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Eric's Autos: 2020 Volkswagen Jetta

Eric Peters on

Many car companies have given up on sedans altogether. Ford and General Motors, for instance, have stopped making most of the ones they used to make.

And good luck finding a sedan with a manual transmission, if you swing that way. Especially one that's available in anything other than the base trim version.

Unless the car you're looking at happens to be a Volkswagen Jetta.

What It Is

The Jetta isn't just one of a very few new sedans you can still buy with a manual transmission; it's one of the few sedans that's midsize on the inside but not on the outside.

It's 185.1 inches long, which is significantly shorter than midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry (192.7 inches long) but has almost exactly as much legroom and trunk space -- while taking up less space in your garage and being easier to park.


It also costs thousands less than most midsize-on-the-outside cars: $18,895 for the base S trim (with a six-speed manual transmission) versus around $25k to start for midsize sedans like the Camry, and more for sedans like the Honda Accord.

You can also get the manual in more than just the base trim. The R-Line trim -- which features Audi-like amenities -- stickers for $22,695 to start. Which is still less to start than the typical midsize (and automatic only) sedan, like the Camry.

A top-of-the-line SEL Premium stickers for $27,945. This is the only Jetta trim that comes only with an automatic transmission.

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