In the second year of the completely redesigned new Jetta, Volkswagen continued its campaign to bring a more affordable compact car to the market and to further raise the bar on their US sales numbers. The base model 2012 Volkswagen Jetta is spare on features and high on volume, giving buyers a great deal on a car they know they can rely on. At the same time, Volkswagen reintroduced the Jetta GLI in 2012, giving car enthusiasts something to talk about, too.

Key Features

Drivers will most appreciate the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), which allows you to manually shift with shifters on the steering wheel but without the hassle of operating a clutch. You can feel more connected to the road and to the driving experience without getting a sore left leg in stop-and-go traffic.

The other big feature is the 2.0-liter diesel engine, which has a 600-mile range per tank. If you want power and fuel efficiency, this is the car for you.

Changes for 2012

After completely reinventing the Jetta in 2011, the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta has just a few changes, including an independent rear suspension and the return of the very popular 2.0-liter DOHC Turbo engine.

What We Like

While its redesign is meant to steal sales from the Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen didn’t make any quality sacrifices with the new Jetta. With this model, you’ll still get the quality and performance you expect from any VW.

What Concerns Us

The old Jettas had a lot more style and personality, not to mention a lot more features. Because they were discontinued and completely redesigned, you can expect older models to retain their value for far longer, and newer models like the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta may have lower resale rates.

Available Models

In addition to a few different trim options, the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta gives you four engine options, including two naturally aspirated four-cylinder options, one turbo-charged gas engine option, and one turbo-charged diesel engine. The turbo-charged gas engine has the most horsepower (at 200 HP), but the diesel is rated at 30 MPG in the city and 42 on the highway.

Major Recalls

Some 2012 Volkswagen Jetta models have been recalled due to a potential failure in the air bag’s clock spring.

Common Issues

Some drivers have complained of hesitation during acceleration and unusual noises coming from the engine in a few 2012 Volkswagen Jetta models.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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