Avoid the 2021 VW Jetta and Go For the 2021 Toyota Corolla

It can be hard to navigate buying a new car. Popularity doesn’t always equal quality. Plenty of popular cars have been complete trash. Consumer Reports listed a handful of the most popular cars that also happen to suck. One of the best examples is the 2021 VW Jetta. This car is consistently riddled with issues but continues to be a high seller. Just buy a 2021 Toyota Corolla instead and save yourself the heartache. 

How reliable is the 2021 VW Jetta?

Not very. In fact, Consumer Reports gave it an abysmal one out of five. That means it really sucks based on the track record of previous models. Consumer Reports also gave it a predicted consumer satisfaction rating of three out of five. Something tells me the two are connected…

Volkswagen Jetta is on display during North American International Auto Show given the "not recommended" by Consumer Reports
The Volkswagen Jetta | David Graff/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The truth is, the VW Jetta isn’t all that bad. The ride is comfy enough, the cabin is semi-spacious, it has an appropriate amount of power, and looks fine, but none of those things are outstanding. Its malaise, paired with the fact that it will most likely have many big issues, gives it such a low overall score of 50/100. 

Is the 2021 Toyota Corolla a good car?

Hell yeah, it’s also super boring. Excitement is not what we are talking about here, though. We are strictly looking at overall quality and value. 

Toyota vehicles are dependable almost to a fault. Toyota lives by the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is particularly true in the 4×4 segment of Toyota. The Corolla does exactly what it was made to do; be a car. It will run forever, be comfy, have an engine and four wheels. I’m not being disparaging here; it’s just that the Corolla is about as flashy as a nun playing hide and seek. 

A Toyota Corolla on display at an auto show
A Toyota Corolla Hybrid on display | MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

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The Toyota Corolla is the slowest car in its group, rocking a 14 hr 0-60 mph time. Ok, it’s not that slow, but it’s close. The Corolla will hit 60 mph after 10.3 seconds. The good news is, you’ll be safe and comfortable while you do it. The Corolla is also one of the smoothest rides in its class. The same cannot be said for the VW Jetta. The Jetta isn’t rough; in fact, it can be a little too soft. In turn, the soft suspension makes the handling weak and spongy. 

How does the 2021 Toyota Corolla and the 2021 VW Jetta compare on other specs? 

One positive mark for the Jetta is that it starts at $18,995, while the Toyota Corolla starts at $20,025. This isn’t a big difference, especially when you consider the amount you will spend to fix your Jetta. Not to mention, the Corolla comes better equipped. 

The base-model Jetta doesn’t come with common active safety features such as forward-collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and blind-spot warning (BSW). These features have become pretty standard these days, and for only $1,000 more, you get them and more in the Toyota. The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 system of advanced safety and driver-assist features is standard. This system comes with a massive list of features including, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, bicycle detection, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and a lane-centering feature. 

While both vehicles are great on gas, the Toyota, yet again, pulls away from the Corolla. The 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine from the Jetta pulls down an impressive 34 mpg combined. The base-model Corolla only gets 33 mpg, but you are looking at an incredible 48 mpg if you opt for the hybrid model. 

Pass on the VW Jetta

Listen, they two cars aren’t that far apart on money, comfort, fuel economy, or anything else for that matter, but when it comes to the added service costs and frustrations that will likely come much, much earlier and much more often, the Jetta is a poor choice. Do the right thing, buy a Toyota.