The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, and the options sheet offers a seven-speed dual-clutch that adds start/stop. The ride is transmitted through exclusive 18-inch wheels and should be leagues beyond the standard Jetta, thanks to the multi-link rear suspension. Brakes with red calipers come straight from the Golf R, which means 13.4-inch vented front discs. The sporty sibling also provides the electronically controlled limited slip differential.
The body sits 0.6 inches lower than the sedate Jetta, the aggression abetted by a black honeycomb grille with red accents, a redrawn bumper, and standard LED projector headlights. LED taillights are included beneath a rear spoiler, the rear bumper’s got a slightly new line, and the finned rear diffuser houses chrome exhaust tips.
The 2019 GLI will come in two trims that we guess will be SE and Autobahn. There will also be a 35th Anniversary model with a few extra features. To the four standard drive modes — Normal, Sport, Eco, and Custom — it adds a fifth, Comfort, thanks to the DCC adaptive damping system also borrowed from the GTI. A black roof, black mirror caps, black spoiler, and unique black wheels with a red strip pair with 35th Anniversary badging inside and out.
Speaking of inside, contrasting red stitching comes with the cloth or leather comfort sport seats, as does 10-color ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, Front Assist (crash potential warning and automatic emergency braking), blind spot monitor, and rear traffic alert. The 2019 Jetta GLI should arrive at dealer this spring.