Reasonably priced cars are usually functional to a fault, while sporty cars tend to scream, “Hey, look at me!” The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is something else altogether.
Oh, sure, this compact sport sedan version of the performance-oriented Golf GTI hatchback offers plenty of practicality, with good fuel economy, a roomy interior and straightforward controls. The main word I’d use to describe it, though, is woo-hoo!
From the test car’s strong 228-
The adaptive suspension that came standard on the top-of-the-line Autobahn model I drove made a good thing even better. This electronically controlled system stiffens things for improved handling in spirited motoring and relaxes the settings for a smooth ride on more leisurely road trips.
Figure in subtle sporty styling details, and you have something rare: an affordable, practical car that’s also great fun to drive.
- Outstanding performance in a low-key package
- Its large trunk means you can take it with you.
- The model’s appearance might not be aggressive enough for some.
- The base model lacks some of the top GLI trim level’s best features.
- If you love to drive but prefer to fly under the radar, here’s your car.
- Base Price: $26,345
- As Tested: $31,340
- NHTSA: Overall: 5 Stars (top rating).
- 24/33 (2.0L/manual)
- 24/35 (2.0L/automatic)