The 2011 Jetta S, SE and SEL have been a huge sales success for Volkswagen. The redesigned, larger and more affordable small sedan has been recording sales increases measuring as much as 40% month to month over the previous model. As well as the new sedan is doing in the mainstream market, VW says that the new Jetta GLI is all about the enthusiasts.
Addressing the concerns of the very vocal minority, the GLI sees a return to a soft touch dash and independent rear-suspension. Although a minor change, the change is majorly noticeable inside the car. The sports seats, red-stitching and flat-bottom steering wheel play a huge part in making the new model feel like a proper GLI. VWOA President Jonathan Browning says “The GLI represents the only truly affordable European Car in this category” and he is absolutely correct. No other European model will touch the GLI at its $24,265 base price. Even fully loaded with DSG, Navigation and all the other options you won’t be able to get a GLI over the $30,000 mark.
Product manager Mark Jo says that longtime fans won’t be disappointed with the suspension tuning. While the regular Jetta is dialed in with average North American buyers in mind, the GLI will satisfy those looking for an affordable European Sports Sedan. Combined with VW’s now legendary 2.0T and a choice of either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG, both equipped with XDS electronic limited slip differential, this is a true sports sedan. At least on paper. We haven’t driven it yet, but if it works as well the GTI, and we have no reason to think it won’t, then this will be the biggest bang for the buck in European Performance sedans on the market.
The 2012 Jetta GLI should be rolling into, and probably quickly out of dealerships by the Fall of 2011. Three basic variants will be available, GLI, GLI Autobahn and GLI Autobahn with Navigation. All will be available with DSG, but option lists will be left short to make it easier and cheaper on dealers and customers. We can’t wait to drive one.