You know what they say: there’s nothing better than a Jetta. If you’re on the market for an attractive, high-quality compact car, the only question is which trim level you’ll choose. Those comparing the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta S vs 2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE will find that both options offer a smart array of features in a model that is efficient and elegant. This model year has been simplified to just four trim levels, cutting back from the ten options that were on the market in 2016. The S and SE represent the two starting trims to the Jetta lineup, and both are well-balanced for those shoppers who are on a budget, but don’t want to settle for anything less.

Naturally, a trim level comparison means you’ll find the same basic mechanics and design for both the Jetta S and Jetta SE, which feature the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with its 150 horsepower output. Interior space is also the same, with each grade offering 94.1 cubic feet of passenger space and 15.7 cubic feet of cargo space. So where do these vehicles differ? It’s all about the features.

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2020 White Jetta

2017 Volkswagen Jetta S Vs 2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE
Two-Tone Cloth Upholstery Seating Surfaces V-Tex Leatherette Upholstery
16-inch Carolina alloy wheels Infotainment 6.33” Touchscreen w/App-Connect
Chrome window trim Driver Assistance Features Blind Spot Monitor/Rear Traffic Alert
Cloth seats Heated Front Seats Yes


When it comes to shopping for a new car, you have to decide what are necessities for you. When you choose a base model like the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta S, you drive off with a vehicle that has all the necessities, but lacks the premium features that can bring extra convenience to your life. Moving up a trim level, in this case to the Jetta SE, means the same or upgraded features you’d find with the S, plus some additional ones centering on things like technology or style. They won’t necessarily change your overall driving experience, but these features are nice to have. Below is a breakdown of the most popular highlights for each.

Jetta S Highlights:

  • 4-corner independent suspension
  • LED DRLs
  • 16” steel wheels
  • Bluetooth w/audio streaming
  • Rearview camera system
  • USB Port
  • 5” resistive touchscreen system
  • Multi-function steering wheel
  • Two-tone cloth seating
Jetta SE Highlights (adds or improves on S features)

  • Sunroof
  • 16” Sedona wheels
  • VW Car-Net App-Connect w/Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 6.33” capacitive touchscreen w/proximity sensor and voice control
  • Keyless access w/push-button start
  • V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces
  • Heated front seats
  • Blind Spot Monitor

As you can see, the SE upgrades the wheels to a more stylish option, has better upholstery and upgrades the infotainment system for more advanced connectivity, ease of operation and a larger screen. Other features are additions that the S doesn’t have in the first place, but any feature you see listed under the S highlights that isn’t upgraded will be the same feature you will find in the SE. For example, the DRLs and the multi-function steering wheel are also present on the SE, though not listed as its highlights.

At the end of the day, the best 2017 Volkswagen Jetta trim for you is the one that is most comfortable for you and your budget. Stop by Compass Volkswagen to take a test drive and discuss your financing options.



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