2013 volkswagen jetta gli problems

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2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: The Jalopnik Review

The VW Golf GTI is kind of a cult hero in the car world. It's the car that started the whole hot hatch revolution. A watershed moment in car history. Its brother is the Jetta GLI, which seems nearly forgotten. But it shouldn't be, because it's a seriously fun little car.

(Full Disclosure: VW wanted me to drive the Jetta GLI so bad that they dropped it off near my house and then let me drive it wherever I wanted. I went to Lime Rock Park because vintage racing was happening and that's my shit.)

The newest VW Jetta has a goal: Help VW become the biggest automaker in the world. Costs were cut and the Jetta was moved to fight the Corolla head on. That means it had a substantial beige-ening in some areas that used to be a mark of VW's German craftsmanship.

Like that Confucius fella said, before you embark on a mission of beige revenge first dig two graves: one for your enemy and one for your enthusiast creds.

VW put in the anemic 2.5 liter five cylinder engine and ripped out the multilink rear end. Instead, it got a torsion beam rear axle. All of this spelled doom and gloom for the GLI and performance faithful.

But VW didn't want to anger them. So what they did for the GLI faithful was rip out the five cylinder engine and replace it with their now common 2.0-liter turbo four. Then they decided torsion beam was a bad idea and put the multilink setup back in (which is something all Jettas will get for 2014).

Voila. The GLI is now a GTI with a trunk. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the GLI. In all honesty, the only Jetta I've ever desired was the TDI Cup, and that was just a sticker package and a different bumper. This one might not look as good as the TDI Cup did, but I bet it drives way better. It's in the running for the most surprisingly enjoyable car I've driven this year.

Exterior: 6/10

VW's goal with this Jetta was to take on the Corolla. I've said it at length, but this means it needed to have a broader appeal. A beiger appeal, if you will. It is jazzed up a little from the stock Jetta with foglamps, big wheels, honeycomb grille, and glossy bits all over. The badging is also subtle.

I think it's an attractive car. The little changes actually bring it all together. Where my particular car fell flat was in some of the carryover parts that come from the base Jetta. Especially the headlights. You don't think about it a lot, but the headlights are the face a car shows to the world. And in a generation where LEDs have to exist on every car, this top-of-the-line Jetta had halogen daytime running lights.

They look atrociously bad when they're on, like it has some sort of eye infection. LEDs are available as an option, but they weren't on this car. I'm someone who has ridiculed the proliferation in LEDs in cars in the past, but when you see one without them, it really makes you realize just how prevalent they have become and how used to them we are.

Too bad there's no way to turn them off without pulling a fuse.

Interior: 6/10

It's a mixed bag in here. The wheel is great, and that's because it's the same thick, flat-bottomed sucker as in the GTI. The dash is also a softer touch plastic, that's not too bad either. But the doors are covered in this hard plastic that is rough to the touch.

The seats aren't the best either. For one, they need more bolstering, because they don't hold you in under aggressive cornering. They're also kind of short, so longer legged chaps get uncomfortable after a while. The passenger seat isn't fully electric either. It's the little details that get to you.

Acceleration: 6/10

Thankfully, the GLI is still a fine performer. The 2.0-liter turbo four has 210 horsepower and enough grunt so that it never feels underpowered. Torque steer is fairly minimal, it exists, but is more like a suggestion than an order.

It does spin the tires fairly easily off the line, which isn't exactly what I expected. But once it hooks up the GLI rips through the gears with no problems at all. You aren't setting the road on fire here, you're driving a semi quick Jetta.

Braking: 7/10

Solid pedal with a good feel. I did find that ABS intervenes a little early but it stopped plenty fine in every situation.

It's not an aggressive pedal or setup that will make your eyes pop out of your head, but it is a stronger than average brake that will keep you out of ditches or the back of trucks... If used correctly.

Ride: 7/10

With a torsion beam, the Jetta lost a bit of the civility the Jetta was known for. The GLI's setup makes the Jetta a citizen of the world again. This is a premium compact sedan, it can't ride like a piece of wood. Ok, now you're saying you like pieces of wood and that you sleep on a hard bed and blah blah blah.

But don't you really like something a little softer for a long journey? If you were bedridden for months, would you rather be on a pillowy surface or a steel girder? Pillows for me, please.

At a nice cruising speed, the ride of the Jetta is Goldilocks-esque. Not too hard, not too soft, but just right. At higher speeds, it does get a little higgeldy piggeldy and bouncy, but those speeds aren't legal and you shouldn't be driving it that quickly anyway, unless you're on a track or hoping to taunt the NYPD. And if you're on a track you would have changed the suspension.

Handling: 7/10

The GLI is surprisingly decent. But then again, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised since the GTI also handles excellently and shares a lot of features with the GLI. Unless you really, really push it, the GLI is pretty neutral with just a touch of sluggishness out of the front end. I'd imagine if you really entered a corner hot, it'd push and scrub a ton of speed before it got turned.

And when on the road are you pushing a car so it understeers or oversteers in a Jetta anyways?

Gearbox: 8/10

VW were amongst the originators of the dual clutch transmission, and this latest version of DSG is one of the best out there. It's not quite PDK levels of amazing, but it's as close as you're going to get in a car that costs a mere $28,000. Shifts are fast, immediate, and nearly telepathic. It's definitely one of the best gearboxes in a performance economy sedan that you can buy today.

In automatic, it's smart and shifts when you want it to. It's still a little jerky at lower speeds, but that's the price you pay for sportiness these days.

Audio: 6/10

The engine itself has a nice little burble and slightly throaty exhaust note, but it doesn't make the hair on your neck stand on end. It's actually a little too subdued for my taste.

VW licensed the Fender brand for the stereo in here, and it isn't bad, but it's just a name since Fender doesn't really make stereos. I'm nostalgic for 2003 and the days of the Monsoon Stereo in a Jetta blasting some Sugar Ray. Ah to be 17 again.

Toys: 6/10

I think I'm being a little generous here with a six for toys, since the GLI doesn't really have a lot to brag about. It has the DSG trans, satellite radio, cruise control, and not much else.

But do you need much else? No. Not really.

Value: 8/10

At $28,000 for this not close to fully-loaded Jetta GLI, you'd think I'd be saying this is a terrible deal and you have to get the Scion FR-S instead. But I'm not saying that.

Even though it might not be reflected in the numbers, the GLI is an engaging little SOB and a lot of fun to drive. As my Dad and I drove up to Lime Rock Park last weekend, we determined that the GLI was pretty much all the car 99 percent of people need.

Now, I'm not saying that you can't buy more, I encourage you to do so. But if you want a practical performance car that can seat five, stick like mad in corners, and accelerate off the line quickly, you don't need to look much further than the GLI. I bet you could also take it for an autocross and have a blast. Then you could pick up your girlfriend, go out to dinner, and hit up Costco. If you only have the budget for one car and need to do a lot with it, oh, and you're hatchback averse, the GLI is a truly great choice.

And that's something I didn't think I'd say at all.


Engine: 2.0L Turbo Four
Power: 210 HP at 5,300 RPM/ 207 LB-FT at 1,700 RPM
Transmission: Six-Speed Dual Clutch
0-60 Time: 6.5 seconds
Top Speed: 130 mph
Drivetrain: Front-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight: 3,124 LBS
Seating: 5 people
MPG: 23 City/33 Highway
MSRP: $24,255 (As Tested: $28,090)

Car Buying

Sours: https://jalopnik.com/2013-volkswagen-jetta-gli-the-jalopnik-review-1245582201

2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Long-Term Update 3

Taking the Reins of An Eager Steed

Volkswagen Jetta Full Overview

When Ron Kiino told me he was moving into our new 2013 Honda Accord long-termer, I was all too happy to take the reins of the GLI for the remainder of the year. I've owned a couple Vee-Dubs and just returned our long-term 2012 Honda Civic Si, and the super Jetta promised a slightly more refined version of the sporty-sedan recipe. And that is exactly what I got.

The GLI is sharp-looking, well-appointed, sporty, comfortable, and overall just a very nice car. Despite being 372 pounds heavier than the Civic Si, the GLI outshines its competitor in the handling department. The GLI puts down good numbers, and more important, does it in a smooth, undramatic, linear fashion. Understeer? Sure, but there is always a solid sense of composure in the chassis. The added weight makes the Jetta feel not quite as nimble as the Civic, but there is a decent amount of grip; the steering is well-weighted; and the additional 37 lb-ft of low-end torque makes for an equally enjoyable driving experience.

Wanting to rack up the miles, I recently took the Jetta on a 430-mile, 10-hour day trip through the lower Sierras. I had plenty of opportunity to experience the Jetta on all types of road surfaces. The first and last few hours of the journey were spent on the highway, where the GLI's comfortable, supportive seats and compliant but sporty ride made for easy going. I drove north from Los Angeles along the east side of the Sierras on California State Route 14 to the US-395, which heads north towards Bishop, California.

The next section of the trip was more fun. I climbed up the steep switchbacks of Nine Mile Canyon Road toward Kennedy Meadows. Sitting at the 5800-foot elevation, Kennedy Meadows is a great spot for campers, hikers, and fishers. From there I drove northwest towards Sequoia National Forest along paved forest service roads through the pines and green meadows. Seeing signs for Kernville, I decided to push though, past South Sierra Wilderness and Domeland Wilderness, finally down Sherman Pass into Kernville, then Lake Isabella, then Bakersfield and back to Los Angeles.

The GLI dispensed with the twisty mountain roads with ease and soaked up all bumps except the largest and deepest potholes and sections of broken pavement. The traction control kicked in on a number of occasions the road was suddenly become covered in slippery silt mid-corner. If the front or rear wheels started to slip, traction control would arrest the action in a smooth, undramatic manor and get me back on course.

My road trip gave me a chance to really experience all the Jetta had to offer in a single day. Ron Kiino called the GLI a bargain Audi A4, and he wasn't wrong. While $30,000 isn't exactly bargain-basement, you sure get a nice car for the cash.

Looks good! More details?
Our Car
Service life 9 mo/19,862 mi
Average fuel economy 24.4 mpg
CO2 emissions 0.80 lb/mi
Energy consumption 138 kW-hr/100mi
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 24/27/32 mpg
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0 (oil change, rotate tires, inspection)
Normal-wear cost $0


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2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Verdict

Auf Wiedersehen, My Good Friend

Volkswagen Jetta Full Overview

Our long-term Volkswagen Jetta GLI came to us all the way back in October 2012. In the 14 months we had it, we racked up an impressive 27,519 miles! During that time, we've tested it with four different sets of tires and two sets of wheels. We've tried everything from the OE rolling stock with all-season rubber to super high-performance Michelin Pilot Supersports on OZ wheels. I went camping in it twice, and used it to explore vast chunks of Southern California, from the beaches to Joshua Tree and the southern Sierras. The GLI rarely sat stationary for long.

The reason behind this restlessness, in my opinion, is that the GLI is overall a pretty nice car. Early in its term, executive editor Ron Kiino called the GLI a "bargain Audi A4," and that sentiment always stuck with me. For considerably less money than an A4, you get a slick-looking, sporty German sedan with all the trimmings. Ours came fully loaded with the Autobahn and navigation packages, nice- looking 18-inch Bathurst wheels, bi-xenon headlights, heated sport seats covered in smooth and easy-to-clean leatherette, backup camera, sunroof, and Volkswagen's DSG dual-clutch gearbox.

The interior was one of the most impressive parts about the GLI. In my last update, I looked at the similarities between the Jetta and the much larger Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The Jetta was almost identical in many areas and surpassed the mighty Merc in others, including besting its rear leg room by 2.3 inches. I find that amazing, considering the GLI has a similarly sized trunk, and the Jetta does it all in a package that is 9.9 inches shorter in overall length. The GLI has a fairly spacious trunk, especially for its size. At 15.5 cubic feet, it easily swallows multiple overnight bags and, on occasion, camping gear and firewood. Folding the rear seats further extends the cargo capabilities, allowing for longer items such as a 5-foot TV stand after an impromptu stop at the furniture store.

I have always found Volkswagens to have excellent driver's compartments, and the GLI did not disappoint. The seats are comfortable and decently bolstered. With plenty of seat adjustability and a tilting/telescoping steering column, it's easy to find a good position. Visibility is good all around, yet I still feel like I'm sitting in a cockpit rather than on top of the car, as in some older VW products. Even during 5-7-hour trips, I never felt overly fatigued or uncomfortable. The Fender stereo system sounds good, and the navigation system, although rarely used, is intuitive and never led me astray. I did use the Bluetooth connectivity constantly, mostly to play Pandora through the audio system after my satellite radio subscription lapsed.

Compared with my previous long-term Civic Si, the GLI is considerably quieter on the road, which is great for longer trips and means you don't have to raise your voice when talking with your backseat passengers.

Although the turbo 2.0-liter puts out only 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, the GLI feels sporty and has a very throaty exhaust note. Considering the small displacement of the turbo-four, the Jetta is a little greedy with fuel. We saw an average of 24.3 mpg, barely beating the EPA city rating of 24, which is fairly disappointing considering the long-term Civic Si managed to get 24.7 mpg out of a larger (2.4- liter), naturally aspirated four-cylinder that loved to rev. Although the Jetta is capable of 400-plus-mile journeys on a tank, most fill-ups happened around the 300-mile mark. Some of the fuel economy issues can definitely be attributed to my driving style and large chunks of time spent in Los Angeles traffic, but the same was true in the Civic and it managed better. The Jetta also outweighs its Japanese competitor by a couple hundred pounds, which doesn't help.

Reliability was never an issue. I took the GLI in for service twice, and both visits were fully covered under the Volkswagen's Carefree Maintenance program, which covers basic service intervals for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles. Not covered under warranty was our cracked windshield, setting us back more than $800, and minor body damage that occurred late in our loan. I always found the dealership experience to be pleasant and professional.

I grew extremely attached to the GLI during my time with it. Having owned three Volkswagens in the past, I can definitely say the GLI was my favorite. I wish fuel economy were a little better and I wish the brakes felt more direct. It isn't as sharp as its GTI brethren or maybe even the Civic Si, but it feels refined and is still fun to drive. Before you march in and buy that new A4, cruise over to VW and take a GLI for a spin. I bet you'll like it.

Our Car
Service Life 13 mo / 27,512 mi
Base Price $24,740
Price as Tested $30,095
Options Autobahn Package ($2250: Fender sound system, sunroof, 18-in alloys), Navigation Package ($2005: navigation, backup camera, bi-xenon headlights), DSG ($1100)
Average C02 0.80 lb/mi
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Con 24/32/27 mpg
Average Fuel Economy 24.3 mpg
Problem Areas None
Maintenance Cost $0 (2-oil change, inspection; 1-rotate tires; 1-pollen filter)
Normal-Wear Cost $0
3-Year Residual Value* $15,649
Recalls None
*Automotive Lease Guide

Here at Motor Trend, we often harp on automakers for not putting summer tires on their performance vehicles, or at least offering them. Case in point: our long-term Volkswagen Jetta GLI, which came standard with all-season Dunlops. While a summer Bridgestone was an OE option when the GLI debuted for 2012, the 2013 model year went exclusively with all-season rubber.

So, along with contacting Tire Rack for two sets of summer tires -- Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position and Michelin Pilot Super Sport, each mounted on handsome OZ Superturismo LM wheels -- we reached out to Vredestein for a set of its best summer tire, which we mounted on the stock Bathurst wheels. As you can see in the chart below, the performance upgrades were noteworthy. Now you know why we harp!

Looks good! More details?
OE Setup Aftermarket Aftermarket Aftermarket/OE
Tire Dunlop SP Sport 01 A/S 225/40R18 XL 92H Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position 225/40R18 XL 92Y Michelin Pilot Super Sport 225/40R18 XL 92Y Vredestein Ultrac Vorti 225/40R18 XL 92Y
Tire cost $185 (Tire Rack) $144 (Tire Rack) $212 (Tire Rack) $185 (est)
Tire weight 22 lb 25 lb 22 lb 25 lb
Wheel Volkswagen OE Bathurst by Borbet 7.5 x 18-in OZ Superturismo LM 7.5 x 18-in OZ Superturismo LM 7.5 x 18-in Volkswagen OE Bathurst by Borbet 7.5 x 18-in
Wheel cost $250 (est) $325 (Tire Rack) $325 (Tire Rack) $250 (est)
Wheel weight 29 lb 21 lb 21 lb 29 lb
Braking, 60-0 mph 123 ft 110 ft 116 ft 110 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.87 g 0.94 g 0.94 g 0.93 g
MT figure eight 26.5 sec @ 0.69 g 26.1 sec @ 0.70 g 25.8 @ 0.71 g 25.8 sec @ 0.70 g
2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, iron block/alum head
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 121.1 cu in/1984 cc
POWER (SAE NET) 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 207 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
REDLINE 6000 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 16.2 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 6-speed twin-clutch auto.
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 4.06:1 (1-4); 3.14:1 (5-6,R)/2.39:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
BRAKES, F;R 12.3-in vented disc; 10.7-in disc, ABS
WHEELS, F;R 7.5 x 18-in, cast aluminum
TIRES, F;R 225/40R18 92H M+S Dunlop SP Sport 01 A/S
WHEELBASE 104.4 in
TRACK, F/R 60.1/60.4 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 182.2 x 70.0 x 56.6 in
WEIGHT DIST., F/R 60/40%
HEADROOM, F/R 37.0/37.0 in
LEGROOM, F/R 41.2/38.1 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 55.2/53.6 in
CARGO VOLUME 15.5 cu ft
0-30 2.6 sec
0-40 3.6
0-50 4.9
0-60 6.5
0-70 8.5
0-80 10.8
0-90 13.8
0-100 17.4
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.3
QUARTER MILE 15.1 sec @ 93.5 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 123 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.5 sec @ 0.69 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 2000 rpm
BASE PRICE $24,740
AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 miles
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY/COMB 140/105/125 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.72 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium


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2013 Jetta GLI - 10 Weeks of Maintenance. Here's the bill.

From the April 2013 Issue of Car and Driver


Haters of the “people’s car” are always quick to point out Volkswagen’s less-than-sterling reputation for reliability. What the Corolla-loving cranks always overlook is that a VW, even the lowest and cheapest version queued up at a Düsseldorf taxi stand, is engineered for the autobahn. Which is to say, it can sustain 100-plus-mph travel. Perhaps over-engineered for American roads, VWs have acoustic damping more than adequate for 75 mph and an overall sense of high-velocity refinement. The brand’s loyalists know that there’s more than one way to measure quality.

Granted, the new-for-2011 Jetta is a car designed to generate more North American sales (which it did), and bucking the VW reliability reputation will take more than a bigger back seat and trunk. To keep prices low, base Jettas get a cheaper torsion-beam rear suspension and a Formica-hard dashboard, two indicators of U.S.-spec cost-cutting not seen in European Jettas.


The GLI, however, is different. Introduced for the 2012 model year, it comes with all the stuff that Europeans get as door prizes. With a soft-touch dash, a more sophisticated multilink rear suspension, and the ubiquitous EA888 turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder putting out 200 horses, this Jetta is not a poverty model. Instead, the GLI, along with the ’13 hybrid version, represents the top of the Jetta pyramid, and without a doubt it’s the best one to drive. As with all VWs, scheduled maintenance is included for the first three years or 36,000 miles, easing ownership worries for the skeptics.

This “Tornado Red” GLI touched down at our office for long-term testing in October 2011. We asked for all the add-ons, ­specifying navigation to make it road-trip friendly. Equipped with the Autobahn ­package’s 18-inch wheels, leatherette upholstery, and sunroof, our six-speed manual GLI totaled $27,215. It’s a great buy considering that a similarly equipped 2012 GTI, with real leather, runs some $4150 more.

Before we had the chance to install winter tires, though, the car’s reliability came roaring into question. A chassis vibration indicated that the wheels were out of balance, so off to the tire shop went the GLI. The balancing cost us $64, but the vibration remained, requiring a visit to the dealership.

The GLI spent seven nights there, and in that time we learned a few things. First, both half-shafts had to be replaced for unspecified reasons. This was covered under the GLI’s three-year warranty, and it quelled the vibration. (It still would have been ­covered under the five-year, 60,000-mile power­train warranty had this happened later in the car’s life.) Second, the right-front tire had an excessive amount of Fix-A-Flat in it. The gooey tire sealant can get you moving in a pinch, but it makes a mess inside the tire, often throwing it off-balance, and the labor required to clean it out relegates it to emergency-only use. The evidence of this quick fix troubled us because the GLI comes with a full-use spare tire. No staffer fessed up to using an inflator can instead of changing the tire, so we wondered: Had the goop been in there when we took delivery? Still, the dealer made all the repairs. It’s unlikely that the unbalanced wheel caused the half-shaft issue so early in this car’s life, though we didn’t attempt to pin the dealer down on it.

Commuters praised the GLI’s highway manners. It proved smooth and collected, with ample power for overtaking without the need for a downshift. The sport-tuned dampers and the multilink rear suspension turn pavement chop into gentle nudges. Handling, while deft, failed to produce a gush of positive comments in the logbook. Call it enjoyable rather than the wildly entertaining GTI sedan we might have hoped for.

Some idiosyncrasies were less charming. In dry conditions, only the hardest-driving staffers deemed the stability control intervention too persistent. But after we installed four Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 winter tires ($199 each) to combat the snow, slush, and ice of a Michigan winter, more comments appeared about the hyperactive stability system, which cannot be shut off as it can in most cars. Scooting through slippery intersections occasionally triggered the traction control, shutting down power and making what should have been an uneventful crossing rather thrilling.

Starting the car requires full cognitive cooperation, a trait many of us lack before coffee kicks in. The start button is obscured by the shifter and some center-console trim.Even after performing the startup sequence many mornings, without the visual cue we sometimes couldn’t remember where it was hiding. Once started, a delightfully light clutch pedal took the chore out of driving a manual in rush-hour traffic.

One thing almost all commenters noted was the GLI’s peculiar engine note. The turbo and aforementioned German-spec insulation diminish much of the engine noise. The nod to enthusiasts is an engine-note enhancer: the so-called Soundaktor is an electronic noisemaker that occasionally seems to function independent of the engine. And sometimes the car drones like a digital kazoo full of phlegm. Perhaps not surprisingly, YouTube has several videos explaining how to remove it.


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED: $27,700 (base price: $24,515)

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 121 cu in, 1984 cc
Power: 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

Wheelbase: 104.4 in
Length: 182.2 in
Width: 70.0 in Height: 56.6 in
Curb weight: 3236 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 6.2 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 16.5 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 24.8 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.8 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 13.9 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 9.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.0 sec @ 96 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 127 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 179 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.86 g

Zero to 60 mph: 6.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.3 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 27.3 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.1 sec @ 94 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.88 g

EPA city/highway driving: 22/33 mpg
C/D observed: 28 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt

3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper;
5 years/60,000 miles powertrain;
12 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection;
3 years/36,000 miles roadside assistance
3 years/36,000 miles free routine maintenance


Months in Fleet: 7 months
Current Mileage: 18,455 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 26 mpg
Average Range: 377 miles
Service: $0
Normal Wear: $0
Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $842

For most of its history, the Volkswagen Jetta was the three-box version of the two-box Golf hatchback, which meant the performance-oriented Jetta GLI was simply the sedan version of the coveted 10Best-winning GTI. The Jetta’s sixth-generation makeover, however, included plopping the four-door onto new underpinnings. The idea was to give it a bigger back seat, a larger trunk, and reduced complexity to better compete with the likes of the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, and Toyota Corolla. (The Golf will move to VW’s new MQB architecture.)

In the split from its Golf roots and in the interest of competitive pricing, the base U.S.-spec Jetta abandoned its sophisticated multilink rear suspension and soft-touch interior plastics for lower-cost items. Needless to say, we weren’t bowled over during our initial drive, and a Jetta 2.5 later finished last in a five-car comparo. But a potential remedy was available via the turbocharged, 200-hp GLI, which has the fancy rear chassis setup and squishy dash. We quickly ordered one up to see if 40,000 miles behind the wheel of the enthusiast’s Jetta could win us over.

(All Jettas sent to Europe have the multilink rear and nicer cabin materials; here’s a rundown of the differences between Euro and American Jettas. More recently, we’ve learned that Volkswagen has made and will continue to make running updates to non-GLI versions of the car, including the brakes, the interior, and under the hood.)

Time to Arrive

Our six-speed manual Tornado Red GLI showed up with 381 miles on the clock and a full boat of options (excepting the available automatic), which meant it arrived packing the $2050 Autobahn package (18-inch wheels, a sunroof, a Fender-branded stereo, auto climate control, and faux leather seats) and the $900 navigation system. All-weather floor mats, including a trunk liner, added another $235 to the tab for a grand total of $27,700. For comparison’s sake, a fully loaded five-door GTI, which has real leather seats and xenon headlamps, runs $31,365.

First impressions were mixed. Few of us—okay, maybe one—liked the fake rumble generated by the “Soundaktor” engine-noise enhancer, and even long-haul comfort came under fire by some drivers, although most have found the firm seats supportive. One staffer with a longer commute said she could make her drive every day without complaint.

There have been a few ergonomic gripes, chief among them being the interface for the navigation and audio systems. Many drivers have noted there are too many layers to sort through to access info. Also raising some ire is the location of the engine-start button, ahead of the shifter. Locating the obscured button becomes second nature after spending an extended period of time with the car, but to get into a vehicle with keyless start and have to think about how to turn it on seems to defeat the purpose of having such a system.

We’d Like to Leave the Nest, K Thx

For reasons we can’t fathom, all Jettas have full-time stability control. There is no higher-threshold mode like that found in the GTI, and the overly protective system limits skidpad grip to 0.86 g. A couple of drivers have reported that the stability control intervened when they shot a gap in traffic, fighting them for control of the car.

At least the stability control didn’t hamper the initial test results, as the GLI dashed to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and cleared the quarter-mile in 15.0 seconds at 96 mph. That’s right on top of a GTI’s numbers and way quicker than the 6.8-second GLI we tested a few months back.

At about the 3500-mile mark, a vibration developed at the front axle. The dealership replaced the front half-shafts under warranty. At the same time, the service techs discovered and removed the remains of a Fix-A-Flat application from the right-front wheel and tire. We did not use the temporary flat fix, or at least no one is fessing up to it. So either the dealership that initially prepped the car filled the tire with goo, or someone thought that emptying the quick-fix can into our tire would be a good prank. Either way, the cleanup was covered under warranty, too.

Cheap to Operate So Far

In its seven months with us, the GLI has made one scheduled maintenance stop, at 10,000 miles, which consisted of an oil change, inspection, and tire rotation. This service (as will be the forthcoming ones at 20K and 30K) was covered under the maintenance plan that comes with all new VWs, so we paid nothing out of pocket. The dealer attended to two recalls, better securing the trunk-mounted subwoofer and replacing some potentially faulty headliner clips. Christmas time brought a present in the form of an $842 bumper repair after a staffer emerged from shopping to discover he’d been the victim of a parking-lot hit-and-run. No note was left, no suspect found.

With EPA fuel-economy ratings of 22 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway, we weren’t expecting to be blown away with the car’s efficiency. But so far we’ve averaged 26 mpg, which is pretty strong, considering our driving style and that the GLI has been on only two road trips. Reliability has thus far been good, which is heartwarming news—especially considering VW’s deserved reputation for low performance in that department.

So far, so good, but has the GLI won us over? Not entirely, but give us another 20,000 or so miles, and we’ll let you know.


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED: $27,700 (base price: $24,515)

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 121 cu in, 1984 cc
Power: 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

Wheelbase: 104.4 in
Length: 182.2 in
Width: 70.0 in Height: 56.6 in
Curb weight: 3236 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 6.2 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 16.5 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 24.8 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.8 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 13.9 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 9.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.0 sec @ 96 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 127 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 179 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.86 g

Zero to 60 mph: 6.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.3 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 27.3 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.1 sec @ 94 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.88 g

EPA city/highway driving: 22/33 mpg
C/D observed: 28 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt

3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper;
5 years/60,000 miles powertrain;
12 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection;
3 years/36,000 miles roadside assistance
3 years/36,000 miles free routine maintenance


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Sours: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15113706/2012-volkswagen-jetta-gli-long-term-test-wrap-up-review/

Volkswagen jetta gli problems 2013

There is nothing worse than buying a new-to-you, pre-owned car, only to get it home and the check engine light comes on. Or maybe within your first week or two of ownership, you start hearing a strange sound or feeling a vibration at highway speeds. It’s a scenario that befalls many car-buying consumers, and even with complete vehicle history reports available, it can sometimes be unavoidable.

When it comes to the Volkswagen Jetta, most owners will tell you how proud they are of their reliable cars and brag at the high mileage they’ve racked up. But even VW has common problems across several Jetta model years. Before you buy the used Jetta you’re looking at now, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t have any of these issues.

What’s that smell?

For 185 Volkswagen Jetta owners, a musty odor began circulating in the cabin from the heating and air conditioning system. This problem caused a stink early on in ownership, on average, around 49,000 miles.

With over 15 Jetta models affected and around $100 to diagnose, it is a widespread pain in the vent. Technicians shared using a cleaner on the heater case, and cleaning debris from the drain system should clear things up.

Phantom electrical issues are common for Volkswagen Jettas

Have you ever had a problem, only to arrive at the mechanic’s shop and then suddenly, the issue is gone? For almost 200 VW Jetta owners, this frustrating visit to the dealership was common.

Tough to diagnose electrical malfunctions under the battery and at the engine, were plaguing them. Over 25 Jetta model years presented these phantom issues, and once properly identified, cost around $100 to address.

Window regulator failures

One or more power windows experienced failures, requiring complete regulator replacement for over 200 VW Jetta owners. Occasional window unit failures are bound to happen, but over 23 model years experience these issues, between 500 and 250,000 miles. They’re not cheap to replace either, between $493-$597.

Spark plug and ignition coil problems

Failures with the spark plugs or ignition coils resulted in check engine lights illuminating and misfires under the hood. Of the 240 plus consumers with these problems, the solutions varied.

Some replaced the spark plugs, others replaced the plug wires, and many replaced the ignition coils. The average cost is only around $160-$250, but still annoying and affecting model years from 1996 on up.

Automatic transmission replacement

A whopping 820 VW Jetta owners experienced the worst. Their high-mileage and often reliable cars began presenting shifting issues. After repeated trips to the shop for repair assessments, the only real resolution comes with complete automatic transmission replacement.

Over 24 models are represented in this Repairpal.com data, beginning in 1990 to present. The drivetrains affected most were 2WD automatic transmissions.

Beware of engine problems in Volkswagen Jettas

To cross-reference actual ownership data, CarComplaints.com offers insightful information about VW Jetta engine concerns. The 2002 model year is notorious for burning oil. The 2003 model experiences engine failure due to oil sludge, and costs around $3,400 to replace. The timing chain is breaking for some 2005 Jetta owners, as well.

Repairpal.com is one of the sources out there available to consumers, that helps outline real repairs and maintenance efforts of various vehicle owners. Before you buy a used Volkswagen Jetta or any car, it may be useful to know what others have reported.

Knowledge of common issues can help you ask the right questions before driving off into the sunset. Remember, you’re trying to avoid running into problems down the road. While the VW Jetta is a historically reliable car, it too can present with costly maintenance and repairs.

Sours: https://www.motorbiscuit.com
Top 5 VW Fails ~ 2.0t TSI Engine

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