2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. 2019 Volvo S60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Jetta GLI and the S60 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, 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 S60’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Volvo 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 S60’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’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 24th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 73 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 13 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

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 Volvo S60 (5 to 7). This means the Jetta GLI produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the S60 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Jetta GLI offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The S60 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 S60 doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Jetta GLI’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the S60:

Jetta GLI

S60

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.7 inches

The Jetta GLI stops shorter than the S60:

Jetta GLI

S60

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

166 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 S60’s standard 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the Jetta GLI uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the S60, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition handles at .95 G’s, while the S60 R-Design AWD pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Jetta GLI’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the S60’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 1150 pounds less than the Volvo S60.

Passenger Space

The Jetta GLI has 1.1 inches more front headroom and 2.2 inches more rear legroom than the S60.

Cargo Capacity

The Jetta GLI has a much larger trunk than the S60 (14.1 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

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

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