2021 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn Review by Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel
It had been quite a while since I reviewed a manual transmission vehicle, but I looked forward to the Jetta because my left foot and the hydraulic clutch enjoy dancing together. If you are a person who enjoys driving and doesn't want anything to get between your driving skills and the road, then you are going to enjoy the '21 Jetta experience.
First of all, there is a premier turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder puts out 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and delivers it to the front wheels via a limited-slip differential. But then the fun starts because the Autobahn trim comes complete with the DCC adaptive damping system, with Normal, Sport and Eco modes, plus a custom setting. DCC lets you dial that custom setup, with individual options for damping, steering, transmission, engine sound, front differential, and even climate controls. You will enjoy the low end torque, the delicious handling on winding roads. They even found a way to add Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control which is unusual for a manual transmission.
The Autobahn has Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit, a customizable 10-inch instrument cluster with all kinds of information such as vehicle data, control of the driver assistance functions, audio, and telephone. The infotainment system is logical, and the sports bucket seats keep you in place in the twisties. The 8.0-inch screen comes with VW’s latest MIB3 technology. You can pair multiple Bluetooth phones simultaneously,and there is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,along with a wireless charging pad, three USB-C ports and a 12-volt outlet.
The second row benefits from the Jetta's longer dimensions yielding very welcome rear head and leg room. The interior design stays clean and useful and the materials used, while not being fancy-dancy do the job well and are enhanced by a thick flat-bottom steering wheel, and red ambient lighting at night.
The hatchback trunk gives you 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space. EPA rating is 24 miles per gallon in the city, 33mpg on the highway and 28mpg combined. Safety systems include a rear view camera system, an Inteeligent Crash Response System, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, and six stability-enhancing systems.
If you are the kind of person with a limited budget and who derives great pleasure from driving, it is absolutely mandatory that you include the peppy and greatly customizable 2021 Jetta GLI.