Seeking higher sales from its volume sedan, Volkswagen repositioned the Jetta three years ago to compete more directly with other economical compacts. That meant a lower price, simplified equipment choices, and greater emphasis on fuel efficiency. Despite its roomy interior and grown-up looks, the Jetta carries the lowest sticker in the VW lineup.
VW has taken steps to quell criticism that the downscaling of the Jetta went too far. Starting with the midrange SEL, the dashboard receives a higher-quality, soft-touch surface. The fully independent rear suspension previously reserved for select models is now standard across the board. Most significantly, a new 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder replaces the old five-cylinder as the volume engine.Read more »
The most compelling reason for upgrading to the SE is the powerful and efficient 1.8-liter turbo. A five-speed manual transmission is still standard, but you can opt for a six-speed automatic. Other mechanical upgrades include electric power steering and 16-inch wheels.
The seats are clad in leather-like vinyl and feature two-way power in front. You also get cruise control, a trunk pass-through, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio and iPod connectivity.
The Connectivity Package adds Bluetooth, a telematics system, heated washer nozzles, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. An expanded version of the package includes a sunroof and additional audio features.
The SEL takes everything that's available on the SE, then adds major features like a rearview camera, navigation, and an eight-speaker Fender sound system. You also get 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a soft-touch dashboard that makes the whole interior feel more refined.
You won't find a base Jetta waiting for you in the showroom. It's only available through special dealer order, which says a lot about how many of these strippers VW expects to sell. The sole powertrain is a 115-horsepower 2-liter paired with a five-speed manual transmission. You do get power windows and a four-speaker sound system with CD, but that's pretty much it. Even basic equipment like air conditioning and an automatic are not available here.
The S retains the base model's 2-liter, but you can add a six-speed automatic transmission. You also get a more acceptable level of equipment, including heated side mirrors, air conditioning, power locks and a trip computer.
The Jetta TDI carries a turbocharged 2-liter diesel four-cylinder with 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, and buyers can upgrade to a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The TDI combines quick acceleration with impressive fuel economy.
Equipment is similar to the SE with the Connectivity Package, except the TDI rolls on specific 16-inch wheels and carries the SEL's soft-touch dash. Most of the SEL's other equipment in available through option packages.
The top performer in the Jetta line, the GLI carries a 210-horsepower turbocharged 2-liter engine. Available with a conventional manual or dual-clutch automated manual transmission, the GLI sprints to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, a competitive time for a sporty compact.
Other performance upgrades include cloth sport seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, and launch control. Most other comfort and convenience features are shared with the SE.
The Autobahn edition of the GLI carries several exclusive features, including 18-inch wheels, automatic climate control, and a chilled glovebox. You also get a variety of extras shared with other models such as a sunroof, heated seats with driver power, leatherette upholstery and the Fender audio system.
Adding the Navigation Package to the GLI Autobahn gets you a touchscreen navigation system with rearview camera, bi-xenon headlamps with LED accents, and a keyless access and ignition system.
Build and price your dream Volkswagen Jetta in just a few easy steps.
|Build & Price|
2013 Volkswagen Jetta$16,877 | 7,434 mi
2013 Volkswagen Jetta$18,995 | 29,320 mi
2013 Volkswagen Jetta$21,500 | 10,200 mi
2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen$26,500 | 4,362 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta$13,449 | 37,355 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta$13,500 | 39,550 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta$14,990 | 37,489 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan$15,988 | 36,673 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan$15,990 | 19,328 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan$15,995 | 31,503 mi
2012 Volkswagen GLI$18,841 | 13,055 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta$18,999 | 12,040 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta$18,999 | 52,364 mi
2012 Volkswagen Jetta$19,000 | 37,591 mi
2011 Volkswagen Jetta$13,888 | 28,400 mi
2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan$13,950 | 36,503 mi
2011 Volkswagen Jetta$14,750 | 10,963 mi
2011 Volkswagen Jetta$16,977 | 28,962 mi
2011 Volkswagen Jetta$16,990 | 28,161 mi
2011 Volkswagen Jetta$17,777 | 14,761 mi
2011 Volkswagen Jetta$18,987 | 24,798 mi
2010 Volkswagen Jetta$13,991 | 51,186 mi
2010 Volkswagen Jetta$15,000 | 50,113 mi
2007 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan$9,988 | 76,223 mi
2007 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan$10,991 | 76,473 mi
2006 Volkswagen Jetta$7,188 | 124,786 mi
2006 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan$13,991 | 49,005 mi
2003 Volkswagen Jetta$5,988 | 114,813 mi