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First Look: 2025 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI

by | June 25, 2024

After teasing the launch of the 2025 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI, Volkswagen has formally lifted the covers on its popular compact sedan family. The updated four-door delivers some surprises, starting with a lower entry price point. But the trade-off is the lack of any powertrain upgrades, Headlight.News reports.

2025 VW Jetta and Jetta GLI - new and old

The 2025 models shown alongside the original 1980 VW Jetta.

While a number of manufacturers have been cutting back their passenger car offerings, Volkswagen remains committed to sedans and hatchbacks, as the debut of the 2025 Jetta and Jetta GLI underscore.

The midcycle update brings “refined” styling, inside and out, the big surprise is the $250 price cut on the base Jetta S.

Jetta fans will likely also be pleased to learn that VW will continue to offer a 6-speed manual transmission for 2025, though only on the sporty GLI package. If there’s anything likely to come as a disappointment it’s the fact that there’ll be no other powertrains updates for the coming year. There had been widespread speculation Volkswagen would upgrade performance, at least on the GLI model.

Defying industry trends

2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI - front 3-4

The Jetta is one of the most popular models in VW’s U.S. line-up.

The Jetta was first introduced back in 1980, VW targeting buyers who weren’t interested in the familiar Golf hatchback. Now in its seventh generation, Jetta has remained a solid member of the brand’s U.S. product line-up, sales jumping a full 121% during the first five months of 2024 compared to the same period a year ago.

“It’s the gateway to our brand,” said Pablo Di Si, the president of Volkswagen Group of America.

The sedan has the highest market share of any VW model in the U.S. and is the second-highest model in terms of brand loyalty, noted spokesperson Jess Arntson, during a media background briefing on Monday.

What’s new?

2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI - cabin

The 2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI’s updated cabin.

The automaker’s goal is to maintain those numbers. And the first step means lowering the starting price of the base Jetta S package to $21,995 before factoring in a $1,300 delivery fee.

There are modest exterior tweaks, starting with the front fascia and grille. There are new paint colors — Monterey Blue Pearl and Monument Gray — and wheels. And a look at the rear reveals new, connected lighting.

Inside, VW has revised Jetta’s trim and added new color updates, as well. The instrument panel has been updated, as well, with all trims getting a new, 8-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system.

More Volkswagen News

2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI - stick shift

The GLI will continue to be offered with a 6-speed manual transmission.


The one place things effectively stay the same is under the hood. There had been speculation that the 2025 Jetta might get a performance upgrade, at least with the GLI.

The base sedan currently delivers an acceptable, if far from overwhelming, 158 horsepower. The GLI does offer a bit more grunt, but 228 hp is far from the industry benchmark. One rumored possibility was that the GLI would jump to 296 ponies, matching the updated 2025 Golf GTI. That won’t happen. Both Jetta and GLI will carry over at current ratings.

The good news is that the GLI will continue to be offered with a 6-speed manual, as well as an 7-speed double-clutch transmission. The rest of the Jetta line will feature an 8-speed automatic.

2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI - rear 3-4 driving

The base 2025 VW Jetta S package will come in $250 lower than the outgoing 2024 model.


Jetta will continue to be offered with Volkswagen’s IQ.Drive, a package of advanced driver assistance systems. These include standard features like rear traffic alert, emergency auto braking, active cruise control and blind spot monitoring – some normally found on the option lists with other manufacturers.

The 2025 VW Jetta will go into production in the coming weeks, U.S. models assembled at the automaker’s plant in Puebla, Mexico.

The first of the sedans set to reach U.S. showrooms by late in the third quarter.


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