2009 Volkswagen GLI Review


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Volkswagen GLI Experts

#1 Ryan Elliott
Ryan Elliott
Reputation 40
#2 Lars Cats
Lars Cats
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#2 Seth Tidrick
Seth Tidrick
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Have you driven a 2009 Volkswagen GLI?

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Average User Score

4.85 stars

Based on 5 reviews

Don't Think, Just Buy! by John
 — • Performance - out of the box, it was quick and handled well, but needed a little aftermarket TLC. After some go fast goodies, its nasty! • Build Quality - Only one rattle has popped up in the pa... Read More
2009 Black Vw Gli by Andyscarquest
 — Awesome car but you pay for it considering the base price of a regular Jetta. I love the looks, the handling, and the 18" wheels make this car pretty impressive looking. Plus it doesn't have the cro... Read More
You Will Fall In Love At The First Drive by Jenel
 — Lots of FUN...Drove 3000 miles within 3 weeks. Has the Audi feel, without the Audi price. Currently gets 31-32 mpg average in city and highway (mostly highway drive from A to B) in manual transmition.... Read More

2009 Volkswagen GLI Overview

Overall User Score

4.8 out of 5 stars4.8 out of 5 stars4.8 out of 5 stars4.8 out of 5 stars4.8 out of 5 stars4.85

Based on 5 reviews

2009 Volkswagen GLI

In its second year as a model distinct from the Jetta, the 2009 Volkswagen GLI adds heated front seats and a 6-CD changer to its standard equipment. This compact sport sedan can be seen as a counterpart to the hatchback GTI and competes with the Civic Si, the Subaru WRX, and the Acura TSX. Tight, precise handling and maneuverability with quick off-the-line power give the 2009 GLI an exciting driving dynamic, while refined European design on the inside keeps everything upscale.

Helping drivers have fun behind the wheel, the GLI's 16-valve, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four delivers 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque in a wide 1,800-5,000 RPM range. Its turbo power impresses even more with its 21/29 mpg and PZEV compatibility. Paired with a 6-speed manual, the 2009 GLI hits 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. Switch to the 6-speed DSG sequential shift automatic and that number dips to 6.9 seconds. Test drives find both transmissions quick and responsive.

The front-wheel drive 2009 GLI rides on a sport-tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels with performance tires. Bolstered front seats support passengers firmly, particularly in the GLI's tight cornering. Standard features include tilt and telescopic steering, a leather-trimmed wheel housing cruise and audio controls, full power features, heated seats and mirrors, a 10-speaker sound system, and an MP3 jack. Options increase the wheel size to 18 inches and add leather upholstery, a sunroof, and a navigation system.

The GLI seats four in two rows, with a large 16-cubic-foot trunk accessed via an armrest pass-through or by the 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Head and legroom favors front passengers, with back-seat riders probably feeling a bit hemmed in on long trips. The 2009 GLI earns four stars in front impact and five in side impact tests, offering standard traction and stability control, four-wheel ABS brakes, dual-stage front-side and side curtain airbags for both rows, mirrors with turn signals, and a tire monitor.

Reviewers give high marks to the 2009 GLI's expert handling, which exhibits very little body lean in combination with tight maneuverability and good driver feedback. It's a sedan that will appeal to those needing a commuter car during the week, but wanting to have a little fun on the weekends. Back seat space feels a bit compromised, but the large trunk and high-quality cabin materials make the GLI seem more refined than many compacts. Despite noticeable turbo lag, the four-banger engine rides quietly and provides good acceleration response. Though it requires premium gas, the 2009 GLI represents a cheaper alternative to higher-priced luxury sport sedans and offers satisfying driving dynamics.


by Ann Jackman

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Looking for a Used GLI in your area?
CarGurus has 78 nationwide GLI listings starting at $6,700.

Volkswagen GLI Questions

Robert Taub

Gli Suspension The Same/similar To Gti?

Recently switched to a GLI after several years of GTIs including a 2006 MkV. To say the least I'm very disappointed with the performance of the 2009 GLI- I though the handling would be much more simil...

1,269 views with 3 answers (last answer 3 years ago)