Volkswagen Jetta Trim Levels Comparison


The Volkswagen Jetta trim levels can leave your head spinning if you are stuck trying to choose between them. Not only do they come in at various prices, but they have different features and aesthetics as well.

If you are interested in a new VW Jetta for sale, you can visit Gunther Volkswagen Delray Beach for some help with this decision. Otherwise, keep reading to be thoroughly informed about each of these trim levels before you head to the dealership.

What Are the Available Volkswagen Jetta Trim Levels?

You have five different options when it comes to the available Volkswagen Jetta trim levels. These choices leave a lot of room for adjustment as each model has subtle changes that make it unique, and it can produce a more challenging final decision.

Here are the five available 2021 VW Jetta trims:

  • 2021 Volkswagen Jetta S
  • 2021 Volkswagen Jetta SE
  • 2021 Volkswagen Jetta R-Line
  • 2021 Volkswagen Jetta SEL
  • 2021 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium

Volkswagen Jetta Trim Levels Explained

What is the difference between the different trim levels? Well, you have to look at the exterior design, interior features, and what lies underneath its hood. Together, these combine to create distinctive trims, and each aspect is something you must consider.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta S

The starting price for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta S is $18,995 MSRP.1 When you look at the exterior, you will notice 16-inch black alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights (DRL), power-operated side mirrors, and automatic headlights with the coming and leaving home feature.

A few of the features most of the other Volkswagen Jetta trim levels have in their interior include cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning, a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, and cruise control. They will also contain technology such as USB-C ports for newer devices, a 6.5-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth® connectivity, and Volkswagen Car-Net® capabilities.

Safety isn't an issue no matter which of the Volkswagen trim levels you choose, as even this base model is equipped with an Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS), a rear-view camera, a crash-optimized front end, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

A look under the hood will reveal a 1.4L DOHC four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. This engine will give you 147-horsepower and 184.4 lbs.-ft. of torque. The equipped drivetrain is front-wheel drive, and while you can't upgrade this feature, you can choose to upgrade to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Keep in mind this is just the base model, so while features may be lacking, this will take you where you want to go and still give you a comfortable ride.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta SE

Next up for the Volkswagen Jetta trim levels with a starting MSRP1 of $22,895 is the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta SE. It has the same exterior features as the previous VW Jetta trim but adds a power tilt and slide sunroof, heated side mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

When you look at the interior, a few noticeable changes are the Climatronic® dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats with adjustable lumbar support, a push-button start, and premium leatherette upholstery throughout the cabin.

All of the standard safety features are the same, except it does add a blind-spot monitor and rear traffic alert to help you stay more aware of your surroundings. You can also add the benefits of forward-collision warning and autonomous emergency braking into the mix.

The drivetrain and engine in this trim are the same as that of the base model, and if you want an upgrade, you will have to make the switch to a VW Jetta GLI and its performance-focused engine. The transmission, however, is different as it is an eight-speed automatic with Tiptronic® and a sport mode.

It is quite a leap from the base model in terms of functionality, so it might be worth the price if you prefer a sprinkle of luxury and extra safety in your VW Jetta.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta R-Line

The starting price of the Volkswagen Jetta R-Line is $22,795 MSRP.1 It upgrades your exterior with 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights that include a low-speed corner-illuminating feature, and exquisite black-painted side mirror caps.

Although, the interior is lacking as they made no changes between this model and the Volkswagen Jetta SE, and some of the other changes might also drive you away from this trim level.

The engine and drivetrain are the same, but the transmission reverts to that of the base model. You are once again stuck with a six-speed manual transmission unless you choose to fork over the extra $800 for an upgrade. Although, it does allow you to add the XDS Cross Differential System® for advanced handling during turns, which is not available on any other trim level.

Overall, the difference between the Volkswagen Jetta R-Line and the previous Volkswagen Jetta trim levels comes down to your preferential transmission versus exterior styling.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta SEL

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta SEL once again puts you on a deluxe path as they added more features and changes to improve this model's overall design. It comes at a starting cost of $25,745 MSRP,1 and you will realize it is well worth the price. It will add 17-inch metallic alloy wheels and heated windshield washer nozzles for those dreaded winter months when you often need them the most.

In regard to the interior, the price increase becomes clear with additions like 10-color customizable interior ambient lighting, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), an auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror, and heated rear window seats. The technology even becomes more advanced with two front USB-C data ports, BeatsAudio®, an 8-inch color touchscreen, remote start, a wireless smartphone charger, and Volkswagen Digital Cockpit.

Safety also sees an upgrade with the addition of lane assist and high beam control. When combined with the other safety features, you will never be afraid to head off for a long drive on your own ever again.

Once again, the engine and drivetrain are the same, but the transmission goes back to the eight-speed automatic that you saw in the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta SE. You do see an upgrade to its performance as well, since now you have selectable driver modes including sport, eco, standard, and custom.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium

The final option of the Volkswagen Jetta trim levels is the 2021 VW Jetta SEL Premium, and it is a high-grade model. The starting cost reflects this as it comes into the market at $28,045 MSRP.1 The only added exterior feature is a rear sport valance that will help with the aerodynamics of your vehicle.

The interior takes comfort to a whole new level with leather seating and ventilated front seats for optimal satisfaction every time you take a drive. The only downfall is that there is not any added technology or safety features when you look at the VW Jetta trim comparison with the VW Jetta SEL model.

The performance features are the same as the 2021 VW Jetta SEL, so it is something to consider if you don't care for leather seating or sporty exterior styling.

Volkswagen Jetta Packages

When it comes to available packages for the Volkswagen Jetta, you have very few options. Yes, you can upgrade your wheels and add carrier bars to the roof (among other accessories), but there are no overarching exterior packages that bundle it into a single option.

You can add a Cold Weather Package to select lower Volkswagen Jetta trim levels, which will give you heated rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated windshield washer nozzles. It is also possible to add a Driver Assistance package to the base model VW Jetta S with all of the advanced safety features of the higher models.

Discover the Volkswagen Jetta Trim Levels at Gunther Volkswagen Delray Beach

Do you want to take a closer look at your favorite Volkswagen Jetta trim levels? Visit us at Gunther Volkswagen Delray Beach, and we will gladly show them off to you.

We also have a selection of pre-owned VW Jetta models available if those strike your fancy. Schedule a test drive today at Gunther Volkswagen Delray Beach, then sign on the dotted line for your favorite Volkswagen Jetta trim.

Volkswagen Atlas Trim Level Comparison Chart

Style Starting MSRP* Combined MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seating
R-Line $22,795 34 147.0-hp, 1.4 liter, 4 Cylinder M/T FWD 5
S $19,795 33 147.0-hp, 1.4 liter, 4 Cylinder 8-Speed A/T FWD 5
SE $22,895 33 147.0-hp, 1.4 liter, 4 Cylinder 8-Speed A/T FWD 5
SEL $22,745 33 147.0-hp, 1.4 liter, 4 Cylinder 8-Speed A/T FWD 5
SEL Premium $28,045 33 147.0-hp, 1.4 liter, 4 Cylinder 8-Speed A/T FWD 5

Frequently Asked Questions

Did this Volkswagen Jetta trim levels comparison stir up some questions inside of your head? Read on to see some answers to common customer inquiries that might give you some insight into your own.

Which Jetta trim is the best?

Overall, this is a subjective answer, based on your financial situation and personal vehicle needs. However, the Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium is the best as it is the top trim level, although many will find that the Volkswagen Jetta SEL has everything they need.

If you can go without leather upholstery and an exterior valance, then you can probably settle for the lower model and feel great about your decision.

What is the difference between the Jetta SE and SEL?

If you look more closely at the Volkswagen Jetta trim levels of the VW Jetta SE and VW Jetta SEL, you will notice several differences. It will have the cold weather package already included in the price and bigger wheels on top of it. They elevated the interior with incredible technology, premium comfort, improved audio, and advanced safety features.

Its performance will also be different as it provides you with four selectable drive modes, while the Volkswagen Jetta SE only gives you a sport mode option.

What does GLI mean on a Jetta?

The main difference between your fundamental Volkswagen Jetta and the more advanced Volkswagen Jetta GLI comes with its performance. The VW Jetta GLI will provide you with a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection and 228-horsepower.

You will also be able to add the DCC® adaptive chassis control if you want the ability to alter the firmness of your suspension. The interior and exterior design is upgraded as well and gives off a sportier persona.


1All prices shown are the U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price ("MSRP") and do not include extra costs, such as, but not limited to, taxes, dealer charges, registration, and transportation. For specific product availability and program information, please visit your local authorized Volkswagen dealer.

234 mpg combined (2021 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4L, 4-Cylinder Engine, FWD). EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors, including your driving habits and vehicle condition.

333 mpg combined (2021 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4L, 4-Cylinder Engine, FWD). EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors, including your driving habits and vehicle condition.

VW Jetta Trim Levels - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)