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2020 Volkswagen Jetta Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: S vs SE vs R-Line, SEL vs SEL Premium, GLI & Autobahn

What 2020 Volkswagen Jetta Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Completely redesigned last year, the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta has become a key figure in today’s compact sedan segment. In terms of everyday comfort, it easily ranks among the class leaders. Many car shoppers will also appreciate the latest Jetta’s sleeker exterior design, which makes it look a bit more eye-catching than the previous generation. For drivers who demand a more exhilarating level of performance, Volkswagen offers a racier GLI model.

Although no dramatic updates were made to the 2020 model, every trim now receives a Wi-Fi hotspot and a VW Car-Net telematics app. Let’s see how the various trims compare to each other.

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Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta S vs SE Trims. What is the difference?

Being the base model, the Jetta S is the most expensive trim in the lineup. Many people will appreciate its great value. It features the same 1.4-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine found on most of the other trims. VW rates it to push out a satisfying 147 horsepower. While the standard manual transmission will keep the sedan’s MSRP as low as possible, you can opt for an eight-speed automatic for an additional $800.

Regardless of which transmission you choose, fuel economy will be the same. Expect the Jetta to return 30 mpg town/40 mpg highway. Front-wheel drive is standard across the lineup.

Although the Jetta S may sacrifice some styling, some people will like its laidback appearance. Standard LED head- and taillights elevate this sedan’s value. A decent-looking set of 16-inch alloy wheels also come standard. You’ll be able to choose from eight paint colors, including bold options like Habanero Orange Metallic and Tornado Red.

On the inside, the Jetta S feels a lot nicer than the typical car in this price class. However, you will have to go without a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Cloth upholstery is standard.

Some popular technologies are found on the Jetta S. If you regularly use the internet, you’ll especially appreciate the standard Wi-Fi hotspot. Meanwhile, a Car-Net app allows you to do things like unlocking the doors using your phone. VW’s simple infotainment system is another perk. It provides a user-friendly 6.5-inch touch display with full smartphone support, which means Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are provided. Some of the other features on the list of standard equipment include Bluetooth, a backup camera, and a USB port.

Some class-exclusive safety features are found on the Jetta S. Immediately following an accident, Intelligent Crash Response turns off the car’s fuel pump and unlocks the doors. It also triggers the emergency flashers. Meanwhile, Automatic Post-Collision Braking seeks to reduce the seriousness of an impact. If you desire more security while behind the wheel, opt for the Driving Assistance package. This upgrade provides automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning.

Another notch up the trim ladder is the Jetta SE. While the Jetta SE is motivated by the same engine, it’s only offered with an automatic transmission. A sporty set of 16-inch black wheels also help set apart the Jetta SE.

As soon as you sit in the Jetta SE, you’ll immediately notice its more luxurious accommodations. When the weather starts to get more frigid, you’ll be thankful for the Jetta SE’s heated front seats. Dual-zone automatic climate control also improves comfort. Synthetic leather upholstery lines the interior. Push-button start and a panoramic sunroof also come standard.

When upgrading to the SE trim, you won’t have to pay extra for blind-spot warning and automatic emergency braking. However, there is an optional Cold Weather package. It brings remote start, heated seats for your rear passengers, and a heated steering wheel.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta SE vs R-Line Trims. What is the difference?

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta R-Line is made for the folks who prefer a sportier car. While the Jetta R-Line does get an engine upgrade, it does offer a bit more driving fun. When taking a curve, an exclusive Cross Differential System XDS applies braking pressure to the inside front wheel for tighter handling. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard.

In terms of exterior styling, the Jetta R-Line matches its sportier performance. A special set of 17-inch alloy wheels give it a bolder stance. On the rear, a unique bumper adds to the car’s sleekness. VW also decks out the Jetta R-Line with a blacked-out grille and black mirror caps. Fog lights come standard.

While the Jetta R-Line’s interior doesn’t feel much difference, it does feature a leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrast stitching. The Jetta’s available Cold Weather package remains an option.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta R-Line vs SEL Trims. What is the difference?

The Jetta SEL isn’t as sporty as the Jetta SEL. It goes without VW’s Cross Differential System XDS system. To give the Jetta SEL its own unique look, VW equips it with exclusive wheels.

On the inside is where the Jetta SEL truly separates itself from the lower trim levels. Its cabin feels more luxurious. A 10-color ambient lighting system helps set the mood. Heated rear seats also come standard.

If you’re big on technology, the Jetta SEL is definitely a good choice. It comes standard with a customizable Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, which replaces the regular analog gauges with a fully digital 10.25-inch screen. Music fans will enjoy the 10-speaker BeatsAudio sound system’s enhanced clarity. Some of the other goodies include a larger 8.0-inch infotainment display, wireless charging, and satellite radio.

Moving up to the Jetta SEL rewards you with more safety technologies. Smart cruise control makes driving on busy roads more relaxing. Meanwhile, automatic high-beam headlights make nighttime traveling safer. Lane-keep assist and rain-sensing wipers are also found on the Jetta SEL.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta SEL vs SEL Premium Trims. What is the difference?

As its name suggests, the Jetta SEL Premium is essentially a slightly more luxurious version of the Jetta SEL. A leather-trimmed interior promotes an even plushier atmosphere. Its eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat is another great asset. Navigation is a feature that road-trippers will cherish.

From a standpoint of exterior styling, the Jetta SEL Premium is virtually identical to the standard SEL trim. Performance is also the same.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta SEL vs GLI Trim Level. What is the Difference?

For drivers seeking the maximum fun on the street, VW offers the Jetta GLI. As expected, it comes equipped with a more potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This larger 2.0-liter raises the excitement needle with 228 horsepower. Acceleration is noticeably quicker. Remember, this performance-focused trim comes standard with a six-speed manual. An automatic is optional.

VW also equips the Jetta GLI with some features to improve handling. A limited-slip differential and sports-tuned shocks allow you to dominate curves. You’ll also benefit from a variable-ratio steering system. Upgraded performance brakes are standard.

Although the GLI model is more entertaining to drive, it does consume a bit more fuel. The EPA estimates the Jetta GLI to return 25 mpg in traffic and up to 32 mpg on the freeway. Fortunately, regular gasoline remains the recommended fuel type.

On the outside, the GLI model looks especially aggressive. Chrome dual exhaust tips highlight its elevated performance capabilities. Red accenting and special alloy wheels help it to make a serious statement. A black honeycomb grille and red brake calipers are also exclusive to this trim.

A race-inspired interior enhances the Jetta GLI’s fun factor. Stainless-steel pedal caps and a flat-bottom steering wheel make the GLI model feel ready to compete. Driving enthusiasts will especially enjoy the Jetta GLI’s sport seats. You’ll receive all of the available active safety technologies.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs GLI Autobahn Trim. What is the difference?

The Jetta GLI Autobahn uses the Jetta GLI’s same engine. However, it offers DC Adaptive Chassis Control as an option. This feature allows you to adjust the suspension’s firmness. You’ll have three settings to choose from.

To give the Jetta GLI Autobahn an even more exciting feel, VW quips it with a Performance Monitor. You’ll be able to access a lot of helpful performance data, including boost pressure and G-force.

In comparison to the Jetta GLI, the Jetta GLI Autobahn is more luxurious on the inside. Ventilated front seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are standard. While the Jetta GLI provides cloth upholstery, leather is featured on the GLI Autobahn. Some of the other upgrades include a BeatsAudio premium sound system, a digital gauge cluster, and a panoramic sunroof.

If you want to give the Jetta GLI Autobahn a special look, check out its optional Black Package. It enhances the sedan’s styling with a number of black exterior treatments, including black alloy wheels and a black rear spoiler.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals,   Edmunds,   CarsDirect,   NADAguides  &  Motortrend. These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

Drivers who are seeking value will like the base Jetta S. It comes equipped with some great features for the money. By adding a standard Wi-Fi hotspot, VW has made the Jetta S an even better bargain for 2020. You’ll also enjoy the standard touchscreen infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make accessing smartphone apps a simple process.

While the Jetta S comes loaded with enough equipment to satisfy the typical driver, strongly consider getting the optional Driver Assistance package. Blind-spot monitoring will lower your anxiety on hectic highways. Automatic emergency braking will prove to be just as rewarding.

Although the Jetta S can save you thousands of dollars, you may not be able to resist then Jetta SE’s upgrades. It provides highly sought-after amenities like front-seat heating and dual-zone automatic climate control. Furthermore, VW’s Driver Assistance becomes standard.

While the Jetta R-Line is not necessarily better than the Jetta SE, it is sportier. It offers enhanced handling and a more aggressive look. If you prefer luxury over sportiness, step up to the more expensive Jetta SEL. You’ll enjoy big features like a Volkswagen Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster and a BeatsAudio premium sound system.

Think twice before you upgrade to the Jetta SEL Premium. Ask yourself if you really need leather upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. You can save roughly $2,500 by choosing the more affordable Jetta SEL.

For driving purists who desire maximum performance, choosing the Jetta GLI will likely be a no-brainer. As soon as you go for a test drive, you’ll instantly feel a harder punch under the hood. You’ll also like taking the more athletic Jetta GLI on twisty back roads.

If cost isn’t a big factor, don’t hesitate to spend your money on the range-topping Jetta GLI Premium. Its available DCC Adaptive Chassis Control seeks to further improve handling and ride comfort. A cool Performance Monitor adds more excitement. The Jetta GLI gives you a splendid combination of performance and luxury for just less than $30,000. Although the Black Package is an extra expense, many drivers will love its appearance.

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