2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Remixing the GTI's winning formula
After a generation hanging out on an outdated platform, the Mark VII Volkswagen Jetta finally feels like a fully fledged member of the family rocking the same platform technology and power train of the crowd favorite [UNKNOWN].
You know what that means?
It means that it's time to say hello to To the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI and once again we've got a GLI and it doesn't feel like it plays second fiddle to the GTI.
But still there's something a little off about this sport compacts it in comparing it to what five door sibling so let's take a closer look Shall we?
Now being based on the modular MQV means that Volkswagen was able to take all of the GTS go faster goodies and just bolt them onto the Jetta [UNKNOWN] to complete the GLI.
Which means that in the wheel well we've got a GTI effect suspension that fits a little bit firmer and a little bit lower than the standard Jetta equipment.
And under the hood we've got the same two liter turbocharged four cylinder engine you'll find in the GTI Making 228 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque, which it puts through either a six speed manual transmission, or like we've got here a seven speed dual clutch unit.
The mid tier 35th anniversary edition comes standard with Volkswagen's dynamic chassis, control adaptive damper.
But you can't get that set up on the top tier Autobahn that we're in now which is a little weird, but we're doing pretty good with the fixed Suspension setup.
In fact DCC didn't feel like a must get feature on the GTI and it seems like you can get along just well without it here, this car still feels like a tonne of fun as equipped.
Now aiding the handling of Volkswagens VAQ unlimited Slip Differential and the XDS break assisted electronic differential both on the front axle and those are going to aid instability.
And control when you're tucking into a corner, and powering out past the apex.
Now, you've got four drive modes to choose from.
There's sport, normal, eco, and a customizable individual.
And you can really feel the difference in the steering and the throttle response between sport and normal.
You can also really hear the difference, thanks to the sound generation system.
Now that fake engine noise sweetening feels a little bit more natural here than I remember it in the GTI.
So kind of flip flopping between being just less annoyed with the fake engine sound and kind of liking it.
Wherever side of the fence you come up on, you can definitely adjust this sound in the individual mode.
Now the steering feels about as good as it did in the GTI.
Though the sedan feels just a little bit softer, like it's turning radius is just a little bit larger and you can feel that near the limit.
I like the GTI, which felt good near the limit but best When you only get in at around 75 to 80% of the been the GLA respond best to an enthusiastic but relaxed driving style and under most conditions it feels so fantastic that I don't think most drivers are going to notice the slightly softer slightly more stable right quality under daily driving conditions.
In fact, I think some drivers will actually prefer taking a little bit of that edge off for a longer Highway commutes.
Now, as I mentioned, the GLI is longer than the GTI, about a foot and a half overall.
And while a lot of that goes into the trunk, the sedan features a rear seat that has two extra inches of leg room for backseat passengers, which is good for those of us who want to take advantage of all five seating positions.
That said, the GTI, with its hatchback, still has the overall cargo When loading up bulky items with this rear seat folded flat.
There's just no replacement for all of that displacement.
Now all of the front seat dimensions are about the same between the two cars.
Here is where I think you'll notice the biggest difference between the GTI and the GLI on a daily basis.
That's because the sedan's cockpit just feels a lot cheaper.
They are lower quality Materials like hard shiny plastics on the door cars or lower quality materials on the dashboard.
And there's the general lack of details and finished.
There's no for example contrast stitching at the top of the dash.
And the seats that I'm sitting on are as a regular Jetta FEL seats instead of the sports buckets that you can get into GCI.
And there's a lack of bolstering this will notice when you chast this thing into a corner and find yourself bracing against the central tunnel of the door which it needs.
A rearview camera, blind spot monitoring and forest Collision Warning with automatic braking assist Standard safety features.
But I did notice that some of the Jetta's more advanced driver aid features, things like adaptive cruise control and lane keeping steering assist, are missing from the GLI's options list, which is a little bit Weird.
Now if you can get over those nitpicks or maybe you just don't care at least the Volkswagen GOI is equipped with the same good app Connect technology in the dashboard as the rest of Volkswagens 2019 lineup.
I also noticed that there's no way to upgrade the dashboard text with onboard navigation.
So it's the good get that Android Auto and Apple Car Play our standard terms cuz you're gonna be bringing your own maps Along for the ride.
And in this top trim Autobahn model, we've got the digital cockpit, digital instrument cluster which is really good.
Now we've gone into great detail on this infotainment system and a variety of Volkswagen Buying vehicle.
So if you wanna know why I love it so much, just check out one of road shows various text deep dives.
Compared to something like the Honda Civic Si the GLI, feel like a much larger and more powerful vehicle.
In fact, I'd wager that is a better car overall Compared to something like the aging Subaru WRX This is a much more affordable and easier to live with vehicle though.
I think I might still go with the soupy if I needed all wheel drive or performance was paramount.
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI technically started $26,000 for the base S model which won't be available till later this year.
At time of filming your only choices are the $27,000 35th anniversary edition with executive dampers or this well equipped out of on model for around 29 195.
And in our very special trade paint the seven feet dual plus transmission and destination charges and you're looking at just over $31,000 and equipped
That's about $6,800 less than a comparably equipped GTI Autobahn, which kinda makes up for the cheaper feeling interior.
So, no, the GLI isn't as good as the GTI but it's a lot more affordable, has a discreet trunk, if you're into that and it's still very appealing to those looking for a more spacious back seat experience.
Turns out, falling just short of one of the best sport compacts on the market still leaves Volkswagen's affordable little sports day in here, in a very advantageous and desirable position.
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