Quite a new start for Volkswagen with all the necessary upgrades.

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With the wrapping up of the Passat, Volkswagen of America has invited the new Jetta to stay firm in the budget compact sedan market where the Japanese and other American carmakers are thriving. It is mechanically newer and gets minor exterior and interior changes that we will talk about in the review.


Volkswagen is one of the German carmaking conglomerates that has a decent reputation in the budget offerings and is very reliable. The new Jetta has got a few updates for the 2022 model year, including a new standard engine with a few interior and exterior tweaks. That said, the Jetta is expected to be priced around $20,000, so it will continue to compete with the likes of the new Elantra and Honda Civic.

What’s New?

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For the 2022 model year, Volkswagen has replaced Jetta’s standard 1.4-liter engine with a slightly more powerful 1.5-liter engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while you can opt for an eight-speed automatic transmission. Apart from these, some exterior and interior tweaks have been seen, and it continues to be a very approachable compact sedan with adequate comfort and practicality. The pre-existing R-Line trim gets replaced by the Sport trim. The base trim gets features like an 8-inch fully digital driver information display, a few added advanced safety features, including blindspot monitoring and automated braking assist. 7-inch alloy wheels are now standard equipment as well.

Trims and Features.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior
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The updated trim-list of the 2022 Jetta is kept fresh and short with the exclusion of the SEL Premium. A new Sport trim replaces the R-Line which has been a very popular option among the other trims. So there are only 4 trims now - S, Sport, SE, SEL. The base S trim is expected to be priced around $20,000 and packs decent features, including:

  • Cloth seats
  • Manual air-conditioning
  • Manual driver seat adjustability
  • Updated safety features
  • Updated 8.0-inch fully digital driver display
2022 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior
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The newer Sport trim gets a front-limited slip differential, blacked-out exterior with 17-inch alloy wheels, and interior parts including sports seats. The GLI variants are more powerful and better in every way including high-grade interior, fully-loaded driver safety assistance, and 228-horsepower four-cylinder engine.

Trims Features
S 8.0-inch driver information display, cloth seats, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, 6-inch touchscreen infotainment display, updated safety features.
Sport XDS electronic differential lock, 17-inch alloy wheels, black exterior trim including intake grille and wheels.
SE Faux leather seating, heated front seats, 6-way power-adjustable driver seats.
SEL 10-inch driver information display, leather seats, sunroof, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, wireless charging, BeatsAudio
GLI 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, 7-speed DSG, 18-inch alloy wheels, Golf R brakes

Performance Bits and Tweaks.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Drivetrain
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The new, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is capable of putting out 158 horsepower and a maximum torque output of 184 pound-feet. That equals a power increase of 11 horsepower and one pound-foot of torque. The horsepower bump should be visible in the 0-60 and standing quarter-mile timings. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission as standard or an optional eight-speed automatic. The previous iterations of the Jetta offered very responsive engines but were definitely not the fastest among the rivals.

While the 1.5-liter engine is standard among all 4 trims, the Jetta GLI has a bigger 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps out an impressive 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic. Power is sent to the front wheels through a limited-slip differential.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Drivetrain
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In terms of handling, the Jetta does a decent job with adequate suspension travel. The drive is not too engaging and the steering feels light but is not the most precise in terms of feedback. The GLI gets a slightly stiffer suspension and that suits its sporty nature. The Sport trim gets a front limited-slip differential to help with the cornering stability. The base Jetta will probably be the same as the previous model year in terms of handling. Coming to the braking performance, Volkswagen did not disclose the brake rotor size and is expected to be similar to the previous-gen models. That means the braking would be just fine at least for the base trim. The Sport trim might get an updated set of brakes but nothing is confirmed by Volkswagen.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Specs
Models 2022 Volkswagen Jetta 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
MSRP $20,000 est. $26,500 est.
Engine 1.5-liter Turbocharged inline 4  2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
Drivetrain FWD FWD
Transmission 6-speed manual 7-speed DSG automatic
Power  158 hp 228 HP
Torque  184 lb-ft 258 LB-FT
0-60 MPH (seconds) TBD TBD
Quarter-Mile (seconds) TBD TBD
Top-Speed (MPH) TBD TBD

What Kind of Fuel Economy Can Be Expected?

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior
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The outgoing model year with slightly lower power figures has returned quite impressive mileage and, for the 2022 Jetta, the figures will take a slight hit because of the power bump from the new 1.5-liter engine. It is expected that the fuel economy will drop by a mile or two per gallon from the earlier EPA ratings. However, the tank is expected to stay unchanged at 13.2 gallons.

Is the interior of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta a good place to be in?

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Interior
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Volkswagen has given a few newer touches inside the cabin which are not noticeable at a glance but you will notice them when you hop onto the driver’s seat. The new steering wheel design with added control buttons is appreciated and, of course, the standard 8.0-inch driver information display offers a modern cabin feel with a lot of information and customizability available. Apart from that, the smaller 6-inch touchscreen infotainment screen stays the same. The cabin materials are basically hard plastics everywhere but have been designed well. The seats are cloth-covered as standard and come with manual adjustability. The interior functionalities remain similar to the outgoing model year such as cruise control, manual air-conditioning, etc. The higher trims get a heated leather steering wheel with an automatic climate control system and ambient lighting. There are heated front seats as well with leather covering. It seems that opting for the higher trims will provide quite a lot of creature comforts.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Interior
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The Jetta falls under the compact sedan class but has quite a spacious cabin and can fit up to 5 people without much of a hassle. Both the rows have ample headroom and legroom to offer comfortable riding even when covering long distances. The dimensions will stay the same and will continue to offer similar ride quality as its predecessor. In terms of practicality, there is ample space inside the cabin for added storage including an unchanged 14 cubic feet of cargo space which ensures that you can carry a decent amount of luggage on your weekend trips.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Interior
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The 2022 Jetta gets the same infotainment system as the outgoing model which includes a 6-inch touchscreen display at the center and is fairly responsive. As standard, the system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and with that comes a 4-speaker audio system. The higher trims get a 10-inch touchscreen display which offers much clearer visuals than the standard screen and does come with a 9-speaker premium audio unit, satellite radio, navigation system, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, etc.

A few of the interior standout features of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta are as follows:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control.
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with heating functions.
  • Leather seats with multi-level power-adjustability and heated front row.
  • Adaptive cruise control.
  • 8-inch driver information display.
  • Rearview camera.
  • Keyless ignition.
2022 Volkswagen Jetta Interior Dimensions
Models 2022 Volkswagen Jetta
Seating Capacity 5
Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 38.5/55.9/41.1
Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 37.2/54.0/37.4
Cargo Capacity (lb) 14.0

*2021 figures taken for reference

Do the updated exterior looks of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta impress?

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior
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The 2022 Jetta has a bold exterior design philosophy that is different from the likes of its other Asian counterparts. The front and rear get a revamped bumper and the LED DRLs, headlights, and taillights do come as standard. To be honest the exterior updates are hardly noticeable in the eyes of commoners. The headlight and taillight designs are similar to that of the outgoing model and that does not mean it looks dated. The rear-end is somewhat similar to the Audi sedans with the GLI getting twin exhaust tips on either side. The dimensions will be similar to the outgoing model year with an expected curb weight of about 3,000 pounds. As standard, the Jetta comes fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels and can be updated to the 17-inch wheels found on the Sport trim. The higher trims get a panoramic sunroof as standard with power and heated mirrors, blacked-out grille, and wheels, etc.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior Dimensions
Models 2022 Volkswagen Jetta
Curb Weight (lb) 3,000 est.
Length (inches) 185.1
Width (inches) 70.8
Height (inches) 57.6
Ground Clearance (inches) 5.6
Wheelbase (inches) 105.8

Available safety features.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Interior
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The 2022 Jetta gets an updated safety assistance system that was previously missing and that includes forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking assist, etc. Apart from the safety features, it is very much known that how good the build quality of Volkswagen cars usually has, and that includes a stronger chassis. All these factors contribute to the overall crash resistance and earlier has been rated with nearly maxed-out rating by the Federal agencies like the NHTSA and IIHS. We hope that the upcoming model year would be carrying over the reputation and even better for the updated standard safety features.

A few of the important safety features that are worth noting are as follows:

  • Adaptive cruise control.
  • Pedestrian monitoring.
  • Forward collision warning.
  • Automated emergency braking.
  • Rear cross-traffic alert.
  • Lane-keeping assist.
  • Semi-autonomous driving assistance.

Should you consider it?

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior
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The 2022 Jetta with a new engine, improved interior, safety, a mild exterior design change. It could be a good buy if you are a fan of German engineering or a Volkswagen fan. The early impressions are pretty good for starters and will be priced around 20 grand. The latest Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic are Jetta’s direct rivals and in some areas, they are better especially in terms of styling.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
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Experienced Content Writer with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Content Writing, Microsoft Office, and Article Writing. Strong media and communication professional with a Bachelor of Arts - BA focused in History and currently pursuing for Master of Arts.  Read full bio
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