Volkswagen Jetta vs. Golf: A Full Comparison

Volkswagen Jetta vs. Golf: A Full Comparison

Making the choice to buy a used car can be a financially savvy decision. In exchange for the willingness to buy an older model, you get a lower price on a model with specifications and performance that might be beyond your comfort level if you bought it new.

This means that sometimes you have to choose between two very good models. That’s a nice problem to have! One of those choices might be between the Volkswagen Jetta or the Golf, two very good cars. Which one is right for you? We take a look at these 2015 models to get the best combination of price and performance.

What’s The Same?

First, let’s look at the similarities of the Jetta vs. Golf. The biggest one is that they are both Volkswagen vehicles, so you’ve already made up your mind that you want this brand if you’re investigating this debate. The other common point is that they are both compact vehicles, so if you’re looking for a more rugged, taller, off-road experience, this isn’t it. Both of these vehicles are essentially designed for city and highway driving.

Externally, the Jetta and Golf even have a similar look, at least toward the front and the middle. The headlight design and front profile, while not exact duplicates, bear a close resemblance to each other. Four doors are standard for the Jetta, while it’s an option you need to seek out for the Golf. The Golf is available either in a 2-door, or 4-door configuration.

The Differences

The biggest difference in the Jetta vs. Golf debate is that one car, the Jetta, is a sedan, while the Golf is a hatchback. Externally, this is most visible in the rear. The Jetta has the traditional car trunk for storage. The Golf, however, has a hatch that opens up and allows easier access to a much roomier rear storage compartment.

Physically, this presence of the hatch translates to the Golf being shorter, while the Jetta has a longer profile.


Here’s where some people will start showing their preferences. If you’re looking for a bigger engine with potentially more power, the Jetta will win. All Jetta models come with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, versus the 1.8L 4-cylinder engine of the Golf. However, the Jetta gives some options for the engine at 115 and 170 hp, versus the Golf at 170 hp. Both of them have diesel engine options, but the Jetta has a hybrid engine option as well.

Volkswagen Jetta vs. Golf: A Full Comparison

Fuel Economy

This depends a lot on which engine you choose. The Jetta has a hybrid version available that combines a 1.4L 4-cylinder engine with a 20kW motor. But if you’re not choosing to go with the hybrid engine, and fuel efficiency is a priority, they are pretty evenly matched.

The Jetta averages about 9.3L/100 km in the city, and 6.3L/100 km on the highway edging the Golf out, with 9.3L/100 km in the city and 6.4L/100 km on the highway. This fuel economy equation changes once again if you decide to go with a diesel engine, which will net you better efficiency. For maximum fuel efficiency, of course, the hybrid engine will win, with an average of 5.6L/100 km in the city and 4.9L/100 km on the higheway.


For safety, the Jetta vs. Golf debate is mostly even in terms of the safety performance of the vehicles themselves. They have reliable antilock disc brakes, and stability and traction control, but they differ in a couple of key respects.

On the Golf side of things, there is an extra post-crash braking system installed to help prevent secondary crashing. The Jetta doesn’t have this, but it does have a wealth of extra “convenience” safety features. These include more wireless features like automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, and, for parents, a “Geofence” feature that sets boundaries on where teen drivers can go and pushes out a notification when a driver crosses that boundary.

The Jetta vs. Golf debate is really about what needs you have as a driver. If you value easier storage, and you don’t regularly have passengers in the rear, for example, then a 2-door Golf might be perfect. If you drive with a family and want a little bit more power on the road, then the Jetta makes more sense. Make a visit to Autopark and discover which one works best for you.