2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Celebrating 35 Years of Pure Fun

Every person I know who has owned a Jetta is someone I think of as someone easygoing, with a low drama factor and a propensity to be positive. Even the name - which means “jet stream” in German - evokes a sense of breezy nonchalance.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is no exception, and is available in a striking 35th Anniversary Edition with special badging and red accents on the trim and wheels. When I got behind the wheel for the first time at the Texas Auto Writers Association’s Auto Roundup this week, I was impressed by both the updates and the ease of operation. It’s a car that works for new drivers, college students, young professionals, small families, and even empty nesters.

If you’re a purist, the Jetta is available with a six-speed manual transmission, or you can take the smooth route with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode . Volkswagen’s Tiptronic mode allows the driver to shift gears with the lever or paddle shifters for more control options.

The brand offers a great feature called VW Car-Net, which notifies you via smartphone that you left the doors unlocked, or the trunk open, or a door ajar. In our haste to get the kids in the house or rushing into a doctor’s office or appointment, it’s easy to do. Car-Net also tells you if your sunroof is open and there is rain in the forecast so you can return to the car and close it. I’m assuming the next step in technology will allow drivers to even close the sunroof remotely, right?

Volkswagen has made a name for itself in safety and stability, and the frame is comprised of ultra high-strength hot-formed steel, high-strength steel, and extra high-strength steel. All of those “ultras” and “extras” form the cocoon around cadre of safety features to protect the driver and passengers. One I think is noteworthy is the Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS). In the event of a crash that deploys the airbags, the ICRS turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazard lights for you, which means if you’re unconscious, this feature is looking out for you.

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Enhancing the fun mode is available Beats audio with 400 watts of boom. Because - in my opinion, of course - driving is meant to have a soundtrack. The one song I’ll pick that exemplifies the spirit of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is this one by Mabel, who is the daughter of 90s icon Nenah Cherry of “Buffalo Stance” fame:

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Need To Know:

  • Summary: this compact, affordable sedan checks all of the boxes

  • 228 horsepower

  • 2.0L engine

  • 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

  • Front and rear LED lighting and 10-color ambient lighting

  • Dual-zone climate control

  • Safety features include Rear Traffic Alert, Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Automatic Post-Collision Braking, and Electronic Brake-Pressure Distribution

  • MSRP for Jetta GLI is $25,995 and $26,995 for 35th anniversary edition

  • 6 year/ 72,000 limited warranty

Volkswagen: Doing Good Things

Volkswagen has been partnering with The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 (MoMA) since 2011. The brand supports education programs for artists of all ages and skill levels, both in-person and online. Volkswagen also funds programming at MoMA PS1 (located in Queens, NY), which is one of the largest non-profit contemporary art centers in the world and functions as a real-time, evolving contemporary art-environment for artists and the public.

As part of the MoMA PS1 programming, Volkswagen sponsors the VW Fellows Program, a year-long fellowship for aspiring artists and art professionals who are placed across MoMA PS1 departments. These young professionals work alongside curators and staff to address the daily needs of the museum.

In New York, Volkswagen also supports the VW Sunday Sessions performance program, which is hosted at MoMA PS1’s VW Dome. The event series spotlights art through weekly dance, music, film, and performance events.

Photo: Manuel Martagon, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art

Photo: Manuel Martagon, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art