2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

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  • Overview

    A red 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is angled left.

    Tasteful, sophisticated, and economical. The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is an exemplary showcase of contemporary style married to turbocharged performance. With snappy handling and excellent fuel economy, the Jetta GLI makes for a fine choice for a sporty compact sedan. The 2021 model year of this popular Volkswagen returns fully featured with the latest in technology and safety, as well as two exciting trims to choose from. The highlight of the 2021 model year is in its refinement and accommodations for some of the best features available on the market.

    The base trim of the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is the S trim, which features everything you would expect from the latest iteration of this German-engineered sedan. The second trim available is the Autobahn trim, which features an upgraded interior with a high-quality infotainment suite. Combined with a turbocharged engine and the choice of either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI stands out as a high-quality compact that delivers style and options in equal measure.


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  • Performance

    A dark grey 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is shown driving under a bridge.

    The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is powered by a thrilling turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It's the same engine that powers the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI. The 2.0-liter upgrade over the standard Jetta's 1.4-liter 4-cylinder generates 55% more horsepower and outputs 40% more torque. The extra power for the Jetta GLI means a better response off the line and higher-end performance on the highway.

    Two Transmission Options

    The 2.0-liter engine is paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission for those who like to control the revs of their sedan and shift at their own leisure. However, for those who would prefer a more accessible transmission setup, a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available. This means you get crisp gear shifts that make the most use of the Jetta GLI's power output. No matter which transmission option is chosen, the Jetta is designed to maximize its torque and provide responsive and immediate acceleration.

    Performance-Oriented Design

    The performance is also heightened by the car's exterior, something that has been refined and improved since the 2019 model year. This includes styling lines along the body for reduced wind resistance and a sportier look to match its higher-end performance capabilities. The front fascia includes the Volkswagen badge and the aggressive red line across the grille that denotes a performance model. The aerodynamic bumper segment also helps with airflow and handling thanks to the lowered ride height of the GLI compared to the normal Jetta.

    This front-wheel drive sedan is also specially tuned for perfect handling, thanks to a modified suspension that gives drivers complete control of the Jetta GLI during even the most demanding of corners. Coupled with the available low-profile tires on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, the Jetta can provide amazing grip, so the 2.0-liter turbo-aspirated engine can be put to use without worrying about traction loss or losing control.

    Power and Efficiency

    Many vehicles that promise turbocharged performance and great handling suffer from poor fuel economy. However, Volkswagen made it a priority for the Jetta GLI to deliver not only quick acceleration and stable high-end speeds but also great fuel economy as well. This is why the 2021 Jetta GLI can achieve an EPA-estimated rating of 24 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway. The Jetta GLI has a combined EPA rating of up to 28 miles per gallon.*

  • Technology

    Performance gauges are shown in a 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

    The technology of the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI emanates throughout the vehicle, both inside and out. A perfect example of this is the DCC adaptive damping system available exclusively for the Jetta GLI's Autobahn trim. This system dynamically adjusts the vehicle's suspension to reduce jolts and bumps by electronically controlling the compression of the damping system for smooth rebounding. The DCC works in conjunction with the progressive variable-ratio steering system from Volkswagen. The VRS utilizes an electromechanical power steering system that reduces the need for aggressive wheel turning from the driver, making it easier to take sharp turns, as well as lower the complications associated with parking in tight spaces.

    Safety On the Road

    The stability and handling control systems are perfectly married to a suite of driver-assistance technologies that come standard with the 2021 Jetta GLI. From forward collision warnings and autonomous automatic emergency braking to blind spot monitoring and rear traffic alert, everything necessary to keep drivers aware and alert of their surroundings comes standard with the Jetta GLI. This is in addition to other standard technologies, such as anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control.

    Five Drive Modes

    Drivers also have access to several different drive modes with the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. This includes four modes for the S trim and five modes for the Autobahn trim. The four base modes include Normal, Sport, Eco, and Custom. For the Autobahn, the fifth mode is a Comfort mode to regulate the damping for the smoothest available ride provided by the Jetta GLI. If you want to save on fuel, you can opt for Eco mode, while the Sport mode provides you with great performance-ready functionality. You can also customize the experience with the Custom mode, perfect for those who want to fine-tune the ride to their preferences.

    Standard Connectivity

    You can also further modify, customize, and even check up on the Jetta GLI's status thanks to the mobile integration via the Volkswagen Car-Net feature. This includes everything from vehicle health reports to parking availability at select destinations. Car-net also enables users access to emergency services, vehicle guides, and traffic reports, as well as the ability to send information from your smart device straight to your Jetta.

  • Interior

    The black and red dash is shown in a 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

    Inside the Jetta, everyone is treated to a high-quality, comfortable, and quiet ride. The sports-sedan cabin features a black color scheme with red highlights and performance-inspired stitching. Available leather upholstery can increase comfort levels, especially when you add in ventilated and heated seating. The Autobahn trim also features adjustable lumbar support with a 6-way power driver seat and memory functionality.

    Given the Jetta's sedan qualities, it also provides plenty of space and flexibility when it comes to total cargo volume. Owners have up to 14.1-cubic feet of trunk space to make use of to store goods, groceries, leisure gear, and more. The Autobahn trim also comes standard with a panoramic sunroof for anyone wanting to soak in a little sun during their travels.

    The High-Tech Touch

    To further separate the Jetta from the competition is the standard inclusion of the customizable 10-color LED ambient lighting system that permeates throughout the corners and edges of the cabin below the beltline. This gives the Jetta GLI that tuner look without being distracting for the driver. The Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrument cluster sits behind the steering wheel, providing a 10.25-inch all-digital display layout of telemetrics for the driver.

    The all-digital instrument cluster is coupled with a separate 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen display for the S trim and an 8.0-inch glass-covered touchscreen with pressure-sensitive gesture controls for the Autobahn trim. Both trims come standard with Bluetooth wireless connectivity and easy access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Voice-activated controls are also standard, along with multimedia ports to easily plug-and-play or charge up portable devices.

    Premium Audio Options

    For audiophiles, additional options come standard with the Autobahn trim, such as HD radio and a free trial subscription for SiriusXM satellite radio. Occupants also get to absorb lots of high-quality audio output thanks to the BeatsAudio system. This includes a 400-watt, 12-channel amplifier and a 9-speaker system that provides audio output through a digital signal processor and a subwoofer. You also have the option of wireless phone charging with the Autobahn for those with a busy lifestyle that want to avoid the hassle of cords altogether.

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