Volkswagen is raising the bar on affordable Euro sport sedan entertainment… with the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Our introduction to the 6th generation of this racier Jetta… was along Western North Carolina’s “Tail of the Dragon”.

Riding on the MQB architecture, this new GLI shares key components with other compact VW performers. The responsive 228-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo is from the Golf GTI. It not only outpaces the standard Jetta by 81-horses… it also ups the ante by 18-hp and 51-pound feet of torque over the previous GLI. 

“We’ve had the standard Jetta in our long term fleet so we’re familiar with this car. But there’s a noticeable difference in the extra power that comes from the Jetta GLI… and the low end torque means you don’t have to wait for it very long for it. The steering seems to have a little more heft than the standard Jetta… and it really compliments the overall sportiness and agility this car has when you’re going through the curves.”

The GLI borrows the electronic limited-slip differential from the Golf GTI… and brakes from the Golf R. The GLI goes beyond the daily driving Jetta… replacing the torsion beam in the rear for a multi-link suspension…which was actually standard in the previous gen Jetta… to go along with MacPherson struts up front. 

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is on sale now starting at just under $26,000 ($25,995).


  • Engine: 2.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 228
  • Price: Starting at just under $26,000