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Mar28

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI First Drive Review

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI First Drive Review

It is my lengthy-held skilled opinion that the seventh-era Volkswagen Golf GTI is the best all-round fanatic transportation system. It does extra issues higher than something it competes with and embarrasses automobiles costing twice as a lot with its higher general refinement and construct high quality. That is nice information for the 2019 Jetta GLI, because it’s successfully a GTI with a trunk that comes standard with a 20 % off coupon. That saves you a whopping $7,one hundred, and because the Jetta and Golf are the identical basic car, that makes the Jetta GLI the best all-round fanatic transportation system with a trunk.

Oops, I gave all of it away too early within the review. Or did I? There’s all the time superb print on these darn coupons, and the Jetta’s reveals a number of vital variations. First, the 20 % low cost applies solely to the costliest Autobahn DSG trim degree, which is a screaming discount at $30,890. The most cost effective GLI you should purchase, the S with a six-velocity guide, is $26,890, and that is solely $1,600 inexpensive than the bottom Golf GTI.

Solely.”

Amazingly, regardless of being cheaper than the GTI, VW’s scorching sedan comes standard with a bunch of very worthwhile features not current on the entry-degree hatchback variant, together with LED headlights, twin-zone automated local weather management, keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, ahead-collision monitoring with automated emergency braking, and an automated dimming rear-view mirror. It additionally has a wheelbase that is two inches longer than the Golf’s, 1.eight inches of which matches on to rear-seat legroom.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

That is lots of free stuff, particularly because the automobiles are mechanically similar apart from the aforementioned wheelbase stretch and some small particulars. In accordance with VW, the Jetta weighs 29 kilos extra, all of which is presumably on the rear, and it receives a barely thicker anti-roll bar (up by 1.7 mm to 21.7 mm) to compensate. It shares the GTI’s entrance brakes, however instead of vented 12.2-inch rotors within the rear, it makes do with strong eleven.eight-inch models. That is probably because of the Jetta’s electric parking brake — utilizing the Golf’s mechanical handbrake would drive a rework of the Jetta’s middle console. Lastly, the Jetta GLI rides on barely taller tires, 225/forty five-18 instead of the GTI’s 225/forty-18s.

That is it. The Jetta will get the GTI’s riotous 2.zero-liter turbocharged inline-4, with equivalent 228 horsepower and 258 pound-ft of torque. It will get the identical actual transmissions — VW’s mild-effort six-velocity guide or seven-velocity twin-clutch DSG. It inherits the GTI’s progressive steering rack that manages to mix simply 2.1 turns of lock with zero on-middle nervousness. And it will get Volkswagen’s fantastic electronically locking entrance differential.

Volkswagen correctly selected to debut the GLI on the famed Tail of the Dragon on the North Carolina-Tennessee state line, recognized for its four million (or so) off-camber, reducing radius hairpin turns over 2 hundred (or so) miles, with a thousand-or-two-foot drop on both aspect. (That is eleven miles and 318 curves, if truth be told, however that does not sound as spectacular. – Ed.) Too dangerous it was 38 levels Fahrenheit, socked-in with fog, and raining once we arrived in our GLIs — which have been outfitted with summer time-solely tires. VW claims these tires are a no-value choice within the order information, however I’ve by no means seen them on a car at a VW dealership. Nobody must be pressured to drive a efficiency sedan on unhappy-sack all-season tires, so speak to your dealership concerning the summer time tires earlier than signing on the dotted line.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Anyway, it is protected to say that the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo three tires weren’t of their factor in these circumstances, and but the Jetta surefootedly slayed the Dragon. Because of that locking diff, the GLI’s capability to place down energy is breathtaking. The electric steering filters out any torque steer (and sadly every little thing else you may need to really feel from the entrance wheels), however the GLI explodes out of corners as if it have been outfitted with all-wheel drive.

That exit velocity simply meant extra work for the brakes on the finish of every brief straightaway, however they simply shrugged off the thermal load. On the backside of the mountain, the one factor heated up within the Jetta GLI was its driver — there was no brake fade, and the engine coolant and oil temperatures had barely risen.

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A couple of hours later, we ran the Dragon the opposite course in a DSG-outfitted GLI. This time, the street was dry and the sightlines have been clear. The decision? Rattling, son. You will need to work exhausting to discover a car that’ll sustain with the Jetta GLI on a difficult mountain street — each when it comes to velocity and enjoyable. In these circumstances, the GLI is each bit a GTI, and that is a excessive praise certainly.

Some further nice print: the brand new seven-velocity DSG is geared far shorter than the six-velocity guide, so it feels even faster within the 25- to sixty five-mph velocity range you’d see on a decent street just like the Dragon. However in contrast to within the GTI, it does not bang off prompt upshifts with these oh-so-satisfying exhaust burps. As an alternative, it slurs its upshifts extra like a standard automated, and the Jetta’s exhaust is principally silent. The answer is to do what almost half of GTI consumers are smart sufficient to do anyway: purchase the guide. After which put the GLI in Sport mode for commendably lifelike in-car noises that replicate a chilly-air consumption.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The GLI does not flip into corners with fairly the identical playful enthusiasm because the shorter GTI, and its suspension tuning appears a notch or two softer, with additional roll and pitch. The flip aspect of that may be a higher feeling of stability, helped by the rear-finish’s lack of willingness to rotate. Whether or not path-braked easily or flicked violently right into a nook, sadly it is the Jetta’s entrance finish that lets go first.

VW’s DCC adaptive dampers could be set to stiffen the experience up again to GTI ranges, however they’re solely out there within the thirty fifth Anniversary trim, which comes with darkish-grey rims sporting newbie-hour pink stripes on them. The Anniversary additionally comes with no sunroof, the Autobahn’s greater infotainment touchscreen, cooled seats, or its absolutely digital instrument cluster. And that is a type of uncommon instances the place the analog gauges look low cost and the digital sprint is simply extra … particular.

Talking of which, since you’ve got made it to the top of the review, I am going to lastly inform you why the GLI is not fairly nearly as good because the GTI: It simply does not really feel as particular. There is a sense of value-slicing within the interior — the Golf’s sprint, door, and middle console supplies are significantly higher than the Jetta’s. Most of the little comfort features are lacking, just like the hatchback’s pleasant telescoping, pivoting driver’s armrest; local weather vents within the rear, or perhaps a stereo that sounds prefer it was made on this century. And, let’s face it, the Golf’s design is way extra mature and complicated in and out.

There is a specialness to every part concerning the GTI, and the plaid icing on its scorching-hatch cake is its unimaginable interior material. The GTI’s seats are among the many best within the automotive universe — they’re enormously bolstered and as snug as a hug out of your grandmother, however that is only a bonus. It is their look that clinches it. There is not an individual alive who might climb right into a plaid-material GTI and think they’re in “only a Golf.”

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

That second does not occur whenever you get within the Jetta GLI. It does not have huge-bolstered, cozy seats — it has regular Jetta seats. It does not have that taut, I-imply-enterprise journey. It does not have the shock issue of climbing into one thing that has the shape-issue of an financial system hatchback with interior supplies stolen from of the world’s hippest $50,000 luxurious car. To the automotive uninitiated, climbing right into a GLI will make individuals think they’ve climbed into … only a Jetta.

That is not precisely not a nasty factor, particularly contemplating the GLI’s worth and efficiency. However once you drill down into the wonderful print, the GTI stays the best fanatic car you should purchase. Some issues are value the additional cash.

Volkswagen Jetta GLI Info

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

– 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI First Drive Review –

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