2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. 2019 Ford Fusion

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Jetta GLI has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Fusion doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Jetta GLI has a standard backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Fusion doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Jetta GLI and the Fusion have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Jetta GLI comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Fusion’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Jetta GLI’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Fusion’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Fusion’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl., 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. and 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 2 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

The Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 53 more horsepower (228 vs. 175) and 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 175) than the Fusion’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 47 more horsepower (228 vs. 181) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 185) than the Fusion SE/SEL’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volkswagen Jetta GLI higher (7 out of 10) than the Ford Fusion (5 to 7). This means the Jetta GLI produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Fusion every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Jetta GLI offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Fusion doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is optional on the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Fusion.

The Jetta GLI offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Fusion doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Jetta GLI’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Fusion:

Jetta GLI

Fusion

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11.8 inches

The Jetta GLI’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Fusion are solid, not vented.

The Jetta GLI stops much shorter than the Fusion:

Jetta GLI

Fusion

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Jetta GLI has larger tires than the Fusion (225/40R18 vs. 215/60R16).

The Jetta GLI’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fusion S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Jetta GLI has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Fusion S.

Suspension and Handling

The Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition handles at .95 G’s, while the Fusion Sport AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Jetta GLI’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Fusion’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 550 pounds less than the Ford Fusion.

The Jetta GLI is 6.6 inches shorter than the Fusion, making the Jetta GLI easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

The Jetta GLI has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Fusion.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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