Volkswagen’s Jetta compact sedan underwent a mild facelift last year, but missing from the updated range was the GLI. It turns out VW was saving the new sporty sedan for the 2016 model year.
Revealed in full today, the 2016 Jetta GLI adopts an aggressive look similar to that found on the car’s GTI hatchback cousin. Up front is a GTI-style honeycomb grille as well as a new set of fog lights, while at the rear you’ll find a new diffuser and a pair of chrome-plated exhaust tips.
But it’s not just the styling that’s been borrowed from the GTI. The latest GLI also packs the hot hatch’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 210 horsepower. Other performance upgrades include sports-tuned suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels. All-season tires come standard though buyers can opt for summer performance tires. A six-speed manual is also standard, with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch ‘box remaining an option.
2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Interior tweaks aren't started but VW has confirmed that the car features a new infotainment system offering extra connectivity options. Standard features include keyless access and push-button start, dual-zone climate control, a sunroof, a six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, a backup camera, parking sensors, a Fender audio system and VW’s new Automatic Post-Collision Braking system. This feature applies the brakes when an impact is detected to help prevent additional impacts from occurring.
Anyone opting for the more upmarket SEL trim gets a number of extras including electronic driver aids such as blind spot detection and rear traffic alert, as well as a navigation system and adaptive xenon headlights.
Pricing for the 2016 Jetta GLI will be announced closer to the market launch later this year but don’t expect the starting price to move much from the 2015 model’s $27,740 (with destination) starting figure.