2020 Ford Fusion vs. 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Fusion have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Fusion Titanium offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Fusion’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 Fusion’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 Fusion and the Jetta GLI have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Fusion the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Jetta GLI has not been tested, yet.


There are almost 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.


J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fusion first among midsize cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Jetta GLI isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.


The Fusion Titanium’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 17 more horsepower (245 vs. 228) and 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 258) than the Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Fusion uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Fusion Titanium for maximum performance). The Jetta GLI requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Fusion FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Jetta GLI (16.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Fusion AWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Jetta GLI (18 vs. 13.2 gallons).

The Fusion has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.


The Ford Fusion comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Jetta GLI.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Fusion SE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta GLI (235/50R17 vs. 225/40R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Fusion Titanium has standard 19-inch wheels. The Jetta GLI’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Fusion 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.

The Fusion’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion’s wheelbase is 6.6 inches longer than on the Jetta GLI (112.2 inches vs. 105.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Fusion is 2 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the Jetta GLI.


The front grille of the Fusion uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Fusion a Mid-size car, while the Jetta GLI is rated a Compact.

The Fusion has 8.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Jetta GLI (102.8 vs. 94.7).

The Fusion has .7 inches more front headroom, 3.2 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta GLI.

Cargo Capacity

The Fusion has a much larger trunk than the Jetta GLI (16 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Fusion easier. The Fusion’s trunk lift-over height is 24.4 inches, while the Jetta GLI’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Fusion’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Jetta GLI’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Fusion. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.


If the windows are left open on the Fusion the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Jetta GLI can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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

The Fusion SEL/Titanium has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which 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 Fusion Titanium’s standard 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 Fusion and the Jetta GLI offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Fusion offers optional 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 Fusion offers an optional Adaptive 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 Fusion’s available 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 Fusion (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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

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