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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I just traded in my 2012 GLI for a 2012 GTI after 45 days of ownership. Now I bought the GLI sight unseen so some of this is my fault,

Why:

Quality of interior:
Door cards: GLI has leatherette straight over cardboard, feels and looks cheap
GTI has real leather over padded cardboard? Could be leatherette?

Rear deck: GLI has a plastic rear deck, really!!
GTI no rear deck but hatch cover is of good quality.

Seats and Seating Surface: GLI, leatherette is vinyl, VWs poorest attempt of imitation compared to other models.
GTI, leather is leather.
GLI has fair adjustments.
GTI has the back of the seat adjusted with a power lever.
GLI Bolsters are fair.
GTI Bolsters seem bigger?

Tray in front of shifter: GLI has no cover but looks like it should
GTI has cover

Soft touch materials: GLI just the dash (and the hard touch is out of a 90s GM)
GTI everything is soft touch

Stereo: GLI Fender (rattles like crazy and I am not putting tennis balls in my car to fix it)
GTI Dynaudio is 100xs better then Fender in all categories

Drivetrain:

GLI is quick but 5th and 6th gear are crazy tall, passing meant 4th gear (manual)
GTI is geared to optimize power DSG

Armrest: GLI does not extend and just feels cheap.
GTI does extend and is leather.

Hood prop: GLI prop rod.
GTI gas charged prop.

Assembly:

This is a sore spot for some but every VW I have owned that was assembled in Germany/Europe has been light years ahead of its Mexican counter part. Regardless of of VWs error reports my German cars have been rock solid. (I have owned 14 VWs).

Lighting:
GLI had halogen
GTI has HIDs some LEDs and interior lighting on gauges and footwells is nice.

Needless to say I am giddy with my GTI and was utterly disappointed with my GLI.

Benefits of GLI

Gas mileage was 33.8 over 4300 highway miles. GTI is 28 over 540 miles.
Overall size of GLI is enormous in the back compared to the GTI.



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:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 

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my fiance is considering a GLI as her next car so its nice to see a direct comparison. That large backseat and trunk would certainly be nice with a growing family but its a shame the quality doesn't quite measure up. Guess we'll test drive one next spring and see if we can live with the trade-off.

Congrats on the GTI :thumbup:
 

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I own both of these cars and I would have to say I like my GTI more. We were looking at the GLI's for a while before we decided to buy one and we honestly bought the base model because of the leather. We did not them at all, but the cloth base seats are great. We have taken a few trips with some friends in the car and recived good remarks. I agree with all of your statments above. If anyone is going buy a GLI do your self a favor and buy the base model, sure you don't get cool wheels and a sunroof but your going to dump it and put bbs's on it anyway so buy the base.
 

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You made the right move.

I test drove a GLI and was sorely disappointed. I had a 2006 loaded Jetta 2.0T that I drove to the dealer, and it was way nicer than the new GLI. A 6 year older car of the same model should not be the nicer car. I opted for the GTI Autobahn, which is such a better car it's not even funny. I love this thing!

Lots of other stuff the GLI is missing... even the shock on the hood (you use an old school prop up pole). You can't turn off traction control. Arm rest is not adjustable. No cooler in the glove box. And on and on and on... I really think VW seriously f*d up the Jetta, and it disappoints me. I've always loved Jettas — I've owned 4 of them. :(
 

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You are right, the quality is very different. The Golf/GTI is VW's best selling car worldwide yet it is a niche car in the U.S. :screwy:. The Jetta is built on a different chassis, does not have XDS along with all of the other differences in quality that I am sorry you were not aware of :(. The car is built in Puebla, Mexico (every Golf/GTI is built and always will be built in Germany) and is the first car that VW has allowed VWofN.America was allowed to have a hand in. It is selling super well compared to the last Jetta because it is designed for Americans and to be more competitive with the likes of the Civic. It is noticeably larger and when you begin to look at it closely, it is stripped down and hollowed to be as cheap as possible (America is dumb!!!). You can knock on the door cards and open and close the door and just feel it's lack of solidity. It just doesn't feel like a VW anymore. That being said, it is still at least as nice, really nicer in most cases as say a Civic with more standard gizmos, is packaged better for the masses and is bigger and safer--all while being about the same price now. As far as business goes and growing in the U.S., VW has hit the nail on the head. As far as appealing to VW lovers it is way off. You want a cheap VW, buy a base Golf. The Golf/GTI is hands down a better car in almost every single way. :thumbup:
 

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PS - This is not just stuff I read on the internet from what someone heard from someone else that thought they read this in the internet. I have been super enthusiastic about the brand for some time and have been selling the new Jetta for almost 2 years now (salesperson) and now just about all there is to know about it. I have spent countless hours eyeing the car up and down, learning directly from VW training (VWofA is roughly 20 miles from me), and doing the same with the Golf/GTI all while watching the transition from MK5-MK6.
 

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Oh and you're right about the seat quality. Cloth or leather/leatherette, the overall bolstering and quality of it is lost in the eyes/mind of an enthusiast. The door cards, the dash (it's just a bit of soft-touch laid over the rest of the crappy dash), the trimmings around the door in terms of road noise and overall quality, back seats are thinner/crappier w/ a money saving passthrough (there are release tabs in the trunk to get the rear seats to fold, etc... You can go on and on.

One important point with the new Passat is that the quality taken far less steps back and is in most ways about even to better than the previous generation. The only thing is that it is a larger more cushy handling vehicle and not as sporty. The Passat is much less of a downgrade IMO (just don't get the 2.5l get the TDI!--it's awesome!)
 

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(every Golf/GTI is built and always will be built in Germany)
Not entirely true. My 2004 GTI was built in Brazil and was still a fantastic, trouble free car. Also the Westmoreland plant in PA built the Mk1 and Mk2 GTIs for North America until they shut down. When they did the Puebla, Mexico plant picked up production of the Golf/GTI. Also VW will be producing the Mk6 GTI in China as well...

http://www.oneighturbo.com/volkswagen-gti/vws-golf-gti-to-be-china-made-by-march-2010/

/threadjack :beer:
 

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@wolfsburgfanatic

I'll have to certainly check my facts. I think one point that must be made, is that this new Jetta is offered in the U.S. only. I am wrong that every Golf was built in Germany and was speaking in generalities. The majority of the Golfs/Rabbits have been and remain to be produced in Germany though the Chinese may just change that. China is a massive market for VW. South America is as well and has been for sometime as well as India...and Africa. Basically everywhere but the U.S. (still at only about 2%-3% market share the last time I checked) is a very strong market for the brand.
 

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@wolfsburgfanatic

I'll have to certainly check my facts. I think one point that must be made, is that this new Jetta is offered in the U.S. only.
Not trying to give you a hard time, but this is also untrue. Yes VWoA was given the lead on development and yes it was designed with the average american in mind, but it is offered worlwide, including the fatherland.

http://www.volkswagen.de/de/models/...ts_medialist_mediaItems_medialist_mediaitem_8

The Euro version does get some nicer features though :beer:
 
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