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The Jetta is one of the most popular vehicles in the Volkswagen lineup and it's not difficult to see why. It offers generous interior space, a host of lively engines, and restrained styling that is both modern and timeless.
For 2017, all Jetta trims now come with a rearview camera as standard and driver assistance features are now offered on lower trims. There has also been an update to the Jetta's infotainment system.
A trio of engine options awaits would-be Jetta owners, with each option offering its own unique performance.
Standard on S and SE models (more on trims later) is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Codenamed EA211, this engine produces 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic.
Shoppers looking for some relief at the pump will be pleased with what the turbocharged 1.4-liter has to offer. It gets an EPA-rated 33 mpg combined (28 mpg city, 40 mpg highway) with the manual transmission,* and 32 mpg combined (28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway) with the automatic.*
SEL Jetta models continue with the EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder already used in several Volkswagen models. This engine produces 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque and is paired to a six-speed automatic. EPA-rated fuel economy is 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city, 36 mpg highway) with the automatic.*
Last, but certainly not least, is the GLI. It's powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, though buyers can select a more performance-focused six-speed dual-clutch automatic (DSG). Here, EPA-estimated fuel economy sits at 27 mpg combined (24 city/33 highway) with the automatic, with the models equipped with the DSG earning one less mpg in the city.*
Unlike every other car in its class, the Jetta is also available as a hybrid. Its powertrain combines a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a 1.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, while fuel economy is an impressive 44 mpg combined (42 mpg city, 48 mpg highway).*
The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is a four-door, five-seat compact sedan. It’s available in four trim levels, priced starting from $17,895.**
Standard equipment on the base Jetta S includes a multifunction steering wheel, MIB II infotainment system with 5.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth®, power windows, cruise control, air conditioning, and power heated exterior mirrors. For 2017, all trim levels now come with a rearview camera as standard.
Upgrading to the Jetta SE nets all of the standard equipment from the Jetta S, plus 16-inch cast aluminum wheels, push-button start, heated front seats and washer nozzles, and an adjustable front armrest with storage. The SE also adds an upgraded infotainment system with 6.3-inch touchscreen and VW Car-Net® App-Connect.
The penultimate Jetta model is the SEL, which builds on previous trim levels with chrome exterior accents, rain-sensing wipers, and a number of in-demand driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
Sitting atop the Jetta lineup is the GLI. It includes all applicable standard features from the preceding models and adds 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, unique exterior styling elements, upgraded brakes, and much, much more.
The Jetta continues to feature a clean exterior with crisp lines and a lack of extraneous details. Like the sedans from VW’s Audi luxury brand, the Jetta is restrained yet handsome. To help improve aerodynamics, 1.8-liter models get an active grille shutter, and all models have a trunk lid with integrated spoiler.
The interior is also well thought out. The gauges are framed in chrome and have a “tunnel” design, and an available soft-touch dashboard and contrast stitching for an upscale touch. The Jetta cabin is also fairly roomy for a compact, with 38.1 inches of rear legroom and 37.1 inches of rear headroom. Trunk space is a useful 15.5 cubic feet.
For 2017 the Jetta also features the latest Volkswagen MIB II infotainment system, with increased responsiveness and a greater range of capabilities than the old systems. Also available is the VW Car-Net® system with App-Connect app suite and connected-car telematics services.
Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and Intelligent Crash Response System, a rearview camera, and a full array of airbags. Optional features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert.
The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is a smartly engineered and styled compact sedan.
*2017 EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors including your driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Starting MSRP of $17,895 for a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4L TSI® with 6-speed manual transmission. Prices exclude transportation, taxes, title, other options and dealer charges.