2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Jetta GLI have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Jetta GLI’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series Gran Coupe for 1 year and 16000 miles longer than Volkswagen pays for maintenance for the Jetta GLI (3/36,000 vs. 2/20,000).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 20th in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 10 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The M235i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 73 more horsepower (301 vs. 228) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 258) than the Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Volkswagen only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Jetta GLI Auto.

Transmission

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The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Jetta GLI.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Jetta GLI.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta GLI (235/35R19 vs. 225/45R18).

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Jetta GLI’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 2 Series Gran Coupe offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Jetta GLI’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 2 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Jetta GLI’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 2 Series Gran Coupe is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Jetta GLI.

Chassis

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe is 6.7 inches shorter than the Jetta GLI, making the 2 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has 1.3 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front legroom than the Jetta GLI.

Cargo Capacity

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk than the Jetta GLI (15.1 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 2 Series Gran Coupe. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Jetta GLI uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the 2 Series Gran Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Jetta GLI can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the 2 Series Gran Coupe detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 2 Series Gran Coupe offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the 2 Series Gran Coupe is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Jetta GLI’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Jetta GLI has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Jetta GLI offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Jetta GLI’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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