A spirited newcomer joins the Volkswagen family in time to dust off autumn pavement with the arrival of the 2012 Jetta GLI.
The Jetta GLI four–door sedan delivers a bold new design punctuated by exhilarating handling and performance parceled out by a 2.0–liter, turbocharged four–cylinder engine that generates 200 horsepower for impressive acceleration.
Adding to GLI's fun–to–drive character is a standard six–speed manual or available dual–clutch automatic transmission with steering–wheel mounted paddle shifters for drivers looking to keep both hands on the wheel while shifting through the gears.
The Jetta GLI driver also benefits from a track–tuned suspension that includes a multilink rear setup, revised spring and damper settings, and a cross differential system that helps prevent inside wheel spin during hard cornering.
Connecting the performance to the pavement are standard 10–spoke, 17–inch alloy wheels wrapped with low–profile, all–season tires. Red–painted brake calipers round out the look.
Buyers may choose from a Jetta GLI priced at $23,495, GLI Autobahn for $25,545 or GLI Autobahn with Navigation at $26,445.
All models feature a blackout honeycomb grille and a deep front spoiler bookended by vertical fog lamps. Dual exhaust tips and smoked tail lamps highlight the rear fascia.
Jetta GLI's interior delivers what the exterior promises with a performance–style cabin that seats five occupants. Four adults garner the most comfort.
Bright red stitching rims side–bolstered bucket seats fronted by a racy flat–bottom steering wheel trimmed with matching red thread. Aluminum trim dresses the pedals, shift knob and door trim.
The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI comes with a laundry list of standard equipment.
The GLI Autobahn model adds 18–inch wheels, a sunroof, dual–zone climate control, heated V–Tex leatherette upholstery.
Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn with Navigation raises the content to include an easy–to–operate navigation system, keyless entry and push–button start.
Jetta GLI Autobahn and GLI Autobahn with Navigation feature the Fender premium audio system developed through collaboration with Panasonic.
The system belts out 400–watts of power heard through nine speakers specially placed in the cabin backed by a trunk–mounted subwoofer for a live performance listening experience in or outside the car.
Adding to the audio bragging rights is a classic chrome Fender logo poised on the windshield pillar tweeters.
Jetta GLI has a remarkable 104.4–inches of overall length giving all riders extraordinary legroom. Its sophisticated arched roofline garners ample headroom to accommodate six–foot passengers. Doors open wide for an easy egress or ingress transition.
Trunk space is another benefactor of the 2012 Jetta GLI's long length for a class leading 15.7 cubic feet of load capacity. Folding the 60/40–split rear seatbacks forward into the cabin increases the cargo volume.
The Volkswagen Jetta is the German automaker's top–selling model in the U.S. boasting a 74.8–percent increase in sales during the first seven months of 2011.