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The 2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Keeps the Stick

2025 volkswagen jetta gli
The 2025 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Keeps the StickVolkswagen

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI has always been that awkward kid in the corner, standing in the shadow of its more popular hot hatch sibling, the GTI. While the pair have always shared powerplants, interior designs, and generally suspension setups, the legacy of the hatchback GTI has largely overshadowed the sedan-bodied performance.

This time, it's different. The GLI could have the upper hand for once in 2025. Volkswagen announced on Tuesday that it will keep the six-speed manual transmission for another year in GLI form. This reveal comes after the automaker said it won't produce a stick shift version of its quintessential hot hatch for 2025, a change it prepared enthusiasts for back in 2023.

2025 volkswagen jetta gli
Volkswagen

The Jetta GLI will remain powered by the 2.0-liter EA888 engine, making 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, only down 13 hp and 15 lb-ft of torque from the 2024 Volkswagen GTI. Power figures for the 2025 Volkswagen GTI have yet to be revealed, but we suspect they will be slightly higher. Notably, Volkswagen will continue to offer the GLI with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, too.

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Other performance upgrades from the base Jetta include larger brakes, VAQ electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip differential, and a set of mode-adjustable adaptive dampers. A sport exhaust system with a dual-tip design is standard as well. An optional 18-inch, black-wheel package is also new for 2025. The GLI will be offered in one trim level for 2025, known as the GLI Autobahn.

2025 volkswagen jetta gli
Volkswagen

Inside the new GLI, you'll find a new dash design with a floating, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and standard Climatronic Touch automatic climate controls. Perforated, Vienna leather seats are exclusive to the GLI trim for 2025, offered in grey, red Crust, or Titan black with red contrast stitching.

Reporting from Car and Driver suggests that Volkswagen decided to do away with the manual transmission GTI for various reasons, including the potential for greater fleet emissions from manual transmission versions and an overall lack of sales. Volkswagen has yet to reveal the price point for the Jetta GLI Autobahn, though we suspect it will start closer to $34,000 based on the outgoing model year's $33,010 price tag. Prospective buyers can expect to get their 2025 Jetta GLI by fall 2024.

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