This is the match up we've been waiting for since the Jetta was introduced. VW's pricing structure made the new VW Jetta seem rather expensive especially compared to products from Japanese and American manufacturers. The Jetta's price tag meant that it didn't fair well in the numbers game against similarly sized competition, despite its European character and relatively high level of luxury. Well, we've always thought that the Acura TSX made an excellent competitor to VW's new 'grown up' Jetta. In Europe, where the Acura is badged as a Honda Accord, the VW and the TSX would be competitors. Now that the GLI is available, Edmunds put these two sport sedans head to head. The end result is not all that surprising to us, with the VW beating the TSX by a slim margin. These two vehicles are remarkably similar on paper, but they have totally different approaches. The VW GLI is involving and powerful, while requiring more skill to push to the limit. The TSX on the other hand may feel down on power, but it's a touch more confidence inspiring. That's not to say the GLI is inferior, but based on our experience with the new Jetta, it does take longer to figure out. Actually, you can feel that the classic German and Japanese automotive philosophies coming into play. When it all comes together, however the VW is more enjoyable to drive. We suspect the VW's turbo four has a lot to do with the win over the Acura, it offers V6-like power compared to the Acura's high strung 4-cylinder. Even in the 2.0T version of the VW Jetta would have faired well in the competition, although it is decidedly less 'sport' oriented. To us, the greatest injustice in all of this is VW's humble beginnings and how many consumers may fail to see the value-luxury equation that this new VW GLI offers. Many may be more likely to drop close to $30K on an Acura versus the same amount on a VW, which is a shame.
Posted Nov 1st 2005 5:00PM