2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan

#29
in Sedans
2019 MODEL
$25,995 - $29,995

6.3

Overall Rating

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Abhinandan Banerjee's image

Abhinandan Banerjee Senior Correspondent Updated on: November 14, 2019


The VW Jetta GLI has been one of the most popular options in the Market that offers European Styling and Handling. The Jetta GLI comes in an All New Generation in 2019 and is based on the ultra-versatile MQB Platform that underpins other modern day VW cars. The 2019 Jetta GLI is not only more powerful than its predecessor but has grown in dimensions as well.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta borrows its engine and brake setup from the Golf GTI along with the Platform. What makes the Jetta, a true sports sedan is the fact that VW is offering it with a 6 Speed Manual or a 7 Speed DSG Dual-Clutch Gearbox.

See detailed review »

Pros

Exhilarating Performance

Generously equipped Interiors

Roomy Cabin

Best in Class Warranty

Superb Handling

Impeccable Build Quality

Cons

Sub-Par Interior Quality

Adaptive suspension is limited to the top trim only

What's New?

Completely redesigned for 2019

New engine and powertrain

Now comes with more standard safety features


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$25995

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

121 cu.in.

horsepower

228 hp @ 5000 rpm

torque

258 lbs.-ft @ 1700 rpm

transmission

6-speed manual

chassis

frame type

MQB

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

60.7/60.4

dimensions

wheelbase

105.6 in.

length

185.2 in.

width

70.8 in.

height

56.8 in.

curb weight

3217 lbs.

ground clearance

5 in.

capacity

passenger volume

94.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

14.1 cu ft.

payload capacity

893 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.1 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/28/32 mpg

highway range

422.4 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

6 yr. / 72000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr. / 72000 mi.

powertrain warranty

72 months. / 72000

corrosion warranty

7 yr. / 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

3 yr. / 36000 mi.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan in Deep Black Pearl color  2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan in Pure White color  2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan in Tornado Red color
Deep Black Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.0

Engine And Performance

5.0

Fuel Economy

7.0

Safety

6.0

6.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan S

S

power
228 hp @ 5000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
28 combined

$25,995 - $26,795


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $26,795 MSRP (25/28/32) 228 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive TBD
S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $25,995 MSRP (25/28/32) 228 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5

 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan 35th Anniversary Edition

35th Anniversary Edition

power
228 hp @ 5000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
28 combined

$26,995 - $27,795


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
35th Anniversary Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $27,795 MSRP (25/28/32) 228 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive TBD
35th Anniversary Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $26,995 MSRP (25/28/32) 228 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5

 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Autobahn

Autobahn

power
228 hp @ 5000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
28 combined

$29,195 - $29,995


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $29,995 MSRP (25/28/32) 228 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive TBD
Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $29,195 MSRP (25/28/32) 228 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

6.3

Overall Rating


In lieu of repeating its success with the Golf GTI hatchback, VW has introduced an All-New Generation of the Jetta GLI in the US market. Known internally as the Mk7 Jetta, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI shares its underpinnings, engine, and brakes from its hatchback sibling. The MQB platform and the new powertrain has resulted in a massive bump in performance of the Mk7 Jetta GLI. 

Available in a total of 3 Trims- S, 35th-anniversary Edition and Autobahn, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is priced between $26,000-$30,000, depending on the Transmission and Trim you choose. The 35th Anniversary trim gets some exclusive features like Dynamic Chassis Control Adaptive Damping System, Comfort Driving Mode and 35th Anniversary badge in and around the car. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI primarily squares off against the Honda Civic Si Sedan but we have also included the Subaru WRX Sedan and the Chevrolet Malibu Premier Sedan for comparison purposes.

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2019 Volkswagen jetta gli
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7.0/10
Features

 

5.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

 
 
 

6.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Features

7.0/10

Unlike the Standard Jetta that comes with 5 trims, the 2019 Jetta GLI comes in just 3 Trims- S, 35th anniversary Edition and Autobahn. The Base variant comes with some great standard features like Powered Side Mirrors, Automatic LED Headlights with LED DRLs, LED Tail Lights and more.

Trim

S

35th Anniversary Edition

Autobahn

MSRP(Manual)

$25,995

$26,995

$29,195

MSRP(Automatic DSG)

$26,795

$27,795

$29,995

Key

Features

LED Projector Headlights, DRLs, taillights

Adds to the Features from the S' Trim

Adds/Upgrades features from 35th Anniversary

 

18" Alloy Wheels

Dark Grey 18" Alloys

Panoramic Sunroof

 

6.5" Color Display with App Connect

35th Anniversary Badge on Seats, Door Sills and Interior Decor

8" Touchscreen with Voice Control, Satellite Radio, and 2 USB ports

 

Heated Front Seats

Adaptive Damping

400W Beats Audio System with CD Player

 

Dual Zone Climate Control

Comfort Mode Drive Setting

VW Digital Cockpit

 

Keyless Entry with Push Button Start

Blackened Roof and Mirror Caps

Power driver seat with lumbar adjust and memory

 

Rear Spoiler

Black Rear Spoiler

Ventilated Leather Seats

 

Limited Slip Differential

Remote Start

 
 

Car-Net Security

   

Trim to Choose

With features like adaptive suspension, comfort drive mode and exclusivity with the Anniversary badge all around, the "35th Anniversary Edition" trim is the one to go for. It is also the best-equipped trim in terms of safety and creature-comfort too. 

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Engine and Performance

5.0/10

This Jetta is about as close to a GTI as you can get without actually buying one- Edmunds.com

The engine in the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has been borrowed from the super sporty Golf GTI. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI gets a bump of nearly 80 horses from the standard Jetta and now produces 228hp and 258lbs.-ft. of torque. The 5 driving modes in the Jetta GLI- Normal, Sport, Eco, Custom, Comfort (Only in the 35th Anniversary Edition), allow for a different driving experience according to the mode chosen. The Sport mode tweaks the shift points and throttle maps and is the most engaging one to drive. The Eco mode optimizes the Jetta's behaviour for better fuel economy and also puts a leash on those extra horses that give you the punch in the Sport mode.

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Speaking of Transmission, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI gets both - a 6 Speed Manual Transmission and a 7 speed DSG Dual Clutch Transmission. Both perform brilliantly well in all conditions and offer jerk-free shifts at all times.

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI S

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

MSRP

$26,890

$25,220

$28,080

$32,695

Engine

2.0L Inline 4 Cylinder Turbocharged

1.5L Inline 4 Cylinder Turbocharged

2.0L Flat 4 Cylinder Turbocharged

2.0L Inline 4 Cylinder Turbocharged

Transmission

6 Speed Manual

6 Speed Manual

6 Speed Manual

9 Speed Automatic

Horsepower(hp)

228@5000rpm

205@5700rpm

268@5600rpm

250@5300rpm

Torque(lbs.-ft.)

258@1700rpm

192@2100rpm

258@2000rpm

260@2000rpm

Speaking of numbers, the Subaru tops the list in terms of power and performance and the Chevy comes in 2nd. All cars in this comparison other than Subaru WRX come with an FWD setup. Offered as standard across the lineup, Subaru's AWD system also adds extra weight to it. The Honda Civic Si appears to be dwarfed in terms of numbers, however, things might change once the weight factor is considered.

Acceleration

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI doesn't fail to impress in terms of performance. With just 6.5 seconds to 60MPH from standstill, the Jetta GLI manages to demolish the time of its chief rival- The Honda Civic Si.

In terms of daily driving, the Jetta GLI offers enough grunt and punch to perform overtakes on all occasions. What sets the Jetta apart is that it still retains the calm attitude of the conventional Jetta sedan. However, floor the pedal, and a completely new personality emerges out of it.

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Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI S

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

0-60 MPH(sec)

6.5

7.2

6.2

5.7

Quarter mile(sec)

N/A

14.5

14.5

14.4

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

6.3

5.5

7.7

6.8

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3217

2906

3294

3223

The best performing sedan in our comparison turns out to be the Chevrolet Malibu premier that does 60MPH in under 6 seconds. The Subaru is the second quickest in our list and the Honda comes in the last.

Ride and Handling

The MQB platform though has significantly changed the way the Jetta GLI handles. The handling is tilted towards the sportier side and the low profile tires add to the drama. The flat-bottom steering wheel, initially light in nature, weighs up well according to the speed and is a joy to steer. No matter what speeds you do, you'll always feel connected to the road.

The multi-link independent rear suspension with VAQ limited-slip differential and the MacPherson struts on the front add to the driving dynamics of the Jetta GLI and gives it a typical European flair. With a reduction in ride height by 0.6-inch, the Jetta GLI feels more planted at high speeds and takes corners, more confidently.

Braking

With the braking setup taken directly from the Golf GTI, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI performs supremely well in the braking department. In terms of feel, the brake pedals offer a lot of confidence and don't feel jittery or spongy in application.

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Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI S

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

Brake Front (in.)

13.4

12.2

12.4

11.8

Brake Rear (in.)

11.8

11.4

11.3

11.3

60-0 MPH (ft.)

160**

125

112

117

**Indicates 70-0MPH figures

The Subaru WRX is the best car in the braking department as far as numbers are considered. The Chevy comes in close at second place and the Honda compromises with the third position.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI's turbocharged unit is not only good on the performance front, but fuel efficiency as well. It has one of the best MPG figures in the segment and the efficient gearing, further allows the VW to squeeze out maximum miles in a gallon of fuel from the 2.0L Motor.

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI S

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

MPG (city)

25

28

21

22

MPG (highway)

32

38

27

32

MPG (combined)

28

32

23

26

Fuel Tank Capacity(Gal.)

13.2

12.4

15.9

15.8

Range(City/Highway) in Miles

330/422

347/471

334/429

348/506

The Chevrolet and the Honda stack up head-to-head in terms of the driving range on offer but the Civic clearly takes the lead in the overall MPG figures. The VW comes in a close second and Chevy Malibu comes in at 3rd place. The AWD setup of the Subaru makes it the least fuel-efficient vehicle of the lot.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Interior

While the GLI has the same basic roomy cabin as the standard Jetta, a few bits of red trim spice things up somewhat.-Caranddriver.com

Layout, Seating and Comfort

One of the reasons why the MQB platform of the VW group has become famous is the increase in interior space. This MQB platform has created a similar impact on the 7th Gen Jetta GLI as well. The driver-focused cabin is evident from the way the center console is tilted towards the driver, making it easier for him to control things.

2019 Volkswagen jetta gli seating

The interior layout adheres to the typical German design language. Customers won't see many inconsistencies or panel gaps in the interiors of the Jetta GLI and will be thoroughly impressed by the quality of materials used. However, the overall look of the interior, unlike most rivals, isn't very flashy. The seats have been given better bolstering and cushioning than the previous-gen car and have been made more ergonomic.

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI S

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.5/55.9/41.1

37.5/56.9/42.3

39.8/55.6/43.3

39.1/58.5/41.5

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.2/54.0/37.4

36.8/55.0/37.4

37.1/54.2/35.4

37.5/57.1/38.1

Passengers in the front seat will enjoy the extra space liberated due to the MQB platform in the Jetta GLI. The headroom is decent for most passengers while the shoulder room and legroom will be something, the customers won't complain about. A similar story exists for the rear as well wherein, customers will get oodles of space to comfortably rest their bodies while on long drives.

Cargo Capacity

The expanded interior storage of the 2019 Jetta GLI has caused a minuscule reduction in the overall cargo-carrying capacity of the Jetta GLI. Thankfully, the previous-gen Jetta already was a segment leader in terms of the cargo capacity. Losing a few inches in the trunk is acceptable, as it still stacks up head to head with most of the rivals in the segment. 

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The trunk opens high and wide. However, the bottom lip of the trunk could cause a bit of trouble as it is set a bit higher than the rivals. The top-trim cushions this blow though, thanks to the adaptive suspension setup which lowers the bottom end of the car when the trunk is opened. Further sweetening the experience, the trunk lid can be closed with the touch of a button. 

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI S

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

Cargo Capacity (cu.ft)

14.1

14.7

12.0

15.8

The Chevy Malibu Premier offers the Best Cargo Space in this comparison, followed by the Honda and the VW respectively. The Subaru loses out on this front and offers the least space in the trunk.

Infotainment Features

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI isn't just a sedan on steroids but a practical one as well. The GLI's infotainment system is loaded with all the modern features that would excite the nerd inside you. Some of the cool features include

2019 Volkswagen jetta gli infotainment

  • 10.65" Digital Cockpit
  • Internet Radio/FM/CD Player/2 USB ports
  • 8" Touchscreen System with Navigation and Voice Assist
  • 400W Beats Audio System
  • VW App connect with Apple Car Play and Android Auto

Interior features include

  • 10 Color Customizable Ambient Lighting
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
  • Power Driver Seats with lumbar adjust and memory
  • Ventilated Seats
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2019 Volkswagen jetta gli dashboard
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2019 Volkswagen jetta gli instrumental cluster
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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Exterior

For GLI duty, the already handsome Jetta Sedangets a muscular updo.- Cnet.com

Design and Dimensions

Volkswagens of the past have always been criticized for their boring and dull exteriors and styling. With the 7th Generation of the Jetta GLI, VW has tried to change this reputation by incorporating better design and adding more character.

There are sharp lines across the bonnet of the sedan that offers some flair to the otherwise "Subtle" front. The red treatment on the exteriors gives the GLI an upper hand over the standard Jetta that further adds some sporty character.

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The 7th gen Jetta GLI has changed heavily in terms of weight and dimensions, after the incorporation of the MQB platform. It has grown considerably bigger over its previous-gen avatar owing to the same fact. The grill has grown bigger than before, with a more prominent VW Logo in the front.

Model

Volkswagen Jetta GLI S

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

Curb weight (lbs.)

3217

2906

3294

3223

Length(in)

185.2

182.8

180.9

194.2

Width(in)

70.8

70.8

70.7

73.0

Height(in)

56.8

55.5

58.1

57.9

Ground clearance (in)

5.0

NA

4.9

NA

Wheelbase (in)

105.6

106.3

104.3

111.4

While the Jetta GLI is bigger than its immediate rival- The Honda Civic Si, it still is smaller in size when compared to the Chevy Malibu Premier. The Subaru is completely dwarfed here though.

Exterior Features

The Exterior of the 7th Generation Jetta GLI has features like LED Headlamps and Tail Lamps as standard on the base trim. Some other exterior features in the lineup include

  • LED Headlights and Daytime Running Lamps
  • LED Tail Lights
  • Rain Sensing Windshield wipers
  • Heated and Powered Side Mirrors with memory for Driver side
  • 18" Alloy Wheels
  • Powered Sunroof
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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Safety

6.0/10

The VW Jetta, adhering to its German genes, flaunts one of the safest and the strongest body structure in this segment.  Most of the VWs have earned above-average ratings whenever tested, which is a testimony to VW's focus on the safety of its cars. If you are finding it hard to believe it then let us tell you that the 2018 Jetta GLI has scored "5 stars" in the crash testing by NHTSA. 

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The 2019 VW Jetta GLI has neither been tested by the IIHS nor the NHTSA up till now but we shall update you with the same once we have the final results.

Some Safety Features in the VW Jetta GLI include:

  • ABS with EBD and Hydraulic Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control with Anti Slip Regulation
  • Electronic Differential Locking and Engine Brake Assist
  • Driver and Front Passenger Front and Side Thorax Airbag
  • Front and Rear Side Curtain and Head Protection Airbag
  • Front Seatbelt with pre-tensioners and load limiters
  • LATCH child seat anchor points
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Competition

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is the benchmark of the compact sedan segment because of multiple reasons. It has a powerful engine that feels refined and delivers good fuel efficiency. It also offers tremendous space inside the cabin and in the trunk as well.

The VW, however, trumps the Civic in almost all parameters. Leave aside the slightly inferior quality of plastics used and you will like the Jetta GLI specifically for its performance and handling dynamics. Sure, the Honda is cheaper by $500 but it's still not enough to overpower the Jetta GLI here.

2019 Honda Civic

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Chevrolet Malibu

While it is unfair to compare the Malibu and Jetta GLI directly because of their sizes, the Jetta GLI is quite close to it in terms of performance. The Malibu comes in just 1 trim and is expensive by quite a margin when compared to the VW. The Malibu is more of a family car than a spirited driver. The VW is by far, the better put-together car of the two and hands down, is the better handler of the lot as well.

2019 Chevrolet Malibu

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX is the closest car in terms of handling and performance when compared to the GLI. The Subaru tackles the road surfaces slightly better than the VW and edges the VW in road manners as well. The VW, on the other hand, feels more premium of the two and offers a lot more features for its asking price. The Subaru is a decent buy for people who are willing to spend the extra cash, otherwise, the Jetta GLI is good enough to leave a smile on their faces.

2019 Subaru WRX

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Final Verdict

With the performance and dynamism of the Golf GTI, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is truly "The GTI of Sports Sedans". With an impressive set of gearboxes on offer, tremendous handling abilities, impeccable brakes and plenty of punch under the hood, the Jetta GLI offers something special for every penny you spend on it. 

FAQs

Is the Jetta GLI All-wheel-drive (AWD)?

Unfortunately, the Jetta GLI doesn't come with an all-wheel-drive system. However, it is speculated that an all-wheel-drive version is under works and will be released later.

What is the difference between Jetta and Jetta GLI?

The Jetta is inclined more towards comfort and luxury with a balanced fuel efficiency as well. Keep the luxury counterpart intact and compromise a bit with the fuel economy for much better performance and handling, and you got yourself the GLI. For more information on the standard 2019 Jetta, click here.

Are Volkswagens reliable?

Germans have held a particular reputation when it comes to the safety of their occupants. Most of the vehicles to walk out of VW's chambers have proven their impeccable build quality whenever pitted against the crash tests organized by NHTSA and the IIHS. The Jetta GLI adheres to the same notion and is clearly one of the better-built cars of the lot.

Does the Jetta GLI come with a warranty?

The Jetta GLI is backed by a class-leading 6 year/72,000-mile warranty. For more information, please refer to the features tab on the top half of this page.