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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Better Value Than Golf GTI

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Unlike the previous model, the new Jetta GLI will receive the same upgrades as the Golf GTI.

As one of the most iconic hatchbacks of all time, the Volkswagen Golf GTI needs no introduction. And yet its larger four-door cousin, the Jetta GLI, has never received the same recognition, despite consistently outselling the Golf GTI in America since it arrived way back in 1984. This makes sense in the US where sedans are more popular than hatchbacks, but the Golf GTI gets a lot more attention in Europe.

Earlier this month, the all-new Volkswagen Jetta GLI arrived at the Chicago Auto Show. While pricing is still being kept under wraps, VW Product Developer Adam Reinhardt believes the 2019 Jetta GLI will offer significantly better value than the Golf GTI.

"The amount of car that is coming to the market for the price-points, it's impressive," he told MotorTrend. "So we're very excited about that. When we do our own internal value analysis to see which features are valued at which price-points for our customers, we actually come up with calculations that show that the GLI offers more equipment for comparable, if not even a little bit better money, than GTI."

For reference, the Volkswagen Golf GTI starts at $27,595 excluding the destination charge. Unlike the previous generation GLI, the new model will receive all the upgrades found on its GTI cousin. It packs the GTI's 228-hp engine, an independent rear suspension, Golf R brakes, and Volkswagen's VAQ limited-slip differential, so it should be just as fun to drive as the Golf GTI.

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Other sporty styling cues include a lower ride height, black honeycomb grille with a distinctive red accent line that harkens to the GTI, sleek 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and red brake calipers. It's safer and more technologically advanced than previous model too, with standard driver assists including Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI will arrive in US showrooms this spring, so pricing details should be announced very soon.