2012 Vw Jetta GLI outscores Honda Civic Si in Consumer Reports’ tests

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 21, 2011

As you may know already, earlier this year the Honda Civic already scored too low to be Recomended by Consumer Reports. As a result, Honda announced that the Civic will receive an update next year and hopes to boost its sales in the United States by 24 percent. Now there are some good news regarding the Civic: its sportier SI version earned a notably higher rating from Consumer Reports.

Still, the car suffers from many of the same drawbacks as other Civics: vague steering, cheap plastics, a jittery ride, and lots of noise. According to Consumer Reports, the Civic Si ranks 9 out of 11 of tested cars in Consumer Reports' sporty car category, and powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine pumping 201 hp, the vehicle delivers terrific acceleration at high revs.

In terms of fuel-efficiency, the Civic Si returns a very good 29 mpg overall. "The Civic Si has a great powertrain, but it needs a better car wrapped around it," said David Champion, sr. director of Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center.

The bad news is that Consumer Reports’ also tested the Volkswagen Jetta GLI and found that it contains several important upgrades over the basic Jetta SE- which like more basic versions of the Civic scored too low to be Recommended.

Jetta GLI is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-charged four-cylinder engine, which delivers 200 hp and pulls willingly in any gear, even at low engine speeds. It delivers 27 mpg overall, 2 mpg shy of the Si. Comparing it with the Honda Civic Si, the Jetta GLI has a steering that is quick and more communicative. The result: the Jetta GLI ranks 6 out of 11 sporty cars in Consumer Reports' comprehensive Ratings.

Volkswagen’s Jetta GLI is specially designed with German engineered sophistication to maximise driving convenience. Standard features include a 6.5” touch screen, premium VII radio with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, one-touch power controls for the four door windows and a multifunction display for vehicle status, trip, radio and navigation information (when equipped). Also available are a dual zone climate control, RNS-315 navigation system, keyless entry and pushbutton start.

The 2012 Jetta GLI comes in Autobahn and Autobahn with navigation models. Offered as standard is Volkswagen’s exclusive Fender Premium Audio System which provides a supreme concert-worthy music and audio experience right inside the car. This system features patented cutting-edge Panasonic speakers and is integrated with the vehicle’s design. It is a directional sound system where audio emanates from the front door speakers and encompasses the whole cabin beyond what conventional speakers are capable of. Noise and distractions seem bypassed cleanly thanks to the front dual voice coil speakers and the extended range appropriate for any kind of music.

The sound system features lower inter-modulation distortion and smooth mid-range response for minimising harshness. It is harmonically complex and lets listeners experience the emotional authenticity of live music, thanks to its extended range tweeters and properly voiced 16cm speakers which enables aural identification of original instrumentation timbre and harmonic richness.

Exterior Design

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a sleek combination of excellent performance, spaciousness and convenience. With a length, height and width of 182.2, 57.2 and 70 inches, respectively, it exceeds its predecessor’s length by more than 2.9 inches.

When viewed face-on, clear horizontal lines define the car’s front end. A unique look is formed by the Jetta GLI’s grille and trapezoidal headlamps. A front spoiler shaped like a tray and a cooling air intake are set below the bumper and help masculinise the car’s look. At the upper part, the v-shaped hood shows a strong transition laterally to the fenders. The shoulder part is also designed to be robust and athletic.

Jetta GLI is styled to make its presence felt. Its wheel well arches can house 17" or 18" alloys. The rear part is defined by sleek lines and dynamic shoulders. The smoked tail lamps are greatly noticeable because of two unique extensions from either side oriented from fender to tailgate, which is above the dual exhaust outlets.

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