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2021 Volkswagen Jetta

Used Car Price Range
$14,899 - $26,500
$14,899 $26,500
Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2021 1.4T S 4dr Sedan
most popular
Price:   -  From $18,995
2021 1.4T R-Line 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $22,795
2021 1.4T SE 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $22,895
2021 1.4T SEL 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $25,745
2021 1.4T SEL Premium 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $28,045
Expert Rating
2.9 (Fair)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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What's New

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta receives VW’s latest infotainment system (MIB3) for the two top trims, a new 16-inch wheel design on the base trim, and standard power seats for some trims in between.

Choosing your Volkswagen Jetta

There are five trim levels. The 2021 Jetta S costs $19,990 with destination, the SE is $23,890, the R-Line is $23,790, the SEL trim is $26,740, and the SEL Premium is $29,040.

Engine Choices

The Jetta is fitted with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque and is saddled with a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmission for $800. The automatic is standard on the SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trims.

Despite the manual transmission’s fewer gears, it edges out the automatic with EPA-estimates of 30 miles per gallon city, 41 mpg highway, and 34 combined versus 29, 39, and 33 mpg, respectively. The sedan’s power is routed through the front wheels and all-wheel drive is not available.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The exterior of the Jetta is large at 185.1 inches long and 57.6 inches tall which makes it physically larger than most of the competition and as spacious as the Honda Civic although the new Hyundai Elantra is roomier. The Jetta can fit five passengers, however, it’s more appropriately sized for four.

Headroom is good with 38.5 inches in the front and 37.2 inches in the back and legroom is equally generous for rear passengers at 37.4 inches. Trunk volume is 14.1 cubic feet which is considered large for this class of vehicles.

Volkswagen Jetta

Safety Features

The base Jetta’s sub-$20,000 starting price reflects its lack of standard active safety equipment, although automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic warning and intervention, and blind-spot detection are available in the Driver Assist Package for just $500. Those features are standard in the SE and R-Line trims. The SEL and SEL Premium trims additionally receive adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, high-beam assist, and better-performing headlights.

The Jetta earned top scores from IIHS and NHTSA for its crashworthiness but the lack of standard safety equipment and poor performing headlights prevented it from earning more accolades across the board.


The S, SE, and R-Line are equipped with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display with VW’s App-Connet system, which connects with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and two USB ports. The SEL and SEL Premium trims receive VW’s latest MIB3 infotainment system which includes a wireless App-Connect system, an eight-inch screen, and SiriusXM 360L.

Volkswagen Jetta

S - From $19,990

The base Jetta hardly looks like a sub $20,000 vehicle on paper. It wears 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, and is fitted with six-way adjustable cloth seats and four speakers. The Driver Assist Package is inexpensive ($500) and includes added safety equipment and heated mirrors.

SE - From $23,890

The next level up is the SE trim and it includes numerous notable upgrades such as proximity entry with push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, leatherette seats with heating for the front row and power-adjustability for the driver, dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped gear shifter, and an enhanced multi-information display.

The $500 Cold Weather Package is the single available package and includes heated outboard rear seats, heated windshield washer nozzles, a heated steering wheel, remote start, and a washer fluid level sensor.

R-Line - From $23,790

The R-Line takes on a sportier appearance with a unique front fascia, gloss-black mirror caps and grille, and a revised rear valance with integrated dual trapezoidal exhaust outlets.

It also incorporates 17-inch wheels, a brake-biased limited-slip front differential, fog lights, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Cold Weather Package is also available.

SEL - From $26,740

The SEL trim adds more tempting standard features such as improved LED headlights, a digital gauge cluster display, interior ambient lighting, a 400-watt eight-speaker Beats Audio sound system, sport seats that feature additional bolstering and contrast stitching, and a wireless charger. The features of the Cold Weather Package are also included.

SEL Premium - From $29,040

The top-tier Jetta uniquely features a sport rear valance (from the R-Line), turn signals integrated into the side mirrors, leather ventilated (front) seats, navigation, and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with memory positioning. There are no available packages.

Compare Jetta Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

While each lineup of the Jetta is tempting for its features, the SE trim includes today’s key safety and convenience features and stands out as the best bargain - and it is also available with the reasonably priced Cold Weather Package for those who desire those features.

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

  • Efficient base engine
  • Spacey rear seats
  • Peppy GLI
  • Understated looks
  • No hybrid option
  • Optional automatic emergency braking
  • Unexciting, sometimes-chintzy interior
Expert Rating
2.9 (Fair)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Compact with some compromise. Compact sedans are all about balancing value, design, and features, leading to some compromise. The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta is no exception to this rule.

It has plenty of endearing qualities, including a timeless exterior design, spacey interior, decent technology features, plenty of options, and a wild side in its GLI model. However, its questionable finishing touches, boring interior design, and lack of standard safety gear commonly found in this class may turn off some buyers.

Capable base engine, but GLI is where the fun’s at. The entire non-GLI Jetta lineup comes standard with a 147-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. While the ponies are a little low, its 184 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 revs gives it a low-end jolt that makes it feel quicker than it is. That feeling quickly fades in the higher revs, though.

While it’s unexciting, low base power is the name of the game in this class. All the Jetta’s key rivals are start at 160 hp or lower, with the lowest being the 139-hp base Toyota Corolla. Plus, these are all naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines that lack the torquey low-end boost the Jetta’s turbocharger adds to the mix.

For those seeking a peppy compact sedan, the Jetta GLI offers a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 228 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a high-five-second 0-60 mph time. The GLI also adds a multi-link rear suspension, stickier and wider rubber, and more to deliver legit performance in the corners.

The GLI’s upgrades put it in a nearly untouchable niche, for now. The Mazda Mazda3 offers a new-for-2021 2.5-liter turbo-four with 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Yet, since it’s not a true performance model, it lacks the Jetta’s chassis updates. The Kia Forte GT and Hyundai Elantra N-Line share a 1.6-liter engine with 201 hp, but their upgraded multi-link rear suspensions gives them grippiness similar to the GLI.

The only true competition the Jetta GLI has is the 306-hp Honda Civic Type R, but it’s a hatchback and starts at over $38,000. In the future, though, the GLI will have the Civic Si (paused for 2021 model year) and the Elantra N (production planned for 2021) to fend off.

Volkswagen Jetta

Good fuel economy, but no hybrid. The VW Jetta with the 1.4-liter engine and automatic transmission delivers 29 miles per gallon city, 39 mpg highway, and 33 combined, which is right in the range of its key competitors.

However, the Jetta lacks a hybrid option, so it lags behind the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid’s estimated 50 mpg combined, and the 52-mpg-combined Corolla Hybrid and Honda Insight.

Comfortable and well equipped, but lacks style and class. The Jetta’s cabin has plenty of space for four adults – five will fit in a pinch. Its rear seats have 37.4 inches of leg room, beating the Civic (36 inches), Corolla (34.8 inches), and Forte (35.7 inches). Plus, it’s 14.1-cubic-foot trunk is about average in the class.

While it’s large and relatively comfortable, the Jetta’s cabin is lacking in style and refinement. Its cabin’s highlights are the touchscreen, which ranges from 6.5 to 8 inches, an optional 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and flat-bottom steering wheel. Otherwise, nothing is exciting about its interior.

Adding to its woes inside is its lack of fit and finish. If the Jetta doesn't have an option, Volkswagen slaps a blank plastic piece in the space where the controls for that feature would be. This leads to these unsightly blanks littering shifter and other areas in lower trims – a constant reminder that you couldn’t afford that feature.

Making up for the drab cabin is standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The inside is also a safe space, as the Jetta received “Good” ratings in all IIHS crash tests, though its “Marginal”-at-best headlights knocked it out of contention for Top Safety Pick classification.

The Jetta is one of the few compact sedans lacking standard automatic emergency braking. If this is a must-have feature, it’s available in a $500 package that includes blind-spot monitoring.

Final thoughts. Though the 2021 VW Jetta takes a few hits with its drab interior, lack of standard automatic emergency braking, and nonexistent hybrid model, it plays in a class where buyers are used to compromising.

The Jetta shines in areas where it matters most for buyers in this class, including interior space, fuel economy, available tech, and crash safety. Plus, the Jetta GLI leads the compact class in affordable performance – for now.

Buyers seeking a more exciting design inside and out will find this in the Mazda3 or Hyundai Elantra. And those who prefer not to pay extra for advanced safety tech can walk into almost any competing dealership and get at least standard automatic emergency braking.

Check prices for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta »

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.4L I-4 / 147 HP / 184 ft.lbs.
Standard: 6-spd man w/OD
Available: 8-spd Tiptronic w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
30 / 41 / 35 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.4L I-4 / 147 HP / 184 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
30 / 41 / 35 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Semi-independent Torsion Beam Beam
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
13.2 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
14.1 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
95 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
185.1 "
Exterior Width
70.8 "
Exterior Height
57.4 "
Front Headroom
38.5 "
Rear Headroom
37.2 "
Front Legroom
41.1 "
Rear Legroom
37.4 "
Front Shoulder Room
55.9 "
Rear Shoulder Room
54.0 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,895 Lbs. / 2,965 Lbs.
Wheel Base
106 "
Turning Radius
18.2 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
16.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote / Dual Power Remote Heated
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Accents
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm Stereo, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Front Assist (forward Collision Warning And Autonomous Emergency Braking) Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Blind Spot Monitor Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
24 Months / 20,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
84 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months

Used 2021 Volkswagen Jetta for Sale

27 vehicles found within 50 miles of your area
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California Motors Direct (34 mi)

Phone: (714) 515-6100
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