Jetta GLI Autobahn 2020 Great Value 31K

2020 Jetta GLI

Written by Marco Carvajal

GLI means Grand Luxury Injection! This is what you get when you buy the new 2020 GLI Jetta.

You are driving the same Jetta full of good value and quality, but injected with luxury and elegance!  If you buy a GLI Jetta, you are scoring a Sport Jetta ready to take you fast and safe into the highway.

Everyone knows the Jetta! It always has been a sign of success and value for Volkswagen. The Jetta is not the most luxurious or ostentatious sedan, but it always feels right. German architecture with some luxury details and good quality to last. The new GLI Jetta gives you a sporty style on top of the typical features of the standard Jetta, plenty of room for adults, a comfortable boot, and a smooth ride on the highway.

I am test driving this sporty Jetta GLI driving from North Florida all the way to Miami, on highways and busy streets near Miami.  The GLI is fun to drive and it has very good size for busy highways and congested cities where I have enough legroom to drive but is also easy to maneuver and park in busy South Florida. The I-95 can get very congested as you drive near West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, but riding on this GLI Autobahn this road trip feels great.


  • Power tilting/sliding panoramic sunroof
  • 2.0L TSI, 16-valve, DOHC, in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with intercooler and FSI direct fuel injection
  • 6 Speed Manual Transmission Standard
  • Optional Automatic Transmission for an additional $800
  • Driving Mode Selection
  • Horsepower 228 hp
  • Torque maximum, lb-ft 258 lb-ft
  • MPG 33 HWY / 25 CITY
  • VW Digital Cockpit
  • Leather seating surfaces
  • DCC® adaptive chassis control
  • Power-operated side mirrors with memory feature

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a high-performance version of the Jetta, the new GLI generation started last year in 2019 with lots of new features.

The name of this GLI trim Autobahn comes from the name of the famous German federal highway system. The Autobahnen is known for no having a speed limit, except for certain parts of this highway. For most drivers is a dream to drive in the Autobahn, which for some can be considered a race track.  The new Jetta is inspired on this highway, giving us a sense of good performance, speed, safety, a sporty style, and great driving experience for drivers and passengers during fast and long routes.

Priced around 31K the GLI Autobahn 2020 is a great value when purchasing a new sedan.

Competition for the Volkswagen GLI Autobahn is a Challenge with competitors like the Honda Civic Si and Mazda 3 that include very luxury interior and technology features that compete with the Jetta GLI. It feels slightly faster than its segment competitors like the Civic Si. Finally, buyers are who win, as companies like Volkswagen and its competitors work hard to provide great vehicles at a value price, just like this great new GLI Jetta.

The 2020 Jetta is based on Volkswagen’s MQB architecture. Volkswagen lowered the GLI model 0.6 inches compared to the standard Jetta. The GLI Jetta is also dressed with a unique grille and lighting resulting in the Sport Jetta look we have been waiting for.

Trims and Pricing for the 2020 Jetta GLI

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is available in two trim models: S and Autobahn.

The Jetta GLI S comes standard with a limited-slip differential, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker audio system it is a nice sports car with a reasonable price. The second trim, the one I am test driving is superior.

  • 2020 Jetta GLI S
    Starting MSRP $26,245
    LED headlights
    VW Car-Net® Hotspot
    VAQ limited-slip front differential lock
  • 2020 Jetta GLI Autobahn
    Starting MSRP  $29,945
    (The one I am test driving)
    VW Digital Cockpit
    Leather seating surfaces
    DCC adaptive chassis control

Additional Destination Charges $920

The Autobahn adds DCC tuned suspension, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated leather seats with an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, remote start, wireless smartphone charging, an eight-speaker BeatsAudio system, an 8-inch touchscreen, and a dash. of digital instruments. All-season tires are standard, but summer performance tires are a free option on all models.

Engine and Performance

The GLI Jetta is a great car for everyday driving and for the highway producing 228 Horsepower.

A good engine is part of this great Jetta, 2.0L TSI, 16-valve, DOHC, in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with intercooler and FSI direct fuel injection, Horsepower 228 hp and torque maximum, lb-ft 258 lb-ft

The GLI Jetta is linked to a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Optional Automatic Transmission can be ordered for an additional $800.

The GLI’s handling and steering shine brightly and make cornering fun, very typical of German cars. The torque-vectoring front differential helps propel the car through corners with an almost astonishing grip.

In terms of noise, I can hear some wind noise on the roof pillars at highway speed and some road noise when driving over potholes. But in general, it provides a quiet ride. The Autobahn has an adapted suspension that maximizes both, ride comfort and handling. The GLI is very smooth to ride.

Interior style

The standard Power tilting/sliding panoramic sunroof included in the Jetta GLI Autobahn 2020 gives you a feel of elegance and open vision when driving this modern Jetta.

Volkswagen is known for using harder, higher-quality interior materials, and the Jetta carries on this reputation. There is a lot of adjustability and good comfort from the ventilated leather seats. The telescopic range of the steering wheel is acceptable.

The interior space is very good in general with plenty of head and legroom in the rear adult seats. Visibility-wise, I think there is room for improvement, as the GLI’s high rear boot platform creates rear visibility issues and the side mirrors are small.

The controls are generally well marked and easy to find. The 14.1 cubic feet of trunk space is about average for this class, and a standard 60/40 split-folding rear seat allows for longer items.  The 8-inch touchscreen is simple and easy to use, and the digital instrument panel is of good value compared to its segment.

Large physical button shortcuts are useful for switching between functions and menus.  Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are standard. Siri Hands-Free is also supported.

A premium BeatsAudio audio system is excellent, audio fanatics would love the sound

In terms of security, the Jetta GLI comes standard with antilock disc brakes, front side, and side curtain airbags. All Jetta GLIs come standard with a rearview camera, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and an automatic post-collision braking system.

Driving the new Jetta GLI Autobahn can give you the satisfaction and value to know that every dollar you pay at the approximate $31K price is backed up by great German Automotive technology in balance with the environment. The Autobahn GIL Jetta is turbocharged with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.


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