When comparing the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI to other sedans participating in Run to the Run it’s hard not to see the differences. Others offer higher-hp or performance-oriented tuning, neither of which the Volkswagen Jetta boasts.

No, it won’t accelerate like a McLaren nor corner like an NSX… But those aren’t the only benchmarks of Run to the Sun. ‘Fun’ doesn’t just include driving fast or cornering sharply.

For many Americans (myself included), a fun drive can be as straight forward as a cruise in a daily drive-able vehicle whilst singing into windows-opened breeze or the cold provided by an A/C. The kind of bad singing that brings back memories of childhood jam sessions with sisters and cousins to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” (nanananananana) in the back seat of an uncle’s Jetta on a sunny summer vacation day. (This embarrassing true story courtesy of Deanna’s Childhood.)

Bad singing sources were obtained through quickly streaming my phone’s apps via VW’s Car-Net connectivity equipment. The infotainment system also has navigation and emergency assistance – though, unlike getting lost during the Volvo leg, we didn’t utilize either of these functions during our brief time with the Jetta 2.0T GLI.

The 6-speed manual is light and snappy, making shifting through traffic fun and effortless. The 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is peppy, though not ‘sports oriented’. To say that it’s not as sports enthusiast-centric isn’t saying that its incompetent. While the VW Jetta 2.0T GLI wasn’t designed for sportiness the way other vehicles were in the group were, it was fun to push nonetheless.

Corner runs down ravines with high RPMs echoing off canyon walls is not where the Jetta shines the brightest, we don’t hold that against VW or the Jetta. This plucky sedan was the only vehicle at Run to the Sun price below $30,000.

For that and the fun trip down memory lane, w e appreciate the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T GLI for the enjoyable time we had in it (And, yes, I totally put on “Ice Ice Baby”… It was perfect).

Photos courtesy of Doug Berger.