2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.5 5 cylinder from North America


Almost a great car, but quality lets it down harshly



General Comments:

Good overall, but skiddish about the long term reliability issues with VWs.

Purchased used in '13 from a VW dealer, interior was slightly worn already. Fit and finish were not that great, but the car was VERY reasonably priced. We have issues with my car key hanging up when shutting down and odd A/C switching off and on while at highway speed. Love the legroom in the back and front seats; just wish they were powered in the SE models.

We do rather long road trips and just finished a 2500 mile Christmas run visiting family, and I still love the fuel economy with this gas engine; it has longer legs than I have ability to sit that long.

Would we purchase again? Yes, but only if I could get the TDI.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th December, 2016

2012 Volkswagen Jetta S 2.0 gasoline from North America


A slow but economical vehicle


The car was reliable and had very little in the way of mechanical issues. The 2.0L ABA engine is the same one they used in the older generations and so it was a time tested platform. The only flaw in this design choice was that the engine was too small to move a larger car.

General Comments:

Overall the vehicle performed well. The "S" Model does not offer much in the way of thrills, as the 2.0 powerplant struggles to move the mid-sized sedan. Entering the highway via an on-ramp can be quite nerve-racking due to this lack of power. In other words, give yourself a large berth.

The interior of this car is simple but also functional. It is easy to clean and is comfortable for commuting. I would not recommend this car for longer cross-country trips as the seats are quite basic and tend to wear on your back over longer rides.

Steering and suspension is responsive and the car handles well in corners. With the factory all-season tires installed, this car does OK in the snow. I would recommend snow tires if you want to avoid getting stuck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th September, 2015

2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0 turbo diesel from North America


I really enjoy the engine power, smooth transmission and responsiveness of the steering


Still a brand new car, so nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

I am really enjoying the car.

The TDI has abundant power, so there isn't any problem driving the car from Denver to the ski areas.

The steering is responsive, maybe to the point of being a little too sensitive.

The car handles well in the corners, not a lot of roll like some of the professional reviews say. How fast do they drive around the corners anyway?

The seat heaters get really hot! Which is nice when it is cold.

The brake pedal is a little close for my tastes. I seem to slam on the brakes when that isn't my intent. It is probably just something that I need to get used to. I guess you could say that the initial bite of the brakes is really good.

I don't like the fact that Volkswagen has its own motor oil standards. It makes purchasing motor oil in North America very difficult. Although Mobil 1 says they have an oil that meets the specifications.

I wish they had put the cruise control on the steering wheel, instead of the end of the turn signal arm.

The automatic transmission is super smooth. I like being able to down shift for coasting down hill. I drive some long hills. It's eleven miles from Eisenhower Tunnel to Silverthorn.

Getting about 36 MPG around town with the diesel. I have been able to nurse 40 MPG out of it on the highway.

The ride is firm, yet smooth. I like that.

The tires seem to catch on cracks in the highway, drift around a bit. That is probably just the tires though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th December, 2012

2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI with "Premium" 2.0 turbo diesel from North America




The first windshield cracked when I hit a pothole at 500 miles. Fought with 3 dealerships & VW (who refused to replace it) for several months, but one dealer finally did replace it after I had put 2000 miles on it.

The 2nd windshield just cracked again with 14,000 miles and only 9 months old.

The car is a 6-speed manual, but came with a 5-speed gearshift knob. It took two months to get someone at VW to understand why that was wrong. One time I was told that "Reverse is a gear, so the knob is correct".

Then the car stalled all the time. That turned out to be a bad fuel line pressure release valve, but took 3 months to diagnose.

With the sunroof open, there is a loud banging in the ceiling. It's partially been fixed by adding foam strips to the sunroof shade. But it still happens after it has rained or after going through a car wash. I believe the drains are loose in the headliner, but VW has refused to fix.

The front bumper cover is loose on the right corner, but VW refuses to fix it.

General Comments:

It's a good looking car, with poorly conceived mechanicals and sad build quality.

The ride is appalling, with VW using an old torsion-beam rear suspension.

The interior is very cheap, and only vinyl upholstery is available.

The GLI fixes the poor suspension, but is unavailable with a diesel.

My 2001 Passat was the best car I ever owned. After friends ride in the new 2012 Jetta, they ask if I can get my old car back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st November, 2012

29th Aug 2013, 08:33

Wow, OK, we're not alone then! We're on our 3rd windshield! The last one blew in at freeway speed, unbelievable. Not to mention the myriad of many other things breaking at a regular pace. Broken off door handles, sun roof stuck open and leaks when it closes, electric locks died, blows tail light bulbs weekly etc. I thought they were made in Germany, dealership said indeed they were. After we get home and see, "Made in Mexico"!!! Never VW again!!

4th Sep 2013, 16:09

I don't know about your driving, I'm a very fast and aggressive driver, and never had a problem with the windshield of any VW I ever owned. I drive a 2012 Jetta now and I love it.

23rd Jun 2014, 02:36

If the windshield cracks repeatedly, it means there is a weakness in the chassis due either to a manufacturing fault, or to a design fault. The metal frame around the windshield is too flexible, and flexes when the car hits a pothole or similar.

As for the old Passat, I drove a 1999 model (same as 2001) and it was a very balanced vehicle, good seats, good suspension and good general dynamic feeling (but not very reliable after 100k miles). I doubt the new Jetta and Passat have improved over the older models, because the last generation of VW offers very basic components in order to offer a reduced sale price.