2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. 2019 Toyota Camry

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Jetta GLI and the Camry 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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 Camry’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 Camry’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Camry’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

The Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 25 more horsepower (228 vs. 203) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 184) than the Camry’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (228 vs. 206) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 186) than the Camry XSE’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is faster than the Toyota Camry 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Jetta GLI

Camry

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

7.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

20.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

90 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Jetta GLI

Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

Camry

Auto

XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/33 hwy

XSE 3.5 DOHC V6

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 Camry doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Jetta GLI

Camry

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.06 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 Camry are solid, not vented.

The Jetta GLI stops much shorter than the Camry:

Jetta GLI

Camry

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Jetta GLI has larger tires than the Camry (225/40R18 vs. 205/65R16).

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 Camry L’s standard 65 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 Camry L.

Suspension and Handling

The Jetta GLI offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Camry’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Jetta GLI has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Camry doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition handles at .95 G’s, while the Camry SE pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Jetta GLI’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Camry L/LE’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The Jetta GLI’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Camry SE/XLE/XSE’s (36.4 feet vs. 38 feet).

Chassis

The Jetta GLI is 6.9 inches shorter than the Camry L/LE/XLE, making the Jetta GLI easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The Jetta GLI’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Camry L doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics

When different drivers share the Jetta GLI Autobahn, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Camry doesn’t offer a memory system.

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 Camry’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Jetta GLI Autobahn keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Camry doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Camry and isn’t available on the Camry L.

The Jetta GLI’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Camry L doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

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

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