For many years, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI represented the four-door sedan version of the popular Volkswagen GTI, a compact car that was aimed at buyers looking for an involved driving experience but not the 'boy racer' look that came with the hot hatch. The decision to take the Volkswagen Jetta in a new direction for the 2011 model year - one that saw the formerly small car bulk up in order to satisfy the cravings for interior space and comfort on the part of American buyers - meant an end to the platform sharing that had linked the GTI and the GLI models.
What does this mean for the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI? While the GTI and the GLI might still share the same beating heart (in the form of their drivetrain), they now offer two distinctly different experiences from behind the wheel. More importantly, the GLI trim level has become perhaps the most appealing version of the Jetta currently available, aside from the fuel-miser TDI edition.