Debuting for 2019, Volkswagen’s current A7-generation Jetta represented a significant step ahead for a nameplate that had misplaced a few of its luster over its previous couple of iterations. It inspired us sufficient, in reality, to earn a third-place rating amongst compact sedans in our MotorTrend Ultimate Car Rankings. How’s it preserving up in opposition to the ever-increasing pageant? To determine we spent per week in a range-topping GLI style in Natural Grey and fitted with the Autobahn Black package deal, which left it a couple of purple wheel stripes shy of aping the 35th Anniversary model we examined in 2019.
Now, this GLI is not the Jetta that ranks as our third-best compact sedan. Our magnificence scores center of attention at the highest-volume variants, which within the compact-sedan magnificence will be the Jetta powered via a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. After years of GLI fashions being provided with considerably dumbed-down and another way tuned GTI portions, the A7 GLI is as soon as once more a GTI with a trunk, albeit one with an extended wheelbase and Golfing R brakes.
How would this automotive stack up if we made a different scores class for the sporty compact sedans, together with the Hyundai Elantra N Line, Mazda 3 Turbo AWD, and Subaru WRX? (The on-hiatus Honda Civic Si might be incorporated as soon as it returns subsequent yr in line with the all-new 2022 Civic.)
At the purpose measurements entrance, Subaru’s WRX holds the top floor. Its 2.0-liter boxer engine produces an identical torque (258 lb-ft) however 40 extra horses (268), so regardless of its slower-shifting handbook transmission, plus the added weight and friction of the Subie’s usual all-wheel power, the WRX is ready a half-second sooner to 60 mph and during the quarter mile. Its tires and brakes are intently sufficient matched to the GLI’s to ship preventing and dealing with efficiency numbers inside of a proportion level of each other.
A 2020 Honda Civic Si sedan powered via a 205-hp, 192-lb-ft turbocharged 1.5-liter trailed the VW Jetta GLI via any other half-second in acceleration however outperformed it in braking and cornering via a extra vital 3 to 4 %. (We do not look forward to the following Si to obtain an important energy bump that may threaten the GLI in relation to acceleration. ). That leaves the Mazda 3 Turbo AWD and Hyundai Elantra N Line. The torquier 2.5-liter Mazda is fairly sooner however significantly much less athletic in relation to braking and cornering, whilst the 1.6-liter Hyundai brings up the rear in all classes. (The upper-performing 2022 Elantra N and its 2.0-liter turbo will unquestionably rectify this.)
A large bonus the VW provides that the present competition can not fit is the Jetta GLI’s Dynamic Chassis Regulate adaptive damping gadget. Honda presented a an identical setup at the Si however with out the VW’s Customized mode possibility, which makes it conceivable to personally alter the chassis elements. For example, we put the guidance really feel, entrance differential locking program, throttle reaction and shift technique, or even the adaptive cruise regulate of their maximum competitive settings however left the dampers and exhaust be aware in Convenience mode. The Recreation choices for those latter options respectively jiggled our kidneys and appeared like a poorly tuned aftermarket “fart can.” However Customized means that you can do you, and to put the GLI into your personal non-public candy spot.
To sum it up, the elemental 2021 Volkswagen Jetta package deal provides the enough folks and baggage room, aggressive gas economic system, and better degree of onboard era to take care of its third-place rating, whilst the GLI turns out like a very easy top-two finisher a number of the sportsters of the category—a minimum of till we we get to power the 2022 Honda Civic Si and Hyundai Elantra N.
|SPECIFICATIONS||2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$33,135|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Entrance-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||2.0L/228-hp/258-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed twin-clutch auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,245 lb (60/40%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||185.2 x 70.8 x 57.9 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.1 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||14.6 sec @ 98.8 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||109 toes|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.91 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||25.6 sec @ 0.72 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||24/35/28 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||140/96 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.69 lb/mile|
|Observe: Curb weight and take a look at numbers constitute automatically an identical 2019 take a look at automobile.|