The 2021 Jetta is available in five trim levels. They include S, SE, SEL, SEL Premium and R-Line. All trims share the same 1.4L turbo-charged inline four-cylinder engine producing 184 foot-pounds of torque at a mere 1400 RPM. Horsepower is slightly down at 147 but with the slight decrease comes an astounding 40 miles per gallon highway rating. That makes the few dropped ponies hard to miss, especially when considering most turbocharged engines require premium gasoline while the Jetta is designed for regular 87 octane fuel. Base S vehicles and the sporty R-Line are equipped with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox while SEL and higher trims get a smooth shifting 8-speed automatic with start/stop technology standard for even more fuel savings.
The Jetta GLI is available in two trims the S and the Autobahn, both powered by as 2L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission. The Jetta GLI produces 228 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque at 1700 RPM.
Base S trim models come very nicely equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic LED headlights. On the inside there's a 6-way adjustable cloth driver's seat, cruise control, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and a 6.5-inch infotainment system with a USB slot and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/MirrorLink smartphone integration.
The SE trim adds passive entry, push-button start, a large 1st row panoramic sunroof, a leatherette steering wheel, heated seats, and V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces.
Stepping up to SEL trim buyers are treated to a BeatsAudio stereo system, 10-color interior ambient lighting, VW Digital Cockpit, wireless phone charging, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, heated wiper jets, and a remote starter.
SEL Premium adds leather seats, an integrated navigation system, and 17-inch alloy wheels with premium finish.
The R-Line gets a 6-speed manual as standard, blacked out aggressive exterior styling, a generous list of standard features and a race-inspired XDS Cross Differential. Exterior modifications include prominent R-Line badging, black grille accents, black painted mirrors, 17-inch R-Line alloy wheels and fog lights.
Standard and available safety features are plentiful on the Jetta, among the best lineup in the segment. Volkswagen offers standard features for S trim that include electronic stability control, engine brake-assist, front and side thorax airbags, curtain airbags, tire pressure monitoring, and its Intelligent Crash Response System. Available features for higher trims include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, rear traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.