The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI goes on sale this spring for $26,890 with a six-speed manual transmission. With the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, that price goes up slightly to $27,690. Last year’s GLI started at $30,440 and came standard with a six-speed automatic. Only one trim was offered.
The new model is available in three trims: S, 35th Anniversary Edition, and Autobahn. The base S comes with LED projector head- and taillights, cloth upholstery with red stitching and grey piping, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, one USB port, 10-color ambient lighting, six speakers, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Blind-spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, forward collision warning, and autonomous emergency braking are standard.
On the 35th Anniversary Edition, buyers get 18-inch aluminum wheels with red accents and a black roof. Special badging adorns the exterior as well as the scuff plates, seats, and front floor mats. Volkswagen’s DCC adaptive damping system is also standard, and this model is the only way to get it for now. Prices start at $27,890 with the manual or $28,690 with the DCT.
The Autobahn model is the most expensive version at $30,090 with the manual or $30,890 with the DCT. These models upgrade to leather seating, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, two USB ports, and ventilated front seats. The model also brings along an upgraded audio system with eight speakers and a subwoofer, as well as a panoramic sunroof.
All GLI models feature the same 2.0-liter turbo inline-four as the Golf GTI. It also shares a VAQ limited-slip differential with the hot hatch. The GLI sits 0.6 inch lower than the standard Jetta, and it receives a bolder exterior with revised bumpers, red accents, a unique black grille, and a rear spoiler.
The Jetta GLI is priced favorably compared to the Golf GTI, which starts at $28,490 and costs $36,890 in Autobahn spec. Meanwhile, the GLI is priced similarly to the $25,220 Honda Civic Si sedan but is more expensive than the Hyundai Elantra Sport, which opens at $22,685.