2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Drive the fun car!
June 25, 2017 Updated: June 25, 2017

Well, school is out! Kids will be doing what teachers have dreamed about since last fall—getting outdoors, moving, and enjoying sunny days.

What more special gift for that special graduate than a car, and what better car than a VW Jetta? The Jetta is a four-door sedan that is comfortable for adults and kids and fun to drive.

Jetta has a nice, quiet ride and superb fuel efficiency.

The Jetta GLI is motivated by a 2.0 L turbocharged four-cylinder TSI engine that delivers 210 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. Either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic dual-clutch (DSG) transmission partners with the turbo engine.

My test vehicle came with the DSG auto. The Jetta delivers 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway for a 27 mpg average. Four-wheel independent suspension keeps the car firmly planted on the road. 

Outside, Jetta has a sleek and athletic profile. Its heated power side mirrors and 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires help to make your drive safer.

Speaking of safety, a rear-view camera, Park Distance Control, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Traffic Alert, tire pressure monitor, and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System add to that safe feeling. These are all standard features on the GLI.

Leatherette seating surfaces and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with shift paddles make for a nice, soft feeling of luxury. Don’t worry if the “little ones” spill a drink or drop some buttery crackers; it cleans up nicely without a trace.

The Jetta GLI is equipped with a 6.3-inch touchscreen navigation system. Audio sources include AM/FM/HD Radio, CD player, plus SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

The Fender Premium Audio System fills the air with high-fidelity sound, and at the same time complements the colored multi-function display with trip computer.

The interior of the 2017 Jetta GLI. (Courtesy of Volkswagen)
The interior of the 2017 Jetta GLI. (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

I liked the Car-Net App-Connect feature. The system allows you to link select smartphone apps and have them shown and controlled on the dash touchscreen. These include essential apps like maps, messaging, and music, making them accessible right before the driver at all times.

The GLI is the premium model of the Jetta line and is priced at $28,995. At the opposite end of the price scale, the base Jetta S is priced as low as $17,895.

A step forward is the SE trim, featuring items like push-button start and a sunroof, and priced at $21,995. The SEL just under the GLI has lots of features, like the Discovery Media touchscreen navigation system with proximity sensor, starting at $24,995.

The Jetta has a nice, quiet ride and superb fuel efficiency. The split-folding rear seat with armrest pass-through allows easy access to the 15.7 cubic feet of trunk capacity.

The Jetta GLI sits low and tight, having all the features of the other trims plus some extras as previously mentioned. So every turn, every open expressway, and every curvy country road makes driving all the more pleasurable and fun.

However, the legroom in the rear can be a little tight although the headroom is adequate.

A new car for the summer sounds great. With Jetta, don’t worry about the heat. Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control will keep you cool. Even the glovebox is air-conditioned.

Do something cool and fun this summer. Drive a Jetta!

3-year/36,000-mile New Vehicle Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty
3-year/36,000-mile 24-Hour Roadside Assistance
12-year/120,000-mile Corrosion Perforation Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net