2020 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Comparison in Huntington Beach, CA

The Jetta is one of the most popular vehicles made by Volkswagen, and it's easy to see why! It provides a level of elegance that's not often seen in the compact car segment, while still providing exceptional fuel efficiency and nimble performance. And, for those who love the idea of a compact car but want even more strength, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI might just be a perfect match. On this page, we'll take a look at how these two cars compare against each other. After you've seen what each one offers, we invite you to take one--or both!--for a test drive.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Exterior

2020 VW Jetta vs 2020 VW Jetta GLI: Design & Features

At first glance, it's easy to get these two cars mixed up. They're both compact sedans with the same exterior and interior dimensions and the same body design. Take a closer look and you might notice red accents and a distinctive black honeycomb grille that mark the Jetta GLI as a sportier version of the Jetta. In addition to just looks, the VW Jetta GLI does come standard with some pretty helpful features like LED projector headlights. These are an available upgrade only in the 2020 VW Jetta, though the standard headlights are still LEDs. In addition, you can add available fog lights to the VW Jetta; these are unavailable on the VW Jetta GLI. Once you move inside, you'll find that the entry-level Jetta GLI is equipped with more advanced comfort features, from heated front seats to dual-zone automatic climate control. It even features 10-color ambient lighting so you can make the interior of your Volkswagen match your mood. These features are all available in the VW Jetta, but they don't come standard at the entry level.

When it comes to infotainment technology, the Jetta GLI again starts out at a slightly higher level, but the similarities are numerous. It comes standard with a 6-speaker audio system, while the VW Jetta starts off with a 4-speaker system. However, both cars offer an 8-speaker BeatsAudio upgrade. They both also come with a standard 6.5-inch or available 8-inch touchscreen, and they offer available wireless charging and SiriusXM satellite radio.

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2020 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Interior

2020 VW Jetta vs 2020 VW Jetta GLI: Driver Assistance Technology

Both the Volkswagen Jetta and the Volkswagen Jetta GLI offer a variety of driver assistance technology features. At the entry level, the Jetta GLI is better equipped. It comes standard with a blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, frontal collision warning, and autonomous emergency braking. These features come as available upgrades in the standard VW Jetta. But the Volkswagen Jetta does offer features like adaptive cruise control and a lane keeping system. These features are not available in any 2020 VW Jetta GLI.

2020 VW Jetta vs 2020 VW Jetta GLI: Engine Comparison

Under its hood, the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta boasts a remarkable engine. It's a turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 184 pound-feet of torque, as well as 147 horsepower. In addition to zippy performance, this engine gives the VW Jetta up to 40 miles per gallon so that you can pass gas station after gas station. Of course, the performance-oriented Jetta GLI comes with a more powerful engine. Step on the gas in the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI and you'll feel the power of 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque!

2020 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Features

2020 VW Jetta vs 2020 VW Jetta GLI: Other Performance Features

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is truly geared towards performance, so it includes a number of features that are either available upgrades or completely unavailable in the regular VW Jetta. Take the suspension, for example. While the torsion beam rear suspension in the Volkswagen Jetta is both comfortable and capable, the Jetta GLI has a multilink rear suspension that's more geared towards performance driving. An XDS cross-differential system is an available upgrade in the VW Jetta, but it comes standard in every 2020 VW Jetta GLI. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI even offers an optional performance monitoring system, which is unavialable in any regular VW Jetta. This system monitors the engine and displays boost pressure, multi-directional G-forces, and other information.

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2020 VW Jetta vs 2020 VW Jetta GLI: Value

With a starting MSRP of just $18,895, the Volkswagen Jetta is pleasantly affordable. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is still priced well for all that it offers, but it's considerably more than the VW Jetta. At the entry level, the 2020 VW Jetta GLI has a starting MSRP that's $7,350 greater than that of the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta. In fact, all but the top-of-the-line Jetta models have a lower starting price than the Jetta GLI. But if you crave performance in a Jetta-sized car, the VW Jetta GLI is the perfect option.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
$18,895Starting MSRP*$26,245
147Horsepower228
184 lb.-ft.Torque258 lb.-ft.
40 Highway / 30 CityFuel Efficiency (MPG)33 Highway / 25 City
94.7 cu. ft.Passenger Volume94.7 cu. ft.
14.1 cu. ft.Cargo Space14.1 cu. ft.
AvailableHeated Front SeatsStandard
AvailableDual-Zone Automatic Climate ControlStandard
AvailableAutonomous Emergency BrakingStandard
AvailableAdaptive Cruise ControlNot Available

*Prices exclude destination, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.