test bench | Volkswagen Jetta Geely: more symbolic than strategic

(Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario) For nearly 40 years, GLi’s mission has been to revitalize the crystal clear Jetta.

Posted yesterday at 11:45 am

Eric LaFrancois

Eric LaFrancois
special cooperation

inspirational formula

Rarely have so many angry little cars been revealed. Oh, these aren’t high-end sedans, far from it, but they are caffeinated versions of the mainstream models. Dean of this class, the GLi must now fend off the onslaught of the most vibrant and modern competition while instilling an extra soul into the Jetta.

The small car with a strong temper is a tradition at Volkswagen. The genre was established in the mid-1970s with the GTi in Europe. It then spread to North America with the GTi again, but also the GLi built around the Jetta. Volkswagen has ensured continuity since then.

Her nervous character, GLi hides her under a discreet look, without any provocation. Experts will certainly notice the scarlet threads that highlight some elements of the chassis, the design of the rims or the size of the tires covering them. Only, undoubtedly, the monocles of the GLi clearly announce the color: this sedan is a ball of nerves.

  • Her nervous character, GLi hides her under a discreet look, without any provocation.

    Photo provided by Volkswagen

    Her nervous character, GLi hides her under a discreet look, without any provocation.

  • With the exception of the black trim with red scratches, the specific upholstery of the seats or the steering wheel that has a flat bottom, many would struggle to distinguish the GLi from the Jetta.

    Photo provided by Volkswagen

    With the exception of the black trim with red scratches, the specific upholstery of the seats or the steering wheel that has a flat bottom, many would struggle to distinguish the GLi from the Jetta.

  • In the rear seats, passengers will appreciate the clearance offered as well as the luggage that will sleep in the huge trunk.

    Photo provided by Volkswagen

    In the rear seats, passengers will appreciate the clearance offered as well as the luggage that will sleep in the huge trunk.

  • In almost 40 years, GLi has grown by 43 cm and weighed 574 kg.

    Photo provided by Volkswagen

    In almost 40 years, GLi has grown by 43 cm and weighed 574 kg.

  • Traditionists will prefer the manual transmission with the (erroneous) argument that it allows the 2L to give its full potential.

    Photo provided by Volkswagen

    Traditionists will prefer the manual transmission with the (erroneous) argument that it allows the 2L to give its full potential.

  • It is enough, in Sport mode, to stroke the throttle to savor hearing its wide melody.

    Photo provided by Volkswagen

    It is enough, in Sport mode, to stroke the throttle to savor hearing its wide melody.

  • Crimson accents distinguish the Volkswagen Jetta Geely.

    Photo provided by Volkswagen

    Crimson accents distinguish the Volkswagen Jetta Geely.

  • Under the hood, the German factory still has a turbocharged 2-liter, allowing it to produce 228 hp.

    Photo provided by Volkswagen

    Under the hood, the German factory still has a turbocharged 2-liter, allowing it to produce 228 hp.

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On board, the GLi makes little effort to separate itself from the Jetta. With the exception of the black trim with red scratches, the specific upholstery of the seats or the steering wheel that has a flat bottom, many would struggle to distinguish the GLi from the Jetta. Rather than cool (some prefer the adjective “classic” here), the presentation undoubtedly lacks cohesion, but amateurs don’t care. The driving position is more important to him, as is the support (more than very average) for the container he occupies. In the rear seats, passengers will appreciate the clearance offered as well as the luggage that will sleep in the huge trunk.

It’s not just the brevity that flirts with him

Under the hood, the German factory still has a turbocharged 2-liter, allowing it to produce 228 hp. Audio engineers have carefully worked out the exhaust sound of these four-cylinders, and in Sport mode all you have to do is stroke the throttle to immerse your ears in its wide melody. These mechanisms make it possible, without effort, to drop 0-100 km / h in 6.5 seconds, provided that it is paired with a dual-clutch gearbox, with seven gears. Traditionists will prefer the manual transmission with the (erroneous) argument that it allows the 2L to give its full potential. For these folks, it’s important to point out that the clutch is easy to adjust, but it just keeps getting lazy and soft.

After modification, the running gear gains not only rigidity, but also dynamics thanks to electronically adjustable shock absorbers. Unfortunately, the steering lacks responsiveness and does not amplify the feeling of driving a single car on the road, as is sometimes the case with the competition (see the Competition screen). This is not quite the case, but there is no doubt that this is what makes the magic of GLi. It takes more commitment and talent than those sports cars that can go really fast even with a chimpanzee behind the wheel.

Covered with electronic crutches, the GLi shows a less playful personality than before.

Despite its double strength and ease of handling, let’s not forget that in almost 40 years, the GLi grew by 43 cm and weighed 574 kg. The current version measures much more than the original and has 90 horsepower, yet the current version doesn’t choke with exasperation if one embraces quiet driving.

At the wheel, we like that the suspension doesn’t make any real sacrifices in terms of comfort. We appreciate the bite and bearing of the borrowed brake system from the previous generation Golf R.

far from its origins

Despite these pledges of orthodoxy, the new GLi evokes the foundational myth enough. Too – too little? – Smoothly, acceleration is massive (for a gasoline engine of this displacement, of course), but neither brutal nor particularly resilient. We’ve known that VW 2 Ls are quicker to jump, more linear, more aggressive, and it must be admitted that they are necessarily thirstier than this.

More exciting than truly fiery, this GLI is neither Spartan nor (unfortunately) no nostalgia for the time it debuted. And, as in the past, the suggestive GLI will help first and foremost in the sale of the virtuous Jetas.

Hosting costs related to this report were paid for by Volkswagen Canada.

Volkswagen Jetta GLi

price range

From $31,895 to $33,295

Visible in agents

Currently

consumption

8.3 liters per 100 km

Love

complete equipment
Enhanced driving pleasure
Attractive price and guarantee

We love less

Rubber Box Control (Manual)
Cannibalism within its range
show austerity

our judgment

It ticks almost all the right boxes, except for the emotion.

art paper

Photo provided by Volkswagen

Volkswagen Jetta GLi

engine

  • Turbocharged 2.0L L4 DOHC
  • Power: 228 bhp @ 6500 rpm
  • Torque: 258 lb-ft at 4000 rpm

performance

  • Weight: 1484 kg (estimated)
  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 6.5 s
  • Ground clearance: 146 mm

Motion vector

  • Standard: 6-speed manual
  • Optional: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Driving mode: traction

Tires

Tank Capacity and Recommended Gasoline

Dimensions

  • Wheelbase: 2681 mm
  • Length: 4747 mm
  • Height: 1471 mm
  • Width: 1799 mm (excluding exterior mirrors)

second start

Photo provided by Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Jetta is the 5th best-selling compact car in Canada.

The game we called “trunk golf” is doing well in the Canadian market. It ranks fifth among the best selling compacts. The partial overhaul it is undergoing this year will not allow it to jump to the front, but to maintain its rank, which seems to be in line with the expectations of Volkswagen leaders. Redesigned body armor, an expanded color palette and new accessories sum up the aesthetic changes made to this model.

When more power means more savings

Photo provided by Volkswagen

Volkswagen Jetta GLi engine

To discover the resistance of a piece of this micro-design, you have to raise the hood. It is clearly not obvious, but the engine has a larger displacement (1.5 liters instead of 1.4 liters) compared to its predecessor. It’s the same engine as Taos. Between the old and the new there is a difference of 11 horsepower, but the torque remains the same. More power, but also more pump saving. In combination with the automatic transmission, this engine proves to be the most economical.

Owners opinion

Photo provided by Volkswagen

Volkswagen Jetta GLi

complete satisfaction

This is my third Jetta, but my first 2021 GLI. What a pleasure to drive! Power, maneuverability, strong braking, it is very easy to put in traffic. It currently has a length of 18,000 km around the clock. Fuel consumption is reasonable (about 8 l / 100 km with premium gasoline). I took advantage of a trip to Florida to treat myself. I’ve always loved sports cars, and the 2021 GLi with new technologies makes my life easier.

HLRC

Oh, red!

I’ve owned a GLi since June 2020 and love it! Comfort, its ride stiffness (the engine isn’t anemic, as you sometimes say) and load capacity are strong elements. And what about red accents that spice up the interior and exterior a little bit! However, I must tell you that I am a fan of Volkswagen products. I’ve had several, including the GTi. We can say about the GLi that it is an anonymous GTi. Plus, you have to know Volkswagens to know that the GLi has most of the GTi components and even some R. A flaw maybe an automatic…I couldn’t get a clue. On the other hand, with the traffic problems in the Greater Montreal area, I don’t regret much about it.

Madeline H.

again anyway

I own a 2021 Jetta GLi with manual transmission. I had a 2013 GLi that I loved before, but a year after the warranty expired, I gave in to have it replaced due to a lack of reliability. So far, there are only positive things to say about this car. Performance, handling and fuel economy are all available. And plenty of indoor spaces for our two kids. It’s not easy to find a high-performance family car with a manual transmission and the GLi is one of those exceptional cars. Too bad the hot steering wheel was not served. For the rest, we take advantage of it while it’s still possible. It remains to be seen whether the reliability will be better than that of the previous GLi.

Eric B.

Nothing to report

I have owned a 2019 Jetta GLi with manual transmission for nearly three years now and am very satisfied. It’s very difficult to find a sports sedan at this price that comes with a manual transmission that is as fun to drive, comfortable, spacious, well-equipped and fuel-efficient as the GLi. Also, for those who are afraid of the build’s bad reputation, I can assure you that I haven’t had any problems so far.

David S.

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