2012 VW Jetta GLI

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Basically, a Jetta with the GTI 2.0 Liter Turbo engine.
Which us not a bad recipe.

The GLI also gets a fully rear independent suspension that is missing in the regular 2011 Jetta.

Strangely enough, 3 versions are available.
A bases GLI will go for $23 500.
While a loaded Autobahn version will be priced at $25 500.
$1000 more gets you navigation in the Autobahn version.

A 6 speed manual is standard on all while a 6 speed DSG auto is an option.

VW was saying a while ago, when the 2011 Jetta came out, that the GLI version would be getting the more upscale soft touch interior from the Euro version.
It’s hard to tell from the one interior picture above.

But soft plastics or not, this should be one fun family car…

Conversation 15 comments

  1. I have a base jetta w the 6speed auto. I love it, but this car shown in that color with the larger rims, and interior upgrade look great

  2. One fun family car with 200HP? Are you kidding?

    Mazdaspeed3 is WORLDS faster and handles better, don't forget it is a practical hatchback. The same can be said for a WRX, but it adds AWD. Focus ST is coming, it will be faster, more practical, and handle better.

    Vince, the GLI has always been a lame duck and its sales reflect that. It is basically a Jetta with bigger wheels and a lowered suspension. That 2.0T is weak and coupled with VWs TERRIBLE reliability, dealer service, and abysmal residuals, and you have a no sale.


  3. The Mazdaspeed 3 competes with the GTI, not the Jetta.

    I test drove one for a week a while ago.
    I have never encountered so much torque steer in a FWD car. In daily driving, this problem made all the power basically unusable.
    The regular Mazda 3 was actually much better, allowing the driver to use all the power available.

    The GLI has a different suspension than the regular Jetta.
    As for reliability, I agree.
    But JD Powers claims newer VW models, like the new Golf, are getting much better. We'll see.

  4. The Mazda 3 is nowhere near as refined as this sure it maybe faster but the GLI is a much better car to live with day to day.Plus VW's residuals are among the best in the industry.

  5. Ya know, I keep hearing VW builds poor quality and slow cars. My response is always the same: compared to what? I agree with Vince, I've driven several versions of the Mazda Speed3 and frankly I not only find the torque steer difficult to trust in performance driving conditions, but I consider its suspension a touch squirmy.

    I don't care how much faster, how much more horsepower, or whatever more the Mazda has, it still has one major flaw in my book: it's so "engineered" to the point it has no soul.

    I've owned a 2007 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Edition since new, and I have to admit I am totally in love with my car. When I was looking for a new car 4 years ago, I looked at the Mazda 3 in all of its flavors, a Saturn Aura 3.6L V6, and Acura TL, a BMW 328i, an Audi A4, and a Merc C300. When compared to the VW, I could not justify the added expense of the BMW, the Audi, or the Merc, simply because there was just not enough to differentiate those cars as that much superior than the VW in ride quality, driving fun, and luxuries I would actually use.

    Now, I don't want to hear anyone say "yeah but the BMW and the Merc are just better cars." Bovine Excrement! They're merely rear-wheel drive with more power! I've rented each of these cars for a day, and driven them back to back before I bought the VW, and frankly, I can drive my Jetta just as hard as I could the BMW or the Merc.

    So for those who choose to detract from VW's ability to build a car on a budget and still provide a superior driving experience, I have two questions for you: (1) ever owned one? Most of you who deride VW have NEVER owned a VW and only regurgitate the ramblings of your friends. (2) Do you really even know what you're talking about?

    Now, having driven the new Jetta, I was a little disappointed to learn they discontinued the multi-link suspension I feel in love with in mine. I understand the reason why, but after having driven the new Jetta, I was surprised at just how little it compromised the handling. This GLI would only be a blast to drive, as it is not only more powerful than my car, but it is also LIGHTER!!!

    In short, I have a number of vehicles at my disposal, from luxury cars to hot rods. My Jetta is the one I tend to drive the most. The car has a soul. The car has spunk. While it has had some early problems with faulty equipment, these problems have not only been fixed permanently, but at the expense of the FACTORY and not me!

    I honestly believe that the distrust of VW in the USA is more a sign of consumer intellectual lazyness than actual fault on VW's part.

    To paraphrase the old Packard ads: want to know what their like? Ask the man who owns one!

  6. The Mazdaspeed 3 has always been a joke of a car with the engine destroying the steering. It is for goofballs like the old Honda Civic fart-can tuners.

  7. I've owned both VW (2001 Golf) and Mazda (2006 Mazda3). I would never buy a POS Volkswagen again. That was the biggest car buying mistake I have ever made. That POS VW was in the shop so many times I can't even count

  8. "Ya know, I keep hearing VW builds poor quality and slow cars. My response is always the same: compared to what?"

    Exactly. People like to exaggerate and claim things that aren't true. Here's what I know… I've owned three VW's. 1980, 1995 and a 2006 Audi. The 80s VW was peppered with little interior plastic problems, but it ran for over 250k miles until I gave it to a neighbor. The '95 was problem free. The 2006 Audi is still running strong with no issues aside from a wobbly cup holder. Compared to Fords, Hondas Nissans and Jeeps that I've owned, the VW/Audis are vastly more enjoyable to own in every way.

    This Jetta is fine. It looks better on the road than in pictures. Still, it's not a game changer, not even close. But that's never been what it's all about.

  9. The bottom line about AUDIs and VWs is lease them, drive them and enjoy them for 40,000 miles, and give them back.

    I used to have an 87 AUDI 4000s. A piece of junk, literally. Never went back to AUDI after that disaster. And from what I read, I have made the right move.

  10. "I used to have an 87 AUDI 4000s. A piece of junk, literally"

    Well gosh, thanks for bringing up an experience about a car built a quarter century ago. 12:54 is right. People say a lot of crap. I have two Audis in my family, and we are very pleased with them.

  11. "I have two Audis in my family, and we are very pleased with them."

    In your dreams you own them and when you are awake you…. sell them.

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