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Used Volkswagen Jetta review: 2006-2011

Graham Smith reviews the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 VW Jetta as a used buy.

A three-box version of the Golf, the Jetta is best driven with a clutch pedal.

New

VW cashed in on the soaring popularity of the Golf by adding a bootlid and rear window in 2006 and calling the variant the Jetta. For all intents and purposes a Golf with a boot, it was essentially aimed at those who wanted more cargo security than a hatch.

The Jetta's underpinnings and drivelines were shared with the Golf. Even better, the boot was huge and with the split-fold rear seat it could be expanded to make it even more useful.

As in the Golf, the Jetta's cabin was comfortable and spacious, the seats presenting a good balance of support and comfort.

Three 2.0-litre engines were available in the first iteration. The base petrol engine was a good all-rounder with 110kW, there was a fuel-efficient turbo diesel and, for a more spirited drive, the petrol turbo produced 147kW.

The transmission options were both six-speeders, a manual and a DSG dual-clutch setup.

The Jetta had the same engaging driving dynamics that made the Golf such a joy to steer.

An update in 2009 added to the Jetta's appeal. Visually there was little to pick it from the previous model — those with a keen eye would pick the new alloy wheels and the addition of front and rear parking sensors.

The biggest change was under the bonnet. There were now two petrol engines and three diesels. Those wanting the former could choose from a new 1.4-litre that was both supercharged and turbocharged, for low-end zip and high-end performance, or a 2.0-litre turbo.

Catering for varying demands for performance, the diesels' outputs were 77kW, 118kW and 125kW.

Transmission options also widened with the addition of a seven-speed version of the DSG.

Given its close relationship with the Golf, the Jetta had the same engaging driving dynamics that made the Golf such a joy to steer.

Now

The troubles that VW has endured in recent times have been well documented and they should serve as a warning to anyone considering buying a second-hand Jetta.

Most notable of them has been the problems that have plagued that generation of the DSG auto.

It's best to opt for the manual versions if you can find one.

VW was slow to move when it became obvious that the DSG had problems, which made it even worse for owners who wanted them fixed.

Owners reported their vehicles would stop without warning, change gear erratically and roughly, as well as doing other odd things.

It was only after a huge outcry from owners that the company conducted a voluntary recall.

The troubles with the DSG and VW's slowness to respond to the issue soured the image of the cars in the eyes of owners and second-hand shoppers, and also damaged the reputation of the company.

As most buyers would have chosen the DSG, the majority of examples on the used market will be equipped with the potentially troublesome transmission.

If you really want the driving experience of the Jetta, it's best to opt for the manual versions if you can find one. If you must have the automatic, get it road-tested by someone with experience of the gearbox.

VW servicing can be expensive but you can save money by having it done by an independent specialist mechanic.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2011 $4,070 $13,530
2010 $3,300 $11,220
2009 $2,420 $10,670
2008 $5,720 $9,790
2007 $5,060 $8,910
2006 $4,730 $8,360

View all Volkswagen Jetta pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$5,999
Based on 31 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$3,990
Highest Price
$10,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0 FSI 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $3,990 – 10,999 2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2006 2.0 FSI Pricing and Specs
2.0 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $3,490 – 7,999 2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2006 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs
2.0 Turbo FSI 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $5,999 – 8,990 2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2006 2.0 Turbo FSI Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$3,990

Lowest price, based on 28 car listings in the last 6 months

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