Volkswagen sends the Jetta GLI off the production line in two trim levels: the 40th Anniversary Edition and Autobahn. Either way, there’s a 2.0-liter turbo-four under the hood pushing out 228 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque (compare that to the standard Jetta’s 158 hp and 184 lb.-ft.). The default six-speed manual transmission or optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission delivers power to the front wheels. But what really makes the Jetta GLI so much fun to drive is the VAQ limited-slip front differential lock, the four-wheel independent sport suspension, and the multimode driving chassis control. Plus, dynamic electro-mechanical power steering is available.
With the standard configuration, the 2024 Jetta GLI with the stick shift returns an EPA-estimated rating of 24 mpg around town and 35 mpg on the highway. With the seven-speed automatic, the ratings change to 26 city/36 highway.
The 40th Anniversary Edition gives you heated front sports seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, wireless device charging, ambient cabin lighting, red interior accents, dual USB ports in both rows, keyless entry, push-button start, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with a center armrest, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The exterior style is topped with a black honeycomb grille with red accents, 40th Edition badging, LED headlights and taillights, red-painted brake calipers, and a chrome-tipped dual exhaust. It can be painted Rising Blue Metallic, Pure Gray, or Pure White.
The Autobahn adds a power tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, genuine leather upholstery, a power driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated power-adjustable side mirrors with memory, and GLI badging. This trim’s color options allow for a two-tone black roof paired with Kings Red Metallic, Pure Gray, or Pure White. Those colors are also offered without the two-tone effect, along with Rising Blue Metallic and Deep Black Pearl. The available Black Package adds a body-colored rear spoiler, black side-mirror caps, and black 18-inch alloy wheels.
All VW Jetta GLIs come with the IQ.DRIVE suite of the latest driver-assist technologies. Its components are adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, rear parking sensors, automatic high-beam headlights, pedestrian detection, and a rearview camera.
The 40th Anniversary Edition has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with SiriusXM satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a basic sound system. The Autobahn is upgraded with a premium 8-speaker BeatsAudio sound system.