2010-2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Upgrading the stereo system in your Jetta SportWagen
2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Jetta SportWagen's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about:
- The factory stereo system
- Removing the factory radio
- Removing the factory speakers
- Adding more bass
- Other options for your Jetta SportWagen
Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your vehicle.
Overview of the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Wagons are wonderful things, and German wagons have their own special "charme." (That's German for "charm," by the way. See, you're learning stuff already!) From those bulletproof Mercedes-Benz diesel wagons that seemingly run forever to supersleek Audis to Volkswagen's own Type 3 "Squareback" wagons, German wagons have always managed to combine style and sensibility in a way that wears well.
This cool "kombi" is actually a fifth-generation Jetta dressed up in sixth-generation styling. There's plenty of space for most everything a small family needs to take home or on vacation, and there's a lot more driving enjoyment built into this car than you'd find in most small SUVs or crossovers. The SportWagen is a comfortable, capable car that'll make a very nice home for an upgraded audio system.
The SportWagen's clean dash design makes radio removal a lot easier than it is in some other cars (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The factory stereo system
The Jetta SportWagen's factory systems aren't awful, really, with regular and navigation radios, plenty of speakers, and some handy features. The Premium System adds an amplifier, which is located under the driver's seat. The amp powers all ten speakers and it's triggered by data lines.
Decent though it may be, the stock stuff is getting old and the functionality isn't quite up to modern standards. You can replace the radio with your choice of single-DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) aftermarket receivers. In some cases (We'll tell you while you're shopping, don't worry…), you'll need to use the factory radio's brackets to install your new receiver. If you don't have the brackets, you can obtain them from your dealership or an online source.
Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions
You'll also need a receiver mounting kit and a wiring harness adapter, both of which are available at a discount with your Crutchfield stereo purchase.
When you replace the factory radio, you'll lose factory features like satellite radio and navigation, but those things can be found on aftermarket receivers, so it's really no big deal.
You can replace the stock radio with a variety of single-DIN or double-DIN aftermarket models (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the factory radio
Before you start working on your SportWagen's stereo system, set the parking brake and disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent any electrical short. Once that's done, you're ready to go.
Use a panel tool to pry out the receiver trim ring, which has seven retaining clips. Remove the ring, then remove the four exposed Torx T20 screws that secure the radio. And that's that. Pull out the radio and proceed.
To connect the new receiver, follow the instructions included with your dash kit and wiring harness adapter, then slide the receiver into place and secure it. You'll want to test it out to make sure it's working properly before you button everything up again. There's not a lot of work involved in this swap, but you still don't want to do it twice.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T-20 driver
You'll need to drill out the old rivets to install new door woofers. It's not that hard, but work carefully. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the factory speakers
In the Jetta's front doors, the woofers, midranges and tweeters are wired together in parallel, and the same goes for the rear door woofers and tweeters. Some of these speakers are easier to deal with than others, but in general, this Jetta wagon is very DIY-friendly.
Removing your Jetta SportWagen's front door speakers
You'll need to remove the door panels to get to the speakers. That process will start with removing one Torx T20 screw from front edge of the door panel. Next, starting at the front edge, use your panel tool to pry up the power options switch panel. Disconnect the wiring harness and remove that panel.
Doing so will expose two Torx T30 screws. Remove those, then remove the three Torx T20 screws found along the bottom edge of the door panel. With that done, you can pry around the sides and bottom of the door panel to release six clips. Lift the door panel, disconnect the wiring harnesses and door release cable, then remove the panel and set it aside in a clean, dry location.
Tweeter: The factory tweeters measure 1.326" in diameter and they're glued to the door sail panels. Replacing them involves some rather detailed work, but it's a do-able DIY project.
Remove one Torx T20 screw from bottom of the sail panel, then pry the panel out to release the retaining clips. Disconnect the wiring harness and remove the tweeter and panel assembly. To separate those two things, use a rotary tool to cut off the three heat fuse points. This isn't hard, but it's also not something you want to mess up because you were in a hurry. Work carefully, and you'll be fine.
You'll need to fabricate a mounting bracket (or use our universal backstraps, hot glue, or silicone) to secure the new tweeters. And, since there's no wiring harness adapter available, you'll need to use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the tweeters to the factory wiring.
The Jetta SportWagen's door woofers, tweeters, and mids (shown) are wired in parallel (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Midrange: The 4" midrange speakers are located in the upper half of the door. They're not hard to remove once the door panels are out of the way, but remember to keep the factory Torx T20 screws handy, because you'll use them to install the replacements. You'll need more Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect these aftermarket speakers to the factory wiring.
Woofers: The 6-3/4" factory woofers are attached to the door steel. They aren't that hard to remove, but there is some drilling involved, so work carefully, know what's around where you're drilling, and wear eye protection. You'll use an 11/64" bit to drill out the six rivets securing the speaker, then remove the speaker and use your new speaker as a template to mark the new mounting holes. Remove the speaker, then use a 1/8" bit to drill the new holes.
Once you've replaced all the speakers, test them to make sure they're all working properly. If they are, and if the locks and windows are working as they should, you can start putting the doors back together.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T-20 and T-30 drivers, drill and 11/64" and 1/8" bits
Replacing the rear speakers is pretty uncomplicated in this car (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing your Jetta SportWagen's rear door speakers
The rear door speaker removal process is similar to what goes on up front.
These door panels will need to be removed, too, a process that begins with prying off the front portion of the door pull handle and removing two exposed Torx T30 screws. Remove one Torx T20 screw from the bottom edge of the door panel, then lift the door panel and hold it out a bit to disconnect the door release cable and wiring harnesses. Remove the door panel and set it aside while you keep working.
Tweeters: The factory tweeter is 1.560" in diameter, and it's glued to the factory grille on the door panel. All you need to do is disconnect the wiring and pry it away from the grille. You'll want to be careful while you're doing this, of course, but it's not a hard thing to do.
You'll need universal backstraps (or hot glue or silicone) to attach the new tweeters, and you'll also need Posi-Products speaker connectors to make the necessary wiring connections.
Woofers: The rear door woofers can be replaced by a wide variety of 5-1/4", 6-1/2". 6-3/4", or even 7" aftermarket speakers. You'll need to do some drilling back here, too, and the process is the same as it is up front. Just remember to work carefully and wear eye protection. Complete step-by-step instructions can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet, of course. Your new speakers might not include mounting screws, so check the box before you start and hit the hardware store if you need to.
Once the new speakers are installed, test them out, check the locks and windows to make sure they're working properly, and if everything's functional, start putting the doors back together.
It's a wagon, so if you want to go big on bass, you definitely have some room for a sub enclosure (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Bass in your Jetta SportWagen
Adding a subwoofer box with a sub or two will really enhance your music, and the Jetta SportWagen gives you a thoroughly reasonable 40" W x 18" D x 40"/31" D space to work with in the trunk.
If you value your cargo space, you can always choose a powered subwoofer. These subs are available in various sizes, so you can find one that suits your own unique "space versus bass" equation.
Yes, it says "Lexus" in the photo, but WeatherTech Floor Liners are custom-made to fit all kinds of cars, including your Jetta SportWagen
Other options for your Jetta SportWagen
Here are some other cool upgrade ideas for your SportWagen.
Protect your floors
Even ordinary everyday driving can take a toll on your wagon's factory floor mats and carpeting. WeatherTech floor mats and liners will help protect your floors from dirt and damage.
The Jetta SportWagen is a pretty solid piece of machinery, but if you really want to tame road roar and get the most out of your system, add some Dynamat in the doors and (especially if you install a big sub) the rear hatch area. This sound-deadening material will help keep the noise under control and allow you to truly enjoy your music.
Add an amp (or two)
A new 4-channel amplifier will help you get the most out of your new speakers. You'll get cleaner power (and a lot more of it), which will result in much, much better sound. A mono amp can provide the juice you need for your new rear deck subwoofer, too.
Installing a security system in your Jetta SportWagen isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's definitely a good idea. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car and new gear to a professional installer.