Only 1 Volkswagen Car Isn’t Recommended by Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has given Volkswagen its stamp of approval for 2022, with the majority of the manufacturer’s car offerings being recommended to buyers. This makes sense as most of the Volkswagen vehicles in the sedan, hatchback, and wagon segments have received over 70 out of 100 as their overall rating. That said, there is an exception, with one 2022 Volkswagen model falling short of the independent tester’s requirements for the “recommended” badge. So, how did the other Volkswagen cars perform in their tests?

A silver Volkswagen Tiguan sitting in a green area outdoors with mountains in the background.
2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen of America, Inc.

The top Volkswagen cars on Consumer Reports: the Volkswagen Arteon

Starting from the top, the model with the highest overall Consumer Reports rating is the Volkswagen Arteon scoring an 82 out of 100. Leading from the front, the Arteon gets a stellar 91 out of 100 rating in its road test, the highest of any luxury compact car reviewed by the independent tester.

Close competitors on the road tests include the 2022 Audi A4, which gets an 88 out of 100, and the 2022 BMW 3 series, with an 86 out of 100. The Arteon’s road test report reveals there’s not much to complain about. Acceleration is quick, it handles taking sharp corners at high speeds quite well, and the interior is well finished and comfortable.

If you get the hatchback option, it even gets top scores for the cargo area. However, unlike the road-test scores, the expected owner satisfaction and predicted reliability ratings are on the “meh” side. The vehicle’s predicted reliability is a 3 out of 5, with no evidence from past Volkswagen models indicating it could be better.

Also, about 35% of surveyed Arteon owners revealed they would opt for a different model if they had the chance. As such, predicted owner satisfaction is rated at 3 out of 5.

The top Volkswagen cars on Consumer Reports: the Volkswagen Jetta

Next, Consumer Reports gives the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta 73 out of 100 as its overall score. Smooth transmission, great fuel economy, easy-to-use controls, and a comfortable ride all chip in to raise the road-test score.

However, with the acceleration, emergency handling, and interior fit and finish being nothing special, the result is a 78 out of 100. Also, the trouble spots in the 2020 Jetta and the brand history reveal the 2022 version should have average predicted reliability hence a 3 out of 5 rating.

Finally, although the styling, driving experience, comfort, and value ratings are good, almost 1 out of 3 previous buyers would opt for a different model if they were to go back into the market. As such, just like the predicted reliability, the Jetta gets a 3 out of 5 on the expected owner satisfaction scale.

As for the 2022 Volkswagen Passat, its overall rating is 71 out of 100, with 77 out of 100 as the road test score. Positives include comfortable seats, a large trunk, easy accessibility, and the controls are intuitive. However, the handling isn’t one of the vehicle’s strong suits, and it can lose grip when pushed hard.

Additionally, the 28 mpg fuel economy isn’t even close to best-in-class, with alternatives like the Toyota Camry and 2022 Kia K5 getting over 30 mpg. The predicted reliability is expected to be the same as the other two Volkswagen models mentioned above hence a 3 out of 5 score.

Also, widespread discontent from previous Passat owners results in a measly 2 out of 5 predicted owner satisfaction score.

The unrecommended Volkswagen Golf GTI

The 2022 Golf GTI only gets a 67 out of 100 overall score and therefore doesn’t earn a “recommended” badge like the rest of the Volkswagen lineup. As for why this is the case, it’s not the road test performance of the car, and neither is it the predicted owner satisfaction.

The sports car gets an 85 out of 100 road test score with exceptional performance in the acceleration and braking segments. The transmission and handling are also worthy of a sports car, and the fuel economy is decent for this segment. Nevertheless, the Consumer Reports road test report does note an unimpressive infotainment system as a weak point.

Unsurprisingly, the car is fun to drive and live with; therefore, predicted owner satisfaction is excellent at a 4 out of 5 rating. However, previous model years of the GTI haven’t been very reliable and are sometimes plagued with issues. Consequently, a 2 out of 5 predicted reliability score seems justified.

The Untested Golf R

Notably, the 2022 edition of the Volkswagen Golf R remains untested. That said, it’s a Golf option just like the Golf GTI option mentioned above; thus, some things like the predicted owner satisfaction and predicted reliability are bound to be similar.

It’s worth noting the engine in the R is a little different, which might result in different results in the road tests. However, just how much this will affect the overall score remains to be seen.

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