VW Jetta GLI or VW Golf GTI: three magic letters

VW Jetta GLI or VW Golf GT

When it comes to performance with Volkswagen's compact cars, buyers have choices. With the Golf and Jetta models, there are variants at the heart of the family whose prerogative is to give you even more pleasure.

With the Jetta, we're talking about the GLI version. With the Golf, it's of course the GTI. Three letters, slightly different from one product to the other, but magic letters in both cases.

This makes it difficult to choose a model. Let's take a look at what defines each to help you decide between the two.


Since we're talking about two performance packages, it's worth comparing the strengths. In both cases, you'll find a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine under the hood. With the Golf GTI, its capacity has been boosted to 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque for 2022, gains of 13 horsepower and 15 lb-ft.

The performance, really, is intoxicating.

With the Jetta GLI, the performance is 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen may have a little surprise in store for us, as a reworked Jetta is coming soon. It will benefit from cosmetic changes, just like the Golf did last fall. Considering that the Golf got a little more under the hood, we can expect the same for the Jetta GLI.

Nevertheless, performance is up there too.

And, in the case of both models, the pleasure is constant. To compare the products, let's just say that everything is more incisive with the Golf, but the Jetta doesn't let it get to you. In its case, it's its extraordinary balance that captures the imagination.

And with both, a six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a seven-speed transmission is optional.

The format

Power and fun at both addresses, then. You can't go wrong with either one. What often tips the scales, of course, is the configuration of the vehicles. With the Golf, you obviously benefit from a rear hatch, which makes the model more practical for carrying equipment. However, if you don't have much to lug around, the Jetta GLI's trunk is still one of the most generous on the market.

Do you like either model better? To make the best selection, you have to come see us at the dealership to test drive them. With these two beasts, it's like with a pair of shoes; you go with the ones you feel most comfortable in.