2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI in RI
The 2019 version of the sporty Jetta GLI appears to be taking things back to its 1984 roots. That was a time when the GLI became an instant favorite with its sedan practicality and sporty hatchback drive-feel. With this year’s Jetta GLI, you’ll be able to choose between three distinct trim levels – S, 35th Anniversary, and Autobahn – each of which is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that gives you 228 horses and 258 pounds-feet of torque (which is up 14 hp and 51 lb.-ft. of torque from last year’s model). VW is still old-school enough to offer a six-speed manual along with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The ‘19 GLI gets fine fuel economy, with an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. With all that said, this is a fun and practical midsized sedan that is making strides in a popular segment.
Comfort and Convenience
Starting with the base S trim, you’ll find a selection of included features that fits with German manufacturers’ somewhat plush standards: a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a 60/40-split folding rear seat with a center armrest, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, a drive-mode selector, an electronic parking brake, heated side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and adjustable interior lighting.
Moving up to the limited-edition 35th Anniversary trim brings some aesthetic changes by way of a blacked-out exterior and unique badging on both the inside and outside of the vehicle. On top of this, the 35th Anniversary will get you a special DCC adaptive suspension that’s completely unique to this trim, along with all of the comfort and convenience amenities from the base S. The highest-level trim, the Autobahn, receives a panoramic sunroof, ventilated leather seats with a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and remote start (on the automatic transmission only).
All three Jetta GLI trims come with a generous docket of impressive active safety features for a more confident ride: a standard rearview camera system, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic headlights, and automatic post-collision braking. You can choose to include summer performance tires as a no-cost add-on for every trim as well. These will provide increased traction when on the road, especially in slick conditions.
The base S is modest as far as tech features are concerned, but it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free capability, a 6.5-inch touchscreen interface, a USB port, and a six-speaker audio system. The 35th Anniversary gets the same amenities, while the Autobahn adds a premium eight-speaker BeatsAudio system, a larger 8-inich touchscreen interface, satellite radio, and a digital instrument panel.