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Ever since 1979, the Volkswagen Jetta has been an extremely successful compact sedan in automotive markets throughout the world. Even though many automotive brands are opting to discontinue their sedans in favor of offering more crossover SUVs in their lineups, Volkswagen is still producing their Jetta for the 2023 model year.

Despite Volkswagen’s continued investment in the Jetta, this vehicle was the lowest-scoring Volkswagen available for 2023 according to U.S. News. Why exactly is the Jetta scoring so low in reviews? Is the Volkswagen Jetta still a good car despite these low review scores? Here is everything you need to know about the 2023 Jetta and why it has been receiving the lowest scores out of all the vehicles in Volkswagen’s lineup.

A Volkswagen logo against a blue background.
Volkswagen logo | Getty Images

2023 Volkswagen Jetta price, specs, and features

The 2023 Volkswagen Jetta is a compact sedan that starts at around $20,655, making it one of the cheapest vehicles you can buy and the cheapest vehicle produced by Volkswagen.

The Jetta comes in five different trim levels. These trim levels include the base S model, Sport, SE, SEL, and finally, the GLI Autobahn model. Every Jetta model, other than the GLI model, comes with a 1.5L turbo four-cylinder engine.

The GLI model comes with a beefed-up 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine. The S, Sport, and GLI Autobahn models all come standard with a six-speed manual transmission with a dual-clutch automatic transmission offered on every model.

Regardless of which Jetta model you buy, you have a great list of standard features including, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and forward automatic emergency braking. Other standard features include Apple CarPlay, Andriod Auto, Bluetooth Audio, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Why is the 2023 Jetta the worst-ranking Volkswagen?

The 2023 Volkswagen Jetta has received a rating of 7.7 from U.S. News, putting it in 8th place in its class. At 8th place, the Jetta has been surpassed by every compact sedan other than the Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, and Subaru WRX. U.S. News contributes this low score to the 2023 Jetta’s drab interior and uninspired driving dynamics.

In comparison, other Volkswagen models for the 2023 model year have scored slightly better than the Jetta. Some of these scores include the Atlas, which scored an 8.0, the GTI, which scored an 8.3, and the Tiguan, which scored a 7.8.

Is the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta a good car?

Despite the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta’s low score from U.S. News, the Jetta is still a great car. Overall, the Jetta is cheap and offers a great number of standard features including a wide range of driver safety technology.

Fuel economy numbers for the Jetta are also very impressive at 31 mpg city and 41 mpg highway. The Jetta is also one of the last vehicles left in the compact sedan market that offers a manual transmission, making it the perfect vehicle for enthusiasts wanting an exciting vehicle to drive on their commute. That six-speed manual transmission is also wonderful for fuel economy, increasing the efficiency of the Jetta to 42 mpg highway.

While the manual transmission may be exciting, the interior is basic, and while the features are great, there is not a ton of style to be found in the cabin. Despite the uninspired cabin, the Jetta is a great, affordable vehicle that is bound to last for years and years with proper care.


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