Not Sitting Down: 2022 Volkswagen Jetta, Jetta GLI Get Refreshed

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
not sitting down 2022 volkswagen jetta jetta gli get refreshed

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]

Join the conversation
2 of 47 comments
  • Dougjp Dougjp on Aug 24, 2021

    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.

  • Monkeydelmagico Monkeydelmagico on Aug 25, 2021

    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.

  • Chris P Bacon I had a chance to drive 2 Accords back to back as rentals. The first was a base ICE LX. I was underwhelmed. The next was a Sport Hybrid. Like night and day. So much so that I ventured on to the grounds of my local dealer. Was looking for a Sport or Sport-L. Autotrader showed nothing within 250 miles. Dealer confirmed. Told me I'd have to "get on the list" for a delivery, and there was a non-negotiable $3k "market adjustment". I guess I'll have to hope to see one on the Emerald Aisle again.
  • DungBeetle62 I just this past weekend rented one of these for 5 days in SoCal and with $5.29 the best I could find for gas, this ride's wonderful combination of comfort and thrift was welcome indeed. My biggest real beef is with the entire Accord product line - with that angle of backlight, not having this as a 5-door hatch seems a real waste of space.
  • RICHARD I bought my wife the exact car in the picture 3 weeks ago. Acceleration is average for the class. Smoothness of the powertrain, competent ride dynamics, quietness, and comfort are definitely pluses. The styling is restrained for sure, but we weren't looking for a shouty car that doesn't deliver on the design statement. She drives about 8,000 miles per year, mostly around town. At the current rate, we expect to buy about 16 gallons of gas per month. This really is a car that appears to do everything well rather than excelling at a few things to the detriment of others.
  • Ajla "2010-2019 Borrego"The Borrego only had model years 2009 - 2011 in the United States. The Borrego/Mohave did exist in international markets beyond them but the NHTSA of the United States would not be handling a recall on those. It's annoying that apparently the manufacturer, the federal regulator, and automotive press didn't notice this.
  • SilverCoupe The last Accord I test drove was in 1978, but I ended up buying a VW Scirocco instead. The Accords have put on quite a bit of weight since, then, but then again, so have I!