Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Toyota Camry VS 2018 Volkswagen Jetta Near Greenville, NC

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2018 Toyota Camry

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2018 Toyota Camry

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2018 Volkswagen Jetta

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Camry have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Jetta doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre-Collision System in the Camry as “Superior.” The Jetta scores only 2 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Camry XLE/XSE has a standard Rear Cross Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Jetta doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Camry’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Jetta doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Camry XLE/XSE offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Jetta only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Camry and the Jetta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Camry its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 20 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Jetta was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty Comparison

The Camry comes with free roadside assistance for 2 years 25000 miles. Toyota will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Jetta.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Camry for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Jetta.

There are almost 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camry’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Camry’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Jetta 1.4T 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Jetta’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Camry has a standard 600-amp battery. The Jetta’s 540-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Camry’s reliability 30 points higher than the Jetta.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camry first among midsize cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Jetta was rated second in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 22nd.

Engine Comparison

The Camry has more powerful engines than the Jetta:




Camry 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

203 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Camry XSE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

206 HP

186 lbs.-ft.

Camry XSE/XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

301 HP

267 lbs.-ft.

Jetta 1.4T 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

150 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Jetta 1.8T 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

170 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Jetta GLI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

210 HP

207 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Camry 4 cyl. is faster than the Volkswagen Jetta (automatics tested):



Jetta 1.4T

Jetta 1.8T

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

9.4 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.9 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.2 MPH

82.8 MPH

89.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Camry LE/SE/XLE/XSE’s standard fuel tank has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Jetta (16 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Camry’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Jetta:




Front Rotors

12 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.06 inches

10 inches

The Camry stops much shorter than the Jetta:





70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Camry SE/XLE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camry XSE has standard 19-inch wheels. The Jetta’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Camry has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Jetta’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camry’s wheelbase is 6.8 inches longer than on the Jetta (111.2 inches vs. 104.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camry is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Jetta.

The Camry SE handles at .88 G’s, while the Jetta SE pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camry XSE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Jetta SE (26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Camry SE is quieter than the Jetta (68 vs. 71 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Camry is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the Jetta is rated a Compact.

The Camry has 6.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Jetta (100.4 vs. 94.1).

The Camry has .1 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Camry easier. The Camry’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the Jetta’s liftover is 28.2 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Camry offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Jetta doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Camry XLE/XSE offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Jetta doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the Camry the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Jetta can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The Camry’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Jetta’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Camry’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Jetta’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Camry detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Jetta doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Camry and the Jetta offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Camry offers optional rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Jetta doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Camry, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volkswagen Jetta isn't recommended.

The Toyota Camry outsold the Volkswagen Jetta by over three to one during 2017.

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