The SEL premium on the other hand, comes with black-accented 17-inch wheels. The TDI trim comes with all optional features of the SEL premium, plus a sunroof.


The 2012 Jetta comes with one of the roomiest cabin in its class. The seats offer enough legroom and headroom, comfortable enough even for tall people. The rear seats can accommodate 2 adults comfortably, while three kids will find this seat very spacious.

The base S trim comes with 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system and an auxiliary input jack as standard features in its interior. Depending on the trim you choose, you can get features like: Bluetooth, Navigation system, satellite radio, iPod interface, Bluetooth and Fender audio system. The Jetta offers a cargo space of 15.5 cubic feet, which competes with trunks of some midsize sedans. The cabin has more storage space in its large glove compartment, deep center console and door pockets.

Safety & Reliability

The VW Jetta is equipped with standard safety features that include; front side airbags, active front head restraints, front side airbags, driver and front passenger airbags, traction control, child safety locks, 4-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control, emergency trunk release and 4-wheel ABS.

This sedan is backed by a limited warranty for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, in addition to an engine warranty that for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Rust damages are covered that lasts for 12 years. New owners benefit from the carefree maintenance plan that includes free regular maintenance for the first 36,000 miles or 3 years.


  • Huge rear seat and trunk
  • Affordable base price
  • Fuel-efficient diesel powertrain
  • Well equipped
  • Smart electronics interface.


  • Bland exterior
  • Sluggish throttle with automatic transmission
  • Numb steering
  • Cheap plastic cabin on lower trims

The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta will attract a lot of attention from people shopping for affordable small cars, due to its great passenger and cargo room, in addition to engine refinement that beats most of its rivals.

This car will compete against rivals like the Honda Civic (MSRP $16,755; 28 city / 39 hwy), Mazda3 (MSRP $16,700; 25 city / 33 hwy), and the old reliable Toyota Corolla (MSRP $17,060; 26 city / 34 hwy).

Overall Rating
73 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta is roomy and more affordable than ever. But there’s also not a whole lot to help this sedan stand out against other more dynamic competitors.” Edmunds

“The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta sedan has exceptional interior room and trunk space; the SportWagen is tighter inside, though it does have a flexible cargo hold.” Car Connection

“The GLI shines in this area and comes off as a true sports sedan, with responsive moves and little body lean in fast turns. Other Jettas, however, are not particularly sporty, which is disappointing for a Volkswagen. Jetta is more than competent, however. It’s composed in fast turns with good steering feel and strong brakes.” Consumer Guide

“The Jetta sedan has a spacious rear seat and trunk but the good news mostly ends there. Handling lacks agility and interior fit and finish is unimpressive in most versions.” MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Given the range of price and powertrains, it’s should come as no surprise that today’s VW Jetta can generate as many impressions as it has derivatives.” KBB