2022 VW Jetta and GLI get makeovers, features, still have manuals

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For the current generation’s third model year on sale, the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta and its high-output GLI version are getting a makeover. It brings updated styling, more safety features and power for the regular sedan, as well as reshuffled trims. And provided pricing doesn’t change too much, they should be better values.

All Jettas feature new grilles and bumpers. The lower grille openings have a more flowing shape consistent with the new Golf and GTI. The regular ones get nifty LED running lights on each end of those grille openings, whereas the GLI gets red-trimmed air intakes. The regular Jetta’s rear bumper gets some chrome accents whereas the GLI gets a large mesh trim around enlarged dual exhaust tips. LED headlights and taillights are standard on all models, and new colors and wheel designs are available, too.

Inside, the 2022 Jetta looks very similar to the previous ones, but little tweaks have been made throughout. All models now get the Digital Cockpit instrument screen as standard. Contrast stitching has also been added to the dash panels and in the doors for a little more detail as well as for a slightly more premium feel. New steering wheels have been fitted, with the GLI’s getting haptic touch buttons along with a bright red accent. The GLI gets new red and black dash accents as well as perforated leather seats with red coloring in the perforations.

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Digging deeper, the regular Jetta gets a nice powertrain upgrade. It now uses the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine from the Taos, which brings output up to 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or eight-speed automatic. The manual is only available on the base S and the Sport trim, the latter of which replaces the R-Line and includes stiffer suspension, the brake-based XDS limited-slip differential and black trim. As before, the chassis is a version of the MQB platform with torsion-beam rear suspension. Regular Jettas also now come with more standard safety features including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning. Buyers have a simpler selection of trims, too, including S, Sport, SE and SEL.

The GLI still gets the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. It still gets independent, multi-link suspension and a mechanical limited-slip differential. The base trim has been dropped for 2022, leaving just the Autobahn trim. It comes with a bunch of convenience items such as the larger 10-inch instrument display, automatic climate control, sunroof, and heated and ventilated leather seats among others.

Pricing hasn’t been announced for the 2022 Jetta models, but they will go on sale late this year.

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