Volkswagen's New Jetta GLI Commercial Is Brilliant

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There's a lesson to be learned here.

You probably know someone who can’t drive a manual transmission. Sadly, it’s becoming very common these days. Manual gearboxes have become more of a niche feature, reserved mainly for sports cars and sporty variants of existing models, such as the Volkswagen Jetta. The new Jetta GLI is, more or less, everything we love about the GTI hot hatch in sedan form.

Of course it comes with a six-speed manual, among other essential feature to make this compact sedan a true enthusiast driving machine. Think of it as the poor man’s BMW 3 Series. And now VW wants to capitalize on the Jetta GLI’s manual in a cool and hilarious away.

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This new 30-second commercial may at first seem kind of boring, but its brilliance comes at the end. As the two friends – driver and passenger – park outside at night in a city, the passenger asks why its owner didn’t lock it. "Nah, it’s stick shift,” is the reply. Enough said. Today, we frequently hear of car thefts gone wrong all because the thief didn’t know how to drive stick. Kids these days, right?

If you can’t drive stick then it’s impossible to get the car into gear for a getaway. Many thieves caught up in this particular situation are quickly caught. Too bad for them they can only drive slushbox-equipped cars. VW also wants to take a swipe at those who crave self-driving cars. You know, show them what they’re missing.

Our own time behind the wheel of the new 228-hp turbocharged Jetta GLI only made us crave it further. This is what driving is and should be all about: enjoyment at an affordable price. The 2019 VW Jetta GLI starts at just $25,995 plus an $895 destination. That’s still $1,600 less than the cheapest GTI hot hatch. So, if you can’t drive a stick you’re totally missing out. Car thieves included.

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