Only a few small cars have a loyal fanbase like the Volkswagen Jetta, one of the best-selling models in the United States. That’s not without reason, because the Jetta appealed buyers with its upscale designs, powerful engine options and refined cabins. Basically, the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta bridges between everyday compact economy cars and entry-level premium brand compact sedans, a niche almost unto itself.
The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta is a four-door compact sedans available in five trim levels: S, Wolfsburg Edition, SE, SE Sport, SEL. The GLI models reviewed separately.
The front-wheel-drive 2018 Volkswagen Jetta offers two engine choices. The S, Wolfsburg Edition and SE models get a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated with a five-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy is impressive at 32 mpg combined (28 city/38 highway) with the automatic and 33 mpg combined (28 city/40 highway) with the manual.
The SE Sport and SEL trim is backed by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine good for 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. This engine only available with a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy stands at 28 mpg combined (24 city/33 highway).
In track testing, the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta SEL went from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, which is faster than almost all its rivals. The SE with manual transmission did it in 7.7 seconds.
The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta price list: S $19,495 (prices include $850 destination fee), Wolfsburg Edition $21,195, SE $22,095, SE Sport $24,095 and SEL $27,095.