The 2020 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.
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, blind spot monitoring, 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, a remote starter and lane-keep assist.
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.
Practical And Spacious Interior
40 Mpg Highway Estimate
Plenty Of In-cabin Entertainment Options
Advanced Safety Features
After a major redesign last year, the Jetta returns for 2020 without too many changes. VW has added a few new features to some of the trim levels, while the sporty R-Line now comes with a six-speed manual transmission. As far as features go, the biggest change is probably the addition of the cold weather package, which is available on SE and R-Line models, but comes standard on the SEL versions.
With rivals like the Honda Civic, Mazda3, and Subaru Impreza the Jetta stands out by being a jack of all trades, offering a little bit of everything to buyers. A more modern take to a classic looking exterior, spacious interior, an excellent driving experience, on top of great standard equipment and gas mileage, make the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta a contender to take down the near dozen contenders occupying the segment.