The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that sends 210 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automated manual is optional.
So, how fast can this sedan go 0-60 mph? During our Everyman Driver performance test, we gave it five efforts to find an average. Watch the video below top see how we did!
Although it’s sold as a separate nameplate, the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is essentially the highest trim level of the Volkswagen Jetta sedan line and takes many of its sporty cues from its hatchback cousin, the VW GTI. Perhaps you’re drawn to the 2014 Jetta GLI because a sedan more closely fits your needs or feels more grown up than a spritely hatchback. Unfortunately, the current GLI is not as entertaining to drive or as well trimmed as the GTI and is merely one of many quick sedans you might consider in this price range.
In its defense, the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is still fun to drive. Thanks to its powerful turbocharged engine, precise steering and steady handling, the GLI will put a smile on your face more readily than the typical small sedan. But unless you simply have to have the best Jetta that VW makes, we’re not convinced it’s worth the extra money over the standard Jetta.
This is especially true now that Volkswagen is offering a new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine on regular Jettas. Mind you, the upgraded 2.0-liter turbo engine in the GLI is quite a bit more powerful than the new 1.8T, but once you’re up and going, the cars’ driving dynamics are largely the same. Both cars will be just as comfortable and quiet, and interior furnishings are the same. And both have a massive backseat and trunk.
Although we’d steer most consumers toward a four-door GTI hatchback, which is nearly as spacious and more engaging to drive, the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI resides in a pretty unique niche: It’s one of only a few small to midsize sedans with sporty aspirations, and that distinction alone sets it apart. If you’re really after performance, though, the 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX sedan is much quicker and handles better around corners. The 250-hp 2014 Buick Verano Turbo is also worth considering, especially if you’re looking for a sedan with a lower-key personality and a truly upscale interior.
Less powerful cars like the Acura ILX and 2014 Mazda 3 are also worth consideration on the basis of their enjoyable ride and handling characteristics. You could also consider a larger sedan like the Nissan Altima, which handles well for its size and is priced similarly. Overall, there’s nothing gravely wrong with the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI, but if you’re looking for extra performance from an affordable small or midsize sedan, we’d suggest you drive a few of its competitors before making your decision.