2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Make Your Own Wine!

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Make Your Own Wine!

Ten or 15 years ago, young people of my generation all seemed ecstatic in front of the Honda Civic Si, Acura ILX and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

There was also the Jetta GLI, equipped with the same mechanics as the GTI. The GLI of the time made me dream particularly, offering comfort, space and performance in a format that I really liked! Its mechanics were more complex than a Civic Si, especially if you opted for an automatic model with the dual-clutch transmission, but despite everything, it remained a fairly simple product.

Today, this is no longer quite the case. The modern Jetta GLI is no longer the simple product that once made me dream. It is now an automobile victim of the trend in driving modes. By dint of being able to adjust everything yourself, you lose the essence of the product, to the point where you wonder what the engineers’ goal was …

Lots of positive

The GLI has a lot of qualities.

The first is its engine. It is a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which powers up to 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It is available as a duo with a six-speed manual gearbox, or as an option with a seven-speed DSG-type automatic gearbox, i.e. a robotic manual with double clutch. Either way, the engine sends its power to the front wheels, skillfully distributed from wheel to wheel using a smart differential.

Photo: Marc-André Gauthier

Then there is the chassis of the car, just stiff enough. All of this, combined with precise steering, guarantees a smooth ride, but adapted to everyday life.

Finally, there is the interior of the car in general. It is spacious. Even though the Jetta is technically a compact sedan, it feels more like a midsize car. We therefore have comfortable seats at the front and at the rear, and the design of the dashboard and the dashboard is resolutely modern and avant-garde, especially thanks to the absence of dials, which are replaced by a high definition screen, as is the fashion in luxury vehicles.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Make Your Own Wine!

Photo: Marc-André Gauthier

In the center of the dashboard, there is a screen inhabited by an infotainment system with a nice design, easy to use, and offering all the functionalities one can dream of. You can even switch the navigation map to the dashboard screen, to minimize the time the eyes spend off the road! Having said that, in three weeks of testing I encountered several bugs in use, especially with regard to Apple CarPlay. In 2021, that’s rare for that to happen, and Volkswagen needs to look into it.

Decide what you want to give us

As mentioned in the introduction, the Jetta GLI offers various driving modes. In fact, you can customize several parameters, including the firmness of the chassis and the suspension, the firmness of the steering, the behavior of the transmission, the behavior of the electronic aids, the behavior of the front differential, and so on!

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Make Your Own Wine!

Photo: Marc-André Gauthier

The impact of these adjustments is such that they dramatically alter the behavior of the car. If we put everything in Comfort mode, we are in a car that thinks it is an Audi A4, but without the Quattro all-wheel drive, and without real dynamism. The transmission behaves strangely, seeming incapable of performing linear accelerations. In Normal mode, we find what appears to be a GLI, but the transmission continues to do its own at times, and the suspension is a little too firm for our roads. In Sport mode, it looks like the car has been prepared for the track. Everything is precise, cut with a knife, but the behavior of the transmission and the suspension does not suit our roads at all.

The solution? Customize the set. So, if you want a balanced experience, like the GLIs of the day, you have to put the suspension in Comfort mode, the transmission in Normal mode, and everything else in Sport mode. So you can enjoy the precision and performance of the car, without the slightest bump ruining the experience.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Make Your Own Wine!

Photo: Marc-André Gauthier

In short, this is all frustrating. We are now incapable of knowing what the engineers wanted us to have as a product. It’s like having a sommelier making a wine, but selling it with salt, sugar, and a packet of flavors on the side, giving you the opportunity to create a fragrance to your liking! This is precisely the idea of ​​buying a wine, it is to taste a product that we are offered, to experience what the creator had in mind. If we love, so much the better, if we don’t love, we move on.

So, for the Jetta GLI, all the ingredients are there, but asking the driver to do the dosage himself, it ruins the experience, and it reduces the work of the craftsmen behind the product.

www.guideautoweb.com

Share Button

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *