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2020 Volkswagen Jetta Overview
Volkswagen introduced the seventh-generation Jetta just last year, and aside from minor feature updates, the 2020 model carries over unchanged. This entry-level compact sedan competes with the likes of the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Kia Forte, and traditionally, VW’s own Golf hatchback, though that car was recently discontinued, leaving the Jetta alone at the bottom of VW’s model hierarchy.
VW powers most Jetta models with a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine rated for 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, sent to the front wheels. A 6-speed manual transmission comes standard on the base trim, and an 8-speed automatic is optional on the base and standard on higher trims. That engine is estimated to get 30 mpg city, 40 highway, and 30 combined.
The Jetta carries over its five main trims: S, SE, R-Line, SEL, and SEL Premium. Cloth upholstery, and not much else, comes standard in the S, but trading up to just the SE adds push-button start, synthetic leather, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof. Beyond that, optional features include a power driver’s seat with memory functions, heated rear seats, cooled front seats, sport seats, and genuine leather upholstery.
The Jetta features a driver-centric design, with the infotainment display angled toward the driver and within easy reach. A 6.5-inch touchscreen display comes standard, with Bluetooth, a 4-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a WiFi hot spot. Move up to the SEL trim to upgrade to an 8-inch display paired with the 10.25-inch customizable Digital Cockpit, plus an 8-speaker Beats Audio system, HD Radio, and wireless device charging. Navigation comes standard in the SEL Premium.
The 2020 Jetta earned a 5-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A reversing camera and automatic post-collision braking come standard, and options include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Jetta has always sought to provide stylish yet value-oriented transportation, and the current generation is more successful in this area than some past iterations. These 2020 model year updates should make the Jetta an even more attractive proposition in the compact segment.
Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.
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