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2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Review

The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen has small rear seats, but critics liked its high-quality interior materials and diesel trim, which gets great fuel economy for the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Jetta SportWagen TDI’s great fuel economy
  • Top-quality interior materials
  • Tight rear seats

Rankings & Research

The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2012 Wagons category. Currently the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen has a score of 8.8 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 39 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Overview

Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen models from 2012 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 said the 2012 Jetta SportWagen’s base five-cylinder engine provides strong acceleration from a stop and decent acceleration during highway passing. A turbodiesel four-cylinder engine comes with the Jetta SportWagen TDI, and reviewers were very impressed with its fuel economy and strong acceleration around town. The base Jetta SportWagen is available with a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic, while the Jetta SportWagen TDI is available with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automated manual transmission. According to the EPA, the gas-powered Jetta SportWagen gets up to 23/33 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. The Jetta SportWagen TDI gets up to 30/42 mpg city/highway, which is significantly better than what most competing wagons get. Some test drivers wrote that the Jetta SportWagen exhibits noticeable body roll during cornering, while others said it offers a sporty driving experience. Most agreed that it has excellent steering feel and strong brakes.

Critics were pleased with the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen’s top-quality interior materials, which include a soft-touch dashboard and chrome trim. Test drivers said the front seats have ample leg- and headroom, but some said the rear seats are cramped for taller passengers. The VW Jetta SportWagen has a maximum of 66.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is good for the class. The base Jetta SportWagen comes with heated front seats, heated side mirrors, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo. Available features include a sunroof, navigation, leatherette upholstery, satellite radio, iPod integration and a 10-speaker stereo system.

Other Wagons to Consider

Critics liked the 2012 Acura TSX Sport Wagon’s sporty handling and peppy four-cylinder engine. They also praised its attractive, high-quality interior and spacious cargo area.

The 2012 Toyota Prius v gets excellent fuel economy for the class, and reviewers complimented the Prius v’s spacious front and rear seats. The Toyota Prius v also has good cargo space for the class and comes with more standard features than the Jetta SportWagen.

Compare the Jetta SportWagen, TSX Sport Wagon and Prius v »


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