2007 Volkswagen Jetta


$3,369 - $5,262

2007 Volkswagen Jetta Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2007 Volkswagen Jetta was new.


Performance: 8.4

The majority of experts agree that the 2007 Volkswagen offers solid performance for its class. MSN says that "it's nimble and fun to drive." Motor Week concurs, calling it "light and nimble in corners." Cars.com test drivers find the Jetta comfortable behind the wheel, saying, "With wholly predictable handling, it's simply masterful through curves." They note that it is "fairly quiet," too.

The 2007 Volkswagen Jetta offers two engine options: a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine capable of 150 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. Base, 2.5 and Wolfsburg models have the 2.5 liter in-line five, while the 2.0T and the GLI feature the 2.0 liter four-cylinder. A five-speed manual is standard on the base and 2.5 trims, while the 2.0T and GLI feature a six-speed manual. A traditional six-speed automatic is available on the 2.5. For the 2.0T and GLI, VW features its six-speed DSG sequential-shift transmission that can be shifted manually or placed in an automatic mode.

Most reviewers find the 2.5-liter engine is adequate. Edmunds writes, "It's not the smoothest engine in the world, but it provides adequate acceleration in any situation, making it a big step up from previous base Jetta engines." MSN makes note of its "get-up-and-go" capabilities when the reviewer merged into city traffic and onto highways, saying, "The sedan added a little something more, too: The extra ′oomph′ when I passed cars on two-lane roads was noticeable." Autobytel feels the new 2.5 liter is a vast improvement over the previous engine, saying, "The result is a vehicle that feels adequately powered instead of underpowered." Automotive.com calls the engine "flexible" and says that it "delivers power when needed, no matter the gear of the moment." Automobile Magazine finds the base 2.5-liter engine to be "a touch anemic," and says "its noise is intrusive when you're running it hard. It's no surprise this engine must work hard in the new Jetta, since the car not only weighs more than a like-sized Corolla, but also slightly more than the midsize Toyota Camry." While the Detroit News generally likes the engines, they also feel the odd number of cylinders on the 2.5 might be a determent to some buyers: "Unfortunately, too many competitors in this price segment, including the Pontiac G6 and the Mazda6, offer six-cylinder engines. The Jetta's lack of one will likely cost VW some sales."

The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine receives largely positive feedback. The Sacramento Bee feels it provides "performance in a small package." Carz Unlimited says the addition of a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine "means even greater levels of performance, and the return of the GLI model brings a little excitement back to the Jetta lineup," adding, "this engine is most enjoyable in the Jetta GLI model, which has a taut suspension to back it up."

The 2007 Volkswagen Jetta's base engine gets an EPA estimated 19 mpg city and 28 on the highway. Experts find that to be adequate, but say the new model's size -- heavier than previous years -- doesn't help. Autobytel feels the overall fuel economy is "disappointing," whereas The Auto Channel says the new sedan gets "as much as my old air-cooled Beetle ever got, and the Jetta is considerably quicker, quieter, and more comfortable."

Overall, VW wins praise for the Jetta's transmission. Automobile Magazine says, "Both the manual and automatic transmissions are slick and fun to use." The folks at Cars.com report, "In ordinary driving, the Jetta delivers vigorous throttle response, and the automatic transmission operates effortlessly."

The Tiptronic automatic transmission system also receives good reviews. It's activated when the shift lever is moved into a gate to the right of main gear track. Shifting the lever forward chooses a higher gear; lower gears are selected by pulling back on the lever.  This mechanism allows the driver to choose the gear without having to use a clutch. After noting that the Tiptronic transmission is "unusual in this class of car,"Automotive.com    writes, "As much as we like to shift gears manually, this is a peach of a transmission and will satisfy even the sport-minded with its response and precision." And, CNET says it "makes life easy for the commuter but provides manual control when wanted."

Handling and Braking

Many critics were pleased with the 2007 Volkswagen Jetta's steering and handling. Car and Driver notes that "its everyday responses are reasonably brisk." Edmunds feels the 2007 is not as edgy as the previous model, but says that "the current VW Jetta has a rock-solid feel with a surprisingly quiet ride." They also write the Jetta "manages to provide both comfortable ride quality and agile handling."

The 2.5L features a new electro-mechanical steering system, which has also received mostly positive notes from reviewers. MSN feels that "the new electro-mechanical power steering is responsive, although a little heavy," whereas Autobytel says that the steering is "a model of perfection."

Experts feel that the suspension is one of the stand-out features. Auto Mall USA writes, "This is the best-handling front-wheel-drive car Volkswagen has produced, benefits of the multi-link rear suspension and a carefully designed MacPherson strut front suspension." The Detroit News says, "In terms of vehicle dynamics, the Jetta's ride and handling have improved significantly, reflecting the vehicle's larger size and some serious enhancements to the chassis and driveline," adding, "VW has fitted an independent multilink rear suspension for the first time to the Jetta, and has upgraded the strut/coil front suspension. The ride is well-damped and controlled, and is impressive for a car in this class."

All 2007 Volkswagen Jetta's are stopped by antilock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution. Reviewers are overwhelmingly positive on this system, with the Sacramento Bee saying that the brakes will "stop you on a dime." Automobile Magazine writes, "The anti-lock braking system works really well -- with exemplary straight-line stability." MSN also makes note of the braking system, writing, "The new Jetta has larger brakes than its predecessor - good to have as the base engine power has increased."

Performance Options

The Base Model

The 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine Volkswagen Jetta comes with front-wheel drive, independent MacPherson strut front suspension, and a rear suspension that uses a multi-link design.

2.0T Model

The 2.0T model is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, independent MacPherson strut front suspension, and rear suspension that uses a multi-link design.

GLI Model

The GLI model comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and independent MacPherson strut front suspension and rear suspension that uses a multi-link design. It is similar to the 2.0T model, but with more luxury features.

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