4.06.2017

The Last Best Sports Sedan? The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI
The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI.
It is, these days, a crossover world.  The not-quite-a-station-wagon-not-quite-an-SUV has become the vehicle of choice for most Americans.  And it has done so to the extent that some people who watch and predict trends say the traditional three-box four-door sedan is on the verge of extinction.

If so, and if you are among those who like a good German sports sedan, the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI is probably the one to rush out and buy.



Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI
2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI.
Consider this review a second notice.  Back in the summer of 2015, I sang the Jetta GLI's praises on this site, and what I said then stands.  It is the ultimate Jetta, with 40 more horsepower than its non-GLI variants, grippier tires, a sport suspension and it all comes, in German tradition, with an emphasis on function over form.

Interior view of 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI
2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI interior.
The all-business interior includes dual-zone climate control, leather-trimmed steering wheel, brake lever and shift knob, heated power driver's seat with manual lumbar control, a rearview camera, front and rear park distance control, blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert, keyless access with pushbutton start, a Fender premium audio system, VW's new Car-Net app suite and cruise control.

Equipped with a six-speed manual, as our test vehicle was, it is a pure delight to drive quickly in straight lines or winding roads.  It's the kind of car the BMW 3-series was long, long ago.  Take it as it comes, well equipped with zero options, and you have a 210-horsepower turbocharged sport sedan that the EPA says should get 23 miles per gallon in the city and 33 on the highway for an as-tested price including $820 destination charge of $28,715.

If that sounds like a winning combination, you're right.  If there's a sedan that deserves to survive the crossover revolution, the Jetta GLI is it.

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