2022 Volkswagen Jetta, Jetta GLI Get Freshened Engine Performance, Styling

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is among the car's sportiest variants. Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI have received a refresh for the 2022 model year that updates the engine, adds new technology and features fresh exterior styling. A new Sport trim level has been added to the lineup as well.

"As the best-selling VW for more than 30 years, Jetta has proven to be a compelling value," said Hein Schafer, Volkswgen's senior vice president for product marketing and strategy.

"This refresh takes the strengths of the current generation—a spacious interior, excellent fuel economy, and low maintenance costs—and builds on them with a fresh design, better technology, and more access to the driver assistance features buyers are looking for. With the introduction of a new Sport trim, it is easier than ever for customers to get their hands on a vehicle with a sporty appearance at a value oriented price point."

The 2022 Jetta is offered in four trim levels, including the new Jetta Sport, while the GLI will be offered in one fully-loaded grade. The 2022 Jetta Sport trim comes standard with an electronic locking differential and dark graphite 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, along with a blacked-out grille, mirror caps and window trim, a black headliner, and unique cloth sport seats, at a value-oriented price point.

The Sport trim replaces the previous model year's R-Line trim and is positioned just above the base S trim for maximum accessibility.

The exterior of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI have received style updates with new front and rear bumpers, new colors and new wheels.

The modified fascia houses a new grille with two distinctive chrome bars flanking the VW logo. On the GLI, its quintessential red accent strip sits between the bars and the lower front fascia features the legacy honeycomb detail.

LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard while the top trim Jetta models and GLI host projector LEDs.

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Sport trim 2022 Jettas and Jetta GLIs feature black windows surround. All other grades get traditional chrome window surrounds.

The Jetta GLI adds a black honeycomb diffuser and a wider dual exhaust for improved tailpipe acoustics.

The Jetta is available in seven exterior colors, among them Kings Red Metallic, Oryx White Metallic and Rising Blue Metallic, while the Jetta GLI will be offered five.

Each trim features unique wheels ranging from 16-inch aluminum-alloys as standard on Jetta to 18-inch alloys as standard on Jetta GLI. There are two available black wheel packages.

The refreshed Jetta adopts a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that delivers 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It's the same engine that is in the Volkswagen Taos compact SUV. Volkswagen engineers have improved the engine's efficiency for the new model year. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Jetta GLI is powered by the 2.0-liter engine that produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional.

Jetta and Jetta GLI models retain their strut-type front suspension. The Jetta continues to have a torsion mean rear setup while the Jetta GLI keeps its multi-link rear suspension.

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Fresh appointments and upholstery can be found throughout the cabin. Inside the Jetta are new rhombus cloth seats that come standard along with contrast stitching throughout the cockpit. Leatherette and leather seating surfaces are available on Jetta models, with the latter available in a new Volcano Brown and a black two-tone palette. The Jetta GLI features red contrast stitching throughout the interior and perforated leather seats with red underlay.

Buyers can upgrade the standard Jetta steering wheel to a leatherette-wrapped version. The Jetta GI gets a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel that touch functionality and a red "GLI" clip.

Both models feature standard heated front seats with ventilation available on the Jetta and standard on the Jetta GLI. The Jetta also has heated rear seats.

The models come loaded with a number of desirable features. A power-adjustable driver's seat, automatic climate control, keyless access and push-button start are available from mid-trim models on Jetta and are standard on Jetta GLI. A sunroof, premium sound system and 10-color ambient lighting can also be added.

The Jetta and GLI boast upgraded technology and design throughout their cabins. The fully-digital instrument cluster measures eight inches in the Jetta and 10 inches in the Jetta GLI. Both cars get CarNet and in-car Wi-Fi capability. Volkswagen has given the Jetta and Jetta GLI matching 8.0-inch infotainment touch screens, wireless App-Connect with multiple phone pairing capability, enhanced voice recognition technology, and two illuminated USB-C ports in the center stack.

Every new Jetta and Jetta GLI is equipped with the IQ.Drive suite of driver assistance technology, which includes forward collision warning and emergency rear braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, and rear traffic alert.

The models can be optioned with the IQ.Drive package to round out their feature set. It includes the basic IQ.Drive functions and adds forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Travel Assist (a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist), and Emergency Assist (emergency automatic braking technology based on adaptive cruise control's need to slow rapidly). Emergency Assist is only available in the models with an automatic transmission.

Pricing for the Jetta and Jetta GLI has not yet been released. The updated Jetta family is expected to reach the U.S. in October of 2021.