9.25.2016

What's The German Word For "Price Cut"? The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium
The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium.
In a business based on forward momentum, it shouldn't be a surprise that most of the time, prices move up from year to year.  Staying even with cost increases, exchange rates and sometimes more than a little hubris when the manufacturer senses it has a product for which customers will pay more all contribute to sticker price creep.

Sometimes it's several hundred dollars.  If it's only a hundred bucks, we'll comment on it (as we did last week in our review of the 2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD V6) as being an instance of admirable restraint.  And we'll call attention to it when the price remains unchanged.

So imagine our surprise and delight to find that the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium costs $775 less than the 2015 model we reviewed a year and a half ago.



Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium
2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium.
$31,895 was the 2015 price for VW's top-of-the-line hybrid Jetta.  Now, that number is $31,120.

It's the same car, virtually unchanged.  Same 1.4-liter gas/electric hybrid powerplant mated to the same seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic.  Same EPA fuel economy estimate of 42 city/48 highway.

Interior view of 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL
2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium.
And I was going to say same amentities and features...but that's actually improved.  In addition to the all-in-one price buffet of great stuff like 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights, fog lights, cornering lamps, LED daytime running lights and LED taillights, a power sunroof, heated, foldable, power adjustable side mirrors, rain-sensing front wipers with heated washer nozzles, dual-zone climate control, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel (leather-wrapped, as is the shift knob), a power driver's seat with manual lumbar support, heated front seats, split-folding rear seat with armrest and pass-through, leatherette seating surfaces, ambient interior lighting, a cooled glove compartment, park distance control with rearview camera, blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, keyless access, pushbutton start, cruise control an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror and Homelink garage door opener.....

(deep breath)

....there's also a major and welcome upgrade to the audio system.  It's VW's new Car-Net, bringing satellite navigation, AM/FM and HD Radio along with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and a CD player to a six-speaker audio system.  And, best of all, Apple Car Play and Android Auto are part of the deal.  That makes it a snap to use the apps on your mobile device (including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and more).

For that upgrade, I'd expect to pay more, not less.  So the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL is a true bargain.

Another change is my bottom-line feelings about the Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium (which bottom-lined, with $820 destination charge, at $31,940).  Reviewing what I wrote about the 2015 model a year and a half ago, there are a few things that don't apply anymore.  I noted a significant price disadvantage when compared to the Honda Civic Hybrid.  That would still be the case, even with the 2016 Jetta Hybrid price cut, but there is no 2016 Civic Hybrid.  

And....I wrote the 2015 review several months before VW's diesel emissions cheating scandal became public.  Not knowing then what we know now, I closed the '15 Jetta Hybrid review with a "TireKicker Top Tip"...that the Jetta TDI Clean Diesel (as they called it) gave up a bit in terms of mileage (11 city/2 highway), but cost about $5,000 less and had the advantage of diesel longevity.  In the wake of the scandal, VW has pulled the Jetta TDI from the market.

That leaves the Jetta Hybrid as the way to go.  And, with the addition of VW Car-Net and the $775 price cut, it's a much more compelling value.

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