The Popular New Sedan Consumer Reports Gave the ‘Avoid’ Label

From road testing to the surveying of owners, Consumer Reports conducts extensive research on many popular consumer-focused vehicles. Of course, it’s easier to come up with a list of cars that are recommended versus a list of cars to avoid, as each vehicle may be the right fit for certain owners. For loyal Volkswagen fans, however, it’s not pleasant to see the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta rated so poorly among tested compact sedans. Even worse, this year’s Jetta is one of the only sedans that make it on to the list of cars to avoid.

Avoid the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Consumer Reports suggests buyers should avoid
2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI | Joel Lerner, Xinhua, Getty Images

RELATED: The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta Isn’t Living up to Expectations

The sporty, borderline luxury sedan that is the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta is popular for its styling and performance. But, according to Consumer Reports, it’s missing out on some major cues, leading it to be one of the only four-door cars on the list of “Popular Cars to Avoid.” It isn’t that there’s nothing to like about the Jetta — in fact, there are many positives highlighted for the vehicle all around, such as responsible fuel economy and handling.

Regardless of the positive things the sedan is reviewed for, the overall score ranks it at #10 out of 14 compact cars tested. Really, that leads us to wonder why one of the four lower-ranked vehicles wasn’t selected for this list, but perhaps it is just that out of the lowest scoring compact cars, the Jetta is the most popular.

The good and the bad for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen owners are probably rolling their eyes over the suggestion to avoid buying this sporty sedan. After all, it does have a lot of good things going for it. Here are the good things to look forward to with this year’s Jetta, despite the bad:

  • Responsible fuel economy, with a Consumer Reported average of 34 mpg
  • Comfortable, spacious cabin
  • Suspension absorbs most inconsistencies in the road — not enough to conquer pot holes, though
  • Ample cargo capacity for a compact sedan
  • Enjoyable acceleration, although bogged-down at first

The biggest concern that puts the Jetta on the list of cars to avoid, however, is the expected reliability. Several previous model years were reported by owners to have minor to significant problems, leading us to anticipate a few drawbacks for the 2021. In fact, it only scores a 1 out of 5 for predicted reliability, not something new car buyers want.

What Consumer Reports suggests you buy instead: the 2021 Toyota Corolla

Consumer Reports doesn’t just leave us on a negative note, though, as they do suggest an alternative option that they believe is a better purchase for the price. Instead of buying the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta, the reviews propose that the 2021 Toyota Corolla is the better sedan purchase. Unlike the Jetta, the Corolla is one of the top-rated compact cars on the website, ranking at #2. Highlights for the Corolla include responsible fuel economy, excellent history of reliability

RELATED: The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta Already Has an Annoying Recall