By on August 23, 2021

There’s new hotness in the compact-car segment, especially among the sportier models.

Since Volkswagen has two compact models — the mainstream Jetta and the spiced-up Jetta GLI — it probably can’t sit idly by in a year in which Subaru drops a new WRX, the Honda Civic is all-new (with sporty versions coming soon), and Hyundai has taken the wraps off the Elantra N sport sedan. An Acura Integra is also on the way, and it might be priced in the same range.

That makes it time for a refresh.

This isn’t to say VW scrambled to reach market — this refresh was likely in the making for quite some time, given how long product lead times are — but rather, that the brand has timed this well.

The biggest change is that the non-GLI Jetta gets the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the Taos compact crossover. It makes 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque and has an 11.5:1 compression ratio. It will pair with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

Meanwhile, the GLI will remain available with a 2.0-liter turbo-four that makes 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. Transmission choices remain a standard six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic.

Trim lines are streamlined, with the Jetta dropping from five to four trims (S, Sport, SE, and SEL) and the GLI moving from two trims to just one that VW says is fully loaded, with black appearance package available. New for this year will be a Sport trim for the Jetta. It will offer an electronically-locking differential, 17-inch wheels, blacked-out grille, blacked-out trim pieces, black headliner, and cloth sport seats. It replaces the R-Line trim and is one step up from base S.

Both cars get new bumpers, new wheels, and new color choices. They also get new grilles with chrome bars on each side of the VW logo, and the GLI maintains the red strip between the bars. The GLI also gets a honeycomb detail for the lower front fascia. LED lighting is standard, and the upper trim Jettas and the GLI will get projector-beam headlights.

GLIs also get a black honeycomb rear diffuser and a wider dual exhaust. Jettas will be sold in seven colors and GLIs in five. Wheels will be offered in 16-, 17-, and 18-inch sizes.

An 8-inch digital instrument cluster screen is now standard on Jetta, with a 10-inch screen being standard on GLI. Wireless charging and wireless smartphone mirroring will be available.

VW’s IQ.DRIVE suite of driver-aid tech will be available across the board. It includes forward-collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, blind-spot monitor, rear-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

The refreshed 2022 Jetta and Jetta GLI go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year.

[Images: Volkswagen]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

47 Comments on “Not Sitting Down: 2022 Volkswagen Jetta, Jetta GLI Get Refreshed...”

  • avatar

    “and the GLI moving from two trims to just one that VW says is fully loaded”

    That’s a bit disappointing. The GLI S was a pretty affordable way to get around. I’m guessing this means the Jetta GLI will be a basically $30k proposition now. That said, I like the exterior and interior on the GLI much more than the new GTI.

    It didn’t get a post, but the Areton also got a much needed power bump to 300hp for next year.

  • avatar

    I avoided that Autobahn trim just to avoid more things that could break after 50,000 miles – things like adjustable suspension and the Audi-based Virtual Dash just screams “I’ll break the second the warranty expires!!!” Now it’s unavoidable.
    I’ll bet the sticker will read around $33,000 but because it isn’t a brand new GTI or a crossover, you will be able to get a decent deal on one.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Theflyersfan… exactly. The base GLI was both the most-attractive and most-affordable version for the very reasons you state. The only way to have the GLI now would be to lease – and not for a minute longer than the term of the bumper-to-bumper warranty.

      • 0 avatar

        In the coming year I was planning on getting a new car, whenever the prices cool down again, no rush. I was seriously considering the new GTI now that I can finally get the plaid seats + LED lights with no sunroof. However, I can’t get past the stupid new dashboard with haptic touch everything.

        So I begin looking at the GLI. The S has pretty much everything I need so that would fit the bill quite nicely. Don’t want leather, don’t want sunroof (more on that later). Don’t care about everything else the Autobahn has. Perfect. So now VW does away with the S.

        Disclaimer: my wife currently has a ’19 Jetta R-Line and she loves it, except for the stupid sunroof with its nearly useless mesh cover (we live in south Florida and the sun can be a bit much at times). Car has been absolutely flawless in 2+ years and because it’s a 2019, gets the 6 year warranty.

        So for around the same price, I’ll be looking at a Sonata N-Line, which has a proper sunroof cover when I need it, 290hp and a mix of pleather and Hyundai’s version of Alcantara. I’m fine with that. No 6 speed manual, unfortunately, but with the traffic where we live, maybe it’s for the best.

        • 0 avatar

          Sonata N-line is a mid-30s car (I just shopped it a few months ago), Hyundai isn’t dealing on it, and it comes standard with a big, nasty torque steer habit.

          The GLI’s a bit slower, but it’s way more fun to drive.

          • 0 avatar

            No experience with the Hyundai, but both the GTI and GLI are very nice cars to drive. In may ways closer to the ride/handling balance of bygone 3 series cars, than the current, boated 3-series is.

          • 0 avatar

            @ Stuki,

            I wholeheartedly agree. I’m driving a 14 year old 3 series and took a GLI for a spin last year. That GLI is a hoot, with a big power bump over the I6 in my car. The GLI is 300 pounds lighter than the e90 (I looked it up, but you can feel it when driving both), so weirdly it is the successor to the old 328i.

        • 0 avatar
          cimarron typeR

          If your going to drop 32k and up I’d look into base Stinger GTline, 2.5t, 300hp,rwd, no sunroof, but automatic only

          • 0 avatar


            Good luck finding a base, RWD Stinger anywhere it snows…and good luck owning one in that climate. Basically, it’d be a four-door Mustang – difficult at best in anything deeper than an inch of snow assuming it has all-season tires, and totally useless with summer tires.

            (This, of course, is where the Winter Tire Fanboy Club chimes in…sorry, fellas, it’s an expensive pain in the butt, and I’m not doing it. By the time you’ve bought the tires and the extra wheels, you might as well have popped for the AWD version.)

        • 0 avatar


          “except for the stupid sunroof with its nearly useless mesh cover (we live in south Florida and the sun can be a bit much at times)”

          Put a ceramic (nanotechnology; relatively new) window tint on the sunroof. Life changing.

  • avatar

    This is like a global shift here. VW looks like a Corolla. Corolla looks like VW.

  • avatar

    There is one thing preventing me buying a new Jetta when my Sportwagen is due for replacement: Jettas are dumb, useless, sedans, that can’t carry my stuff. If they did a mashup of the current Jetta, with the hatchback rear of the Skoda Scala, I would be all over it. As it is, it’s looking like I will need to head for the Honda dealer for a Civic.

    • 0 avatar

      Yay! I’m not the only yank who likes the Skoda Scala. And somehow Skodas are apparently more reliable than VWs.

      • 0 avatar

        We can pine away all we want for compact wagons, but no one makes one for this market because no one buys them.

        I’ll be interested to see if the Civic hatch sells. My guess is that people will take one look at it, say “waaaah, it looks just like the sedan and costs more,” and won’t buy it.

        What VW should REALLY do is a Taos GTI.

        • 0 avatar

          “We can pine away all we want for compact wagons, but no one makes one for this market because no one buys them.”


          • 0 avatar

            Forgot about that one. But I just ran a search – there are 16 Impreza wagons and 96 Crosstreks on sale in Denver right now.

        • 0 avatar

          >>I’ll be interested to see if the Civic hatch sells.<<

          The current gen Civic has been offered as a hatchback. Clearly, Honda found the numbers encouraging enough to offer a second generation.

        • 0 avatar

          >>Forgot about that one. But I just ran a search – there are 16 Impreza wagons and 96 Crosstreks on sale in Denver right now.<<

          Because Sube doesn't want to sell Imprezas, they want to sell Crosstreks. A Crosstrek is little more than a jacked up 5 door Impreza, that costs $2,000 more. The next gen Impreza and Crosstrek are due out, iirc, in 2023. I'm betting that the 5 door Impreza will go away, so the choice will be Impreza sedan, or the 5 door Crosstrek. That avoids embarrassing questions like "the Crosstrek looks like the same thing as the Impreza, but you charge $2000 more because it's jacked up a couple inches?"

          Sube did that with the Legacy. You can't get a Legacy wagon anymore. Choice is either a Legacy sedan, or a jacked up, overpriced, Outback.

          Oh, and don't forget the Mazda3 5 door. It's not on my list since I don't like Mazda3 styling. Haven't liked Mazda3 styling since the Protege5 was replaced by the Mazda3.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t think it’s Subaru’s choice; it’s the people’s choice. I don’t get it, but the Crosstrek is absolutely the hottest thing on the road among Gen Z buyers in my area. They’re everywhere, they’re selling at MSRP, and they’re getting modified by a generation that mostly hasn’t been into cars. And what they want isn’t a low, small-wheeled Impreza.

  • avatar

    VW finally jumps on the giant grille bandwagon. And falls flat on its face. That new fascia is… not attractive. Reminds me of a Dodge Avenger.

  • avatar

    As a past owner and fan, VW went back on my radar a few years ago when they offered the 6-year bumper to bumper warranty. Apparently, dealing with all the VW defects cost VW too much, so VW stopped offering the longer warranty. Conclusion: No VW in my future. There are too many other options out there.

    • 0 avatar

      That warranty reversal was a pretty damning statement on their quality.

      • 0 avatar

        I think the warranty was a bit over the top, and I see why they scaled it back.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Biro

          Hyundai gets by just fine with a 5-year/60-thousand mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year/100-thousand mile drivetrain warranty. Why can’t VW deal with a six-year warranty? I think we all know the answer.

          • 0 avatar

            >>Why can’t VW deal with a six-year warranty?<<

            Because Hyundai is notorious for grasping the flimsiest of excuses to deny warranty claims?

        • 0 avatar

          curious statement

          the “why” must mean it cost them too much, meaning typical VW repairmobiles – let’s face it, VW’s quality reputation ended w/ the Beetle and that quality was only because they made it for decades and it was a simple vehicle

      • 0 avatar

        I agree it would have been great to keep the 6/72 warranty in place, but the reason they did it for 2 years was the bad place they were in due to Dieselgate. Now that memory has faded (more or less) so going back to a competitive 4/50 warranty doesn’t seem unreasonable.

        I have a ’19 Golf R that benefits from the 6/72. It’s been trouble-free for 28k miles. The wife is going to get the new GLI when it’s finally available, because she’s pining for a stick again and it’s one of the very few cars available with one that she likes. She won’t give a rat’s patootie that the warranty is shorter now.

    • 0 avatar

      That 6yr was always a temporary thing, and certainly part of their tdi redemption plan. The fact that no other manufacturer aped it showed us how unsustainable it was, more so than VW reverting to 3yrs does. It was ridiculous seeing how it played out actually. I have a friend who bought a 1yr old 2019 with basically 7 years of factory bumper to bumper coverage off of that. Don’t need a crystal ball to see that no car co wants that to be their business model. Im sure the dealers loved it, it might have even been aimed at them by VW.

  • avatar

    If it’s not offered in Europe is it a real VW? Sad to see the dumbing down of North American models.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s better than what you get in Europe.
      – Real 8 speed auto for the non-GLI
      – Real climate control controls (the new EUDM Golf, Tiguan etc. ditched that for touch “controls”)
      – Real buttons on the steering wheel (ditched in Europe for touch non-buttons)

  • avatar


    Hmmm…Jetta GLIs, eh?

    Hint. Hint. Hint.

  • avatar

    Are you certain that Subaru is dropping the WRX? That’s contrary to everything else I’ve been reading.

  • avatar

    C’mon TTAC. You had all weekend to prep the Bolt / GM dumpster fire story. I even made a fresh batch of popcorn. Lets do this. You could have hit 100 comments by noon east coast I bet :)

  • avatar

    My GLI is now a decade old….it’s been a love affair…

  • avatar

    Re: the GLI, Canadian market (where only fully loaded versions had been offered before), I thought “refreshed” meant something. A front or rear scoop design or material “texture” change here and there is meaningless.

  • avatar

    A lot of talk about the GLI but people are missing a hidden gem. The sport with the 1.5t, manual, and lsd should be a budget bomber. I am intrigued.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • akear: The android phone accounts for 73% of all smartphones purchased. Apple in comparison has a much smaller...
  • EBFlex: Scotty I get it. But that’s a very specific case. Plus a gas powered generator is a much better option...
  • el scotto: Flexy, on a farm almost nothing breaks in close vicinity to a wired power outlet. F-150’s, which you...
  • el scotto: @deanst Sir, we also sent oil back to our polite neighbors to the north.
  • el scotto: @DenverMike Sir, perhaps GM or Ford might -gasp- give away a few fleet vehicles. Have companies run them...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber