VolkswagenJetta GLI

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Base model shown as 2020 S Manual
2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S Manual - front view

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Customizable Digital Cockpit
  • Compatible with BeatsAudio
  • VW Car-Net ® Security & Service
  • Comfort sport seating
  • Digital infotainment center
  • Adaptive cruise control

The new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is the twin to the Golf GTI. While not as popular as the GTI, reviews state that the Jetta GLI still packs a powerful punch into a little bit of car. Perfect for sports car fans and those who like a little bit of luxury with a lot of practicality, the new Jetta GLI hits that sweet spot between quality and comfort with a 228 hp engine, 258 pound-feet of torque and a sporty body style.

Sport drivers will appreciate the spunky features offered by the Volkswagen Jetta GLI. The rear suspension system features the sport-specific independent suspension and brakes.

Independent rear suspension is a unique safety feature for the 2019 Jetta that allows the wheels of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta to respond individually. The limited-slip differential allows both the front and back wheels of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta to respond well to slippery road conditions.

The chassis of this new 2019 Volkswagen is tuned according to sport preferences to enable good handling, control, and response time from the brakes in any road conditions. Electrically controlled dampers allow for a smoother ride. Although this option is only available in higher trim levels, the base 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is more than sufficient for sport drivers.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is a real treat. Two settings, Sport and Normal, allow you to choose between either a more intense steering wheel experience or the normal wheel feel found in cars across the board. Steering for this edition of the 2019 Volkswagen is responsive and quick with 2.1 complete turns lock-to-lock.

The tires are another great feature of the Volkswagen Jetta GLI auto. The summer performance tires feature good grip levels of 0.95 grams for the automatic transmission 2019 Volkswagen models and 0.98 grams for the manual transmission 2019 Volkswagen Jetta models.

The latter trimmed an impressive seven feet from the 160-foot stop with the brakes from 70 miles per hour. Body control, location of primary controls and acceleration are all right up top with the GLI’s twin, the Golf GTI.

How Fast Can the Volkswagen Jetta GLI Go?

Zero-60-mph time reviews for the new 2019 Jetta is listed at 5.6 seconds with the dual-clutch automatic transmission model. The manual transmission did nearly just as well at the same speed in 5.8 seconds.

The weight difference between the 2019 Volkswagen stick shift over the automatic is a mere 23 pounds. However, the difference between the five-to-60 mph dash was significant, especially at top-gear passing maneuvers at speeds from 30 to 50 mph and speeds from 50 to 70 mph.

The turbocharged engine for these cars offers a stunning 228 hp rating with 258 pound-feet of torque when using premium fuel. The powertrain emits a pleasing growl that is tastefully piped into the cockpit of the 2019 Volkswagen.

The sound levels are adjustable ranging from Normal to Sport for the best experience in the 2019 Jetta. The fuel economy is standard at 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. However, the combined mph for the anniversary edition 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is one mpg higher than the GTI Golf at 28; the manual transmission model was even better at 25 mpg.

Interior Review Results: Good, But Could Be Better

According to reviews, seating options in the anniversary edition GLI cars for 2019 are a little on the disappointing side. The seats in the GTI Golf are deep and cushiony with plaid covered upholstering. However, the GLI features the Jetta Premium seats instead.

This is a common complaint among Jetta fans, who want the VW GTI Golf seating options available in the Sport GLI.

The 35th-anniversary edition of the GLI sedan is offered in special branding with specific side badging, red-trimmed dark grey alloyed wheels, and red contrast-stitch 35th edition seats. Some reviews have likened the design of the GLI to an entry-level Audi A3.

The interior of this edition of the GLI is spacious for the class and is a little more than its cousin the GTI. The front seats are about the same, but the rear seat area features almost two inches more legroom than other models.

On the outside, the body is almost a foot and a half longer. Most of this additional space is the result of the huge trunk, which measures 14 cubic feet.

Driver customization is way ahead of the game in the Volkswagen Jetta GLI. The Digital Cockpit features allows you to set four different driver profiles and personalizes your driving experience with different settings, system options and ambient lighting.

Connectivity with the Jetta GLI is a breeze using App-Connect with Apple CarPlay ™ and Android Auto ™. Plugging in your compatible smartphone will allow your select apps to display on the touchscreen of your Jetta.

Volkswagen Car-Net ®

Perhaps the most spectacular features offered in the Volkswagen GLI is the Volkswagen Car-Net ® Security & Service system. This stunning system allows you to:

  • Locate your parking location
  • Find parking in a crowded parking lot
  • Check to see if the doors are locked
  • Call for help in case of an emergency
  • Check vehicle health reports via diagnostic displays

This option is only available for the higher trim level 1.4T SEL and the 1.4T SEL Premium Volkswagen Jetta editions. If you really want to get fancy, the Guide & Inform feature specific to the 1.4T SEL Premium offers built-in satellite navigation, weather reports, and traffic updates. Guide & Inform also presents sports scores and gives you the prices of the nearest gas stations via SiriusXM ® Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link ®.

What Is the Competition for this Sedan?

The only competition for the Volkswagen Jetta sedan is the Honda Civic Si and the Subaru WRX, both of which fail to deliver as well as the Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

Pros and Cons of the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI


  • Featuring Volkswagen Car-Net ®
  • Sport-tuned suspension system
  • Available in manual and automatic transmission configs
  • Responsive steering and handling
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Special features specific to the anniversary GLI


  • Gas mileage is not the best
  • Top features only available in higher trim levels
  • Only offered with front wheel drive in 2019
  • Acceleration can be sluggish
Model History

The year 2019 marks the 35th anniversary of the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, the best-selling performance version of the VW sedan lineup. Over the past three decades, multiple generations of the GLI Jetta have consistently delivered family-friendly and affordable transportation to auto enthusiasts, businesspeople, and families alike.

The first Jetta GLI arrived in the United States for the model year 1984. Following the successful launch of the Golf GTI—known as the Rabbit GTI in the U.S.—Volkswagen deiced to create a sport version of the Jetta. Thus, the GLI Volkswagen Jetta was born.

The first GLI Volkswagen Jetta was powered by some of the same then-cutting-edge technologies used in the Golf. This included a fuel-injected, 90-horsepower 1.8L engine, updated cylinder heads, lighter pistons, and a higher compression ratio. A five-speed manual transmission was standard with improved suspension for sportier driving.

The Jetta continued to change and improve through the 1980s and 1990, undergoing multiple enhancements to improve performance and visual appearance. In 1990, the first 16-valve 2.0L engine made its way into the GLI.

The turn of the century saw further enhancements. The Jetta returned in 2002 with upgrades including a 2.98L narrow-angle VR6 engine. In 2004, the turbocharged 1.8L direct-injection engine configuration was first offered—the only time the GLI was available with more than one engine option.

The Mk5 Jetta GLI was paired with the 2.0L TSI turbocharged engine with the independent rear suspension and the 18-inch alloy wheels that the Jetta GLI is known for in 2019. The best technological advances included adaptive cruise control, digital touchscreen navigation, keyless entry, and heated seats.

The anniversary Jetta GLI with its front-wheel drive, standard 228 hp engine, and 258 pound-feet of torque continues to build on the Volkswagen platforms, offering European-quality vehicles at affordable prices. The fifth-generation Volkswagen Jetta GLI car is a testament to decades of quality service and style, and is one of the best luxury sport cars.

Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI


Body Style
2.0L TSI 228HP DOHC 16V I4 Turbocharged
228 hp
6-Speed Manual
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Front Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Audio
  • Back Up Camera
  • Blind Spot Sensor
  • Bluetooth
  • Cruise Control
  • Heated Seats
  • LCD Monitor
  • LED Lights
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Monitors
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 2.0L TSI 228HP DOHC 16V I4 Turbocharged -inc: direct injection
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
  • Front-Wheel Drive
  • 3.24 Axle Ratio
  • Engine Oil Cooler
  • 60-Amp/Hr 540CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
  • 140 Amp Alternator
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • Sport Tuned Suspension
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 13.2 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
  • Security System Pre-Wiring
  • Brake Actuated Limited Slip Differential
  • Wheels: 18" Two-Tone Twin 5-Spoke Machined Alloy
  • Tires: 18" All-Season
  • Steel Spare Wheel
  • Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Bumper Insert
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
  • Rocker Panel Extensions
  • Black Side Windows Trim
  • Body-Colored Door Handles
  • Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass
  • Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers
  • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
  • Lip Spoiler
  • Black Grille
  • Front License Plate Bracket
  • Trunk Rear Cargo Access
  • Fully Automatic Projector Beam Led Low/High Beam Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
  • Perimeter/Approach Lights
  • LED Brakelights
  • Radio: AM/FM 6.5" Touchscreen w/WMA/MP3 -inc: USB input, 6 speaker sound system, VW App-Connect smartphone integration and interface w/Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, capability for in-vehicle 4G LTE enabled Wi-Fi (cellular data plan required; includes limited trial), capability for VW Car-Net services (capabilities for certain services vary; requires enrollment or subscription) and Bluetooth connectivity (for compatible devices)
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
  • Audio Theft Deterrent
  • Window Grid Diversity Antenna
  • 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
  • Heated Front Comfort Sport Seats -inc: 6-way manual driver's seat w/height adjustment and 4-way manual front passenger seat
  • Driver Seat
  • Passenger Seat
  • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows
  • Sport Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Proximity Key For Doors And Push Button Start
  • Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
  • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access
  • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
  • Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Simulated Carbon Fiber Instrument Panel Insert, Simulated Carbon Fiber Door Panel Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Leather/Metal-Look Gear Shift Knob
  • Cloth Seating Surfaces
  • Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors
  • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage and 1 12V DC Power Outlet
  • Front And Rear Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
  • Carpet Floor Trim
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
  • Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • Analog Display
  • Seats w/Cloth Back Material
  • Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
  • Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
  • 1 Seatback Storage Pocket
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • 1 12V DC Power Outlet
  • Air Filtration
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Blind Spot Monitor Blind Spot Sensor
  • Front Assist w/Autonomous Emergency Braking and Rear Traffic Alert
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Side Curtain Protection Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera

Warranty Options for the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI (5)










Roadside Assistance






Available Trims for the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI (4)

S Manual
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Starting at
Autobahn Manual
MSRP Starting at
Autobahn DSG
MSRP Starting at

Safety Ratings for the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S Manual:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating

Dynamic Test Result

No Tip

Risk of Rollover


Rollover Note

Dynamic (moving) test results (Tip or No Tip) and measured rollover-related properties determine vehicle's risk of rollover in single vehicle crash and its rollover rating. The Rollover Resistance Rating utilizes a "fishhook" maneuver which is a series of abrupt turns at varying speeds to see how "top-heavy" a vehicle is.


Male: Average sized adult male dummy in 35-MPH crash into fixed barrier. Rating is evaluation of injury to head, neck, chest, legs. Female: Small-sized adult female dummy in 35-mph crash into fixed barrier. Rating is evaluation of injury to head, neck, chest, legs.