2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Review, Pricing, and Specs

Starting at
$32,000 est
10 / 10
2022 volkswagen jetta gli front
Volkswagen
10 / 10

Overview

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is about as satisfying as moderately priced sports sedans get. Volkswagen's recipe is simple and well-executed. Spawned from the regular Jetta (reviewed separately), the high-performance variant enjoys the same spacious interior and large trunk but adds a zestier 228-hp turbo four, an independent rear suspension, and stellar ride-and-handling tuning. This combination makes the GLI quick and agile whether you to shift for yourself with the standard manual transmission or opt for the dual-clutch automatic. While the compact sedan's interior would benefit from better materials, and its outward appearance will never be called enticing, the rest of the 2022 Jetta GLI is pretty damn great.

What's New for 2022?

For 2022, the Jetta GLI undergoes a mild makeover that includes a fresher face and updated rear-end styling. While the differences up front are more noticeable, the GLI's lower back bumper now wears a honeycomb design and has larger dual exhaust pipes that VW says improve the sedan's soundtrack. The engine and two transmission choices remain the same, but there's now only one model in the lineup and it's loaded with a host of standard driver assists and popular features. The GLI's interior also benefits from a newly designed leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever. The exterior is further enhanced with new wheel designs, a new black appearance package, and it now wears Volkswagen's new logo.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

      Previously available in base S or fully loaded Autobahn trim levels, the Jetta GLI is now only offered in a single specification: it now comes standard with all of the upgrades that were once reserved for the Autobahn. This includes adaptive dampers, a digital gauge cluster, leather upholstery, a powerful audio system, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, and wireless charging. Shoppers can still choose between a manual or automatic transmission, but the latter costs extra.

      Engine, Transmission, and Performance

      The 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.

      Michael SimariCar and Driver

          Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

          Since the 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 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.

          2022 volkswagen jetta gli interior
          Michael SimariCar and Driver

          Infotainment and Connectivity

          With an 8.0-inch touchscreen, the 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. Key safety features include:

          • Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
          • Standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
          • Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert

            Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

            Volkswagen has an above-average limited warranty and below-average powertrain coverage. To offset the latter, the company provides some complimentary maintenance.

            • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
            • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
            • Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 20,000 miles

              Specifications

              Specifications

              2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition DSG

              VEHICLE TYPE
              front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

              PRICE AS TESTED
              $28,985 (base price: $28,690)

              ENGINE TYPE
              turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection

              Displacement
              121 cu in, 1984 cc
              Power
              228 hp @ 5000 rpm
              Torque
              258 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm

              TRANSMISSION
              7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode

              CHASSIS
              Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
              Brakes (F/R): 13.4-in vented disc/11.8-in solid disc
              Tires: Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3, 225/45R-18 91Y

              DIMENSIONS
              Wheelbase: 105.6 in
              Length: 185.2 in
              Width: 70.8 in
              Height: 56.8 in
              Passenger volume: 94 cu ft
              Trunk volume: 14 cu ft
              Curb weight: 3201 lb

              C/D
              TEST RESULTS
              Zero to 60 mph: 5.6 sec
              Zero to 100 mph: 13.8 sec
              Zero to 120 mph: 21.0 sec
              Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.1 sec
              Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.1 sec
              Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.4 sec
              Standing ¼-mile: 14.2 sec @ 101 mph
              Top speed (governor-limited): 126 mph
              Braking, 70–0 mph: 160 ft
              Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.95 g
              *stability control inhibited

              C/D
              FUEL ECONOMY
              Observed: 24 mpg
              75-mph highway driving: 36 mpg
              Highway range: 470 miles

              EPA FUEL ECONOMY
              Combined/city/highway: 28/25/32 mpg

              2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S

              VEHICLE TYPE
              front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

              PRICE AS TESTED
              $26,890 (base price: $26,890)

              ENGINE TYPE
              turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection

              Displacement
              121 cu in, 1984 cc 
              Power
              228 hp @ 5000 rpm
              Torque
              258 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm

              TRANSMISSION
              6-speed manual

              CHASSIS
              Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
              Brakes (F/R): 13.4-in vented disc/11.8-in solid disc
              Tires: Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3, 225/45R-18 91Y

              DIMENSIONS
              Wheelbase: 105.6 in 
              Length: 185.2 in 
              Width: 70.8 in 
              Height: 56.8 in 
              Passenger volume: 94 cu ft
              Trunk volume: 14 cu ft 
              Curb weight: 3178 lb

              C/D
              TEST RESULTS
              Zero to 60 mph: 5.8 sec
              Zero to 100 mph: 13.8 sec
              Zero to 120 mph: 20.7 sec
              Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.5 sec
              Top gear, 30–50 mph: 12.1 sec
              Top gear, 50–70 mph: 8.4 sec
              Standing ¼-mile: 14.4 sec @ 102 mph
              Top speed (governor-limited): 126 mph
              Braking, 70–0 mph: 153 ft
              Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.98 g

              C/D
              FUEL ECONOMY
              Observed: 25 mpg
              75-mph highway driving: 36 mpg 
              Highway range: 470 miles

              EPA FUEL ECONOMY
              Combined/city/highway: 28/25/32 mpg

              DOWNLOAD TEST SHEET

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