These days, Volkswagen's Jetta sedan is noteworthy just for being an affordable compact sedan, it's a segment that seems to be losing competitors by the month. But the Jetta's not here just based on being one of the last, it also has a long-standing reputation for practicality, upscale interiors, and driving dynamics and the car is now in its seventh generation. No longer a Golf with a trunk, the Jetta has evolved into a large compact sedan balancing the North American need for interior space with the typical German driving feel and solid build quality VW is known for.
New this year, the Jetta moves some of the automaker's more desirable tech and driver assistance
features to lower-spec models. That includes Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, USB-C charging, and front assist, lane assist, light assist, and adaptive cruise, all previously part of an extra-cost package. The quicker GLI gets some new styling tweaks like new wheels and a black roof to go with. Volkswagen has also made the more stylish R-Line trim standard on manual transmission Highline cars.
Volkswagen sells the Jetta in four trims, starting with Comfortline then moving to Highline, Execline, and the more sporting GLI. The first three come with a 1.4L turbocharged engine and Comfort and Highlines offer a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto. Highline offers just the automatic. Finally, the top-spec GLI has a 2.0L turbo-four and a six-speed stick or seven-speed dual-clutch box.
Comfortline comes standard with App-Connect offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a wired connection on a 6.5-inch touchscreen. It has LED headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels as well as cruise control, power windows and locks, and heated seats. Highline adds that 8.0-inch Discover infotainment with nav and wireless App-Connect. It has front assist braking, lane assist, automatic lights, and adaptive cruise control as well as blind spot monitor, keyless entry with push-start, power sunroof, faux-leather seats, and dual-zone climate control. Manual Highline cars have 17-inch alloys, R badges, a black headliner, drive mode selection, heated rear seats, fog lights, and remote start, all part of the R-Line package as standard. Those same features are optional on automatic.
Execline adds a BeatsAudio premium audio system, digital cockpit virtual dash, wireless phone charging, and ventilated leather-trimmed front seats.
GLI is equipped like the Execline but with a more powerful engine, upgraded sports suspension, brakes, and differential, as well as sports seats and 18-inch alloys. It also adds a black painted roof, mirror caps, and rear spoiler.
Volkswagen has made all of the previous year's key options standard on most trims, making vehicle selection simpler and easier.
Jettas with the 1.4L engine and automatic gearbox are estimated to return 7.8 L/100 km city and 5.9 highway, while manual cars should manage 7.9/5.9. A GLI with the auto is rated to get 9.3/7.2 city/highway with the manual at 9.6/7.1
The Jetta faces strong competition from the slightly smaller Toyota Corolla as well as the best-selling Honda Civic and the stylish Hyundai Elantra and bargain Kia Forte. The Jetta GLI has less competition, squaring off against the Elantra N-Line and Civic Si.
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