Volkswagen boosts its picture by attracting lively and enthusiastic trendsetters to its Golf GTI. The GTI is an athletic, sporty version of VW’s Golf hatchback financial system automobile. By outfitting the GTI with a zestier, faster engine, by giving it a nimble suspension and responsive, fast-acting steering, by equipping it with racing equipment like bolstered seats and sure-grip tires, and by accenting its look inside and outside with racier, extra aggressive thrives, Volkswagen makes the GTI interesting to drivers who deal with their automobiles with gusto.
That’s good promoting, as a result of different individuals are drawn to mimic the extremely seen hotshots who drive the Volkswagen GTI.
The firm takes the identical method with the GLI model of its Jetta compact sedan. The Jetta is a companion automobile to the Golf. Mechanically they’re the identical primary car, however whereas the Golf wears a hatchback physique, the Jetta is formed as a sedan, with a standard trunk within the rear. That stretches the Jetta. It exceeds the size of the Golf by a few foot and a half, and rides on a wheelbase that’s two-inch longer to help its added physique size.
The Golf’s shorter stance makes it extra nimble. Its clipped, hatchback physique fashion makes it seem extra sassy and playful. The stretched-out facet of the Jetta makes it look extra refined.
Those variations assist clarify why the Golf GTI will get extra consideration from motoring lovers; nevertheless the Jetta GLI delivers very related, properly engaged and fast-paced driving. Through a week-long analysis, I discovered that the GLI strikes an interesting steadiness between enthusiastic driving and helpful, household operate.
As the go-fast model of the Jetta, the GLI carries the types of alterations generally discovered on higher-performance iterations of abnormal client automobiles. It has a extra highly effective engine than a normal Jetta. The 228 horsepower beneath the GLI is 55 p.c larger than the 147 horses in the usual Jetta. The GLI rides decrease to the highway, giving it each a extra assertive stance, and extra sure highway holding attributable to a decrease heart of gravity. Its steering and suspension are configured for agility and quick response. Its brakes are enlarged for fast stops.
Those traits and others made the Volkswagen GLI an action-packed pleasure when spinning round city. At the identical time, the sedan carried out properly as a helpful transporter.
Its usefulness begins with the truth that the GLI is a sedan. While the Golf GTI hatchback is extra personally sized, the GLI has a spacious again seat. It simply accommodated two child’s seats, with room sufficient for the underage passengers to trip comfortably. During lengthy freeway jaunts, the sleek and simple trip of the GLI saved me snug and content material behind the wheel. Its outsized trunk made cargo transport a snap.
I additionally discovered some surprises that confirmed how Volkswagen works to take care of the GLI’s steadiness between sporting efficiency and accommodating transport.
One welcome shock was the GLI’s superior gas financial system. The official authorities fuel-use ranking for the mannequin is 28 miles per gallon in mixed metropolis and freeway driving. That’s okay, however not award successful for a compact automobile.
During my analysis, I did 40 p.c higher, averaging 39 mpg by per week of driving that concerned extra freeway miles than in-town distances. That’s reverse the driving sample that the federal government makes use of to assign fuel-use rankings: The feds issue in additional metropolis driving than freeway driving. Still, my check mannequin’s total efficiency in gas financial system impressed me loads. And even throughout quick runs that concerned solely around-town driving, my analysis mannequin used gasoline at a charge of about 34 mpg. That’s nonetheless near 40 p.c higher than its official city-only ranking of 25 mpg.
The engine’s effectivity comes from Volkswagen’s efforts to steadiness increased output with economical operation. For instance, the exhaust gasoline that reinforces engine energy – by turning the turbocharger because the vapor exits the engine – is cooled earlier than it reaches the machine. That moderates the quantity of gas fed into the engine, whereas nonetheless giving the engine goose.
Also, VW electronically adjusts the movement of coolant by the engine throughout totally different phases of its operation. By controlling the coolant to permit for a quicker warm-up when the motor first begins, the corporate reduces the period of time its operates in its choke mode and likewise in a high-friction, chilly state. Both scale back gasoline consumption.
In my case, I additionally improved the GLI’s gas financial system by choosing “Economy” as a “Drive Mode.” Other decisions would have tailor-made the sedan for regular driving and sportier driving. The mannequin’s drive-mode system subtly adapts gas-pedal response, steering, automated transmission shifts, and different operations in line with a setting the motive force selects.
My financial system choice additionally acknowledged that local weather management – particularly air con – can improve an engine’s gas use. Therefore it additionally tailor-made the cabin’s local weather system for extra environment friendly operation. I in all probability wouldn’t have achieved 39 miles per gallon with the game mode. But I’m assured that I nonetheless would have traveled economically.
To improve the GLI’s usefulness, VW equips the cabin with options that help the motive force and make journey extra nice. Examples embody wi-fi machine connection, touchscreen data and leisure management, and Volkswagen’s Car-Net system that lets homeowners monitor the GLI, receive data, and activate some capabilities from afar by utilizing a wise telephone.
For drivers who need to get pleasure from each second spent on the pavement, whereas additionally assembly important transportation wants, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a sedan price .
Jeffrey Zygmont is an writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books, and a long-time auto author. Contact him at www.jeffreyzygmont.com.
2020 VW Jetta GLI
Vehicle sort: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-wheel-drive compact sport sedan
Price vary: $27,165 to $31,665 (plus choices)
Warranty: 6 years/72,000 miles guarantee; 7 years/100,000 miles corrosion guarantee; 3 years/36,000 miles roadside help
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged I4
Power: 228 horsepower at 5,000 rpm; 258 lb.-ft. torque at 1,700 rpm
Base transmission: 6-speed guide
Fuel financial system: 25 mpg metropolis; 33 mpg freeway
Wheelbase: 106 inches
Length: 185 inches
Width: 71 inches
Height: 57 inches
Weight: 2,888 kilos
Fuel capability: 13.2 gallons
Turning circle: 36.4 ft