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Volkswagen Jetta GLI Is Cheaper Than The Golf GTI

Pricing / 14 Comments

So, would you rather have the sedan?

At the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen finally gave the Jetta GLI the power and performance it deserves by making it essentially a Golf GTI with a trunk. The GLI has always been slightly less sharp than its hatchback counterpart but the two cars are now practically identical. This means the new GLI is powered by the same EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sending 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission.

Even though VW didn't quote a price when it revealed the new GLI, it promised the car would offer better value than the GTI. VW has now released pricing for the 2019 Jetta GLI and the German automaker has kept its promise.

The base GLI S starts at $25,995 for the six-speed manual transmission or $26,795 for the seven-speed DSG. This means the GLI is around $1,500 less than the base Golf GTI, which starts at $27,595. Even the most basic GLI model comes well-equipped with sport suspension (0.6 inches lower than a regular Jetta), 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and DRLs, leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel and shift knob with red stitching, heated cloth seats, adjustable ambient lighting, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing wipers.

You wouldn't expect a performance sedan to include a ton of standard safety features but the GLI comes with forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert all as standard kit.

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Above the S trim, the GLI 35th Anniversary Edition costs $26,995 for the manual or $27,795 for the DSG. That $1,000 premium adds 18-inch dark grey aluminum-alloy wheels with red accents, black accents on the exterior, 35th Anniversary badging, and an adaptive damper system. The top Autobahn trim starts at $29,195 for the manual or $29,995 for the DSG. This adds a panoramic roof, Digital Cockpit display, eight-speaker Beats audio system, leather seats with ventilation, and a power driver's seat.

All GLI models come with VW's excellent 6-year/72,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first) and deliveries are expected to begin in spring 2019.