The current Volkswagen Jetta has been criticized for its Corolla-like lines and for giving up on VW’s crisp, European styling heritage. The interior, though, is precisely Volkswagen, with a simple but sophisticated look and feel.
Intellichoice laments, “Gone is the Teutonic styling, once elegant in its stark, purposeful appearance, replaced by a more staid, Japanese-influenced design.” It’s an “overgrown Toyota Corolla dressed in papa Passat's clothes,” they conclude. This opinion is seconded by The Auto Channel, which feels that the 2009 Jetta is “nothing very special to look at, particularly in [its] soft gray color.” A redesign leaves the Volkswagen Jetta without its trademark angular style and with a “tame exterior,” Edmunds says. It decries the Jetta’s “dull exterior styling” that “contradicts the nameplate’s youthful image.”
CNET has the opposite sentiment: “Gone are the boxy corners and the rectangular lights. VW has replaced them with more refined, curvaceous bodywork and lights that feature circles and ellipses.” Automedia likes it as well, calling it “crisp and handsome, with its sculpted wedge profile, strong upper and lower character lines and contemporary taillamps.”
The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta might be generic outside, but inside it’s a well-drawn, well-fitted place. Automedia remarks, “The roomier new interior is attractively designed and beautifully assembled from premium materials throughout.” Edmunds refers to its “elegant trim,” and Autoblog notices touches like the child-safety anchors in the backseat, where “even their rear LATCH point got prettied-up by one of the company’s designers with a brushed-steel look.” “Unfortunately, the interior doesn't live up to the expectations generated by the exterior styling,” argues CNET.