2019 VW Jetta GLI With 228HP Starts At $25,995, Undercuts Golf GTI By $1,600

The 2019 VW Jetta GLI performance sedan is priced from $25,995 (excluding $895 destination) in the United States, making it $1,600 more affordable than the base 2019 Golf GTI.

That’s a pretty good deal considering the Jetta GLI is actually a Golf GTI underneath. The Jetta GLI will be available in two regular trim levels (S and Autobahn), as well as a 35th Anniversary Edition. Besides the GLI-specific hardware and styling tweaks, the base Jetta GLI S brings plenty of features as standard for $25,995.

Highlights include all-LED lights, heated front seats, 10-color ambient lighting, keyless access with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview camera, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, electric parking brake, and a 6.5-inch Composition Color touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.

The list of standard driver-assistance features includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert.

For $1,000, the Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition adds mostly cosmetic tweaks

Based on the GLI S, the Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition is priced from $26,995. For the extra $1,000, buyers get 18-inch dark grey alloys with red rim accents, black roof, mirror caps, and rear spoiler, as well as 35th Anniversary Edition fender badging, scuff plates, seat tags, and front floor mats. Furthermore, the DCC adaptive damping system comes standard and adds a fifth “Comfort” mode.

The range-topping 2019 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn starts at $29,195 and adds plenty of goodies compared to the S trim level. Those include a panoramic sunroof, 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit, 400 Watt BeatsAudio system with eight speakers plus a subwoofer, leather seats, ventilated front seats, power driver’s seat with memory and lumbar adjustment, remote start, alarm system, the 8.0-inch Composition Media touchscreen infotainment system, and Volkswagen Car-Net remote vehicle services.

All Jetta GLI models come with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Upgrading to the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic costs $800. Regardless of transmission choice, EPA-estimated fuel economy for the Jetta GLI is 25/32/28 mpg (city/highway/combined).

Both transmissions work with a 2.0-liter TSI engine that delivers 228 hp and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque. Compared to the regular Jetta, the GLI adds a 0.6-in (15-mm) lower sports suspension with a multi-link rear setup, larger front brakes, VAQ torque-sensing limited-slip differential, variable ratio electric power-assisted steering, and Driving Mode Selection.

The 2019 Jetta GLI will arrive in U.S. dealerships this spring with a 6-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty.

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  • Some ol’ bloke


  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen


    Zero reason to buy this over a GTI.

    • Shep

      Actually, the fact that the rear legroom in all Golfs is a joke is one very compelling reason.

      • Puddingpopper

        Maybe in the mk4…

        • Shep

          Maybe. But DEFINITELY in the MK7, which has 35.6″ of rear legroom versus 37.4″ in the new Jetta. I can’t blame you for your clear bias toward the GTI, which is far better looking inside and out (the new Jetta is a pig no matter how you dress it), but rear-seat room matters to plenty of people. I’d be driving a 2017 Golf Sportwagen instead of a 2017 Jetta right now were it not for the fact that the latter has a full 2.5″ more rear legroom.

          • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

            While the Jetta does have more legroom, the difference isn’t huge.

            Even though the GTI is an older model, it still has a far, FAR nicer interior than the new Jetta. The GTI feels like it is a far more substantial vehicle from a class above, while the Jetta still feels like an economy car with blatant cost cutting throughout.

          • Shep

            Look man, you’re not telling me anything I don’t know – any idiot can see all that, and any car guy knows that the Jetta has long suffered from being “dumbed down” for Amurikens. But, at 6’3,” I cannot “sit behind myself” in a Golf; in a Jetta I can – so, to me, that IS “huge,” and that’s why I bought one (a MKVI). Doesn’t mean I like the new Jetta (in fact, I hate it), but your assertion that there’s “zero reason” to buy one over a GTI is just bullshit. (Meanwhile, hopefully the upcoming Golf MK8 will improve on the rear-legroom situation.)

  • zeeper

    on my must-drive list for the car I will purchase this summer

  • SteersUright

    Seems the GLI will finally be a proper Gti sedan it always should’ve been. Very excited for this and hope it proves to be a great driver’s car.

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