The Volkswagen Jetta has been a favorite in the “affordable small car” range for almost a generation, and the new, upgraded design on the 2012 model has made it even more fun to drive. Reviewers decry the base trim model, stating that it has a “cheap” feel, but upgraded models are praised for luxurious interior design. Even the base model has ample trunk and back seat room, a valid concern when looking at small cars.

U. S. News ranks the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta in the middle of 40 affordable small cars, making it about average in the reviewer’s ratings. The GLI model received praise for its more powerful engine, but the price tag was sufficiently higher to cause reviewers to advise sticking with the base model unless power was important enough to you to warrant the price increase. Several of the Jetta models are gas-powered, although the higher-end and more powerful TDI models have diesel engines. On average, expect to pay $16,851 up to $26,361, depending on the model you choose, for a Volkswagen Jetta.

Volkswagen Jetta Safety

The Volkswagen Jetta was safety-tested by several groups, with good results. In the federal government’s roll-over crash testing, the Volkswagen Jetta received four out of five stars, and the car received five out of five stars in side crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta high marks on front, side, rear, and roof strength crash tests, making it an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Each model of the Volkswagen Jetta comes with six airbags standard, anti-slip regulation, electronic braking assistance, and hydraulic brake assist.

Volkswagen Jetta Warranty

Volkswagen’s warranty leaves something to be desired, however. The manufacturer’s warranty is only three years or 36,000 miles, with a five-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and a 12-year, unlimited mileage corrosion warranty. Buyers can purchase a “Carefree Maintenance” program which will include free regularly scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles from the dealership, often saving money over the cost of paying for scheduled services.

Repair costs are, on average, not terribly expensive for the Volkswagen Jetta. For example, an ignition coil replacement averages only $125; an oil pump replacement should cost around $1200. Some parts are more expensive than others on this model, and of course prices depend on if you are repairing a gasoline or diesel engine.

Volkswagen Jetta Awards

Volkswagen Jetta has also won some rather eclectic awards in various fields, as well. The TDI model was chosen as the 2011 Urban Green Vehicle of the Year, while the 2012 model boasts the Towcar of the Year Award. Along with the Top Safety Pick awards, Volkswagen has reason to be proud of the perennially favorite Jetta in several respects.

How much is car insurance for the Volkswagen Jetta?

Car insurance costs for the Jetta tend to be very reasonable. On average, the Jetta S base model costs $1,341 per year to insure; the Jetta S sport, $1,367; the Jetta SE, $1,422; the Jetta SE Sport, $1,470; the Jetta SEL, $1,422; the Jetta Sport, $1,605; and the Jetta TDI, $1,506. Comparatively, other small, affordable vehicles can be more pricey to insure. The Hyundai Elantra Touring GLS averages $1,423 per year to insure, a significant increase over the Jetta’s base model. On the other hand, Hyundai’s base model Elantra costs only $1,392 per year to insure, comparable to the Jetta base model and Sport model.

You can find affordable, reasonable insurance coverage for a Volkswagen Jetta by doing a bit of research on your own however be sure that each quote includes the same amounts and limits of coverage so that you are not fooled by an exceptionally low price for less insurance coverage.

With the low initial price of the Volkswagen Jetta, you may not need as much coverage as you would with other cars, so your limits can be lowered to save you even more money. Of course, while your vehicle is financed, you will need to keep collision and comprehensive coverage on it; after you pay off the car, you can decide whether to keep these coverage options. With Volkswagen’s limited warranty, you may also want to carry option coverage such as towing, rental car reimbursement, and emergency roadside assistance. You can usually get these types of coverage added to regular policy for a minimal cost.