• Volkswagen gave the 2025 Jetta GLI a refresh
  • Jetta GLIs will sport nicer materials
  • Jetta GLIs are still powered by a turbo-4 mated to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission

A performance sedan with a manual transmission might seem as rare as a unicorn these days, but some are still available, even at the more affordable end of the new car spectrum.

One of them is the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, which has been updated for the 2025 model year along with the rest of the Jetta range. The update is the second for the current-generation Jetta which first arrived as a 2019 model in the U.S.

The latest round of changes include new exterior styling, new colors and wheel patterns, a revised dashboard, and better-quality trim materials.

The grille design is new for all grades and there are also new LED headlights, as well as a light bar at the rear. The standard wheels measure 17 inches in diameter but the SEL and GLI grades get 18-inch wheels as standard. Buyers can also choose to have the wheels finished in black.

2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Inside, the former integrated infotainment screen at the top of the center stack has been replaced by a floating screen measuring 8.0 inches. It’s joined by the former 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster.

The controls for the climate settings located below the infotainment screen are also new. Premium touches for the GLI include perforated leather trim with contrast stitching on the seats, heated and ventilated power adjustable front seats, dash accents with a matte finish, a black headliner, and illuminated sill plates.

No change has been made to the mechanical package. Power in the GLI comes from a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that delivers a peak 228 hp to the front wheels, either via a 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Regular Jettas get a 158-hp 1.5-liter turbo-4 and an 8-speed automatic.

2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The GLI also comes with a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension instead of the torsion beam setup used on other other grades. It also features adaptive dampers and both a limited-slip differential and a differential lock.

All 2025 Jettas come standard with a suite of electronic driver-assist features. These include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and blind spot and rear cross traffic warning.

The 2025 Jetta lineup is due at dealerships in the third quarter of the year. The base Jetta will carry a starting price of $21,995, before destination. Pricing for other grades will be announced at a later date. The related Golf range has also been updated for 2025, with the U.S. once again set to receive the spicy Golf GTI and Golf R grades.

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