Used 2009 Volkswagen GLI

2009 Volkswagen GLI
List price range
2009 Volkswagen GLI


  • Powerful turbo engine, comfortable ride, tight handling, many standard safety features, quality interior materials, solid build quality.


  • Somewhat bland exterior styling doesn't match the car's sporty drivetrain, options can quickly drive up the price.
Volkswagen GLI years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Upholding the Germans' reputation for precise engineering and quality materials, the 2009 Volkswagen GLI deserves strong consideration from those looking for a sport sedan in the $25,000-$30,000 price range.

vehicle overview

For many years, there existed a void in the market between "econosport" compact sedans (typically made by Japanese manufacturers) and pricier luxury sport sedans (normally produced by Germans). That void was filled a few years ago with the introduction of the Volkswagen GLI.

Bridging the gap between sporty compact sedans and luxury models, the GLI (it was called the Jetta GLI until last year) offers the taut, energetic feel of a German-engineered sedan, but at a more attainable price. The GLI's 200-horsepower turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine provides plenty of punch, while a firm suspension and communicative steering bring joy to those who appreciate a strong connection to the road. Also added to the mix is a nicely tailored cabin, VW's brilliant "DSG" automated manual transmission and an optional navigation system.

With pricing in the $25,000-$30K range, the 2009 Volkswagen GLI does exist in its own special niche of sorts. One could also consider the less expensive but equally impressive Honda Civic Si sedan, the all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX and Legacy GT models and the turbocharged Volvo S40 T5. There's also Acura's redesigned TSX to think about. Of this bunch, though, we think VW's GLI stands tall, and it's an excellent choice for a small, fun-to-drive sport sedan.

2009 Volkswagen GLI configurations

The 2009 Volkswagen GLI compact sedan comes standard with bi-xenon headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, metallic interior trim, aggressively bolstered front seats, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated side mirrors, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. New for 2009 are standard cold-weather features that were previously optional, including heated windshield-washer nozzles and heated front seats.

Ordering the optional Autobahn Package gets you a sunroof, leather upholstery and power lumbar support for the driver. There's also a Sport Styling kit that includes various exterior styling add-ons. Stand-alone options include 18-inch alloy wheels and Volkswagen's new voice-activated touchscreen navigation system with an integrated 30GB hard drive, SD memory card slot and USB port.

2009 Highlights

For 2009, the Volkswagen GLI gets a few more features but remains otherwise unchanged. All trim levels now come standard with cold-weather features such as heated seats and heated windshield-washer nozzles. Additionally, the GLI gets Volkswagen's new navigation system as an option.

Performance & mpg

Only one engine is available on the 2009 Volkswagen GLI: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. It's available with a choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed DSG transmission. The latter is an automated manual that allows either ultra-quick manual-style shifting via steering-wheel buttons or fully automatic operation. The GLI can sprint to 60 mph in about 8 seconds flat. EPA fuel economy estimates for a DSG-equipped GLI stand at 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. Models sold in California and California-emissions states meet the strict PZEV (partial zero-emissions vehicle) emissions standard.


Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags are all standard. Side airbags for rear passengers are optional.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 2009 Volkswagen GLI received four out of five stars for protection of front-seat occupants in head-on collisions and five stars for front- and rear-occupant protection in side impacts. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the GLI earned the top rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.


The GLI's well-sorted suspension strikes a near-perfect balance between a comfortable ride and sporty handling. And the ride is surprisingly quiet. Between the precise handling, strong turbo engine and smooth-shifting DSG transmission, the 2009 Volkswagen GLI is a well-rounded choice for enthusiasts on a budget.


The cabin of the VW GLI exudes top-notch quality. Clean European design and an exacting fit and finish give it an upscale flair. Performance-oriented touches include a thick-rimmed, flat-bottomed steering wheel and metallic-trimmed pedals. Firm side bolsters on the front seats hold both driver and passenger snug around corners -- perhaps a bit too snug for those of wide frame. Otherwise, seating for four adults is comfortable all around, and the rear seat offers a folding armrest and a split-folding feature. This year's new and improved navigation system now features an intuitive touchscreen interface and a 30GB hard drive that not only decreases processing time (compared to last year's unit) but also devotes 20GB to digital music storage. Trunk capacity measures an impressive 16 cubic feet.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Volkswagen GLI.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Worth all the research and test driving
Dr. Chino,04/03/2009
I devoted about 3 months of research and test driving before I purchased my 09 GLI and my new ride hasn't let me down. The steering is wonderful! It carves twists and turns and actually begs for more! The acceleration is awesome! When I shift gears with the paddles, I leave everyone behind. Overall, what a GREAT and REWARDING purchase. Other cars I test drove and compared the GLI to were the Acura TSX, Nissan Altima V6, and Honda Accord V6 Coupe.
Way better than my last GLI!!
Boba Fett,06/23/2009
I had owned a 2003 GLI which hurt to trade in for a larger vehicle (family). I was in the market for a second vehicle and knew I had to check out the 09 GLI. I drove it once and that was it. Right away you feel the German engineering in the solid build it has. The acceleration of the 4 cylinder turbo is awesome. The gas mileage is great, got up to 33 mpg at one time! I have the autobahn package. The GLI stitching is cool and the leather bucket seats keep you in place. The 6 speed manual makes it that much more fun to drive. For the price you get a car comparable to a BMW 3 series.
Beetle Evolution
The Car is powerful, good handling for its class, spacious. Brazilian made brings solid engineering, mid-to-high quality materials and a lot of cost-cutting. on the long drive - cannot find a good sitting pose, despite 8 way seat moves. Justify the name JETTA CITY
Awesome Car for the $
Bought my '09 GLI from a local dealer that specializes in off-lease VW & Audi cars. Car was actually a buy-back from VW for an engine problem. Car only had 2K miles, full warranty and a clear title. Roughly 35% off MSRP was too good to pass-up. I have read of reliability issues with VW but owned a late 90's Jetta that never had an issue so I'm not worried...many, many miles of warranty left. Car is a blast to drive and the highway acceleration is fantatstic for a 4 cyl car. DSG transmission is also a very nice piece of engineering. A little notchy on take- off but if you understand the engineering, it's really not an issue. Only had the car for 10 days but 0 regrets so far.
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Features & Specs

22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
21 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
21 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
See all Used 2009 Volkswagen GLI features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2009 Volkswagen GLI
Used 2009 Volkswagen GLI Overview

The Used 2009 Volkswagen GLI is offered in the following submodels: GLI Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), and PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Volkswagen GLI?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Volkswagen GLIS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Volkswagen GLI for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Volkswagen GLI.

Can't find a used 2009 Volkswagen GLIs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen GLI for sale - 5 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $21,896.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $17,362.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen GLI for sale - 5 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $18,721.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 2 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,740.

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Should I lease or buy a 2009 Volkswagen GLI?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen GLI lease specials