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      10-22-2019, 02:48 AM   #1
rainfall
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Test drove the Jetta GLI and am a bit underwhelmed

The things my next family car needs to be are: fun to drive, not too heavy and family friendly. I know, these things don't typically go together these days.

Edit: by "family friendly", I mean something with good usable trunk space, like the corolla's enclosed 13 cu ft trunk space.

A car that checks all of these boxes is the GLI, at least on paper, so I came to VW check out the new generation.

I had driven the MK7 GTI and was an absolute blast. Front wheel LSD, quiet cabin, super nimble/responsive and a-ok cargo space. The only thing i wish it had is a bit more trunk space. The Jetta GLI is the obvious next choice.

This new one I test drove had the 7-speed DSG, virtual cockpit and many other luxury items. Great. Let's see how it drives. I liked the steering wheel, fit and finish and overall ride quality.

The tester I was on already had some miles on it, so I wasn't shy about doing some harder pulls. When I did pull though, I felt it was missing something both on the low rpm AND in the high RPM. Also, while the redline was at about 6500, the DSG was automatically shifting at exactly 6000 rpm. No point saying the danger zone starts somewhere if the machine won't let me get any close to that.

I was renting Toyota Rav 4 (4-cylinder) at the time and I'm not an SUV guy at all... but honestly I appreciated the faster response of that vehicle than the GLI. The GLI just felt a little sluggish.

Overall, I felt the GLI much worse than the GTI...

I guess my question is - is it just me or does someone else have a similar experience?

Last edited by rainfall; 10-22-2019 at 10:07 AM..
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      10-22-2019, 02:55 AM   #2
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Accord 2.0 MT for the win.
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      10-22-2019, 08:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainfall View Post
The things my next family car needs to be are: fun to drive, not too heavy and family friendly. I know, these things don't typically go together these days.

A car that checks all of these boxes is the GLI, at least on paper, so I came to VW check out the new generation.

I had driven the MK7 GTI and was an absolute blast. Front wheel LSD, quiet cabin, super nimble/responsive and a-ok cargo space. The only thing i wish it had is a bit more trunk space. The Jetta GLI is the obvious next choice.

This new one I test drove had the 7-speed DSG, virtual cockpit and many other luxury items. Great. Let's see how it drives. I liked the steering wheel, fit and finish and overall ride quality.

The tester I was on already had some miles on it, so I wasn't shy about doing some harder pulls. When I did pull though, I felt it was missing something both on the low rpm AND in the high RPM. Also, while the redline was at about 6500, the DSG was automatically shifting at exactly 6000 rpm. No point saying the danger zone starts somewhere if the machine won't let me get any close to that.

I was renting Toyota Rav 4 (4-cylinder) at the time and I'm not an SUV guy at all... but honestly I appreciated the faster response of that vehicle than the GLI. The GLI just felt a little sluggish.

Overall, I felt the GLI much worse than the GTI...

I guess my question is - is it just me or does someone else have a similar experience?
1) Why would you not just get the GTi then? Same amount of interior space (well, as much as makes no difference) with all the GTi-ness included. Seems a no-brainer for me.

2) If VW isn't in the cards - there are a ton of cars in that price point that should offer some nice fun factor. You can get a very nice 1 year old CPO BMW 330i with around 5,000 miles on it for the same price or even cheaper (around $27k - $29k). Heck - you can even get an Audi S3 CPO (basically the same car as a Golf R) for very low $30k's with less than 15k miles.

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...ckType=listing
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...ckType=listing

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...ckType=listing
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...ckType=listing
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      10-22-2019, 09:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainfall View Post
The things my next family car needs to be are: fun to drive, not too heavy and family friendly. I know, these things don't typically go together these days.

A car that checks all of these boxes is the GLI, at least on paper, so I came to VW check out the new generation.

I had driven the MK7 GTI and was an absolute blast. Front wheel LSD, quiet cabin, super nimble/responsive and a-ok cargo space. The only thing i wish it had is a bit more trunk space. The Jetta GLI is the obvious next choice.

This new one I test drove had the 7-speed DSG, virtual cockpit and many other luxury items. Great. Let's see how it drives. I liked the steering wheel, fit and finish and overall ride quality.

The tester I was on already had some miles on it, so I wasn't shy about doing some harder pulls. When I did pull though, I felt it was missing something both on the low rpm AND in the high RPM. Also, while the redline was at about 6500, the DSG was automatically shifting at exactly 6000 rpm. No point saying the danger zone starts somewhere if the machine won't let me get any close to that.

I was renting Toyota Rav 4 (4-cylinder) at the time and I'm not an SUV guy at all... but honestly I appreciated the faster response of that vehicle than the GLI. The GLI just felt a little sluggish.

Overall, I felt the GLI much worse than the GTI...

I guess my question is - is it just me or does someone else have a similar experience?
The GTI actually has way more trunk space than the GLI does with the cargo cover removed, 14.5 Cubic Feet vs 22.8 Cubic feet for GTI.

Get The GTI or a Civic SI.
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      10-22-2019, 09:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towerworld View Post
The GTI actually has way more trunk space than the GLI does with the cargo cover removed, 14.5 Cubic Feet vs 22.8 Cubic feet for GTI.

Get The GTI or a Civic SI.
the volume above the cargo cover isn't all that useful. I've had a couple of hatchbacks in the past and remember that detail

I have a kid at home and need something I can toss a bunch of loose stuff in it. For comparison, the corolla has 13 cu ft of storage, and I was quite impressed how much you can safely store in it. Not saying it is the most fun car to drive, but...

I'll go drive the SI, thanks for the suggestion. Wife won't be super excited about the manual transmission though lol.

Last edited by rainfall; 10-22-2019 at 02:49 PM..
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      10-22-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
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I have a GTI and a four year old kid and a dog. It's the perfect family car and I'm 6'2". The Jetta sucks and is a sedan, poor thing.

However, if the Civic doesn't make your eyes bleed and the 16" length difference isn't a turn off (it's the same size as an F30), it does drive like a much more mature car than the GTI, albeit with a lot more turbo lag and extra slowness. But the suspension is much more composed, it's doesn't have the comically weak Mk7 clutch and the brakes feel more linear.
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      10-22-2019, 12:06 PM   #7
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never driven GLI but i feel like you drove in D not even S cause DSG is not sluggish.. you can try S4 also, or 2.0T A4..
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      10-22-2019, 01:45 PM   #8
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Before considering a Corolla, have you considered a 2019 VW Golf Alltrack? I just bought one for my daughter. You can get an S model for low 20s, an SE for high 20s and an SEL for low 30s.

Consumer Reports gives it a great review as does Car & Driver (when do you see that combo?).

It will struggle a little on passing at high speeds but otherwise it is a very good car with a six year warranty. You can get it with three pedals or for a little more a six speed DCT transmission. No stinking CVT like the Corolla.
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      10-22-2019, 02:20 PM   #9
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Guys I'm underwhelmed with my 135. Where are the wings? I thought this car would be able to take off and fly. BMW has been making airplane engines for a long time so what gives?

Dude it's an economy sedan designed to fool people who don't know better into thinking it's sporty. What did you expect??
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      10-22-2019, 02:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
Before considering a Corolla, have you considered a 2019 VW Golf Alltrack? I just bought one for my daughter. You can get an S model for low 20s, an SE for high 20s and an SEL for low 30s.

Consumer Reports gives it a great review as does Car & Driver (when do you see that combo?).

It will struggle a little on passing at high speeds but otherwise it is a very good car with a six year warranty. You can get it with three pedals or for a little more a six speed DCT transmission. No stinking CVT like the Corolla.
Be careful though. They dropped it from the lineup. I was looking at it and crossed it off for that factor.
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      10-22-2019, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainfall View Post
The Jetta GLI is the obvious next choice.
Ooh, I've got this one, Alex! What is:

"I've decided to slowly destroy my very soul. I left my wife who's a fitness instructor for an overweight accountant with six cats, I'm swearing off Five Guys in favor of Impossible Whoppers, I've just bought 5000 shares of Macy's stock, and _____."

?

I kid, I kid!

But seriously, what is your budget? Under $30k-ish? Or do you have more freedom?
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      10-22-2019, 03:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainfall View Post
the volume above the cargo cover isn't all that useful. I've had a couple of hatchbacks in the past and remember that detail

I have a kid at home and need something I can toss a bunch of loose stuff in it. For comparison, the corolla has 13 cu ft of storage, and I was quite impressed how much you can safely store in it. Not saying it is the most fun car to drive, but...

I'll go drive the SI, thanks for the suggestion. Wife won't be super excited about the manual transmission though lol.
I myself fit quite a bit more with the cargo cover removed just putting stuff up to the headrests but in a pinch ill fill it up to the ceiling. Even still with the cargo cover on it gets 16.5 cubic feet which is still quite abit more than GLI although its more vertical space and less horizontal.
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      10-22-2019, 03:42 PM   #13
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Jetta is the word i would most use to describe underwhelmed. there mite even be a picture in the dictionary of a Jetta.
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      10-22-2019, 04:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt@EuroJerks View Post
Be careful though. They dropped it from the lineup. I was looking at it and crossed it off for that factor.
Why? It is a unicorn and that is good. The mechanicals are all from the Golf (it is a Golf) so spare parts are not a problem. I like the idea that there are very few of them out there.
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      10-22-2019, 05:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
Before considering a Corolla, have you considered a 2019 VW Golf Alltrack? I just bought one for my daughter. You can get an S model for low 20s, an SE for high 20s and an SEL for low 30s.

Consumer Reports gives it a great review as does Car & Driver (when do you see that combo?).

It will struggle a little on passing at high speeds but otherwise it is a very good car with a six year warranty. You can get it with three pedals or for a little more a six speed DCT transmission. No stinking CVT like the Corolla.
The APR software gives that motor more power than a stock GTI and speeds up the lazy DSG quite a bit too. You can even get an APR powertrain warranty with the extra cost Plus tune. The various EA888 motors are impressively solid.

Of course the GLI takes the same tune as the GTI and adds 100 lb/ft over stock.
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      10-22-2019, 09:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
The APR software gives that motor more power than a stock GTI and speeds up the lazy DSG quite a bit too. You can even get an APR powertrain warranty with the extra cost Plus tune. The various EA888 motors are impressively solid.

Of course the GLI takes the same tune as the GTI and adds 100 lb/ft over stock.
wow, that's impressive. I just looked up the warranty thing and it's really good. Warranty costs $1099 + tune, so I think it's a good way to get some peace of mind.

Also, 292 hp and 334 lb-ft in a GTI motor would be awesome - I hope they extend this to the GLI as well.

Ok, so I guess this means the GLI is back on my radar. I'm not a tune guy at all as my 2-series is bone stock, but I just felt either the DSG was too lazy or the motor wasn't pushing quick enough in the low end - even in sport mode.

Last edited by rainfall; 10-22-2019 at 10:21 PM..
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      10-22-2019, 10:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainfall View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
The APR software gives that motor more power than a stock GTI and speeds up the lazy DSG quite a bit too. You can even get an APR powertrain warranty with the extra cost Plus tune. The various EA888 motors are impressively solid.

Of course the GLI takes the same tune as the GTI and adds 100 lb/ft over stock.
wow, that's impressive. I just looked up the warranty thing and it's really good. Warranty costs $1099 + tune, so I think it's a good way to get some peace of mind.

Also, 292 hp and an extra 334 lb-ft in a GTI motor would be awesome - I hope they extend this to the GLI as well.

Ok, so I guess this means the GLI is back on my radar. I'm not a tune guy at all as my 2-series is bone stock, but I just felt either the DSG was too lazy or the motor wasn't pushing quick enough in the low end - even in sport mode.
The tune also helps the DSG shift speed, and I think launch rpm. I have a manual, so they offer a low torque setting for the stock clutch. The DSG seems to be stronger, so you can run full torque.

It's a fun tune, especially from a roll. It's easy to pick on Teslas at highway speed now and lag is slightly better and mpg are actually up a little too.

I'd still highly recommend a GTI over the Jetta though. Plaid seats alone sealed it for me.
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      10-23-2019, 05:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Accord 2.0 MT for the win.
The new Accord's manual is pretty meh from what I'm hearing, pretty vague and clunky, sad because I know Honda knows how to make a good manual tranny.
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      10-30-2019, 06:54 AM   #19
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I've had a '16 GTI Autobahn for 4 years now and it really is an outstanding all-rounder. Before picking it up in 2015I had tested an S3, S4, 3 Series.

The S3/S4 are fine cars, but very sterile. The 335 was solid, but didn't wow me for the price. I kept coming back to the GTI because it made me smile each time I drove it, and to this day, 36,000 miles later, it still does.

For the money, the GTI is very hard to beat.
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      10-30-2019, 08:32 AM   #20
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It's very hard to beat a GTI for the money. It's one of the few cars I've owned that I missed after selling.
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      10-30-2019, 08:51 AM   #21
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the Madza's look nice(both the 3 and 6), but damn that Accord 2.0t hauls ass.
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      10-31-2019, 10:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt@EuroJerks View Post
Be careful though. They dropped it from the lineup. I was looking at it and crossed it off for that factor.
I'll never ever understand this. Who cares?
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