2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI review: Everything we love about the GTI in a jetta-shaped casing is the GLI. 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI What happens when a hot hatch rises. This sporty sedan has all the traps of its rivals, not the GTI, packaged in a beautiful, mature casing.
The Gli differs from the standard Jetta with larger air intakes, fewer front spoilers and unique side skirts. The grille takes some styling tips from the GTI with its honeycomb pattern and classic red accents. The GLI is 0.6 inches shorter than the standard Jetta and features a unique rear bumper and diffuser, as well as dual chrome exhaust tips. But with these sporty touches, the GLI still slips under the radar.
The Jetta GLI 2.0-liter turbocharged i4 engine delivers 228 horsepower and 258 pounds of torque – the same powertrain you’ll find in the GTI. The GLI comes with front-wheel drive and when you get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, my tester has a six-speed manual. Score.
My Autoban trim DCC adaptive dumping system is complete for general, sport and eco as well as custom settings. DCC allows me to dial into that custom configuration with individual options for dumping, steering, drivetrain, engine sound, front differential and climate control. However, I don’t think there is much difference in custom settings. Although I tried for different setups during my week with the car, the normal and sport modes work well. My great admiration for the standard sport setting is in the limited-slip front differential that works with the GLI’s electronic differential lock. Torque goes to the front wheel with too much grip, no less than an understeer and no wheelspin.
Volkswagen Jetta GIL Engine:
The base Jetta gets an old-school torsion-beam rear suspension, but the GLI upgrades that hardware to a multilink standalone setup. Combined with GLI’s beaver roll bars and tight springs, this sedan is definitely ready to play. It settles rapidly after the fluctuations of the foot-cupola, not exiting the off-cam bend. The steering is quick, straight, and heavy, although it can use a bit more in the way of feedback. The Golf R hatchback, lifted from the 13.4-inch front brake, is paired with an 11.8-inch diameter brake at the rear. These stoppers are firm, although I would like the paddle to be more connected.
The GLI is an explosion on the back roads, but is also good for daily traffic. Advanced driver assistance such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning are standard on the GLI. My high-end Autoban trim goes even further with Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control. Yes, adaptive cruise control works with a manual transmission, although at higher speeds. Once there is no low-speed follow-up and the GLI senses that it will shut down, the system disengages and takes the driver.
The Jetta GLI’s energy economy is respectable, giving the city an EPA rating of 24 miles per gallon, including 33 miles per highway and 28 mpg. Even after a week of decisively aggressive driving, I am still able to hit an average of 28-mpg.The interior is very nice, but lacks visual acumen.
Volkswagen Jetta GIL Interior Design
Inside, GLI’s cabin tech is simple and straightforward. The standard infotainment setup uses a smaller 6.5-inch display, but upgrades to an 8.0-inch screen powered by Autoban VW’s latest MIB3 technology. This system can handle multiple Bluetooth phone pairs simultaneously, and I like that the screen is angled toward the driver so it is easy to see and reach. The MIB3 menus have been designed carefully so that there is no major learning. Both wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and come with a wireless charging pad, three USB-C ports and a 12-volt outlet to keep your device cool.
The Autoban trim features Volkswagen’s digital cockpit, a 10-inch customizable gauge cluster that gives the driver all kinds of information, such as vehicle data, driver-assisted conditions, and audio and phone access. It can also be customized with various designs including a full screen navigation view. It’s not quite as fancy-pants as Audi’s virtual cockpit, but it’s essentially the same idea and one of my favorite car interior features.The GLI Autoban comes with an 8-inch touchscreen.
The GLI is like a boomer as it comes with a simple interior design similar to the GTI Hatback’s plaid seats. What you are seeing here is a black cloth with red stitching or optional leather. The Jetta has at least a 10-color LED ambient lighting system that coordinates with the driving mode you choose: white for casual, red for sport and blue for eco. If it does not suit your mood, you can also choose your colors.
Like the standard Jetta, the GLI’s internal content is good but not great. Some of my coworkers are cheap