When it comes to high-performing compact sedans, the Honda Civic Si is easily at the top of the contender list. Its high-revving turbocharged engine, slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, and agile handling characteristics are all backed by Honda’s renowned reputation for reliability.
However, another contender in the segment, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, brings all of those aforementioned characteristics to the table, plus a little more. While the Civic Si leads the pack in many ways, the Jetta GLI offers some stiff competition. Here are five ways in which the Jetta GLI.
We know, you’ll probably hate us for this one, but in our defense, we’re looking out for the everyday drivers that sit in traffic a lot. As such, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is available with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that clicks off shifts quickly and easily with a tap of the paddle.
The Honda Civic Si, on the other hand, is only available with a six-speed manual transmission. Of course, that’s not a bad thing, but it can be if you sit in stop-and-go traffic every day.
A better warranty
In addition to the 4-year/50,000-mile warranty on the Jetta GLI, Volkswagen is also throwing in two years of complimentary maintenance. The warranty Honda Civic Si includes a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
That’s a good warranty, too, but the one on the Jetta is far better.
The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is powered by a sole engine choice: a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. This stout engine produces 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and the power is routed through either an automatic or manual transmission that each evenly disperses power through a limited-slip differential.
The Honda Civic Si has a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine the puts out 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Now, we’re not mathematicians, but it seems that the Jetta GLI has the advantage here.
A more stylish interior
We know that looks are subjective and, to be honest, the updated Civic Si interior looks very sporty and gives the driver a cockpit-like feel. The Jetta GLI’s interior is somewhat sporty, although it’s very well-appointed and we think it looks a more buttoned-down and stylish in comparison.
More mature exterior styling
Let’s face it, while the Honda Civic Si does look more mature than its Type R stablemate, it still looks like it could belong to someone in high school, much less an office worker in their late 30s.
No offense to anyone in their late 30s driving a Civic Si, however, if you want to be looped in with the “ricer” stigma that seems to follow all Honda car with a spoiler, we suggest going with a Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
Certain onlookers might take you more seriously as the Jetta’s styling is much more mature.
Choose European sophistication
While it can be a tough choice if you’re shopping between these two compact performers, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is the obvious choice if you want an added dose of sophistication. While the aforementioned five reasons might not enough to completely sway you, just know that if you go with the Jetta GLI, you won’t be disappointed, despite the slightly higher price tag.