• Jetta GLI Edition 30 marks 30 years of the GLI
  • Edition 30 offers red accents inside and out
  • Special edition goes on sale early next year

The sporty Volkswagen Jetta GLI is approaching its 30th anniversary, and Volkswagen is marking the occasion with a new special edition. The automaker recently announced it will soon debut the Jetta GLI Edition 30, which boasts several upgrades over a standard Jetta GLI.

The most obvious changes to the GLI Edition 30 come to its exterior. The biggest revision is the Edition 30's wheels, which are 18-inch alloys that feature a distinctive "Laguna" design. Other upgrades include a subtle trunk spoiler, red grille trim and several Edition 30 badges placed around the car. Four colors are offered: Deep Black Metallic, Pure White, Tornado Red and Reflex Silver Metallic.

Inside, the GLI Edition 30 also offers a few new features. They mostly come in the form of red accents, which are included on the car's leatherette seats, a sport steering wheel, floormats and a shifter. Most Edition 30 models will offer the same equipment, though drivers can opt for a navigation system and bi-xenon headlights.

Under the hood, the Jetta GLI Edition 30 offers the same powerplant as the standard GLI. That's a 201-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which can be mated to one of two transmissions: a 6-speed manual or a dual-clutch automatic.

The GLI Edition 30 marks 30 years since the debut of the original Jetta GLI, which came out for the 1984 model year. Like today, the initial Jetta GLI was essentially a Volkswagen GTI with a trunk -- a move Volkswagen thought would make the GLI more appealing to American shoppers, who prefer sedans to hatchbacks. The same decision created the original Jetta just a few years earlier, when Volkswagen added a trunk to its popular Golf hatchback.

While Volkswagen has not yet announced pricing for the GLI Edition 30, the automaker says the car will go on sale early next year.

What it means to you: The Volkswagen Jetta GLI Edition 30 adds a sportier flair to Volkswagen's sporty Jetta GLI sedan.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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