2012 Volkswagen jetta, what car reviews, The latest Volkswagen jetta didn’t do much to appeal to enthusiasts in its first model year, but with 2012, the VW Jetta gets its GLI back–and that model earns a rating of 7 here at MotorAuthority.The GLI succeeds many past models that took Jetta basics and transformed them with better tires, quicker steering, and a more sporty interior. The 2012 goes a step further, even, by adding a completely different rear suspension than the one found on base cars, and a soft-touch dash, too.
2012 Volkswagen jetta specs
While aficionados complained about the not-quite VW handling and interior, engineers were already putting the finishing touches on the GLI. They started with a rorty turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a well-known entity in the VW world, with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The engine’s coupled to a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch (DSG) transmissions, both fine units.
We prefer the paddle-shifted DSG, but with either, the turbo’s flat torque band and grunty vocals give an urgency to the GLI that’s completely missing from the base four-cylinder, five-cylinder, and diesel Jettas. VW claims a 0-60 mph time of less than 8.0 seconds, and with the DSG, quotes EPA gas mileage at 23/29 mpg.
The GLI’s handling is a cut above the base Jetta as well. The torsion-beam rear end of other models is swapped out for a multi-link rear end that’s also found in the new VW Beetle Turbo. The GLI also has tighter spring and shock values, and rides 15 mm lower than other versions–plus, it has XDS, an electronically simulated limited-slip differential for the front wheels that helps keep wheelspin to a minimum. All the changes work fairly brilliantly: the GLI turns in crisply thanks to its electric power steering, with a tolerable level of feedback.
The ride quality’s better than just about everything in the class, and the GLI hangs in for wide sweepers and tight corners better than most other compacts, save maybe for the latest Ford Focus. It’s a pretty agile piece, with just a whiff of torque steer making its way down to 17-inch or optional 18-inch wheels and tires.
2012 Volkswagen jetta price
With a new entry price of $26,490 for the 118TSI variant ($4500 less than its predecessor), the Jetta range tops out at $37,990 for the 147TSI Highline. The previous entry-level variant, the miserly 77TDI, is absent from the 2012 line-up, with the diesel range now starting and ending with the 103TDI. Priced at $34,990, the 2.0 litre diesel is now $1000 more affordable than before.