2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan

Rating7.0

Ranked #20 in Sedan

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Starting MSRP 

$26,245

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Key Spec of 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan
fuel economy

25/28/33

fuel type

Regular Unleaded

horsepower

228 hp @ 5000 rpm

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50,000 mi.

ProsConsWhat's New

Impressive acceleration figures

Driver aids could be better

Wireless charging and adaptive suspension standard on Autobahn trim

Excellent driving dynamics

Advanced features limited to the top trim

Gets VW Car-Net connectivity services as standard

Practical interior

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: May 9, 2022

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The new Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a carry-over model of the 2019 model year of the car with some minor changes. The Jetta GLI made a comeback with the 2019 model after a long time to spice up the declining popularity of Jetta. The Jetta GLI is a performance-oriented model of the standard Jetta. The Jetta GLI offers good practicality as a daily driver and still has the capability to offer some impressive performance and driving dynamics when you want the driving pleasure. 


Over All Rating

7.0

Out of 10

8.50
8.50
6.40
7.00
7.50
5.00
6.20
7.00
Notable Rankings

#20 in Sedan

#20 in Compact Sedan


Pictures & Videos


Trims

S$26,245 onwards


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Used 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan For Sale

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2019 Volkswagen JettaHome Delivery
25
Price Drop, $500
Previous Price: $2349013 Apr 2021

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Autobahn GLI Sedan

Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

$22,990
Est. $312/mo
Good Deal
$2,406 Below market
RMV: $25,396
Streamwood, IL
Check Availability
2021 Volkswagen Jetta
3
Price Rise, $1000
Previous Price: $2999511 Jul 2022

2021 Volkswagen Jetta Autobahn GLI Sedan

Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

$30,995
Est. $420/mo
Good Deal
$3,189 Below market
RMV: $34,184
La Grange, NC
Check Availability
2020 Volkswagen Jetta
15

2020 Volkswagen Jetta Autobahn GLI Sedan

Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 7A)

$28,998
Est. $393/mo
Good Deal
$2,829 Below market
RMV: $31,827
Shreveport, LA
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2020 Volkswagen Jetta
8
Price Drop, $980
Previous Price: $2770526 Jul 2022

2020 Volkswagen Jetta S GLI Sedan

S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 7A)

$26,725
Est. $362/mo
Good Deal
$2,597 Below market
RMV: $29,322
Natchitoches, LA
Check Availability
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
13
Price Rise, $110
Previous Price: $2588807 Jul 2022

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Autobahn GLI Sedan

Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

$25,998
Est. $352/mo
Good Deal
$2,475 Below market
RMV: $28,473
West Islip, NY
Check Availability
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
18
Price Drop, $1100
Previous Price: $2599015 Jul 2022

2019 Volkswagen Jetta 35th Anniversary Edition GLI Sedan

35th Anniversary Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

$24,890
Est. $337/mo
Good Deal
$2,374 Below market
RMV: $27,264
Tucson, AZ
Check Availability
2021 Volkswagen Jetta
5
Price Drop, $203
Previous Price: $3010013 Jun 2022

2021 Volkswagen Jetta S GLI Sedan

S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

$29,897
Est. $405/mo
Good Deal
$2,795 Below market
RMV: $32,692
Florence, SC
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2019 Volkswagen JettaHome Delivery
25

2019 Volkswagen Jetta 35th Anniversary Edition GLI Sedan

35th Anniversary Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

$22,990
Est. $312/mo
Good Deal
$2,140 Below market
RMV: $25,130
Minneapolis, MN
Check Availability
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
13
Price Drop, $689
Previous Price: $2496021 Jul 2022

2019 Volkswagen Jetta 35th Anniversary Edition GLI Sedan

35th Anniversary Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

$24,271
Est. $329/mo
Good Deal
$2,199 Below market
RMV: $26,470
West Springfield, MA
Check Availability

Colors and Styles

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan in Deep Black Pearl color
Deep Black Pearl

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is offered in two trim levels and starts at an MSRP of $26,245. The GLI is powered by a 2.0L Turbo I-4 engine that comes with a choice of a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG transmission option. The GLI is the only option in the Jetta lineup for you if you are looking for a fun-to-drive option. The 2020 Jetta GLI competes against the likes of the Honda Civic Si, Subaru WRX, and the Chevrolet Malibu Premier.


Features
8.5/10

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is offers in two trim levels S and Autobahn. Both trims are available with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional DSG transmission which is Volkswagen’s DCT automatic transmission. The standard features with the 2020 Jetta GLI include 18” alloy wheels, heated front seats, limited-slip differential, keyless entry with push-button start, 6.5-inch touchscreen, 6-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Autobahn trim adds DCC adaptive suspension, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated leather seats with a power-adjustable driver's seat, remote start, 8-inch touchscreen, 8-speaker BeatsAudio system, and wireless smartphone charging.

Trim

S

Autobahn

MSRP (Manual)

$26,245

$29,945

MSRP (Automatic DSG)

$27,045

$30,745

Key Features

18” alloy wheels

In addition to the S trim:

 

Heated front seats

DCC adaptive suspension

 

Limited-slip differential

Panoramic sunroof

 

Keyless entry with push-button start

Ventilated leather seats with a power-adjustable driver's seat

 

6.5-inch touchscreen

Remote start

 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

8-inch touchscreen

 

6-speaker audio system

8-speaker BeatsAudio system

 

Rearview camera

Wireless smartphone charging

We recommend

Although the base S trim of the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is well-equipped with useful features, we recommend going for the Autobahn trim level. The upgrades with the Autobahn trims are worth the price and significantly improve the overall driving and experience inside the cabin. One of the key reasons why you should consider upgrading is the adaptive suspension that is limited to the Autobahn trim while a bigger touch screen and ventilated seats might be a great reason too. 

Engine and Performance
6.4/10

The performance is the prime reason why you came here for the Jetta GLI and there is no doubt that it should be impressive. The 2020 VW Jetta GLI is powered by a potent 2.0L Turbo I-4 engine. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission as standard but you have the option to upgrade to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that Volkswagen also calls DSG transmission. The Jetta GLI is a front-wheel-drive sedan that is quite common in its segment. The engine produces 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The power figures are at par with the key rivals. 

The performance of the Jetta GLI is quite exciting for its price. At this price, you do not expect a car that you can take to the race track and keep it against the F1 racing cars. The Jetta GLI has enough performance under its hood that it can excite you on your daily drive. The Jetta GLI can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds while it completes the quarter-mile run in under 15 seconds. The acceleration is among the best in the class if not the best. What makes it more fun for the driver is the overall driver engagement which matters a lot for a performance sedan. 

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI 

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

MSRP

$26,245

$25,220

$28,080

$32,695

Engine

2.0L Turbo I-4 

1.5L Turbo I-4 

2.0L Turbo Flat-4 

2.0L Turbo I-4 

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

AWD

FWD

Transmission

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

9-Speed Automatic

Power (hp @ RPM)

228 @ 5,000

205 @ 5,700

268 @ 5,600

250 @ 5,300

Torque (lb-ft @ RPM)

258 @ 1,700

192 @ 2,100

258 @ 2,000

260 @ 2,000

0-60 MPH (seconds)

6.5

7.2

6.2

5.7

Quarter Mile (seconds)

14.7

14.5

14.5

14.4

Top speed (MPH)

155

137

150

135

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI has some legendary rivals like the Honda Civic Si to compete against. The Chevrolet Malibu Premier is the fastest car in the 0 to 60 sprint followed by the Subaru WRX which happens to be the most powerful car in the competition. The Civic Si falls behind in terms of outright acceleration against the rivals but catches well in the quarter-mile run. 

How well does the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI handle?

The shifting interest of the buyers to the SUV does not mean that sedans did not have quality. The one area where any good sedan can always be ahead of an SUV is the handling department. Volkswagen is the largest car manufacturer in the world and they surely have great expertise in the industry. The way that the Volkswagen Jetta GLI handles clearly shows that. As said earlier, driver engagement is one of the strongest points of the Jetta GLI which is appreciated in the segment. 

The steering of the Jetta GLI feels sporty to hold and is a precise unit that follows the driver’s commands with utmost precision. It keeps you connected to the road at all times. The adaptive suspension gives you the flexibility to switch between the suspension settings depending on the driving conditions. The Jetta GLI does not sacrifice practicality for the sake of performance and the ride quality is also pretty comfortable in the comfort mode. The suspension soaks all the bumps very well to keep the passengers at ease while you are enjoying the drive.

How good is the braking performance of the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI?

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI gets upgraded braking hardware over the standard Jetta to match the kind of performance the GLI offers. The front wheels get 13.4-inch brake rotors while the rear wheels get 11.8-inch brake rotors. We do not have the exact braking distance of the Jetta GLI but what we can say is that there is a big improvement in terms of braking of the Jetta GLI over the standard Jetta. The brakes never make your feel uncomfortable and offer good confidence. It is easy to predict the braking behavior of the car and the ABS is not too aggressive either. 

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI 

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

13.4

12.2

12.4

11.8

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

11.8

11.4

11.3

11.3

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,217

2,906

3,294

3,223

60-0 (feet)

N/A

125

112

117

The Subaru WRX nails it when it comes to the overall braking distance of the car from 60 to 0 miles per hour. The Chevrolet Malibu Premier follows the WRX with a small margin with a braking distance of 117 feet. The Honda Civic Si takes 125 feet of braking distance which is the highest distance in its segment but it is not that bad either. 

Fuel Economy
7.0/10

The biggest advantage of performance cars in the budget segment is that they do not drink as much fuel as some of the more expensive rivals but the performance is not that great either. The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI offers pretty impressive fuel economy figures and takes its place in one of the most fuel-efficient sedans in its segment. The Jetta GLI returns 25 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg of combined fuel economy. The fuel tank capacity of 13.2 gallons allows it to deliver an impressive highway range of 422 miles. 

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

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 Capacity (Gallons)

13.2

12.4

15.9

15.8

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

330/422/370

347/471/397

334/429/366

348/506/411

The Honda Civic Si is the ultimate king in the segment when it comes to fuel efficiency figures. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI manages to get the second position but fails to match the highway range of the Civic even though it gets a bigger fuel tank. The Chevy Malibu Premier is the winner of this game with its bigger fuel tank and decent fuel economy. It is the only sedan that can go above 500 miles without the need to stop at a gas station.

Interior
7.5/10

The interior of the Jetta GLI might surprise some people and is one of the aspects where the Jetta GLI really excels. Obviously, it is not a luxurious cabin but that is quite understood as it is not a luxury car either. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a rather practical sedan and offers a practical cabin too. The space in the front is good enough to accommodate drivers and passengers of any shape and size. You will never complain about the lack of space or comfort in the front row of the GLI. The Autobahn trim also gets power adjustment and ventilation for the driver to make things even better. 

The design of the dashboard is rather subtle and does not have anything extraordinary in it. But it will impress most buyers who praise simplicity as Europeans do. The controls are easy to find and everything is well put together. The space in the rear seats is also pretty impressive for the class and two adults can comfortably sit in the rear seats even for long hours. The legroom is pretty decent but taller people may find the headroom as a limiting factor. 

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom, in inches)

38.5/55.9/41.1

37.5/56.9/42.3

39.8/55.6/43.3

39.1/58.5/41.5

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom, in inches)

37.2/54.0/37.4

36.8/55.0/37.4

37.1/54.2/35.4

37.5/57.1/38.1

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

14.1

14.7

12

15.8

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI easily ranks well in the interior department and it offers pretty decent space in the front and rear rows. The Honda Civic Si offers better legroom for the front passengers while it remains similar for the rear seat passengers. The Chevrolet Malibu Premier also finds a good balance of space for both rows and comes with the largest trunk area in the segment. The Subaru WRX has the smallest trunk capacity of all the cars in the competition. Standout interior features are:

  • 6-way power-adjustable driver seat
  • 60-40 folding rear seats
  • Manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel
  • Remote keyless entry with push-button start
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Wireless charging

What is there to keep you entertained in the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI?

The 2020 Jetta GLI gets a 6.5-inch touchscreen system as standard with the car. You can upgrade to the Autobahn trim which gets a bigger 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The touchscreen is for sure not the best in its class but it is not bad at all. The biggest highlight of the infotainment system is that it is easy to understand and use. The graphics are clear and are good enough for the price range. It gets 4G LTE connectivity to keep your car connected at all times. 

You also get Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. The support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay makes it easier to integrate the infotainment screen with your smartphone. The Jetta GLI gets a pretty good list of features with the infotainment system for your entertainment needs. It gets an 8-speaker BeatsAudio premium sound system standard with the Autobahn trim. Standout infotainment features are:

  • 8-inch touchscreen information display
  • AM/FM/HD radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 4G LTE connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • 8-speaker BeatsAudio premium sound system
Exterior
5.0/10

The exterior of the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI follows the same principle as the interior of the car. It keeps up with the traditional European design language as you find the exterior design is simple and sophisticated. It never screams for attention but does not look bad at all. Everything in the Jetta GLI’s exterior is designed with proper attention and it is hard to find any flaw in the design of the car. The black grille at the front with red GLI badging helps it stand out from the lot and the standard Jetta. The red line passes all the way through the center of the grille. 

The front bonnet gets proportionate linings on the hood that disappears as you move towards the windshield. It gives the Jetta GLI a slightly sporty and aggressive look along with the sleek LED headlights with LED DRLs. The side gets gorgeous alloy wheels and upgraded brakes. The red brake calipers are easily visible from the outside. There is a line going through the side of the GLI that matches with the rear of the car and follows the front design language pretty well. 

Models

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Honda Civic Si

Subaru WRX

Chevrolet Malibu Premier

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,217

2,906

3,294

3,223

Length (inches)

185.2

182.8

180.9

194.2

Width (inches)

70.8

70.8

70.7

73

Height (inches)

58.8

55.5

58.1

57.9

Ground Clearance (inches)

5

4.9

4.9

4.7

Wheelbase (inches)

105.6

106.3

104.3

111.4

The Chevrolet Malibu Premier is the longest sedan in the entire segment and also gets the longest wheelbase which is quite visible in the interior space and the trunk space of the car. The Honda Civic Si is shorter than the Jetta GLI but gets a bigger wheelbase managing some extra legroom for the passengers. The Subaru WRX is the shortest car in the segment. Standout exterior features are:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Black front grille with red inserts
  • LED headlights with LED DRLs
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Lip Spoiler
  • LED Brakelights
Safety
6.2/10

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not crash-tested the Jetta GLI yet. However, the standard Jetta received the Top Safety Pick+ award by the IIHS in 2018 which proves the safety of the car. The Jetta GLI is based on the same platform with some changes in the performance department. Volkswagen is known to deliver one of the best build quality in their cars. The Jetta GLI seems no exception and there is a good list of active and passive safety features to complement that. The safety features include:

  • Electronic stability control
  • Traction control
  • Blind-spot monitoring system
  • Stability control
  • Pre-collision safety system
  • Post-collision safety system
  • Emergency braking assist
Competition
7.0/10

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Honda Civic Si

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI outruns the Civic Si when it comes to outright acceleration. The Jetta GLI is one second faster than the Civic Si in the 0 to 60 mph sprint. The Jetta GLI also takes a slight edge in terms of driving dynamics. However, the Civic Si also offers great performance and handling. The reliability and practicality of Civic are way better than the Jetta GLI.

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX offers identical performance in outright performance and it is slightly better than the Volkswagen Jetta GLI in terms of overall handling too. The Subaru WRX appeals more to enthusiasts looking for driving fun only. But the Jetta GLI on the other hand offers a better all-round package with a more practical cabin. The Jetta GLI also offers more features for the price. 

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Chevrolet Malibu Premier

The Chevrolet Malibu Premier is a more expensive car and is not the direct rival of the Volkswagen Jetta GLI. However, they are similar in terms of performance. The Jetta GLI offers better performance and driving dynamics. The smaller dimensions come in handy and help the GLI offers better handling. The Chevy Malibu offers better space inside the cabin and the bigger dimensions mean it is a more practical option between the two. You can go with any of them depending on your individual needs.

Final Verdict

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a practical sedan with an entertaining drive. The Jetta GLI can be easily used as your daily driver as it offers good comfort, pretty decent fuel efficiency, impressive safety, and a good list of standard features. When you wish to have some fun, you will not be disappointed with the performance and the handling of the car at all. The Jetta GLI deserves to be on your list if you are looking for something similar. 

Features

vehicle bio
base price

$26245

body style

4dr Sedan

engine type
displacement

121 cu in

horse power

228 hp @ 5000 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1700 rpm

transmission

6-Speed Manual

dimensions
length

185.2 in

wheelbase

105.6 in

width

70.8 in

curb weight

3217 lbs

Height

56.8 in

Ground Clearance

5 lbs

capacity
passenger volume

94.7 cu ft

cargo volume

14.1 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

fuel economy
city/combined/highway

25/28/33 mpg

highway range

435.60 mi

warranty
basic warranty

4 yr./ 50,000 mi.

powertrain warranty

4 yr./ 50,000 mi.