Jet Set – The 2012 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn

Volkswagen is known the world over for making all sorts of cars, but the common factors between them all are their rock-solid reliability and unmatched efficiency; and now, they have clearly begun inheriting facial features as well! With the new 2012 range employing a characteristic front end for all models, what sets them apart is the rest of the car of course!

The 2012 VW Jetta is available in a lot of trims starting from just about $16,500, but the one we’re interested in, is the new GLI Autobahn spec, which starts at $25,545.
Exterior
The 2012 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn has a smooth front with a smart headlamp cluster and typically Volkswagen smooth lines running along the side, and to the darkened tail lamp cluster. The wheel arches are filled well with 18″ alloy wheels wrapped with 225/40 R18 all-season tires.

Interior
Step inside the 2012 Jetta and the chunky doors shut with a muffled thud, making you feel like you’re in a safe, and a sporty one at that! There’s no shortage of equipment as the Highline spec multi-information display console takes center stage. There’s dual-zone climate control, a premium touch-screen sound system, Fender audio system with 6 speakers and Aux-in/iPod interface, Bluetooth connectivity apart from Cruise Control and keyless access with a Start button. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and has controls for the Bluetooth, audio and Cruise. There’s even a fresh air intake system with an activated charcoal filter to ensure a fresh cabin at all times. Leatherette 6-way power seats with contrast stitching are plush and comfortable.

Safety
The 2012 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn incorporates uncompromised safety features including 6 airbags – front and side, seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, three rear head restraints, child seat anchor points, and of course those doors which give you that built-like-a-tank feeling. All disc brakes with ABS and EBD, hydraulic brake assist and hill-hold are standard, as are the Electronic Stability Control and Anti-slip Regulation. It also comes equipped with an immobilizer and alarm system.

Performance
A 2.0L inline-4 cylinder turbocharged gasoline direct injection engine puts out 200 horsepower and 207 lb/ft of torque to the front, which is best utilized by a sporty 6-speed manual transmission. At just over 3100 lbs, it can do 0-60 in just 6.8 seconds and return an overall fuel economy of 22 mpg city / 33 mpg highway.

Warranty
VW offers a 3 year/36,000 mile Carefree Maintenance program, with 5 year/60,000 miles limited warranty for the powertrain and a 12-year/unlimited mileage limited warranty against corrosion perforation.
As an overall package, the 2012 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn is a good example of how a car can be fun, practical and safe, all at a great price.

Written by Roadfly Charlie

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.