Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A black 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is parked on dirt with distant mountains.

3 Subtle Surprises in the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

If you take a close look at the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI, you’ll find a lot of small factors that will wow you. These are not always readily apparent nor flashy and over-the-top. Instead, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has many understated yet meaningful features that, upon closer examination, make this a high-value option any day of the week.

Narrowing down these surprises was the hardest part of the job. In the end, we did it. Our top 3 subtle surprises focus on the Jetta’s performance, which impresses you in terms of speed and handling. Next is its attention to detail so that even the angle of a touch screen is just right. Third, the technology innovations in this vehicle are top-notch, and one of them (the digital display/dashboard) is a future-forward productivity tool.

Let’s dive, or shall we say, drive, into the details.

#1 – Perfectly Tuned Performance

An exhilarating rush of adrenaline. That’s how one can describe the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has the same engine as the Golf GTI and is among the most powerful engines in its class. This 228-hp, 2.0L turbocharged engine is fast and delivers an impressive 258 lb-ft of torque through the front wheels. These figures make the GLT quite quick off the starting line, getting to 60 mph in under 6 seconds and running the quarter mile in roughly 14.5 seconds.

An innovative and under-appreciated feature of the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is the adaptive damping system that allows for on-the-fly suspension adjustments so you can control your ride much better. If you really want to feel the road and all of its bumps and turns, you can adjust to it. Likewise, this system can equally provide a quiet, smooth ride despite what’s happening on the outside. This makes the GLI feel like a much higher-end vehicle.

If you opt for the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, you’ll feel the power race to the front wheels. Of course, there is also a 6-speed manual for the purists. This car also does an amazing job adjusting to provide optimal torque balance and steady, solid steering. Interestingly, the harder you seem to drive the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI, the steering adeptly adjusts to keep up with the rigor of the road.

While you might think a fast car is not fuel-efficient, in this case, that’s incorrect. Thanks to its efficient turbocharged engine, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has an EPA estimated 24 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway. It’s a great perk when you can have speed coupled with fuel savings.

Overall, every gear you shift into on the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a rush of acceleration. But, it’s not just a car straight out of a race car movie. Nope, you can take your family on a leisurely drive around town too.

A close up shows the passanger headlight and grille of a 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI parked on a city street.

#2 – Nit-Picky Attention to Detail

Let’s start with the classic Jetta honeycomb grill, so people know it’s a Jetta. But then let’s add a nifty little red accent cutting right through the grill, so you know it’s just not any ordinary Jetta. This begins our journey into a myriad of little touches that make the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI stand out for its relentless pursuit of perfection.

On the outside, VW intentionally placed some GLI badges in understated places to keep the traditional look of the Jetta while making it known at a second glance that it’s something more. This Jetta also sits low to the ground with 5.5. inch ground clearance. This, coupled with the 18-inch alloy wheels, gives the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI a leaner and slightly meaner look than an ordinary sedan.

The cockpit is clean. It has a crisp look, and the instruments are thoughtfully placed for ease of use. The ventilated seat upgrade is a nice touch to keep the soft, black leather seats from getting too hot in the summer. The seats themselves are thoughtfully designed to cradle the driver and their passengers in comfort despite the rigors of the road outside.

Spacious is something you’ll often hear too. The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has a roomy interior and a superior trunk allowing for significant cargo storage capacity. Finally, the understated red trim against a black interior is that small touch of sporty refinement necessary to remind you that this car is a high-performance machine.

#3 – Bridges Analog and Digital Driving

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI does a top-shelf job of merging your digital life with your driving. This car has a wealth of meaningful high-end onboard technologies.

At the top of the list is the digital display you can get with the Autobahn trim. It is an instant modern classic that is futuristic and fun. You can customize this display to your preferences. If you want more safety information, do it. If you desire more trip details, configure them. Also, the HD maps on this display are amazingly helpful when charting your destination.

Of course, this car has high-end connectivity features. Let’s start with wireless smartphone connectivity. Next, there is wireless charging – but you also have a few USB ports. Let’s not forget the smartphone integration of your iPhone or Android too. There is also BlueTooth connectivity for multiple devices, and you can command the MIB3 multimedia infotainment system with your voice.

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI also has an app full of great functionality. Download it, and you can immediately use commands, get alerts, check safety information, and manage security. Last but not least, the sound system is excellent. The standard comes with six speakers, but splurging a bit for the 8-speaker BeatsAudio upgrade is a must if you love to listen to your favorite jams when you’re driving.

The car itself is an amazing technological innovation. It is like a personal coach. Let the car assist you in monitoring blind spots. The Jetta can let you know if there is rear traffic, and it can guide you better when making lane changes. The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a wonderful driving companion that actually makes you a better driver. That’s smart.

A grey 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is shown from the rear driving down an empty road.

The Affordable European Sports Sedan

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has many wow factors presented in a rather subtle and unassuming manner. The performance and handling, coupled with the speed and versatility, are definitely worth noting. Many people look at this Jetta and think it can’t be that fast nor handle that well, but once you’re behind the wheel and you open it up on a stretch of open road, you will quickly change your mind.

Once you’ve owned this car for a short while, you’ll start to spot the hidden details like the angle of the touchscreen positioned ever so perfectly for your line of sight and your reach. You’ll take notice of all of the storage compartments there are to place your phone or store reading materials. Volkswagen was thoughtful in the design of the interior and exterior of this car.

Finally, you’ll never feel disconnected in the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Its technology is high-end, with the coolest element being the digital dashboard display and its customization feature.

If there is such a thing as under promising and over delivering, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has done it.

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