2017 Volkswagen Jetta vs. Its Competition

2017 Volkswagen Jetta
Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor

The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta has a fuel-efficient turbo-4 and a fun-to-drive attitude; unfortunately, so do many others in the segment.

The Mazda3 is our pick for ride, handling, fuel economy and overall value, and it may be tops in the compact segment.

The updated Chevy Cruze may be the only competitor with a pokier base engine than the Jetta, Chevrolet's 1.4-liter turbo-4 isn't doing the Cruze any favors.

The Ford Focus is very good in higher trims, and with a 1.0-liter turbo-3 for fuel economy.

The out-there Elantra look may not age that well, but the Jetta's conservative looks aren't doing it many favors either.

2017 Volkswagen Jetta2017 Volkswagen Jetta
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2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch2017 Chevrolet Cruze
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2017 Ford Focus2017 Ford Focus
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2017 Honda Civic Si First Drive2017 Honda Civic
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2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport2017 Hyundai Elantra
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2017 Mazda MAZDA32017 Mazda MAZDA3
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Quick Specs
The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is a decent compact car—one in a crowded field, without a "killer app."
The 2017 Chevy Cruze adds a hatch to the family that retains the same good ride and ample space, without being boomy or loud.
The 2017 Ford Focus has great road manners and scorching high-performance editions, but it's compromised by a small back seat.
The 2017 Honda Civic gains a hatchback body this year, but we were already sold. It's a very good compact car.
We miss the brash, buzzy looks, for sure—but the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is now one of the most refined economy cars on the road.
The 2017 Mazda 3 is near the top of our favorite compact cars on sale today. Its good performance, good fuel economy, and good value make for a very good car.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 52 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Turbocharged Gas I4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsMidsize CarsMidsize CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
1.4T S Manual4-Door Sedan 1.4L L w/1SMS SedanLX ManualSE 2.0L Manual (Ulsan)Sport Manual
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Manual w/ODManualManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2017 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2017 Chevrolet Cruze2017 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2017 Ford Focus2017 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2017 Honda Civic2017 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2017 Hyundai Elantra2017 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2017 Mazda MAZDA3