The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI brings the Golf GTI's performance credentials to a sedan body for $26,890, VW said Wednesday. That figure undercuts the $28,490 2019 Golf GTI with which the four-door shares its engine and chassis.
Buyers will have the choice of three trims for the 2019 Jetta GLI: S, 35th Anniversary Edition, and Autobahn. Prices for the 35th Anniversary Edition climb to $27,890 and a range-topping Autobahn trim costs $30,090 including a mandatory $895 destination charge. Regardless of trim level, the GLI is less costly than an equivalent Golf GTI.
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A 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine that makes 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque is standard on both. The GLI's brakes also come from the GTI and the hotter Golf R variant, with the discs measuring 13.4 inches in the front. A 6-speed manual is standard across the lineup while a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is an $800 option on every trim level.
Stepping into the GLI S, buyers will find plenty of sporting touches compared to the standard Jetta such as the sport suspension with a lowered suspension, specific 18-inch aluminum wheels, LED headlights and taillights, dual exhaust outlets, and a rear diffusor. The interior is well equipped with heated cloth sport seats that feature red contrast stitching and piping, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless ignition, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are also standard. Ditto for a suite of active safety features.
The $28,690 GLI 35th Anniversary Edition adds unique wheel designs and adaptive dampers, a feature that's available only on a $33,500 version of the Golf GTI.
Technophiles may find the Jetta GLI Autobahn more to their liking over the comparable GTI Autobahn trim. The Jetta GLI in the range-topping trim adds a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, heated and cooled leather seats, Beats audio, and a panoramic sunroof. That full roster of equipment costs $36,890 in the GTI, while the GLI Autobahn costs $30,090.
The 2019 Jetta GLI arrives in dealers this spring.