2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. 2019 Honda Accord

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 Accord 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 Accord doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Jetta GLI and the Accord 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Jetta GLI comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Accord’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 Accord’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Accord’s engines use 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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 36 more horsepower (228 vs. 192) and 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 192) than the Accord’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is faster than the Honda Accord 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Jetta GLI

Accord

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

19.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

91 MPH

Top Speed

126 MPH

121 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Jetta GLI gets better fuel mileage than the Accord:

MPG

Jetta GLI

Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

Accord

Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

Sport/Touring 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Jetta GLI Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Accord doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Honda Accord (6 to 7). This means the Jetta GLI produces up to 1.1 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Accord every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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 Accord doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Jetta GLI

Accord

Accord 2.0T/Sport/Touring

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11.5 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 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 Accord are solid, not vented.

The Jetta GLI stops much shorter than the Accord:

Jetta GLI

Accord

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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 Accord’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Jetta GLI has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Accord.

Suspension and Handling

The Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition handles at .95 G’s, while the Accord Sport pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Jetta GLI’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Accord’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The Jetta GLI’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Accord Sport Manual/2.0T’s (36.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

The Jetta GLI is 7 inches shorter than the Accord, making the Jetta GLI easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The Jetta GLI’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Accord LX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Jetta GLI and the Accord have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Jetta GLI is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Accord prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Jetta GLI’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Accord’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Jetta GLI’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Accord’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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

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