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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

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MSRP Range :
$26,890 - $30,890
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Combined Fuel Economy
28 MPG
228 HP
KBB Expert Rating
KBB Consumer Rating
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If you want a small sedan with taut yet comfortable driving manners and noteworthy tech that includes standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, the 2019 VW Jetta is worth a look. Volkswagen's impressive 6-year/72,000-mile transferable, bumper-to-bumper warranty also helps the Jetta stand out, as does the GLI performance model.


Rivals ranging from the Honda Civic to Mazda3 offer similarly fun driving manners, plus hatchback variants. The Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte also have standout warranties that cover 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain.

What's New For 2019

The Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI are all-new for 2019. Now in its seventh generation and marking 40 years in production, VW’s small sedan returns with slightly larger dimensions, enhanced technology that includes standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, and available driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking. The sportier Jetta R-Line is a first for the model.

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Pricing

MSRP Range :

$26,890 - $30,890

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Expert Review

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is marking its fourth decade in existence in all-new form this year. Now in its seventh generation, VW’s 5-passenger compact sedan returns with crisp design, enhanced safety and driver-assist features, and fresh technology. Also attractive is its cost. Starting under $20,000, it’s competitive with rivals like the Honda Civic, Chevy Cruze, and Nissan Sentra. Those competitors – and just about every other small sedan – outsell the Jetta, but it’s not for lack of appeal. As the only mainstream European compact sedan on the market, the 2019 Jetta boasts zesty driving manners and contemporary design, all while hiding a few tricks up its sleeve. For drivers seeking more thrills, the sporty Jetta GLI is a substantial upgrade over the standard model.

Driving the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The standard 2019 VW Jetta has lost a couple of things in its current form vs. the 2018 model, but the good news is, it’s still a nimble driver. In the missing column is the option for a higher-powered (170 horsepower) 1.8-liter engine, and a multilink rear suspension. For 2019, the Jetta uses a 147-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, while the former suspension has been swapped for a simpler torsion beam. Despite this, the new Jetta feels lively and agile. Acceleration is peppy, especially in Sport mode, and the handling retains the European feel that has been associated with the Jetta for decades. By “European feel,” we mean that it is both agile and fun in corners while, still proving a taut yet comfortable ride on the highway. The new 8-speed automatic transmission is a high point. Shifts are smooth, and the system eagerly kicks down gears when needed, such as for high-speed passing. Manual transmission fans take note: The new 6-speed is a joy to use. It’s easy, light and engaging. The downside is it’s only offered on the base Jetta S.

For those with slightly bigger budgets, the also-new 2019 Jetta GLI rectifies all that’s missing from the standard model. Its 2.0-liter turbo engine offers plenty of oomph with 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while its rear suspension is a more sophisticated multilink setup. Moreover, all models come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic as an option. The result is a superbly enjoyable performance sedan. The 2019 Jetta GLI is both fun to fling around corners, yet also comfortable enough for everyday commuting. The GLI is offered in three trims, but we particularly like the midtrim 35th Anniversary Edition as it’s the only one to get the DCC adaptive damping suspension with a “comfort” mode.

Favorite Features

Call it trickle-down technology. This digital dashboard that debuted on VW’s luxury-brand cousin, Audi, a few years ago can now be had on a mainstream Jetta. It replaces the traditional gauges with a slick, 10.25-inch configurable screen that can display navigation maps, audio info, and, of course, speed/rpm data.

In another first for the Jetta, Volkswagen has partnered with Beats Audio for its premium sound system. While some of Beats’ previous systems were bass-heavy, this new setup sounds more refined and pleasing across the entire frequency spectrum.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Interior

The 2019 Jetta’s 5-passenger cabin retains its clean Euro simplicity. Controls for audio, climate and the like are kept to a minimum and are easy to see and reach. All 2019 Jetta models feature a central touch screen that handles infotainment. Lower trims use a 6.5-inch display, while higher ones have a better-looking 8-inch unit. Interior room is impressive for a compact car, and matches or nearly matches that of the lauded Honda Civic. Basic cloth covers the interior of S trims. SE, R-Line and SEL trims get V-Tex leatherette, and the topline SEL Premium has real leather.

At 14.1 cubic feet, the trunk is impressively large. Furthermore, standard 60/40-split rear seats add cargo-carrying practicality. One thing we found odd is the shelf behind the rear seats. It slopes upward, limiting rear visibility, and is made of inexpensive-feeling plastic that can cause glare on bright days.

In addition to GLI-specific interior elements, the Jetta GLI models come standard with adjustable, 10-color ambient lighting that’s optional in the regular model.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Exterior

The Volkswagen Jetta has long stood out by not exactly standing out. You won’t find super flashy design or some trend-setting style element here. We don’t think this is a bad thing, especially if you like clean and classic lines that are almost certain to hold up well over time. Still, our eyes see definite improvements in this slightly larger Jetta vs. the outgoing model. The wraparound grille is handsome without being overt. One of the most interesting features -- and challenging from a metalworking perspective – are the creases that run nearly the length of each side. The R-Line model kicks up the sporty factor with a unique grille and bumper, and black side-mirror caps. As with the SEL Premium, the R-Line also comes with fog lights.

The sportier Jetta GLI is a wolf in sheep’s clothes, looking very similar to standard Jettas. Distinguishing marks include a 0.6-inch-lower stance, unique front end with a red accent stripe across the grille, and standard 18-inch wheels.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Standard Features

If you can only afford a Jetta S base model, you’ll still get a decently equipped car. Included are the basics like air conditioning, power windows/doorlocks, and a turbocharged engine, cruise control, LED headlights, 16-inch wheels, rearview camera, and an infotainment system that bundles a 6.5-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/MirrorLink smartphone connectivity, 4-speaker AM/FM radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity. An automatic transmission, which most people will prefer, is $800 extra. If you can afford the roughly $23,000 starting price, we recommend stepping up to at least the Jetta SE. It is better equipped with an automatic transmission, panoramic moonroof, leatherette interior, heated front seats, keyless access with push-button start, and dual-zone climate control. Moreover, it includes safety features like blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

Jetta GLI models are offered in three trims: Base, 35th anniversary, and Autobahn. In addition to its performance hardware, the GLI also includes heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and active safety features of the Jetta SE.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Options

Continuing the trim climb, the new Jetta R-Line adds the VW GTI-derived XDS electronic front differential for better handling, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and 2-tone seating. Stepping up to the SEL grants the Digital Cockpit (see Favorite Features), upgraded 8-inch central touch screen, Beats premium audio, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED projector headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. At the top, the SEL Premium includes leather interior, navigation, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, 8-way power driver’s seat, and heated steering wheel.

On the Jetta GLI, the 35th Anniversary Edition includes the adaptive-damping suspension and unique aesthetics. The topline Jetta GLI Autobahn has ventilated front seats, the Beats audio system, power driver’s seat, 8-inch touch-screen system with a CD player (it’s in the glovebox), and the Digital Cockpit. Autobahn models of the 2019 Jetta GLI with the DSG automatic transmission also get remote start.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Engine

The 2019 Jetta is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, mostly carried over from the previous generation. It is down a few horsepower, but gains efficiency, attaining the coveted 40-mpg highway fuel-economy rating. Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual that’s standard on base models or an 8-speed automatic that’s optional on the base trim and standard on every other. The automatic features an idle start/stop system that cuts power at stoplights to save fuel. Restarts are quite smooth, and the system can be switched off with the press of a button by the gear lever. Unlike some other turbo engines, this one runs fine on regular unleaded gasoline instead of the pricier premium stuff.

The 2019 Jetta GLI performance model gets a more potent turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 228 horsepower. In addition to extra horsepower and torque, it features other go-quicker components like a multilink rear suspension and limited-slip front differential, and excellent brakes from the high-performance Golf R. All models of the Jetta GLI come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard or optional 7-speed DSG automatic with the idle start/stop system. It, too, runs fine on regular unleaded.

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
147 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/40 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Jetta GLI)
228 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/32 mpg

How Much Does the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Cost?

The 2019 VW Jetta has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $19,395 for a base S model. Most buyers will prefer an automatic transmission, which is $800 extra. The more recommendable Jetta SE starts at $23,005. At the top, the Jetta SEL Premium runs just under $28,000. At these prices, the Jetta is competitive with the roughly 10 other rivals in its segment, slightly undercutting the Honda Civic and slotting above the starting prices of the Kia Forte, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza, and Nissan Sentra. The Jetta GLI’s price spans from $26,890 to just over $30,000, which puts its starting price just above that of the Honda Civic Si. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to get an idea of what others in your area are paying for their new car. While this is an all-new model, for reference the Jetta’s resale value has traditionally trailed that of rivals like the Honda Civic, Subaru Impreza, and Mazda3.

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Photos & Videos (69)

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Consumer Reviews


Overall Rating

Based on 12 reviews

5 star


4 star


3 star


2 star


1 star



First time VW owner
2019 Volkswagen Jetta

"44 mpg on highway"

MPG, handling, brake
Turbo noise at low vehicle speed
Bought the 2019 Jetta nearly a year ago. So far very satisfied. It's our first VW ever. The little 1.4 liter turbo and 8 speed transmission together delivers adequate power as well as amazing MPG. The handling and braking are also noticeably better than any one of the Japanese cars we have owned. Styling is also the best in its class IMO.
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Zvi Arie
2019 Volkswagen Jetta

"Some improvements are needed."

Technology and fuel economy.
Front passenger seat adjustments, material quality
This car drives very nicely. Engine is peppy and transmission shifts smoothly the most of the time. Sometimes downshifts are noticeable. All the technical features in this car command an applause. Heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are awesome. Digital instrument cluster and infotainment unit are incredible and very easy to use. Beats audio system is dissent. Ambient lighting is very nice and gives the interior a warm atmosphere. Now, there are things which I personally do not like, but other people might not notice an exception. The front passenger seat is very uncomfortable. It seats low, does not have height adjustments nor lumbar support. And this is top of the line trim. It feels like I am seating flat on the floor with no back support. Long drives are not comfortable. In my opinion, this kind of cost cutting is unacceptable. The passenger seat should be afforded the same amount of adjustments as the driver seat. The materials on rear door panels look and feel very cheap. Some times they squeak when the temperatures are cold. There are no air vents for the rear passengers, but rear heated seats make up for it a little. The trunk insulation materials are barely present. The trunk lid and hinges are exposed and look ugly. The trunk lid itself is heavy and require a push up in order to lock in the open position. Interior lights are not LED and they are on a dim side. Sunroof shade is a see-through and lets a lot of light into the cabin. I do not like that. The back up camera does not have a trajectory lines and it is very basic. Overall it is a good car with an awesome fuel economy and if the manufacturer fixes these shortcomings especially with the front passenger seat adjustments, it will be even better.Read less
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2019 Volkswagen Jetta

"2019 vw jetta r line is a pretty smooth ride"

Amazing mpg, nice interior, looks sleek on outside
Slightly sluggish on the gas
This car is very comfortable. It takes potholes like a champ and the interior is very appealing to the eyes. Everything feels high quality and looks good. This car is made more for the drive as the whole radio Bluetooth setup is angled more towards the driver. Great starter car or for anyone looking for 30-40 mpg. Have owned a vw before and will continue to buy them.
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1 - 3 of 12 reviews
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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Specs & FeaturesBased on lowest-priced style.


  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology
  • Cruise Control
  • Hands Free Phone
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Push-Button Engine Start
  • Smartphone Interface
  • Touch Screen Monitor
  • USB Port
  • Voice Recognition System


  • AM/FM Radio
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite Radio
  • Bluetooth Streaming Audio
  • iPod Interface


  • Folding Rear Seat
  • Cloth Seats
  • Heated Front Seats

Comfort & Convenience

  • Front Air Conditioning
  • Power Locks
  • Auto-Dimming Interior Mirror
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Integrated Garage Door Opener

Fuel Economy

  • EPA City - 25 mpg
  • EPA Class - Compact Cars
  • EPA Hwy - 32 mpg
  • EPA Combined - 28 mpg


  • Horsepower - 228 hp
  • Horsepower RPM - 5000 rpm
  • Stroke - 3.65 inches
  • Torque - 258 foot pounds
  • Torque RPM - 1700 rpm


  • Cup Holder
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • 12V Power Outlet
  • Compass
  • Power Outlet
  • Steering Wheel Controls
  • Tilt Steering Wheel
  • Tilt/Telescoping Steering Wheel


  • Alloy Wheels
  • Automatic Headlights
  • Heated Mirrors
  • Limited Use Spare
  • Number of Doors - 4 doors
  • Power Mirrors
  • Spare Tire Type - Limited Use
  • Tires / Wheel Size - P225/45HR18
  • Wheel Type - Alloy
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers
  • Rear Spoiler


  • Basic Miles - 72000 miles
  • Basic Years - 6 years
  • Corrosion/Rust Through Miles - Unlimited miles
  • Corrosion/Rust Through Years - 12 years
  • Roadside Assistance Miles - 36000 miles
  • Roadside Assistance Years - 3 years
  • Scheduled Maintenance Miles - 10000 miles
  • Scheduled Maintenance Years - 1 years


  • Axle Ratio - 3.24
  • Brakes: Front - Disc
  • Brakes: Rear - Disc
  • Braking System - Anti-Lock
  • Drivetrain - FWD
  • Engine Type - Gas
  • Engine Sub-Type - Turbo
  • Power Steering
  • Transmission Type - Manual
  • Cylinders - 4 cylinders
  • Displacement - 2.0 liter
  • Bore - 3.25 inches
  • Compression Ratio - 9.6
  • Fuel Induction - Direct Injection
  • Total no. valves - 16 valves
  • Valve Train - Dual Overhead Cam
  • Engine Configuration - Inline
  • # of Speeds - 6 speed
  • CID - 122 cubic inches
  • Recommended Fuel - Regular
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Anti-Lock Brakes
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Limited Slip Differential

Dimensions, Weights & Capacities

  • Curb Weight - 3217 pounds
  • EPA Passenger - 94.7 cubic feet
  • Fuel Capacity - 13.2 gallons
  • Head Room: Front - 38.5 inches
  • Head Room: Rear - 37.2 inches
  • Height - 56.8 inches
  • Leg Room: Front - 41.1 inches
  • Leg Room: Rear - 37.4 inches
  • Max Seating Capacity - 5
  • Minimum Ground Clearance - 5.0 inches
  • Overall Length - 185.2 inches
  • Shoulder Room: Front - 55.9 inches
  • Shoulder Room: Rear - 54.0 inches
  • Standard Seating Capacity - 5 passenger
  • Trunk or Cargo Capacity - 14.1 cubic feet
  • Turning Diameter - 36.4 feet
  • Wheel Base - 105.6 inches
  • Width with mirrors - 70.8 inches
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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Safety

Safety information is currently not available for this vehicle.
Please check back in the future.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Safety Technology
  • Child Door Locks
  • Child Seat Anchors
  • Driver Airbag
  • Passenger Airbag
  • Blind-Spot Alert
  • Front Head Curtain Airbag
  • Front Side Airbag
  • Rear Head Curtain Airbag
  • Rear View Camera


2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Rankings

228 HP
MPG Combined
28 MPG
Consumer Ratings
4.7 Rating
2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
228 HP

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