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2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Review

Automotive writers agreed the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen stood out among wagons with its nimble handling. Its available four-cylinder diesel engine, which is rare for the class, delivers excellent fuel economy.

Pros & Cons

  • 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Sporty performer
  • High fuel economy ratings
  • Poor reliability

Rankings & Research

The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen's #4 ranking is based on its score within the 2011 Wagons category. Currently the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen has a score of 8.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 34 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Overview

Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen models from 2011 with diesel engines are part of the massive Volkswagen recall because they do not meet U.S. emissions standards. Volkswagen will contact owners when they have remedied the problem and will fix the cars for free. The cars are safe to drive. Read more on the Volkswagen diesel recalls

Reviewers enjoyed the available four-cylinder diesel engine because of its power. Mated with an available automatic transmission, the diesel gets 33 combined mpg. Standard trims are fitted with a gas-powered five-cylinder engine and a manual transmission that test drivers said was energetic from a stop and had respectable passing power. With the available automatic transmission, the five-cylinder engine gets an EPA-estimated 24/31 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class. Critics appreciated the confident and precise steering and strong brakes.      

The interior of the VW Jetta SportWagen is different from its sedan counterpart. Reviewers liked the interior, saying it was assembled with high-grade and soft-touch materials. Base models come with either cloth or leatherette seating, both of which reviewers enjoyed. The 2011 Jetta SportWagen has 32.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than what most of the competitors in its class have. Heated mirrors, an auxiliary jack and Bluetooth connectivity are all standard on the Jetta SportWagen. When it was new, some features, like a 10-speaker premium stereo system, six-disc CD changer, heated driver’s seat, panoramic sunroof and navigation system were either optional or standard on higher trims. The navigation system is an available feature that few other wagons in its class offered.

In 2011, the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen was an IIHS Top Safety Pick, but has a lower than average reliability score than its classmates.

See the full 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring has a few standard features that the Jetta SportWagen does not come with, including iPod connectivity and satellite radio. Reviewers liked its even ride and responsive handling.

The 2011 Subaru Outback has standard all-wheel drive, more cargo space and a higher reliability rating than the Jetta SportWagen. With a higher ground clearance than other wagons, the Outback is a suitable option for those who want to sit higher to have a more commanding view of the road or need to drive through snow.

Compare the Jetta SportWagen to the Elantra Touring and Outback »

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