2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
September 14, 2008

It's been a long time coming back, but the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen gives crossover buyers something else to consider―and diesel power is on the way.

The automotive enthusiasts and experts at TheCarConnection.com have read all the competitive reviews on the new 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen to produce this conclusive review, and to give our enthusiastic approval of the new Jetta Sportwagen. TheCarConnection.com’s editors have also driven the 2009 Jetta Sportwagen to be able to give you an expert opinion and to help you figure out the truth where other reviews might differ.

It's been a few years since Volkswagen offered a compact station wagon in the United States, but the new 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen debuts just in time to capitalize on rising fuel prices and the arrival of the new Volkswagen diesel engine―the first clean diesel engine in its lineup since emissions rules changed in 2007.

The new Jetta Sportwagen is the sleekest edition of the Volkswagen station wagon yet. In profile, it's more like an Audi―and VW's interior styling that bowed on the 2006 Jetta has worn well with time.

The Sportwagen offers either a 2.5-liter inline-five with a five-speed manual or automatic, or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and either a six-speed manual or a six-speed Tiptronic automatic. The diesel engine TDI will arrive at the end of the summer with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic, which eliminates the clutch pedal but allows manual shifting.

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In 2015, Volkswagen admitted diesel engines in this model illegally cheated federal tests and polluted beyond allowable limits. As part of unprecedented settlements with federal and state governments, Volkswagen agreed to buyback from owners diesel-equipped models of this vehicle. To determine eligibility for all affected Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi models, Volkswagen set up VWDieselInfo.com for owners. (Owners of affected vehicles can enter their VIN numbers to see if their cars are eligible for buyback.)

Handling is typically Germanic, with firm steering and not too much body roll. The Jetta's brakes feel well balanced, too. It's not a large vehicle, but with the second-row seats folded forward, the Jetta Sportwagen boasts a big cargo hold, albeit without clever cargo organizers or anything that shows an influence from small sport-utility vehicles.

A huge panoramic sunroof is an option on the 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen, as are Sirius Satellite Radio and a navigation system. Pricing ranges from about $19,000 to nearly $26,000, which neatly overlaps the small crossovers from Saturn, Ford, and Subaru—but the Jetta Sportwagen isn't offered with all-wheel drive like those vehicles.

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February 21, 2016
2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen 4-Door DSG TDI

A Good Car With a Terrible Problem

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The car delivers the fuel economy promised, I get about 37mpg, but at a terrible price, the amount of pollution which is intolerable. As a small station wagon it is very versatile and can carry an amazing... + More »
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