2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

MSRP range: $26,345 - $31,545
(5)
MSRP$28,025
Edmunds suggests you pay$26,172

What Should I Pay
6 for sale near you
Other years
Volkswagen Jetta GLI for Sale

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review

  • Quick acceleration and strong braking performance
  • Tidy and controlled handling for a small sedan
  • Smooth ride
  • Plenty of interior storage
  • Cabin feels a bit plasticky compared to others in the class
  • Lackluster base infotainment system
  • New MIB3 infotainment system standard on Autobahn trim
  • Adaptive cruise control and other driver safety aids standard on Autobahn
  • Part of the seventh Jetta GLI generation introduced for 2019

Like VW's GTI hatchback, the 2021 Jetta GLI offers a great combination of performance and practicality at a relatively affordable price. Compared to a regular Jetta, you get a more powerful turbocharged engine, the choice of a manual or a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a sport-tuned suspension. The GLI is a fun and quick small sedan, but it's also comfortable and easy to drive.

There are a few other small performance sedans around for 2021. A mainstay of the class, the Honda Civic Si, has been discontinued for 2021, but Hyundai has come out with a dramatically improved 2021 Elantra that's pretty compelling in its 201-horsepower N Line or 275-hp N guise. There's also the Mazda 3 sedan, which has a new 250-hp turbocharged engine on tap for this year. Should you get the Jetta GLI? Read our Expert Rating to get our in-depth take and help inform your buying decision.

  • EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
    8.0/10
    The Jetta GLI is a worthwhile entry into the affordable sport sedan arena. VW has done an excellent job building a sporty vehicle that's satisfying and engaging to drive yet exceptionally comfortable and quite practical. The downsides are that it doesn't come standard with the technology features of most competitors, and fuel economy suffers for performance.

Which Jetta GLI does Edmunds recommend?

Of the two trims, we suggest going with the Autobahn. Yes, the base S trim offers the same level of performance, but part of the Jetta GLI's appeal is its day-to-day usability. The Autobahn comes with way more features, and, for 2021, that includes a set of standard driver aids such as adaptive cruise control. If you live in warmer climates, we also suggest opting for the no-cost summer performance tires since they noticeably enhance the car's braking and handling performance.

Volkswagen Jetta GLI models

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is available in just two trim levels: S and Autobahn. Both come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It's paired to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (Volkswagen calls it DSG) that sends power to the front wheels. Feature highlights include:

S
Comes fairly well equipped with:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (standard all-season or optional summer tires)
  • Performance brakes
  • Limited-slip differential for improved traction
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel (includes shift paddles with DSG transmission)
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Manually adjustable sport seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • 6.5-inch touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Two USB ports
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)

Autobahn
The top-level Autobahn trim builds off the base trim. Performance remains the same, but you get additional features including:

  • Adaptive suspension for improved ride and handling
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Leather upholstery
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Remote start (DSG only)
  • 8-inch touchscreen display with Volkswagen's latest infotainment system
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Volkswagen and the car in front)
  • Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
  • Automatic high beams

The Autobahn is available with two options:

  • Summer tires
  • Black package
    • Black 18-inch wheels
    • Black mirror caps, roof and spoiler
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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

Average user rating: 4.6 stars
5 total reviews
5 star reviews: 80%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 20%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • interior
  • seats
  • lights
  • electrical system
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • technology
  • transmission
  • infotainment system
  • handling & steering
  • comfort
  • spaciousness
  • road noise
  • maintenance & parts
  • value

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, My 10th VW
William Zimmer,
Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
I bought it sight unseen from a dealer 100 miles away and had them deliver it the next day. Performance and handling is fantastic. Love the wireless Apple CarPlay and the wireless charging. My last GLi was an ‘86. This one is light years better!
5/5 stars, Snappy
Terry,
S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Drove 130 miles to pick it up without test driving my car and took about 15 minutes to fill out the paper work. Great car for the money not the most luxurious interior but I like them that way and in sport mode the car will get up and go. Manual transmission is easy to get use to and is pretty snappy.
5/5 stars, This car kicks ass
VW owner,
Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Just bought a Jetta GLI Autobahn and absolutely love it. The car is a firecracker with plenty of pep and great handling. I read about a substandard interior and that is simply not the case. Not sure how you much better in this price range. Great car.
3/5 stars, Fast and sporty but cheap feeling
AC Chicago ,
Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I owned a 2006 GLI and was eager to drive the 2021 model. The car was fast and has great technology but I was surprised by how cheap the finishings felt. Doors closed with a tinny clink rather than a reassuring thud. Cheap plastic abounds. Low quality leather. Poor sound insulation. I was really disappointed and decided to focus on a CPO A4 or 328i for the same price. VW obviously cut lots of corners to price competitively and it shows.


Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$26,345
MPG & Fuel
24 City / 33 Hwy / 28 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Engine
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 228 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
Basic Warranty
4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 185.2 in. / Height: 57.9 in. / Width: 70.8 in.
Curb Weight: 3228 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 14.1 cu.ft.

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At a Glance:
  • 5 Colors
  • 2 Trims
  • $27,145starting MSRP

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Jetta GLI safety features:

Blind-Spot Warning System
Alerts you with visual and audible warnings if another vehicle is in your blind spot.
Post-Collision Braking System
Applies the brakes once the airbags go off to reduce the possibility of further damage during an accident.
Forward Collision Warning
Sounds an alert when a front collision is imminent and can automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn't react in time.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver4 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover13.1%



Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. the competition

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2021 Hyundai Elantra

2021 Hyundai Elantra

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai has redesigned its Elantra for 2021. In addition to the new styling and interior, there are two new performance versions: the N Line and the N. The N Line is the closer match to the Jetta GLI; it's got a 201-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a sport-tuned suspension. You get a longer warranty with the Elantra, but overall these two sport sedans are pretty evenly matched.

Compare Volkswagen Jetta GLI & Hyundai Elantra features 

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Mazda 3

Volkswagen used to set the standard for interior quality in this class, but over the past few years Mazda has taken that crown. Compared to the Jetta GLI, the Mazda 3 has softer interior touch points and a classier-looking design. The 3 is now available with a turbocharged engine paired to standard all-wheel drive. But it's more expensive than the Jetta GLI and doesn't offer a manual transmission. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Mazda 3 sedan.

Compare Volkswagen Jetta GLI & Mazda 3 features 

Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX offers lots of performance for relatively little money. You get a more powerful turbocharged engine and standard all-wheel drive for not much more than you'll pay for a GLI. The Subaru is quick and athletic on the road, but it's far less refined than the Volkswagen, with a lower-quality interior and more wind and road noise on the highway.

Compare Volkswagen Jetta GLI & Subaru WRX features 

FAQ

Is the Volkswagen Jetta GLI a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Jetta GLI both on the road and at the track, giving it a 8.0 out of 10. You probably care about Volkswagen Jetta GLI fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Jetta GLI gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Jetta GLI has 14.1 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI:

  • New MIB3 infotainment system standard on Autobahn trim
  • Adaptive cruise control and other driver safety aids standard on Autobahn
  • Part of the seventh Jetta GLI generation introduced for 2019
Learn more

Is the Volkswagen Jetta GLI reliable?

To determine whether the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Jetta GLI. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Jetta GLI's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Jetta GLI and gave it a 8.0 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Jetta GLI is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI?

The least-expensive 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $26,345.

Other versions include:

  • Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) which starts at $31,545
  • Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $30,745
  • S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $26,345
  • S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) which starts at $27,145
Learn more

What are the different models of Volkswagen Jetta GLI?

If you're interested in the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, the next question is, which Jetta GLI model is right for you? Jetta GLI variants include Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM). For a full list of Jetta GLI models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Overview

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is offered in the following submodels: Jetta GLI Sedan. Available styles include Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Volkswagen Jetta GLI models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 228 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed automated manual, 6-speed manual. The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Jetta GLI 4.6 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Jetta GLI.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Jetta GLI featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI?

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $28,025. The average price paid for a new 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is trending $1,853 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,853 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $26,172.

The average savings for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is 6.6% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 6 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $32,754. The average price paid for a new 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is trending $2,166 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,166 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $30,588.

The average savings for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is 6.6% below the MSRP.

Which 2021 Volkswagen Jetta 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) 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI for sale near. There are currently 4 new 2021 Jetta GLIS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $28,375 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,386 on a used or CPO 2021 Jetta GLI available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLIs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Volkswagen for sale - 6 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $19,779.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI?

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 7-speed automated manual, premium unleaded (recommended)
28 compined MPG,
24 city MPG/35 highway MPG

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 7-speed automated manual, premium unleaded (recommended)
28 compined MPG,
24 city MPG/35 highway MPG

2021 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 6-speed manual, premium unleaded (recommended)
28 compined MPG,
24 city MPG/33 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG28
Transmission7-speed automated manual
Drive Trainfront wheel drive
Displacement2.0 L
Passenger Volume108.8 cu.ft.
Wheelbase105.6 in.
Length185.2 in.
Width70.8 in.
Height57.9 in.
Curb Weight3294 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Volkswagen Jetta 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