The compact segment has changed drastically in the past five years. In just a few years, many features that were exclusive to top-tier vehicles are now widely available in smaller cars, making them more appealing options than ever before. Additionally, fuel-economy in the compact segment is constantly on the rise, and with the more frequent integration of turbocharged engines, drivers have more opportunities to experience spirited performance without paying the price at the pump.
Although there are a multitude of choices in the compact sedan segment, we'll help narrow your search with a side-by-side comparison between the 2015 VW Jetta vs. 2015 Toyota Corolla. More specifically, we'll discuss the similarities and differences between the Jetta SE and Corolla LE trims.
While both models utilize 1.8-liter four-cylinder engines, the VW Jetta SE adds a turbocharger that makes the more prolific performer of the two with 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque output ratings. Despite some fairly significant gains in power, the Jetta still offers 37 mpg on the highway — only one less than the Corolla.
In addition to the performance advantages, the VW Jetta SE includes heated front seats — a highly coveted feature when winter arrives — which requires a costly upgrade in the Corolla. Both models feature a six-speaker sound system, which represents an upgrade from their four-speaker base models, but the VW Jetta has a slightly larger touchscreen interface that adds to the modern character of the interior.
The 2015 VW Jetta also provides a more robust warranty package that includes 12-year/unlimited mileage protection against corrosion (Toyota offers 5 Years) and 36 months/36,000 miles of roadside assistance (Toyota offers 24 months).
Like any purchase you make, the final decision will come down to personal preference, so we encourage you to get behind the wheel of the 2015 VW Jetta in for a test drive as a baseline for comparison against the 2015 Toyota Corolla.