2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Debuts In Chicago: Now With More Power!

The new GLI goes on sale this Spring

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI gains power and torque from the previous model.

All of us at TFL like the seventh-generation Volkswagen Jetta. It’s a good-looking sedan with a fair amount of technology at a reasonable price. Thanks to it’s 1.4-liter engine, it’s also fuel efficient. Also thanks to that engine, it’s not what you’d call fast. Now, we have a remedy that situation with the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

With 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, the standard Jetta moves perfectly well, if not rapidly. Ah, but how about this? The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI takes its EA888 heart straight out of the GTI, but this time it gets more power and more torque. Specifically, the unit makes 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Like the GTI, it also comes mated to a six-speed manual as standard — hurrah! — a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. Fuel economy figures aren’t available for the GLI just yet through the EPA. We don’t expect the GLI’s fuel economy to stray too far from the GTI hatchback’s 27 mpg combined figure. Automatic models do get a start/stop system as standard equipment.

It’s not just more powerful

Thanks to sport suspension, the 2019 Jetta GLI should handle too. Unlike the standard Jetta, which has torsion beam rear suspension, the GLI keeps its independent multi-link setup. That ought to help cornering, and the available DCC adaptive damping and VAQ torque-sensing limited-slip differential should help there too. Ticking that option also adds a “Comfort” setting to the normal drive modes. On other Jetta GLI models, you get Normal, Eco, Sport and Custom. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI also sits 0.6 inches lower than the standard Jetta.

Volkswagen also borrowed the brakes from the GTI and Golf R to fit to the Jetta GLI. Thanks to that inclusion, you get 13.4-inch ventilated rotors in the front, and red-painted brake calipers. While we’re on the subject of red, you also get a red accent line like the GTI, red accent stitching on the seats and red seat piping on the Autobahn model’s leather seats.

On the appearance front, little changes whether you get the base GLI or the Autobahn apart from the leather seats. As standard equipment, you get 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, LED taillights and that black honeycomb grille. A special 35th Anniversary Edition further adds black wheels with a red stripe, as well as a black roof, mirror caps, tail spoiler and 35th Anniversary badging.

As standard equipment, you get an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink support. A 400-watt Beats Audio premium sound system is optional equipment. Other available features include Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit, a second USB port, a power adjustable memory driver’s seat, ventilated seats and remote start. Heated seats and dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers and push-button start come standard.

Safety and Availability

Every 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI will get blind spot monitoring, Rear Traffic Alert, and Automatic Post-Collision Braking as standard equipment. You also get Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Breaking with pedestrian detection, as is becoming the norm.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI will go on sale in Spring 2019. Volkswagen hasn’t announced pricing yet, but we do expect to know more closer to that on-sale date. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates from the 2019 Chicago Auto Show!