In our online poll of 610 U.S.-based respondents, 28.85% selected the Volkswagen Jetta as the worst current VW. Nevertheless, we were astonished by the outcome, considering the Jetta is a solid choice in the compact segment with a frugal engine and timid handling. Moreover, the 2023 VW Jetta underwent a significant makeover in 2022 with an available GLI variant that has a potent, yet efficient 228-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger.
Then again, the Jetta model has accounted for about 15% of Volkswagen’s vehicle recalls since 1972 — particularly the 2002 to 2004 Jetta, with heated seats that could light your bum on fire while driving. It’s also worth pointing out that all 2009 to 2015 Jettas with the 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine are eligible to receive part of the $10 billion buyback program (per Car and Driver) resulting from “Dieselgate.”
Meanwhile, 21.97% said the Tiguan is the worst Volkswagen, followed by the Atlas SUV (18.03%) and the Arteon midsize sedan (15.57%). Rounding out the list of the worst modern VW — and tied with the Arteon — is the ID.4 electric crossover, which garnered 15.57% disapproval from respondents.