First Look: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

As expected, VW rolled out the new 2019 VW Jetta GLI at the Chicago Auto Show. Unveiling the seventh generation for the Jetta platform since it originally hit the markets back in 1984.

Thankfully as we have patiently awaited the new 2019 Jetta GLI will share the same 2.0 turbo engine found in the MQB platform (2015+ GTI’s and others). This means the new GLI now offers 228hp and 258 lb ft torque right out off the dealer lot. And for those of us who believe this planet needs to save the manuals, VW decided to still offer this car with a six speed manual or the seven speed dual clutch trans (DSG).

Stock the exterior of the new GLI gets a nice facelift over the prior generations and actually sits about 0.6 inches lower than the standard Jetta trims thanks to the upgraded suspension setup in the GLI.

Brakes are carried over from the GTI and Golf R with the 13.4″ rotors up front.

One of the nice standard features for those of us who plan to buy one and mod it is all 2019 GLI’s is the electronic limited slip differential which was only optional in early MK7 GTI’s and found more in the later years. Since it is the 35th anniversary of this model, the special edition 35th editions will also offer VW’s DCC adaptive suspension (which note can be a problem for aftermarket suspension setups as we see on MK7 GTI/Golf models which are equipped). Maybe something to consider before you go shopping around. As aftermarket selection could be limited early on. But we assume as VW moves to more and more models having DCC, our aftermarket partners will design components that work standard with these cars.

Continuing on the exterior we see even more hints of its cousin, the MK7 GTI with the honeycomb front grille featuring that iconic red stripe.

The interior of the new MK7 Jetta GLI has received a nice upgrade also featuring the black/red combo to areas such as the steering wheel, shifter and armrest. Base GLI’s will come with grey piping on cloth seats but for upgraded models you can pickup the comfort sport seats as seen in the photo below.

Standard options will actually be pretty nice and generous of VW in our opinion. Heated seats, dual zone climate control on top of ambient lighting and the infotainment system. Of course features like Digital Cockpit display, 400 watt Beats Audio and telematics though will be up charges over the standard setup.

The new MK7 Jetta GLI is set to hit come spring of 2019 and will be offered in two regular trims and the 35th edition.

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