Volkswagen Jetta vs. Toyota Corolla

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - September 5, 2018

The land of the compact car is getting crowded as automakers continue to fill out their respective lineups with more variants. The Toyota Corolla follows suit in 2019 with its new hatchback model, which the automaker derived from the Scion iM turned Corolla iM. The Corolla takes a lot of heat in this competitive segment, including from the redesigned Volkswagen Jetta. Can this tiny German sedan unseat the legendary Corolla and its new hatchback variant? Keep reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Corolla & Jetta »

What the Jetta Gets Right

The Jetta gets an all-new look in 2019 that gives it an almost timeless feel, so it'll age with grace. Also, the Jetta’s baseline is a touch more premium than the Corolla with its 6.5-inch touchscreen, LED headlights, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and more. Plus, you can get upscale safety features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert for just $450.

Under its hood, the Jetta’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine boasts more power than the standard Corolla at 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Pair this engine with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission, and you have a smooth powertrain. The Passat also has a fun side with its crisp-shifting six-speed manual transmission.

As you move up the trim levels, the Volkswagen Jetta nears Audi-like luxury in the upper reaches, especially in the SEL Premium trim. This model boast features like a 10.25-inch digital cockpit, navigation, Beats-branded speakers, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, and more.

What the Corolla Gets Right

The Corolla is a stalwart in the compact sedan class thanks to its insane levels of reliability and affordability and slew of standard safety features. For 2019, this lineup gains an all-new hatchback model derived from the now-dead Scion iM turned Corolla iM turned stylish Corolla Hatchback. The Corolla also wins the price war by $620. Sure, that’s not a ton, but in a competitive class like this, every dollar counts.

Inside, the Corolla sedan offers one of the roomiest cabins in the class with more than 40 inches of rear leg room and 54.8 inches of rear shoulder room. The Corolla Hatchback sacrifices about 11 inches of rear leg room for its 17.8 cubes of cargo room.

While the standard Corolla sedan continues with its wheezy 132-hp, 1.8-liter engine, the new Corolla Hatchback gains a 2.0-liter engine with 168 hp and 158 lb-ft of torque. The Corolla Hatchback’s revised chassis delivers a more comfortable ride without sacrificing performance.

Despite its higher-performing engine, the Corolla Hatchback is the thriftiest of the bunch at up to 32 miles per gallon city, 42 mpg highway, and 36 combined, according to the EPA.

Need a Premium Ride? Get the Jetta

The Jetta loses a close battle with the Corolla, but it has one key advantage: a higher ceiling than the Toyota thanks to its relationship to the Audi A3. This luxury-sedan relationship allows Volkswagen to add more upscale features to satisfy more discerning clientele.

Verdict: Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla sedan could have barely defeated the Jetta on its own, but its cargo-friendly and higher-performing Hatchback variant stepped in to slam the door in the VW’s grille.

Take a closer look at the Toyota Corolla »

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Jetta »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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