2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

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2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

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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 C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Jetta GLI and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 C-Class Sedan’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

The Jetta GLI’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (10 vs. 5 years).

There are over 71 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Jetta GLI’s warranty.

Reliability

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the C-Class Sedan’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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 1 place higher in reliability than Mercedes.

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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan (5 to 6). This means the Jetta GLI produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the C-Class Sedan every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Jetta GLI offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a manual 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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Jetta GLI’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the C-Class Sedan:

Jetta GLI

C-Class Sedan

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

13 inches

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 C-Class Sedan’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 C-Class Sedan.

The Jetta GLI has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the C-Class Sedan; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

The Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition handles at .95 G’s, while the AMG C 43 Sedan pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Jetta GLI’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the C-Class Sedan’s (36.4 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The Jetta GLI’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Sedan’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Passenger Space

The Jetta GLI has 4.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (94.7 vs. 90).

The Jetta GLI has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and 2.2 inches more rear legroom than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Jetta GLI has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (14.1 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

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

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