Volkswagen's raised the base price of the 2012 Jetta sedan for the new model year, and added more features in new trim levels, while the SportWagen continues on with just a few minor changes, at a price point significantly higher than the base sedan.
All Jetta S sedans come standard with the 115-horsepower four, and five-speed manual, along with power windows, locks and mirrors; an AM/FM/CD player with an auxiliary jack; and air conditioning. An automatic transmission is an option, as is a package with a sunroof; a front center console; and cruise control.
The Jetta SE upgrades to the five-cylinder engine and adds vinyl upholstery; heated seats; satellite radio; iPod connectivity; Bluetooth; a center console; cruise control; a locking glove box; and floor mats. Leather trim on the steering wheel and audio controls on it come with a Convenience package. The controls are rocker-style switches; we prefer the roller controls from other VW/Audi products, but these controls at least operate the track functions for the Jetta's Bluetooth streaming audio. A Sunroof package adds touchscreen controls for the audio system and the retractable glass roof.
Jetta TDI sedans are equipped like the SE, adding in the dual-clutch transmission and a touchscreen navigation system as an option.
The Jetta SEL takes the SE's standard equipment and adds 17-inch wheels; rear disc brakes; fog lamps; pushbutton start and keyless entry. New this year, standard Fender audio blends 400 watts of power, a subwoofer and Panasonic speakers into a warm, midtone-heavy sound package that's powerful enough to rattle the Jetta's rear package shelf. (The Fender system's an option on the TDI, too.) A Sport package with tighter suspension settings, grippy seats and metallic trim can be ordered on this version, as can a sunroof.
On the new top Jetta, the GLI, the standard gear starts with a turbocharged four-cylinder and six-speed manual, with an option for VW's excellent DSG transmission with paddle controls. Standard features include sport bucket seats with red stitching; a flat-bottom steering wheel with red details; aluminum pedals and interior trim; red brake calipers; fog lamps; and 17-inch wheels. Options include two styles of 18-inch wheels; a sunroof; dual-zone automatic climate control; heated seats; and Fender audio.
The most expensive Jetta GLI sedan with navigation is priced at just over $27,000, including destination. At that price, it's still not offered with leather seating, or even a cloth-seat option.
The Jetta SportWagen, on its distinct platform, is sold in fewer trim packages. For a base price of just under $20,000, the wagon comes with 16-inch wheels and all-season tires; power windows, locks and mirrors; air conditioning; cruise control; tilt/telescope steering; Bluetooth; power front seats; an AM/FM/CD player with an auxiliary jack; and a trip computer. Options on the gas-engined wagon include a sunroof and 17-inch wheels; the TDI gets the same options and additionally, a touchscreen navigation system, keyless entry and pushbutton start.