New 2017 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
With diesel and hybrid variants out, the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is limited in offerings but still touts spry handling and good efficiency.
2017 Volkswagen Jetta Pricing
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2017 Volkswagen Jetta KBB Expert Review
Like other vehicles in Volkswagen's 2017 lineup, the Jetta compact sedan returns with something of a limp. That's because, as with other models, the once-desirable diesel models are not being offered in the wake of the German automaker's emissions-cheating scandal. VW optimistically says the Jetta's trim lineup has been "simplified," with the former hybrid model also being shown the door. Still, what remains has some appeal. All 2017 Jettas are powered by turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engines, ranging from a small 1.4-liter in lower models to the potent 210-horsepower 2.0-liter in the performance-oriented Jetta GLI. The Jetta stands out from rivals like the venerable Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic with European character and spry manners, but its uphill battle against those stalwarts just got steeper.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you want a sporty, European-derived compact sedan at a non-European price, the 2017 VW Jetta delivers the contemporary design and handling dynamics for which German cars are known. The Jetta is also fuel-efficient, earning up to 40 mpg with a manual transmission.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you want a small diesel car, you'll have to look to Chevrolet, which plans one for the 2017 Cruze. If you want fun-to-drive alternatives, the Mazda3 makes a strong case, as does the Honda Civic. Need an all-wheel-drive compact car? See the Subaru Impreza or the VW Golf SportWagen.
What's New for 2017
For 2017, the Jetta lineup loses its diesel and hybrid offerings, and has been trimmed to four trims. Even base models now get a rearview camera standard, and the blind-spot monitoring safety system is standard starting on Jetta SE models.
All Jettas remain on the spry, fun-to-drive spectrum among compact sedans, and that attribute only intensifies as you climb trims. The Jetta S and SE models come with a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that delivers good acceleration and great efficiency, while the Jetta SEL uses a larger, 1.8-liter turbo-4 that has more punch yet still offers good fuel economy. The Jetta GLI is the most powerful variant with its 210-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo, and combined with its sport-tuned suspension can be thought of as a less-expensive Audi, the luxury-brand cousin of Volkswagen. Aside from invigorating engines, we appreciate the Jetta's responsive steering and brakes, and smooth transmissions. Jettas have a taut but compliant ride, but the Jetta GLI with its stiffer suspension and larger, 18-inch wheels can be harsh.
For drivers seeking a cure for the boring sedan, the Jetta GLI is welcome medicine. In addition to sporty manners, the GLI brings the most standard equipment in the Jetta's lineup, including advanced safety and driving aids, and a premium audio system.
1.4T TURBOCHARGED GASOLINE ENGINE
This powerplant recently replaced the dated, 115-horsepower 2.0-liter engine formerly used in Jetta base models, and the car is far better for it. This thoroughly modern engine grants a great balance of power and efficiency.
The Jetta 5-passenger sedan offers good interior space, though rear legroom can't quite match that of the Toyota Corolla. At 15.5 cubic feet, the Jetta's trunk is as big as that of a midsize sedan. The Jetta's interior feels minimalist and clean, with DNA from its European cousin Audi. We like small touches such as the adjustable armrest between the driver and passenger that comes on all but base models, and the 1-touch power operation for all four windows. Unlike competitors, genuine leather seating isn't offered -- just V-Tex Leatherette. All Jettas come with a simple-to-use touch-screen audio system.
As with its sleek yet minimalistic interior, the 2017 Jetta's exterior styling favors quiet sophistication over swooping lines, a massive grille or -- heaven forbid -- a giant rear spoiler. This is European subtlety, clean and simple. We're rather fond of this approach, and while the Jetta may not scream, "Look at me," we wager it will stand the test of time better than a fair share of its rivals. Jetta GLI models can be spotted via their unique front fascia with a red line running across the grille, red brake calipers and a small rear spoiler built into the trunk.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2017 Jetta lineup has been reduced to four trims: S, SE, SEL and the top-line, performance-oriented GLI. At its most basic, the Jetta includes a turbocharged engine, 5-speed manual transmission (automatic is optional), rearview camera, 6-way driver's seat with height adjustment, and 16-inch wheels. Infotainment is provided by a 5-inch color touch-screen system that incorporates AM/FM/CD player with SD and USB ports, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. For $3,000 more, the SE model includes power sunroof, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, larger touch-screen display with phone app features, faux leather seating, push-button start and premium wheels.
Notable Optional Equipment
Aside from a 6-speed automatic transmission that's standard on SEL models, most extras in the 2017 Jetta sedan are had by climbing trims. The SEL also includes a more powerful engine, power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system, rain-sensing windshield wipers and forward-collision warning system with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Top-line GLI models add a still-more-powerful engine, sport-tuned suspension, 400-watt Fender premium audio system and the Park Pilot front and rear parking-sensor system.
Under the Hood
With the demise of the diesel and hybrid powertrains for 2017, the latest Jetta is offered only with turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engines. On the upside, whichever of the three you choose is easy to recommend. Jetta S and SE models use a 1.4-liter, SEL models have a more powerful 1.8-liter, and the GLI goes larger (and more powerful still) with a 2.0-liter. All Jettas are front-wheel drive. S and SE models come with a 5-speed manual transmission, but most buyers will opt for the 6-speed automatic, which is standard on the SEL. The manual transmission on Jetta GLI models is a 6-speed. Though VW notes that the max power figures seen below are achieved via premium gasoline, all the engines are fine drinking regular unleaded.
1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 (S, SE)
150 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/40 mpg (manual), 28/38 mpg (automatic)
1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4 (SEL, Sport)
170 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/35 mpg (automatic)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (GLI)
210 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 mpg (manual), 24/33 mpg (automatic)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $18,715 for a base, manual-transmission model. Most buyers will opt for an automatic, which is an extra $1,100. We recommend at least stepping up to the $21,715 SE model, which has more amenities and the blind-spot monitoring safety feature. The Jetta SEL begins quite a bit higher at $25,815, while the 2017 Jetta GLI starts at $28,715 and can reach to just under $30,000 with an automatic transmission. At these prices, the Jetta begins slightly above rivals like the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their new Jetta. Going forward, we expect the Jetta's resale value to be on the lower end of the compact-car spectrum.
Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews
September 19, 2018
Most Reliable Car I have ever owned
Ive owned Acura TL, Lexus ES350, Lexus GS350, and assortment of Chevys, Fords and then my 2014 VW Jetta Sportwagen... This Diesel...
July 24, 2018
Love this car
The GLI is an awesome car for the money, interior is modern, and performance is great.
July 11, 2018
My third Volkswagen!
I absolutely LOVE this car! This is my third Volkswagen (and second Jetta) that I have owned in the past 15 years. Each of my VWs (all...
June 16, 2018
Amazing underrated car
My second Jetta with the 1.8tsi, had a 2014 SE as well. The sport blows the SE away. The suspension difference just changes the whole...
May 28, 2018
Best car I ever owned
Traded my Lexus ES350 for the 2014 Jetta Sportwagen TDI (post Diesel-Gate). The upgrades done to pass EPA emissions legally have had no...
January 31, 2018
Previous 4 cars were European luxury performance cars so I was hesitant to buy the Jetta. But the GLI model comes close for much less...
January 23, 2018
just looking for value
just looking for value
December 29, 2017
For the money it cant be beat!
This little four cylinder turbo with a manual 5-speed is awesome. The 1.4 liter engine is smaller than most big motorcycle engines, but...
October 17, 2017
Im very happy with my 2017 GLI Manual. It feels solid, handles great, has plenty of power and is very refined. I love driving it and...
October 06, 2017
Awesome compact car
I have had the SE since June and cant be happier with this car. Engine is so quiet and smooth. Turbo is great and mileage is true to the...
2017 Volkswagen Jetta Photos and Videos
2017 Volkswagen Jetta Specs
2017 Volkswagen Jetta Safety Ratings
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