2006 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

By Gaywheels.com Staff

The Gaywheels.com team drove the 2006 VW Jetta GLI and came away very impressed. This is not easy to do as we are car snobs and can usually find SOMETHING not to like about any vehicle. Put it this way, our own CarDiva was trying to figure out how to buy one at the end of our time with our test car. She doesn’t open her purse very often and when she does, it usually says SALE written all over it. For her to get excited enough to think about paying full retail for a car says a LOT!

Our test vehicle was very well equipped with option package #2 – power sunroof, satellite radio, dual zone electronic climate control, leather sports seats and cold weather package. Add to that the XM Satellite radio option and the total came to $27,605. That is getting pretty close to some luxury brands and is quite a bit more than a base Jetta but again, there is a lot to love, even at this price.

The 2.0-liter turbo is a beautiful engine and in this application really shines. Matched with a fantastic 6-speed manual and sport suspension, the Jetta GLI is a true alternative to a more pricey luxury sport sedan. For label watchers, the only thing missing is a spinning propeller or three-pointed star. For those of us more interested in “bang for the buck” than impressing others, the Jetta GLI is a “must add” to the shopping list.

Many times, when buying a sport sedan, one must compromise. Whether it is passenger room or cargo capacity, there is often a trade off. The Jetta GLI doesn’t play by those rules. Our hard-to-please CarDiva discovered this during a weekend jaunt to test the car’s driving dynamics that just HAPPENED to drive by the outlets. She was amazed at how much shopping the enormous trunk swallowed. Put it this way, if your buying ain’t done until the trunks full, this car would be detrimental to your wallet!

Bottom line, this is a fun car that you can live with. It is a blast to drive, fits 4 comfortably and is easy on the eyes. It differentiates itself from the mundane Jetta with subtle splashes of red on the front grill, a signature GLI trait, along with the red brake calipers. The upgraded 17-inch alloy wheels, the extremely comfortable leather wrapped Recaro ® leather seats and thick leather wrapped steering wheel all add to the appeal. It was also recently named one of the “Top Safety Picks” for 2006 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which should help with those insurance premiums.


  • The 2.0T engine – very fast and smooth, no noticeable turbo lag
  • Handling – felt very solid and planted on the on/off ramps to the highway
  • Leather steering wheel – perfect size for spirited driving
  • Enormous trunk
  • Styling – classy – subtle upgrades for the GLI, GLI red stripe on the front grille, red brake calipers
  • 6-speed manual transmission – smooth and precise
  • Stereo system – excellent sound quality and a XM OR Sirius as an option
  • Overall fit and finish – a very solid car


  • Interior Trim – some felt sub par – ie climate control knobs, sunglass holder
  • Wind buffeting – noise with only the sunroof open
  • Sticker price – a little high for a Jetta – but seems worth it


  • 2.0 liter turbo 4-cylinder engine making 200 hp @ 5,500 RPM and 207 lb. feet of torque @ 1,800 – 4,700 RPM
  • EPA rated 24 city/32 highway
  • 6-speed Manual standard, optional 6-speed DSG automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for an additional $1075


  • Base MSRP $23,790
  • As tested $27,605

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