Sometimes, a car manufacturer comes along and builds two cars that are so similar in performance, that one tends to cannibalize the sales of the other. Or, neither sell because they aren't good cars to begin with. Thankfully, that isn't the case with the cars in this video by The Fast Lane Car. Here, we have a classic case of two cars that happen to share the same performance specs on paper, but are built for completely different audiences. Or are they? Does the Volkswagen Golf GTI, backed up by decades of praise and imitation by competitors, justify a $9,000 premium over the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, a more serious, trunk-equipped choice?
Under the hood, both cars share the same 228 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG. Oh, and the Jetta GLI gets a stick to hold up the hood, and the Golf GLI gets a strut. Fancy. Seriously though, the similarities end there.
The Jetta GLI is naturally heavier, coming in at 150 pounds heavier than the Golf GTI. The Jetta also feels more stable and planted than the GTI, especially at higher speeds. Thanks to the longer wheelbase and length, it also means that it gets extra legroom to actually carry passengers in the rear. Also, while the trunk isn't as big as the Golf GTI, the usable space is actually more thanks to a deeper cargo area.
The Golf GTI does have a few advantages too, and they come in the form of more performance oriented tires, and they're lower profile too. The GTI also feels more premium on the inside, getting electronically adjustable leather seats, a bigger touchscreen, and better quality materials overall. It also feels quicker on its feet and gets a slightly more aggressive exhaust note.
So does this mean the Golf GTI is overpriced when compared to its longer and more practical sibling? Or does this mean that the Jetta GLI is the closest thing to a GTI without being too compromised? Watch the video and find out.