Refreshed 2025 VW Jetta stays cheap, GLI keeps manual

The Volkswagen Jetta is headed for the 2025 model year with just another refresh, though arguably VW doesn’t want to mess with something that’s working. The compact sedan has more than doubled its sales so far this year, and this quarter has outsold individually the Taos and the Atlas Cross Sport, making it the third best-seller for the brand. 

So with that in mind, the Jetta’s changes are primarily to the styling and some of the features. They all get a new front fascia that’s smoother and features a smaller main grille. They can be had with a thin light bar that connects the LED headlights. The regular Jettas have a chrome accent strip in the lower front fascia, whereas the GLI goes with red. And at least on the GLI, there’s a little Autobahn logo and the words “Let’s Go!” hidden in part of the lower grille mesh. At the back, the changes are a tad more subtle, with the main one being the now-connected taillights. 

Inside, the dashboard takes after the recently updated Atlas line. It adopts the full-width air vents and piano black trim. This is also where one of the main updates comes into play. All of the Jetta models get a standard 8-inch infotainment screen. And we’re pleased to see the infotainment retains shortcut buttons as well as knobs. We’re less excited to see the touch buttons for the climate control. But they are illuminated and have various grooves and ridges to help find the buttons. Plus, automatic climate control is another new standard feature for all Jettas. And to wrap up the new feature highlights, the Jetta SE and GLI now get wireless phone charging and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Powertrains are virtually unchanged, too, with the base model getting the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The GLI sticks with the turbocharged 2.0-liter unit with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. We’re sad to see the manual option for the regular Jetta go away, in favor of only the eight-speed automatic, but we’re pleased to see the GLI still has a manual option in addition to its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Fortunately, the limited changes to the Jetta also translate to little change in pricing, which VW noted has been a contributing factor to Jetta sales, particularly in the face of more expensive financing. The base price technically rises over the previous model since the automatic is now standard, but comparing the automatic models, the 2025 Jetta S is now cheaper at $23,295 (the 2024 S automatic starts at $23,460) including the $1,300 destination charge. Pricing for the full line hasn’t been announced yet, but will likely come soon and probably won’t change drastically from the 2024 line. And new Jettas will reach dealers in the third quarter of this year.

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