With the 2011 Jetta update, Volkswagen made some compromises to get the price low, but the GLI restores handling and power to this otherwise humble model.
Significant additions to the Jetta GLI are a multilink rear suspension and rear disc brakes. The most important part of the package is one of the best power trains available today, Volkswagen's TFSI 2-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to its Direct Shift Gearbox. That engine combines good economy and power.
Cabin tech options mirror what can be found in other high-trim Jettas, with an available navigation system and iPod connectivity. We raved about the Fender audio system in this Jetta, which blows away other audio offerings in this segment.
The biggest competition to the GLI comes from Volkswagen itself, with the GTI. That hot hatchback gets the same power train, along with launch control. But if a sedan is more your style, then the Jetta GLI will have to suffice.
Read CNET's review of the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.