Here Are All Vw Jetta Years to Avoid Vs Best Used Jetta Models to Buy

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When you’re in the market for a reliable and efficient small car, the Volkswagen Jetta often comes to mind.

As a popular compact sedan with a solid reputation, it’s no surprise that you may be considering this car as your next purchase.

However, it’s important to note that not all Jetta models were created equal, and there are certain years you’ll want to avoid in order to spare yourself potential headaches and costly repairs.

To help you make the most informed decision, we’ve gathered information on the Volkswagen Jetta years that are best left off your shopping list.

With the Auto renting Tutor’s auto purchasing and care guidance, you’ll be on your way to a smoother car-buying experience and a vehicle that meets your needs and expectations.

Vw Jetta years to avoid

VW Jetta Years to Avoid

Issues with reliability and safety are some of the key concerns with these problematic years.

We’ll examine the Volkswagen Jetta years that are best avoided and the reasons behind this recommendation.

2006 Volkswagen Jetta

The 2006 Volkswagen Jetta has been a problematic year for many owners. Common issues during this year include:

  • Electrical problems
  • Transmission malfunctions
  • Premature engine failures

These issues may lead to costly repairs, and it’s wise to avoid the 2006 model year if possible.

2009 Volkswagen Jetta

Regarded as one of the worst Volkswagen Jetta years, the 2009 model has some severe problems.

The most notable issue is the Antilock Braking System (ABS) failure, which could pose a significant risk while driving. Additionally, owners have reported other problems such as:

  • Fuel pump failures
  • Engine malfunctions

Due to the severity of these problems, it’s best to stay away from the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta.

2010 Volkswagen Jetta

Similar to the 2009 model, the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta also has several issues you should be aware of. While not as severe as the ABS failure in the 2009 model, the 2010 Jetta has its share of reliability concerns like:

  • Faulty transmissions
  • Electrical problems

Avoid the 2010 model if you’re looking for a reliable Jetta.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta

The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta has faced some criticism as well. While it may not be the absolute worst year, there are a few notable problems such as:

  • Faulty ignition coils
  • Premature wear on the interior components

To ensure a better ownership experience, consider giving the 2011 model a miss.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta

Now on to the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. Although there are positive aspects to this model, there have been various reports of owners experiencing issues with the engine and transmission.

Some common problems include:

  • Turbocharger failures
  • Transmission fluid leaks

When deciding on a Jetta, it’s worth looking at newer models from 2015 to 2018, as these have significantly fewer reported problems.

RELATED: One of VW cars you may like is the Passat car. Discover thr worst Volkswagen Passat years to avoid as well the best and worst Vw Beetle problems to avoid and each problems and issues revealed.

Common Problems and Complaints

This section highlights these problems and complaints so you can be better informed when choosing a used vehicle.

Transmission Failure

One of the most significant issues with some VW Jetta models, particularly the 2006 model, is transmission failure.

This problem often results in high repair costs of up to $4,000. You may notice problems with hard shifting, jerking when shifting gears, or slipping transmission when driving at certain speeds.

Fuel Pump Failure

The Jetta’s fuel pump can also experience issues, especially in the diesel models. Common symptoms include a sudden loss of power or unexpected stalling.

It is important to keep an eye out for any signs of a failing fuel pump, as this can be a dangerous situation if it happens while driving.

ABS Module Failure

In some cases, the Jetta’s Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) module has been known to fail. This can lead to problems with your braking system and traction control, as well as triggering the check engine light.

If you start to experience any issues with your brakes or traction control, it is crucial to address them as soon as possible to ensure your safety on the road.

Faulty Stereo System

For those interested in a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta, be aware that one of the most common complaints is a faulty stereo system.

Many drivers have reported that the car stereo suddenly stopped working, leaving them without any entertainment during their journeys.

Unexpected Stalling

Another issue that some Jetta owners have faced is unexpected stalling, which can be a major concern when driving.

This has been reported across multiple model years, including the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. If you encounter this problem, it could be related to the fuel system or wiring harness, and it is important to get it checked out to prevent any further issues.

What Are the Best Vw Jetta Years?

2019 Volkswagen Jetta:

The 2019 Jetta is considered one of the best years for the model due to its updated design, improved fuel economy, and advanced safety features. It also features a spacious interior and a smooth ride.

2016 Volkswagen Jetta:

The 2016 Jetta is known for its reliability and fuel efficiency. It also offers a comfortable ride and a well-designed interior with plenty of features.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta:

The 2014 Jetta is a popular choice due to its affordable price, fuel efficiency, and spacious interior. It also offers a smooth ride and a range of features such as Bluetooth connectivity and a touchscreen infotainment system.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta:

The 2012 Jetta is known for its solid build quality and great safety ratings. It also offers a roomy interior and a range of features such as heated front seats and a sunroof.

It’s important to note that these are just a few examples of the best years for the VW Jetta, and there may be other model years that are also worth considering.

VW Jetta Models Comparison

Popular Models

The 2016 Jetta is a well-received model year, offering good fuel economy and a spacious cabin. The 2017 Jetta is another popular choice, praised for its affordability and family-friendly features.

Jettas manufactured in previous years, such as 2006 and 2009, are infamous for reliability issues. Thus, it’s advisable to keep an eye out for the best years when looking for a dependable, compact sedan.

Sport Models

If you’re a fan of sportier versions, the VW Jetta GLI is worth considering.

Notable models include the 2019 Jetta GLI, which features a powerful turbocharged engine, and the 2020 Jetta GLI, with its refined eight-speed automatic transmission.

These sport models offer the performance and handling you’d expect from a compact sports sedan, while still providing a comfortable, spacious interior.


Over the years, the VW Jetta has gone through a few significant redesigns that have marked improvements in both aesthetics and performance.

One of the most notable redesigns took place in 2011 when the Jetta shifted from a design based on the Volkswagen Golf to a unique, more affordable platform.

This redesign resulted in a larger, more spacious cabin and increased stability control.

Model Year Redesign Focus
2011 Jetta Spacious cabin, affordability
2019 Jetta Improved design, fuel economy

Safety and Maintenance

National Highway Traffic Safety Association Ratings

It’s important to take a look at the ratings given by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).

Many Jetta models have good safety ratings, but certain years like 2006, 2009, and 2010 had lower ratings. The 2010 Volkswagen Jetta, in particular, was reported to have issues with stability control and a malfunctioning stereo system.


As a responsible car owner, you should be aware of any recalls that may have affected your Jetta model.

Among the various models, some have had more recalls than others. The 2009, 2010, and 2011 Jettas had several recalls due to various issues, such as:

  • Antilock Braking System (ABS) failure in the 2009 Jetta
  • Transmission system problems in the 2010 Jetta
  • Unexpected stalling in the 2011 Jetta

However, recent models like the 2019 and 2020 Jettas have had fewer recalls, suggesting an improvement in overall reliability.

Preventive Measures

To ensure you maintain the safety and performance of your Jetta, regardless of its model year, here are a few preventive measures to keep in mind:

  • Regularly check and maintain your car’s brake system, especially in earlier models like the 2009 Jetta, which had ABS failure issues.
  • Address any transmission system problems as soon as they arise, particularly in the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta.
  • Stay informed about diesel-related issues in the 2013 and 2014 models, as these years experienced diesel problems.

Alternatives to VW Jetta

In this section, we will discuss some other options that boast excellent performance, reliability, and safety features.

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a well-rounded car with a competitive price, fantastic fuel economy, and top-notch safety ratings.

With a comfortable interior and various trim levels, you can choose one that best fits your needs.

Some key advantages of the Civic over the Jetta include better resale value and a sportier driving experience. However, it has also faced issues such as transmission problems and engine failure in certain model years.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla is another reliable alternative that offers excellent safety features, user-friendly technology, and fantastic fuel economy.

Its price point is competitive with the Jetta, making it an attractive choice for those on a budget.

While its performance is not as lively as some rivals, the Corolla has a reputation for long-lasting durability.

Some common problems include oil consumption and CVT issues in certain models.

Volkswagen Golf

If you prefer to stick with the Volkswagen brand, you might want to check out the Volkswagen Golf. It shares many similarities with the Jetta, including a stylish design and efficient engine options.

However, the Golf offers a more sporty and dynamic driving experience, along with a higher-quality interior. Some Golf drawbacks include engine stalling, infotainment failure and slightly higher price and less rear-seat room when compared to the Jetta.

Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza stands out for its standard all-wheel drive, which provides excellent traction and control in various weather conditions.

With competitive pricing and a strong standard safety suite, the Impreza is a solid choice for those who value practicality and performance.

Its main downsides include a less refined cabin and lower fuel efficiency than its competitors. Looking for more info? Read the Subaru Impreza years to avoid and reasons.

Chevy Malibu

Lastly, the Chevy Malibu offers a smooth ride and a wealth of standard equipment in its spacious cabin. Its price range is similar to the Jetta, and it boasts decent fuel efficiency.

However, its Malibu reliability score might be lower than some competitors, and it has faced some issues with engine and transmission in specific models years.

In conclusion, every vehicle has its pros and cons, but these alternative sedans provide a variety of choices and options to suit your individual preferences and budget.


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