2012 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2012 Subaru Forester: Which One Should I Buy?

Mid-size sedans are the realm of small families or commuters who want a slightly larger vehicle than a subcompact or compact car, yet don’t want to fully give up their good gas mileage. The sedan offers more comfort and space for those road warriors who want to keep things comfy and safe while on the highways and byways.

The Volkswagen Jetta and the Subaru Forester are built on a totally different chassis style and base, making it a little difficult to truly compare the two vehicles. The Forester is quite a bit more expensive - nearly $5,000 – and much of that may be from the SUV-priced range of options that come standard on the base model.

Subaru Forester 2012
2012 Subaru Forester

Interior Features

While the Forester of course will have more room in it, the dizzying arrays of options that are available make this SUV a fair option even for commuters. With everything from standard cruise control to 3 12v DC power outlets available on the Forester, the SUV aims to please. The Jetta does also offer some nice perks, including: front and rear 1-touch up and down windows, standard exterior temperature delay and power remote trunk release.

Both vehicles have bucket seats and allow 5 passengers, but the Forester adds a front armrest that is missing from the Jetta. The Jetta does fall woefully short on the entertainment options, with no CD player, MP3 capability, no speed sensitive volume, and only optional Bluetooth compatibility.

Safety and Security Comparison

Both the Forester and the Jetta are clearly feeling the importance of airbags, as they have a full complement; however, the Forester offers additional standard features such as auto off exterior lights, door curb lights, illuminated entry, parking assist and remote keyless entry. These small additions can make a big difference, especially if you are a regular commuter.

Fuel Economy

You’re also going to see a larger difference in the fuel economy arena than expected. The Jetta packs a punch with 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway; considerably higher than the Forester’s 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. The size of the Jetta’s 14.5 gallon fuel tank also pales in comparison to the 16.9 gallon tank for the Forester. Considering both the Jetta and the Forester, the Jetta will fall as a second-best option due to the size and interior space as well as the relatively-reasonable price point of the Forester.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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