The new Jetta is powered by a 2.0L TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine, providing 228 horsepower through a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. You can get the new Jetta with a six-speed manual if you’d like to be more proactive in the driving experience. I found the automatic transmission enough to give me a spark in driving.
Variable-ratio electromechanical power steering is responsive and effortless to command, giving an agile driving feel. VAQ electronically-controlled front limited-slip differential (LSD) is a distinguishing performance component of the GLI model. This mechanism hydraulically varies the torque to each front wheel, and works together with XDS electronic differential lock to limit wheelspin.
Jetta GLI has a rated fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 32 mph on highways, for a combined 28 mpg.
I was impressed by Jetta’s exterior. Sitting on 18-inch alloy wheels was a Pyrite Silver Metallic body whose coloring complemented automatic LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights. Heated, fold-able, power side mirrors with integrated turn signal can be easily adjusted and keep you aware of activities around you.
Rain-sensing variable-speed intermittent wipers maintain a clear view to your approach, while the GLI grille and bumper add a bold look to the front. Flowing towards the rear are side skirts, followed by rear bumper, rear spoiler and chrome exhaust tips. I would have liked to see the body sealing a little tighter as the road noise was noticeable.
On the inside panel of the driver’s door, you will find the door locks, window control buttons, and mirror adjustment clustered together within your hand’s reach. This for me was just too much “stuff ” in a confining area. I could never seem to find the door locks with any degree of quickness.
The bold, attentive outside combined with the charming interior made the base MSRP of $26,245 very appealing.
Comfort was assisted by the Climatronic dual-zone automatic air, leather-wrapped GLI sport steering wheel, and multi-functional tilt-and-telescopic steering column. This allows you to adjust for the comfort level you desire. The steering wheel is positioned in such a way that you can easily reach any of the numerous features you need, helping to reduce strain and distraction. However, there did not appear to be a vent in the back for cooling.
The center console with cup holders, armrest, and storage area are accentuated with red stitching, along with the seats.
Front seats are heated, and driver’s seat is 6-way manual adjustable while front passenger’s seat is 4-way manual adjustable. These front sport seat was a little too confining for me.
The back seats can accommodate 3 passengers, and are 60/40 split-folding with center arm rest. The S model is equipped with cloth seating surfaces. The interior is not only large and comfortable, but also provides much room for storage.
The 10-color LED ambient lighting system permits you to change the front floor well and console lighting colors to match your mood.
On top of a system of six airbags, Anti-lock Braking System, and Electronic Stability Control, Volkswagen also adds Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and Intelligent Crash Response System to reinforce occupant safety.
Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking work diligently to see that you never have to use these two last-line defense systems.
The 2020 Jetta GLI is covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty which is transferable. Carefree Maintenance Program provides free maintenance service for 2 years or 20,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
Durhl Caussey is a writer located in Dallas, Texas. His car columns can be found in newspaper around the world.