Exclusive: 2025 VW Jetta and GLI photos show first glimpse of updates

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They do say that hiding in plain sight can be effective. So can hiding in a place no one would expect you to be. Perhaps that was Volkswagen's strategy, as we have repeatedly spotted the 2025 VW Jetta and Jetta GLI testing (along with a VW ID Buzz) in Agoura Hills, Calif., just outside Los Angeles and adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountains. Perhaps they also don't expect one of Autoblog's editors to be out on the same road every day after dropping his son off at preschool. Perhaps they will now!

Anyway, although at first glance it appears that neither car is wearing camouflage, upon closer inspection, the lower airdams of both Jetta and GLI feature wraps at their outermost portions that resemble the current model. The Jetta also had one at the rear, and while the GLI did not, it did seem to be the same piece as the current model, whether as camo or because it's just not changing.

VW Jetta SE
VW Jetta SE

Above the bumpers, however, you can clearly see that the grille is mercifully smaller than the bloated current design (above right) and there's less brightwork. We're honestly unsure if the prominent trim piece above the VW badge on the Jetta is chrome or vinyl wrap disguising something else. We assume the gloss black piece in the same location on the GLI is legit. The headlight clusters on both are clearly new, with a prominent rectangular LED running light element. All told, it's a much cleaner and attractive look, especially for the GLI that we spotted in both red and white.

We also got a quick glance at the interior, both on the two occasions we spotted them out on the road and a third (unpictured) when they popped into a Target parking lot while the aforementioned Autoblog editor was doing some shopping. The design is updated, with the touchscreen brought out from the dash. It is not, however, the same as what you'll find in an ID.4 and updated Atlas. You can clearly see knobs on either side of the screen (and we also spotted buttons at Target), showing that Volkswagen is doing more than just bringing physical controls back to steering wheels. It would seem that they are turning back the clock to complement updated touchscreens as well. And the world rejoices. Alternatively, this could just be a base screen offering with something larger available on upper trim levels ... the screen above does seem to be on the small side, especially compared to what you'll find in a 2025 GTI.

You can also see in the above picture that the dash area to the right of the touchscreen is new, and almost indicative of an Audi A3.

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