Trim Comparison: 2017 Volkswagen Jetta

a volkswagen jetta cruises down the road

The Volkswagen Jetta is small, incredibly fuel efficient, and has plenty of features that make it worth the price. Each trim offers a significant step up that can change your day to day drive. This detailed breakdown could help you pick which one is right for you.


The Volkswagen Jetta S has a starting MSRP of $17,895 and can get up to 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. That’s some insanely competitive gas mileage.

Since it’s the base model, it doesn’t have a lot of the flair that you might find with the more expensive versions, but it’s still pretty respectable. Some of the highlights include Bluetooth connectivity, a rear vision camera, and a composition color touch-screen sound system.


The SE has a starting MSRP of $20,895, but that price jump offers enough new features to be a good deal for those who can afford it. It has the same engine and mileage but its new features make it easier to ride in on a day to day basis. Things like app connect, heated seats, keyless entry, sunroof, and driver assistance up the fun factor. The fact that heated seats are added in the Volkswagen Jetta SE is great, considering many models from competitors don’t include them until you get to the higher-tier options. Another feature that usually shows up in higher-end trims is the SE’s blind spot monitoring with rear traffic alerts. The SE is certainly worth the extra cost.


What about the SEL for $24,995? If you want more power, this may be the option for you. Per The Car Connection, the Jetta S and SE are only capable of 150 horsepower whereas the SEL mid-range engine can get 170 hp using its 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. However, this does drop the fuel economy to 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The SEL comes with some great entertainment and safety features. It includes dual-zone automatic climate control, Discover Media touch-screen navigation, and autonomous emergency braking with front assist. It also comes with rain-sensing windshield wipers.


Do you want even more power? If you’re willing to pay the starting MSRP of $27,895, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a great option. It has a huge engine upgrade to include a 2.0-liter turbo 4 that’s capable of 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Naturally, this makes the GLI super fun to drive, but it does decrease the fuel economy further, to 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

The GLI also has significant improvements to the interior, including an 8-speaker Fender premium audio system. It sits on 18-inch Mallory wheels and has a multi-function sport steering wheel.

1.8T Sport

The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T Sport actually drops in price to $22,175. It has a less powerful engine than the GLI. It’s equipped with the same 1.8L engine found in the SEL, capable of 170 horsepower. However, it does include a sport suspension, meaning it’s optimized for contact with the road surface and lower to the ground for better aerodynamics and reduced rollover risk.

In addition to the new suspension, it also adds a rear spoiler and fog lights. When compared to the GLI, it loses the premium audio system, sunroof, power seats, keyless entry, driver assistance, and the dual-zone climate control. This one’s made more for performance than luxury.

(Facts and figures via Volkswagen. Image via Facebook.)