2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The 2 Series Gran Coupe offers optional Active Park Distance Control 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 2 Series Gran Coupe has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Jetta doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Jetta doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Jetta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe weighs 575 to 717 pounds more than the Volkswagen Jetta. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Jetta’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series Gran Coupe for 1 year and 16000 miles longer than Volkswagen pays for maintenance for the Jetta (3/36,000 vs. 2/20,000).

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Jetta’s camshafts. If the Jetta’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 20th in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 10 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The 228i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 81 more horsepower (228 vs. 147) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 184) than the Jetta’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder. The M235i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 154 more horsepower (301 vs. 147) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 184) than the Jetta’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Jetta doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Volkswagen only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Jetta Auto.

Transmission

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The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Jetta.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The Jetta doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Jetta doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Jetta are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has larger standard tires than the Jetta (224/40R18 vs. 205/60R16). The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta (235/35R19 vs. 205/60R16).

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Jetta’s standard 60 series tires. The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Jetta R-Line/SEL Premium’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Jetta. The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Jetta R-Line/SEL Premium.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 2 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Jetta doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Volkswagen Jetta has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Jetta’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Jetta’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 2 Series Gran Coupe is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Jetta.

Chassis

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe is 6.6 inches shorter than the Jetta, making the 2 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has 1.3 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front legroom than the Jetta.

Cargo Capacity

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk than the Jetta (15.1 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 2 Series Gran Coupe. The Jetta doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Jetta doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Jetta uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe 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 2 Series Gran Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Jetta can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Jetta’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Jetta R-Line/SEL Premium’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Volkswagen charges extra for heated mirrors on the Jetta.

When the 2 Series Gran Coupe is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Jetta’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Jetta offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Jetta SE/R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Jetta offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard 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.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Jetta doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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