Volkswagen Jetta Years To Avoid | 14 Best & Worst Years 2023

Source: Edmunds

The Volkswagen Jetta is a well-known reliable, compact car. It is still available today and has been sold in the United States since 1984. Some of its best models are known for smooth ride quality, excellent gas mileage, and roomy interior, while others are better to avoid.

Volkswagen Jetta years to avoid include 2006, 2009-2013, 2017, and 2019; they are considered the worst. The best years for Volkswagen Jetta include 2016, 2018, 2020-2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Now that you know the best and worst Volkswagen Jetta years, allow me to elaborate so you can fully grasp the situation.

Here Are The Volkswagen Jetta Years To Avoid

It’s difficult to argue against the Volkswagen Jetta’s popularity, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bug-free vehicle. So, to get the most value out of your money, you should avoid specific Jetta model years. Some of the Volkswagen Jetta years to avoid are mentioned below:

8. Worst Year: 2017 Volkswagen Jetta (3.92 Rating)


The 2017 model year must be avoided by anyone hoping for a newer Jetta because many common issues are found in the 2017 VW Jetta. These are squeaky doors, failures of the wheel speed sensors, and rodent damage to the soy-based wiring.

In general, these issues are typical of compact automobiles produced in 2017. However, they are more expensive to fix due to the greater cost of replacement parts.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

7. Worst Year: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta (3.60 Rating)

Source: Stone Mountain VW

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta has a lot going for it: great gas mileage, a smooth ride, quick acceleration, and simple controls. However, it was not reliable enough. Consumer Reports rates the 2019 Jetta’s reliability as 1 out of 5, which places it in the nine out of nine among 2019 compact cars.

The transmission makes a grinding noise in both Normal and ECO settings, which is a major drawback. The Jetta has a few issues with the body hardware. The 2019 Jetta had numerous complaints regarding its body integrity, including a defective trunk and loose fasteners.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Worst Year: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta (3.58 Rating)

Source: CarsDirect

CarComplaints reports that 2006 was one of the problematic years for automobiles. The most common fault reported with this model is transmission failure. Many drivers have complained that the car shakes when they go between second, third, and fourth gear.

The check engine light on the 2006 Jetta frequently activates in the winter. This problem often turns on and off after a few months, frustrating many owners. The 2006 Jetta is not the best option if reliability is your top priority.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Worst Year: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta (3.52 Rating)

Source: Green Car reports

It’s easy to see why the 2013 Jetta received a reliability rating of only 1 out of 5 stars from Consumer Reports. There are a lot of trust issues with it that we can’t ignore.

The 2013 Jetta’s engine stalling is the most severe issue. There have been reports of Jetta engine stalling from multiple drivers. This engine trouble usually appears at 68k miles and can cost many dollars to fix.

The 2013 Jetta has issues with its fuel system and erroneous error lights. While not as severe as the 2010 model, this TDI high-pressure fuel pump issue still does not inspire trust.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Worst Year: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta (3.30 Rating)

Source: auto-broker-magic

The 2012 model year Jetta has its share of reliability issues, albeit they aren’t as severe as those of the other years below on this list. More than 500 complaints about the 2012 Jetta were filed, and nine recalls were issued.

The automatic transmission’s shifting is a common complaint about this model. There have been reports of humming noises, strange odors, and insensitivity to shifts from a few owners.

Another issue to watch out for with this model year is a misfiring engine. The check engine light comes on whenever there is a problem with the engine.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Worst Year: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta (3.30 Rating)

Source: Edmunds

More than a hundred complaints indicate that used automobile buyers should avoid 2010 Jettas. Surprisingly, broken sound systems are the most frequently reported issue with the 2010 Jetta. Several customers have complained that their car audio suddenly stopped working.

The 2010 Jetta has poor performance, as evidenced by customer complaints about stalling, malfunctioning check engine lights, and sluggish acceleration. Dissatisfied Jetta owners have noted the fuel pump failure as a key issue with the 2010 model.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Worst Year: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta (3.23 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

The Volkswagen Jetta 2009 is still commonly considered to be among the worst years to avoid owing to the severity of its issues. The ABS warning light allegedly activated after the system failed, as reported by multiple reviewers. Sometimes the malfunction caused a complete stall.

When the ABS module fails, the brakes and traction control function improperly, which can lead to an accident or near-accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a recall for its defective ABS module due to the severity of the problem.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Worst Year: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta (3.00 Rating)

Source: NBC News

According to the NHTSA, the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta has the highest complaints of any Jetta year. This makes it a top candidate for the list of Volkswagen Jetta years to avoid. According to Repaipal, The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta has a 3.5 out of 5 in terms of reliability. Among the top 32 automakers, it comes in at number 12.

The ignition key getting caught in the “on” position when trying to stop is the most frequent complaint about the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. Some 2011 Jettas may experience engine stalling due to a faulty electrical fuse that causes the system to shut down.

The NHTSA has been looking into the car for almost five years because of a faulty airbag clockspring. Avoiding the 2011 model could lead to a more satisfying ownership experience.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Best Volkswagen Jetta Years To Buy As Used

Now that we’ve covered the Jettas to avoid, we can go on to the Volkswagen Jetta years we think are excellent for used buys.

6. Best Year: 2021 Volkswagen Jetta (4.08 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

If you’re shopping for a compact car that won’t break the bank and will get good gas mileage, consider the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta. It’s cheaper and more fuel efficient than the VW Golf hatchback, which shares many mechanical components.

The Volkswagen Jetta boasts a respectable trunk capacity for a compact car, measuring 14.1 cubic feet. The base price of a 2021 Jetta is $18,995. The EPA estimates 30/40 mpg for both the eight-speed automatic and the six-speed manual transmission models.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Best Year: 2016 Volkswagen Jetta (4.09 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta is a reasonably priced car that is delightful to drive. Compared to rivals ‘ offerings, it has a respectable amount of technology, a fun driving experience, and a roomy cabin.

The 2016 Jetta’s electric power steering is speed-sensitive, allowing for rapid inputs and a nice weight when traveling at higher speeds. The city’s uneven streets are effectively smoothed by it. The 16-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires on the Jetta SE should be suitable for most drivers.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Best Year: 2020 Volkswagen Jetta (4.19 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

By 2020, Volkswagen will have perfected the Jetta. The reliable sedan excels in every category, from luxury to economy to dependability.

The 2020 Jetta’s high safety ratings are one reason for the vehicle’s reliability. Safety features like anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, and automatic collision response are all included as standard equipment. As of this writing, the 2020 Jetta has only four recalls, affecting very few vehicles.

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta has successfully placed as the Third Best Compact Car By J.D. Power. It is a powerful and reliable vehicle.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2018 Volkswagen Jetta (4.31 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

In 2018, VW released the last of the sixth-generation Jetta, which is highly reliable because the company has had time to iron out all of the bugs and problems that have plagued it since its introduction. The NHTSA website shows this by receiving a few complaints.

All of the turbocharged options for this car are trustworthy, upscale, and enjoyable to operate. There were six different trim levels, beginning with the base S model and culminating with the high-end GLI model.

NHTSA crash test scores were likewise excellent, with 8 of 12 measures awarded the maximum 5 stars. Those in the market for a durable, reasonably-priced, relatively-recently-introduced model should seriously consider 2018.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2022 Volkswagen Jetta (4.34 Rating)

Source: Motor Trend

For the first three years of its production run, the Volkswagen Jetta was the best-selling model, and the GLI is an attempt to maintain this position.

According to Volkswagen, the 2022 Jetta GLI is a Blast To Drive and looks razor sharp, and we agree. This sedan performs admirably well for its class whether you’re driving on the freeway or off-road.

In addition to the usual suite of driver aids, there is a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an upgraded 8-speaker audio system, and wireless charging. The base price of a 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is $31,295, and it is a beneficial, comfortable, and practical sedan. It’s a fantastic midsize sedan for the price.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2023 Volkswagen Jetta (4.42 Rating)

Source: Edmunds

The 2023 Jetta maintains its reputation as one of the most remarkable compact cars on the market, offering a smooth, quiet, and economical drive. Kelly Blue Book has ranked the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta as the Fourth-Cheapest Compact Car of the year.

The Volkswagen Jetta was completely redesigned last year, and we don’t expect any dramatic changes for 2023 beyond the standard inclusion of remote start in SE trims.

The 2023 Volkswagen Jetta’s agile handling and quick turbocharged engine make it a joy to drive. The well-equipped five-seater sedan is ideal for navigating compact streets.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Common VW Jetta Problems

Here, I’ll go over the most typical problems with the Volkswagen Jetta’s reliability so you can avoid buying an unreliable vehicle.

1. Defective Air Bags

Many models of the Volkswagen Jetta had a shaky airbag system, where the broken clock spring is the primary cause, which keeps the car’s steering wheel wired to the rest of the vehicle.

2. Filthy Sludge Engine Oil

This is one of the most frustrating issues that people face. Sludged oil is a thick mixture of old oil and impurities that increase engine heat and friction. The 1.8-liter turbocharged engine’s limited oil capacity is a common cause of this problem.

3. Stalling

The issue with stalling and other malfunctions is the same as the engine dying. Fixing the gasoline pump, spark plugs, and wires should solve the issue. If the problem persists, though, you should get your car inspected by a professional mechanic.

4. Failure of the Ignition Coil

The ignition coil system has been known to fail on this Volkswagen Jetta. This problem makes starting the vehicle difficult and reduces engine power when driving, both potentially hazardous.


1. Are Used Volkswagen Jetta Reliable?

Used Volkswagen Jettas are unreliable. This is because it scores a below-average 45.75 out of 100 for reliability overall, placing it far below the reliability bar for compact sedans. However, the best model years to buy Volkswagen Jetta are 2016, 2018, 2020-2023.

2. Is It Expensive to Maintain Volkswagen Jetta?

The Volkswagen Jetta is not expensive to maintain. As a result, it has a low cost of ownership. This vehicle’s average annual maintenance cost is $651.

3. How Long Will Volkswagen Jetta Last?

The average Volkswagen Jetta has a lifespan of up to 250,000 miles, with specific models lasting much longer than that.


Based on the data I’ve presented, You may decide which year is the best or worst for the Volkswagen Jetta. The Jetta may not have the finest reliability ratings, but it is still good compared to other compact cars.

A Volkswagen Jetta from 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 will provide you with the most incredible driving experience. However, Volkswagen Jetta’s years to avoid are 2006, 2009-2013, 2017, and 2019.

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