2022 Volkswagen Jetta Sees Subtle Tweaks, With Standard Models Getting A Larger Engine: News

The "base" GLI S is gone, while the standard model gets a new "Sport" trim

2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI
The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta lineup gets some notable changes, including a new engine and standard model and driver assistance updates. (Images: Volkswagen)

Volkswagen’s updated 2022 Jetta will go on sale later this year.

The updated Mk7 Volkswagen Jetta has been on sale for a little while now, so it’s time for a mid-cycle refresh. For the 2022 model year brings some subtle changes to the front and rear styling as well as new wheels — as you can expect — and there are some noteworthy changes when it comes to trim, tech and available options. Both the standard model and GLI get some thoughtful updates to keep them competitive in the affordable car game, with the likes of the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla.

The powertrain is the headline feature for the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta. Instead of the old 1.4-liter unit, the automaker opted to fit the larger, 1.5-liter EA211 engine, shared with the Taos crossover. The standard Jetta models now make 158 horsepower (11 more than before), while still cranking out the same 184 lb-ft of torque. Fortunately for the #savethemanuals crowd, you can still get the base S and the new Sport trim with a 6-speed manual transmission (as well as the GLI, of course). If you don’t want to row your own, you can still get the 8-speed automatic.

While the base MQB platform hasn’t changed, there are some trim changes worth noting. The new Jetta Sport offers up some goodies from the base S, including 17-inch alloy wheels, a black appearance package and VW’s XDS differential. Full pricing isn’t available just yet, though the automaker said that the Sport will see about a $900 premium from the entry-level trim. SEL Premium has also gone, with its features folded into the top-of-the-range SEL trim.

Think Honda Civic, and Volkswagen’s pretty much in the same ballpark on their trim levels. An entry version, a slightly sportier model, a luxe version, and an all-out sporty model. Three new colors are also available: Rising Blue and Kings Red (shown above), as well as Oryx White.

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Inside the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta

While the Digital Cockpit’s been a nice touch, the Mk7 Volkswagen Jetta still felt a bit too much like an economy car for the money. The updated 2022 Volkswagen Jetta aims to change that, with updated seats, a new steering wheel, and the digital cluster now coming as standard equipment (even on the S). SEL versions get Volcano Brown or black leather options, just for a bit of extra classiness. Both the standard car and the GLI get an updated shifter design, as well.

Finally, there’s the question of tech. Infotainment remains broadly the same, but driver assistance systems are now available across the range. Volkswagen’s IQ.DRIVE only comes standard on the SEL and the GLI, but all models get automatic emergency braking, rear traffic alert and blind spot montoring. The IQ.DRIVE package adds on adaptive cruise control, lane assist, travel assist and emergency assist on automatic transmission models.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI

What about the Jetta GLI?

Speaking of the GLI, the 2022 model sees no changes to its EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. You still get 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed DSG. However, you can no longer get a base “S” version of the GLI. You can only spec the fully-loaded Autobahn (with the premium and options that entails). A black appearance package is your only other option, but other than that the GLI comes in one fully-loaded trim.

The updated 2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI will go on sale later this year, in the November-December timeframe. Full pricing will be available closer to when the cars hit dealers, though we don’t expect a huge shift from current pricing. Just keep in mind the GLI will be substantially more expensive, since there’s no more S model.