2020 VW Jetta S review

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99
Location
WI
Congrats on the new ride.

I've owned too many VWs, Jettas especially, over the last 25 years that I simply got tired of them. It also doesn't help that with each subsequent generation they continued to cheapen the interior AND make them portlier. My 7th and final Jetta was a 2014 TDI fully loaded. It had perhaps the most uncomfortable front seats ever put into a car. It got blown all over the road in a mild breeze and could only manage mid-30s MPG at best. This is a far cry from VW diesels of past generations.

I only kept it a year and traded it for my current X3d, which is a much nicer car to drive and own. Despite its size and AWD, it has 2 extra gears and about 100+ hp and is able to deliver high-30s MPGs. Personally, I'm done with VW.
 
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6,490
Location
New England
Overall, not too bad of a review. We have owned our 2019 Tiguan SE for 1.5 years. I haven’t found anything in ours that I consider a flaw.The location of the USB ports could have been better thought out. It’s a little lower in power than what I’m used to but, it’s adequate. It’s better since the ECU/TCM update. The fit and finish is top notch.
We(wife) have similar 2018 Tiguan SE 2.5 years/72k and similar experience. Flawless however VW has recalled it 6 times over but many are likely bugs in production.

Amazed how much better power and transmission is with ECU/TCM upgrade recently.
 
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11,104
Location
Phoenix
We(wife) have similar 2018 Tiguan SE 2.5 years/72k and similar experience. Flawless however VW has recalled it 6 times over but many are likely bugs in production.

Amazed how much better power and transmission is with ECU/TCM upgrade recently.

I just dumped a 2019 Tiguan SE, flawless is the last word I would use to describe it. I didn't even bother with the upgrade since I was over the vehicle but I have heard that it improves things, someone over at VWVortex said it makes it drive like a normal car! Only vehicle I've ever owned that I had no idea what was going to happen when I hit the gas. Need it to accelerate to merge? Half the time it'll fall flat on it's face and try to kill you. Barely tap the gas going over a speed bump in the neighborhood and the wheels are spinning. Combine that with the worst transmission I've ever encountered - it would do this weird lugging thing around 20 MPH, randomly slam into gear when shifting 2-3 or 2-1.

Go over a speed bump too fast and it sounded like the front end was going to come off. Check engine light came on and off for a thousand miles throwing P2440 but miraculously fixed itself.

Steering, brakes, ride and handling were all pretty good. Seats were comfortable but German firm. If you want something big and cheap this is the one.
 
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6,490
Location
New England
I just dumped a 2019 Tiguan SE, flawless is the last word I would use to describe it. I didn't even bother with the upgrade since I was over the vehicle but I have heard that it improves things, someone over at VWVortex said it makes it drive like a normal car! Only vehicle I've ever owned that I had no idea what was going to happen when I hit the gas. Need it to accelerate to merge? Half the time it'll fall flat on it's face and try to kill you. Barely tap the gas going over a speed bump in the neighborhood and the wheels are spinning. Combine that with the worst transmission I've ever encountered - it would do this weird lugging thing around 20 MPH, randomly slam into gear when shifting 2-3 or 2-1.

Go over a speed bump too fast and it sounded like the front end was going to come off. Check engine light came on and off for a thousand miles throwing P2440 but miraculously fixed itself.

Steering, brakes, ride and handling were all pretty good. Seats were comfortable but German firm. If you want something big and cheap this is the one.
Good ones and bad ones I guess. I honestly think my wife and I are used to driving driving manuals and understood how to overcome the odd shift patterns of Tiguan pedal when we initially got at purchase. I think most drivers due to lack of experience of manuals use accelerator as on off switch which is understandable.

That all being said they smoothed out the experience of 2018 in the recent recall in last few months.
 
i have looked at jettas over the past few years, test drove them with 2.0na, 2.5na, 1.4tsi and 1.8tsi engines. i actually liked all the engines except the 1.4tsi, which noticeably ran out of steam at highway passing speeds. the 1.4tsi was worse for me than the 2.0na (“.slow”), which was casual, but not deathly slow, around town and felt fine on the highway. i would have gotten a tiguan instead of my passat, if the former had been offered with the 2.5na engine and not the 2.0t.
 

gregk24

Thread starter
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7,223
Location
FL, USA
i have looked at jettas over the past few years, test drove them with 2.0na, 2.5na, 1.4tsi and 1.8tsi engines. i actually liked all the engines except the 1.4tsi, which noticeably ran out of steam at highway passing speeds. the 1.4tsi was worse for me than the 2.0na (“.slow”), which was casual, but not deathly slow, around town and felt fine on the highway. i would have gotten a tiguan instead of my passat, if the former had been offered with the 2.5na engine and not the 2.0t.
It’s interesting you feel that way. The 2.slow made 115 hp and 125 lb ft of torque. That’s no comparison to the 150 hp and 184 lb ft the 1.4 TSI offers. The gas mileage is night and day better with the more powerful engine as well. Mated to the 8 speed auto in our Jetta the 1.4 TSI does quite well. It’s a torquey little motor and VW knows how to tune their turbos. There really is no comparison.
 
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10,133
Location
Birmingham, AL
I just dumped a 2019 Tiguan SE, flawless is the last word I would use to describe it. I didn't even bother with the upgrade since I was over the vehicle but I have heard that it improves things, someone over at VWVortex said it makes it drive like a normal car! Only vehicle I've ever owned that I had no idea what was going to happen when I hit the gas. Need it to accelerate to merge? Half the time it'll fall flat on it's face and try to kill you. Barely tap the gas going over a speed bump in the neighborhood and the wheels are spinning. Combine that with the worst transmission I've ever encountered - it would do this weird lugging thing around 20 MPH, randomly slam into gear when shifting 2-3 or 2-1.

Go over a speed bump too fast and it sounded like the front end was going to come off. Check engine light came on and off for a thousand miles throwing P2440 but miraculously fixed itself.

Steering, brakes, ride and handling were all pretty good. Seats were comfortable but German firm. If you want something big and cheap this is the one.
Not to sound all BITOG get off my lawn, but it seems like no manufacturers can dial in drive by wire just right to where it behaves like a cable, and I think a lot of people just want their car to drive like there is a direct connection between their input and what the car does. It's like the tuning is done to check off some boxes on focus group data (fast! economical!), but actually produces something that isn't really what anybody wants and is more like some kind of throttle roulette.
 
Messages
11,104
Location
Phoenix
Not to sound all BITOG get off my lawn, but it seems like no manufacturers can dial in drive by wire just right to where it behaves like a cable, and I think a lot of people just want their car to drive like there is a direct connection between their input and what the car does. It's like the tuning is done to check off some boxes on focus group data (fast! economical!), but actually produces something that isn't really what anybody wants and is more like some kind of throttle roulette.

DBW done right is fine, I think the Tiguan suffered from a mix of turbo lag, an unrefined transmission and a poorly implemented example of DBW. By far the worst powertrain of any vehicle I've owned.
 
Messages
135
It’s interesting you feel that way. The 2.slow made 115 hp and 125 lb ft of torque. That’s no comparison to the 150 hp and 184 lb ft the 1.4 TSI offers. The gas mileage is night and day better with the more powerful engine as well. Mated to the 8 speed auto in our Jetta the 1.4 TSI does quite well. It’s a torquey little motor and VW knows how to tune their turbos. There really is no comparison.
I'm with you!
The 1.4 with the 8 speed is downright impressive! Given the around town power and fuel economy.
On the highway - especially one with some twists and turns - you get to experience a splash of that Euro soul VW has been famous for!
It's fantastic little automatic cars like that, which make commuting, dare I say....fun?
🤪

If I needed a cheap, fun commuter with auto, I'd seriously consider leasing one!
 
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1,527
Now that we have owned our 2020 Jetta for 2 months I figured I would share our ownership experience thus far and post a short review. What put us in the market was our previous 2014 Jetta needing some costly repairs. The a/c was having trouble and the timing chain was exhibiting signs of premature stretch which is relatively common on the early 2014 model year Jetta equipped with the 1.8 TSI. We decided it was better to get out of it before dropping another couple thousand. Only months before we had a $1000 repair to replace the heater core.

My wife and I both love VW for various reasons, but due to the ownership experience we had with the 2014 Jetta (which we loved) I had decided to avoid VW as a replacement vehicle. I had been searching on and off for months for a used sedan or small SUV as new just wasn't in the budget. Used Accords were at the top of the list but after months of searching I found very few on the market. I brought one home to test drive but upon further inspection it wasn't in good shape. I expanded my search and eventually ended up 2 hours from home looking at a very low mile Fusion. Of course the pictures online hid many blemishes, when we got there we noticed curbed wheels and horrible etching on the paint. So that was over before it began. While we were 2 hours away from home we decided we may as well search other car dealers in the area since the ones back at home seemed pretty tapped out.

We ended up driving to the nearest VW dealer to check out the 2020 model year Jetta for kicks and giggles. We had already decided if we were to go the VW route again we would get an S trim as the SE comes with the panoramic sunroof which is a sore spot for VW/Audi products. Upon arrival we saw that had 2 "S" trim models. One in Silk Blue Metallic and one in Pure White. My wife and I both preferred the look of the Silk Blue so we took it on a test drive and both loved it right away. We got the dealer to take $3000 off of MRSP and purchased.

The good:

- Gas mileage. This car is rated at 30 MPG city and 40 MPG highway and it returns those figures easily.
- Torque. While this engine is efficient, it is no slouch. While 184 lb. feet of torque may not impress some, it moves this car around briskly when needed. VW knows how to properly tune their engines. I find it impressive that a 1.4 liter in a mainstream vehicle can put out such figures.
- Styling. Yes, styling is subjective. VW has a way of designing modern yet timeless design, and we personally love it.
- Tech. Our S trim Jetta is equipped with the optional driver assistance package that includes blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, and rear cross traffic alert. All systems seem to work very well. Apple Car Play / Android Auto are also included.
- Ride and Handling. The Germans have a way of tuning suspensions to deliver pleasant driving characteristics. While softer than our previous Jetta, the ride on our 2020 is well controlled and steering input is quick and precise. This car behaves a class above.
- New platform. The Jetta now rides on VW's MQB platform.

The bad:

- VW went back to a torsion beam for the rear suspension set up. While not the direction I would prefer I understand why they did it, to put more dollars toward items the market prioritizes. However, they did a wonderful job tuning it and if you drove the car without knowing the suspension set up, you would have no idea it was torsion beam. Very well executed.

Honestly I am having a hard time listing inherently bad things about this vehicle.

The ugly:

Problems we have had with the vehicle so far have been a factory paint defect, and leaky rear doors. I read about the rear door leaks when the 2019 model was first introduced. I assumed VW would have resolved it by MY 2020 but clearly that isn't the case. It doesn't appear to be a severe problem, I hope it doesn't result in any sort of long term issue.

So far we are happy with our vehicle choice. Time will tell how reliable it will be.
That’s a sharp machine I wouldn’t mind trading up my Corolla se for a Jetta s or se. lots of luck
 
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135
What I find most amazing, is that in Canada the base model Jetta sells for more than a base model Golf?!
What's the logic in that?
:unsure:
 
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1,527
Recommend!
There’s plenty of great handling solid rear axle cars. Mazda went to a rear solid axle on the 3 I had a scion ia which handled quite well and gave a decent ride for its size and price. And with modern technology better engineering materials and design there’s no reason solid axles can’t match or come just as close as independent suspension ride. Saving costs better in car cargo and rear passenger floor space
 

gregk24

Thread starter
Messages
7,223
Location
FL, USA
There’s plenty of great handling solid rear axle cars. Mazda went to a rear solid axle on the 3 I had a scion ia which handled quite well and gave a decent ride for its size and price. And with modern technology better engineering materials and design there’s no reason solid axles can’t match or come just as close as independent suspension ride. Saving costs better in car cargo and rear passenger floor space

Don't get me wrong, given the choice I'd choose an independent rear set up over a torsion beam. Driving this car though is a testament to VW's ability to tune a torsion beam set up, you can hardly tell. It's quite good. I'll feel short changed though if VW throws in an independent rear with the mid cycle refresh.
 
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1,527
Don't get me wrong, given the choice I'd choose an independent rear set up over a torsion beam. Driving this car though is a testament to VW's ability to tune a torsion beam set up, you can hardly tell. It's quite good. I'll feel short changed though if VW throws in an independent rear with the mid cycle refresh.
Automakers sure do throw curve balls every now and then. I wouldn't sweat it..
 
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7,765
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Mahzurrah!
Don't get me wrong, given the choice I'd choose an independent rear set up over a torsion beam. Driving this car though is a testament to VW's ability to tune a torsion beam set up, you can hardly tell. It's quite good. I'll feel short changed though if VW throws in an independent rear with the mid cycle refresh.

Not likely since they just intentionally went back to that set up, but it's VW so almost anything is on the table.
 
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268
Location
Atlanta, GA
Not likely since they just intentionally went back to that set up, but it's VW so almost anything is on the table.

They have gone back and forth multiple times already - and yes they can design a very well handling and riding torsion beam rear. The MKIV (and prob earlier - have never driven earlier gens) were very competent handling cars with a very good ride. My MKIV Golf TDI the only time you knew it was torsion beam was hitting mid corner road crowns/expansion joints where the soft torsion beam mounts were allowing the body to move slightly independently of what the suspension was doing.

MKIV - Torsion
MKV - Independent
MKVI - back to torsion then independent with mid-cycle refresh.
MKVI - back to torsion beam.
 
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