The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has been upgraded to meet its potentials. And since the standard Jetta is refreshed and upgraded for the 2022 model year, so too is its GLI version. The new version comes with the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (228 horsepower, 258 lb-ft) as before but adds a barrage of standard equipment to improve both performance and overall comfort and usability.

On the performance side, the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has a limited-slip differential for improved grip, plus larger brakes taken directly from the sporty Golf R. On the inside, you also get leather seats — both heated and ventilated — and a new steering wheel with touch controls, as well as a 10-inch digital information display and ambient lighting. We especially like the suite of driver aids that come with it, including blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control to keep a set following distance from the vehicle ahead.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. Regardless of transmission, acceleration is significantly quicker compared with the standard Jetta’s 158-hp engine. In our testing, the automatic-equipped GLI was slightly quicker to 60 mph than the manual version.

Still, the stick-shift version was easy and satisfying to row. Our only complaint with the automatic was its hesitance to downshift during spirited cornering. Speaking of corners, the GLI’s specially tuned suspension and sticky summer tires (a no-cost option) help ensure it’s just as athletic as its hatchback equivalent. Likewise, the Jetta GLI provides feelsome steering, strong brakes, and a compliant ride on its standard adaptive dampers.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Since the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI shares its turbocharged four-cylinder with two different transmissions, it gets separate fuel-economy ratings. The standard six-speed manual transmission is estimated to earn 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Models equipped with the optional seven-speed automatic can expect to see 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, according to its government ratings. We tested a GLI with each gearbox on our 75-mph fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and both achieved an impressive 36 mpg on the highway. For more information about the Jetta GLI’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

While the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has the same basic layout and generous passenger space as the standard Jetta, a few bits of red trim spice things up somewhat. We only wish some of the materials that Volkswagen uses in the cabin were of higher quality. Particularly unpleasant is the molded-in stitching on the dashboard as well as the hard and shiny plastic on the doors. At least the GLI has upscale standard features such as a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster, customizable ambient interior lighting, heated and ventilated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof. The sportiest Jetta is also surprisingly practical. The compact sedan has a massive trunk that managed to hold seven carry-on suitcases.

Infotainment and Connectivity

With an 8.0-inch touchscreen, the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has a user-friendly infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. Plus, it has a 400-watt, eight-speaker BeatsAudio sound system, and wireless device charging.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Jetta GLI is loaded with standard driver-assistance technology, including automatic high-beams and lane-keeping assist. For more information about the Jetta GLI’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.

Photos

2022 volkwagen jetta gli s interior

2022 volkwagen jetta gli s rear exterior

2022 volkwagen jetta gli s

2022 volkwagen jetta gli s

Full Specifications

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Vehicle Type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE
Base: Autobahn, $31,990

ENGINE
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 121 in3, 1984 cm3
Power: 228 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

TRANSMISSIONS
6-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 105.6 in
Length: 186.9 in
Width: 70.8 in
Height: 57.9 in
Passenger Volume: 95 ft3
Trunk Volume: 14 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 3200–3250 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 5.6–5.8 sec
100 mph: 13.7–13.8 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.1–14.3 sec
Top Speed: 125 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 30/26/36–37 mpg

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