Obviously, the Jetta-based GLI isn't as nimble as the lighter, Golf-based GTI, our two-time Automobile of the Year. Nonetheless, the GLI is one fun car, and I think it's underrated. The GTI is truly great and deserving of all of its awards, but as a family man, I'd prefer the more spacious and slightly less nervous GLI.
No, this certainly isn't a GTI sedan, as Phil pointed out, but the Jetta is such an easy car to like. It's supremely stylish, provides comfortable accommodations for passengers front and rear, and comes with an extensive list of standard features all for a base price of less than $26,000. The 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four is such a great powerplant and it really adds a lot of character to this somewhat staid vehicle. It's really peppy and a lot of fun especially when matched to the smooth 6-speed manual. But, like my colleagues, I find it disappointing that the Jetta's suspension can't match this engines performance. Give this car the GTI's suspension and perfect brake and steering feel and Volkswagen would have a true competitor to the excellent Mazda3.