Review: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Take Two

Posted on 07. Mar, 2012 by in Auto News

Glee (Noun) GLE:
(A.) cheering exuberant joy joy

(B.) a television series in which the smooth-skinned actors try their mid-twenties to portray young people navigate the turbulent rapids of modern youth through the use of closed part harmony, very popular when it debuted, but trailed off in the second season when it started getting a little preachy and then there was that part where Rachel was like, "Finn, I need you to fly free," and …

(B.) Some TV show I never seen.

(C) The best car in the latest Volkswagen model range.

Whaddya mean, it's pronounced "Gee-El-Eye"?

Now would not review the Volkswagen warmed compact sedan complete without a couple of Oh! Snap! Cracks on how thoroughly un-Vee-Dub has pimped the regular Jetta. Fans of the German marque are appalled – shocked I say ya – On the stripped down, and embiggened encheapened Herb rolla the once sprightly Jetta has bloated.

'Twas as if they had wandered into the VW showroom expect the usual delicious and slightly unreliable bratwurst and been handed an Ikea hot-dog place. Yes, a bargain at only 99 cents, but for fitness mat and foam not tasty pork byproducts.

Critics were stroke, and the buying public responded immediately – by completely ignoring and snapped thousands of Jettas. I quite like that, as it must have pierced a few bombastic egos.

Do not worry, as VW still sells a premium smokie-on-a-bun for all your sausage enthusiasts out there.

And here it is. In profile, the GLI is a lot better than I remember, a smooth blend of elegant aerodynamicism teutonic and sharpness through the traditional chunky five-spoke alloys, Volkswagen and set-

Oh wait, no, this is a Kia Rio. Oops.

This is better. No, wait: no, it's not.

One criticism of the GLI immediately that it seems to be only five meters from some car. I can imagine that if you went down to the car and asked: ". A car, please What Oh, I do not know … German taste I suppose?" Then this is what you get.

Yes, it has two-tone, multi-spoke alloy wheels and a color-matched grille – but what is not these days? I'll say. That the Glee looks pretty good here in black, but if you drove a look at the car Jack in his 2.0T Intramural League test a silver GLI can be about as boring as unsalted porridge

However, methinks this is a very, very good thing. A Lamborghini Reventon could look like a stealth fighter, but that Glee is actually a stealth car: just another five-seater people-pod; another unremarkable corpuscle merger with the flow on an arterial highway. Practically, if you cane it a bit, but more to go in a bit.

The inside of the Glee is a little less stealthy, especially that flat-bottomed steering wheel just the tiniest bit of boy-racers. And as seemingly dictated by a number of international sporting interior standard first established in the early eighties, there are plenty of red stitching everywhere.

Other than that, though, it is to be a reasonable, conservative kind of place, with comfortable seats, a huge amount of rear legroom and a cavernous trunk. And it is a further advantage.

If you were picking your new fiancée parents at the airport, and you did not quite get along with them just that in this not-good-enough-for-our-son/daughter zone (which sometimes never goes away) you could absolutely arrive safely in a GLI.

A GTI? A 'Speed3? A WRX? Those'd be something else, but this car is a future-father-in-law reluctant nod and / or a near-mother-in-law is to elicit a taste appeased. It is not pretentious. It's not racy. It is sensible and prudent, and even a bit nicer. Maybe this kid has a good head on his / her shoulders, after all.

Then, on the way home, all yours. Ruin. Everything.

Firstly, a painful admission. I had Subaru flat-four turbo as the best-sounding four-pot championed on the market. I was wrong.

There are four different axle back on the back of my personal WRX, the right mix of aggression took place without boorish growly roar. VW has it right straight out of the factory with a thrumpety Symphony, which is part panthera tigris purr, and a part-strafing run Stuka. The ubiquitous 2.0T 200PS has never sounded better.

As such, you will want to dip into the reserves of power provides early and often, and with a phenomenally low torque peak around 1700rpm insta-shove, provoked the Glee … well, just see definition (a)

Right. Almost forgot to complain about the lack of traction control button. Yes, that's either a stupid mistake or a chintziest of austerity measures is to imagine, but it did not really bother me again.

We live in a world where a Hyundai is a turbo-four with a full 25% more power than the VW version, but there is much more to offer than just peak horsepower numbers. The Glee underpowered not, and it is not overwhelmed. It is right-driven.

Yes, there are times when a little more thrust would not have gone amiss, but the whole package is so composed yet-exciting that you are ready, the car together wring out, popping out in the corners and blasting them find. Meanwhile, your future mother-in-law grabbed her purse with a white knuckle grip implies that hissed undertones are about to be replaced with their son / daughter on the young man / woman.

But what do you care? It would be easy enough to find out of the gas and that the GLI is a comfortable cruiser with its softer-than-a-GTI suspension. The Fender-brand stereo is phenomenal and the fuel consumption is even quite good, if you are gentle.

But when I climbed into my 6-speed tester, I experienced a relationship of the kind that must have felt Tazio Nuvolari, nursing his slightly wheezy-Alfa-Romeo on this now legendary victory over the Auto-Union trucks. It seems Mazda is not the only company that knows anything about Jinba Ittai.

The GLI is a joy to drive, and shockingly, shockingly good in wet weather. Maybe it's the relative softness of the suspension is, maybe it is the soft compound of Continental winter tires this tester was equipped with, but the grip levels that the GLI is in a moist area is extremely surprising and gratifying. But then so is the rest of the car.

Business-like exterior, comfortable interior: a sedate-looking sedan that is capable of exciting dynamic, but prefer not to shout about it. Maybe I'm stretching, but the GLI could only be this generation E39 BMW. It is that well.

But – and this is a but so big that it is written in flaming letters three miles high should; together a mix-a-lot-sized, that I do not like (and I can not lie) – but, it's a Volkswagen, and that means the performance may vary.

After a charming week with the GLI, I was sitting at the ferry terminal waiting late into the night to find my wife (I have been married for six years to come-on, in-laws threw in the towel a long time ago). Docking was necessarily delayed, and as I waited, the local station began playing Young the Giant "My Body." As the first shots of the bass drum came through the back of the GLI decided it was time to start humming like the trunk of a 90 Civic with a bazooka tube. At all volumes.

This car, you know, all had 1500 miles on the clock, and during press cars are usually more abuse than someone to take a political stance expressed in the comments of a youtube video, I generally say that this was otherwise unacceptable. Illegal or at least very disappointing.

Volkswagen has always been so. Some owners have never had a problem, others have had nothing but problems. Still others have an up-and-down track record that reads like the fate of a character on Days of Our Lives. Uh, that's what I never seen.

I can recommend the GLI? Yes, though not fully. It is a fantastic car, but I'm not sure how to do it in the next season be.

Volkswagen provided checked the car and insurance