Sibling Rivalry: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Vs. 2019 Golf GTI — Cars.com


back in 2014 we named the Volkswagen GTI
our best cheap speed car for less than $30,000 it beat the Subaru WRX the Ford
Fiesta ST and the then Scion fr-s but for 2019 the GTI stiffest
competition may come from within VW’s ranks and that’s with the redesign 2019
Jetta GLI so the GLI is no longer a hodgepodge of platforms and rear
suspensions and engines it’s now on the GTI’s MQB architecture it has the same
engine the same transmission options we’re talking the same horsepower torque
number the same gear ratios in the dual-clutch 7-speed the last GLI you
gave up a lot of that GTI’s sporting character to get the extra backseat room
to get an actual trunk but for 2019 is that still the case so we’re here to
test acceleration braking handling and determine is the GLI as good as the GTI during this test we have GLI the GTI and
they’re both equipped with the automatic transmission the 7-speed dual-clutch
fantastic transmission in these cars we focused in a few measure testing areas
as well as an autocross course so in our measured testing these cars
are nearly identical so the GLI desert sixty five point eight
four seconds the GTI did 0-60 in five point nine six seconds so the GLI was a
little faster than zero to sixty and also in quarter-mile time the GLI did
fourteen point four five seconds and ninety nine point one seven miles per
hour and the GTI was unnoticeably slower at fourteen point one two seconds and
six for an hour now those look identical but there was one massive difference
between these cars and that’s the GLI has summer tires and the GTI has
policies and tires and that’s where we really saw the impact and our measured
testing for acceleration and braking and acceleration the GLI with launch control
stuck the tires planted and was gone fastest time
ask the day the GTI with all season tires took us about eight runs to dial
in the time to get gets fastest time because the tires were spinning we’re
getting real hot that difference came through and your
braking numbers – massive difference in braking numbers so the GLI 16 to zero
miles an hour took 111 feet the GTI 127 feet huge difference big difference
and you can feel that when you stop on the brakes and the GLI just punkers down
no drama stops very quickly the GTI just skips along the road with
those policies entire now our braking tests are meant to simulate a panic
braking maneuver so what we do is we just throw the hooks out at 60 miles now
handling though on our autocross course the summer tires were a very different
experience yeah I think the GTI’s policies and tires became even more of a
liability in the autocross because that’s the car you think you know would
be like perfectly setup for it the smaller hatchback and it felt like it
was the right car for that but it didn’t have the right tires because it was it
was sliding around you weren’t his you weren’t able to carry as much speed
through some of the bigger turns that you could in the GLI you were just
sliding off course and it really made it more of a handful than the GLI was
at the the shorter wheelbase definitely showed itself an autocross course but I
loved how it trail braking the cars back-end would kick out and it would
just that nose would point toward the cone the back end would step around and
you’re off but yet you’re battling a whole lot of wheelspin a whole lot of
traction issues with those all season tires the GTI though it felt like the
more precise the car into a test though it’s just the little differences in road
feel was better communicated it just didn’t have the grip that the GLI did
yeah and I think once we got out onto the street where we are now that some of
the differences between the tires were more minimized and it became less of an
issue and that helped the GTI I agree the the GTI came across as the more
engaging car to drive with more direct feel through the accelerator steering
and is definitely the pick in you are valuing the most of the driving
experience I thought rattle Tippin was more precise the GLI
just it still felt a little mushy yeah yeah it’s still a little bit more
comfort oriented than the GTI and I I think if that’s what you want like maybe
the GLI is the better choice you because it does have a little bit more ride
comfort it doesn’t quite beat you up as much in terms of suspension firmness but
you give up that precision that you’re talking about where you know the
steering isn’t as direct it doesn’t kind of turn it as quickly there’s a
difference there yeah the GLI is almost like if you made
a copy of the GTI you made a copy of the copy of the copy
you’ve got the deal yeah there it is there were some other characteristics
that stood out between the two specifically we only talked about making
the experience more engaging from the GTI’s and you hear more till the turbo
noises you hear more exhaust the exhaust goes blop between gear shifts and you
just don’t get that in the GLI I feel like the GLI like its augmented
and to note is it’s very aggressive its natural engine note their exhaust note
is less so Wow both cars do have the Augmented sound right options that you
can dig into the menu and change so even though there are a lot of similarities I
feel like between the Jenna GLI and GTI we talked about I mean the same engine
the same transmission the same differential just to name some of the
things I feel like these cars are still for different buyers I mean on the one
hand there’s the GTI which I kind of feel is like it’s a if you want
sportiness all the time whether you’re just going to the grocery store or just
kind of having fun on a back road that’s your car where this one like a little
bigger the Jetta GLI that we’re in a little bigger a little softer it’s a
little more relaxed in just a little bit more comfortable while still giving you
that great GTI performance yeah it’s got a ton of values a lot of value I like
how there’s more backseat room now even though the the golf is a hatchback if
you need just trunk room behind the backseat the Jetta gives you that and
pricing if you hit on value so the two cars we’re testing are separated by a
$295 the GLI is more expensive than the GTI and here’s everything you get in the
GLI that you don’t get in the GTI for the same price the GLI has a moonroof
dual automatic climate control GTI has a manual power driver’s seat GTI manual
seat the GLI has ventilated seats in addition to heated seats leather
upholstery the digital cockpit remote start and this big 8 inch touchscreen
versus the GTI is a small or six and a half inch touchscreen Ando
model we test it you get that same awesome long warranty granted if you
live in the Midwest like we do you’re buying a set of all season tires for
this or winter tires so there’s an extra eight hundred to a thousand dollars if
you choose the the summer tires on like this cars and claim to it but the
heightened performance that this car has versus its predecessor it’s good I mean
it’s really good yeah I mean it it really transforms the car into something
different than you know your ordinary Jetta I mean it’s it’s just the way it
drives and like the performance numbers you’re talking about the design – it’s
got a lot that makes the car its own thing yeah for sure I mean I put this on
my list I’ve got a subaru impreza hatchback right now and
you know the life kid we’re help grilling it so I could
definitely see a sedan like this with more usable trunk space we got the car
seat in the backseat that never leaves the backseat I can’t fold the backseat
and use the back seat for a hatchback so something with the bigger trunk makes
more sense for me and I think it will for a lot of people whose lifestyle just
doesn’t fit in a small hatchback anymore but you still want that high-performance
experience and that does deliver this

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