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The Volkswagen Jetta has earned a cult following that is comparable to the iconic Beetle. The simple, economical sedan has struck a chord with enthusiasts and consumers looking for a commuter car that is nicer than something they may find from Honda or Ford. The Jetta has proven to be a winning formula. Volkswagen needs to take care not to mess up what makes the Jetta special, but at the same time, they need to keep things fresh. That seems to be what the brand has in mind as it was announced that a refresh is coming for the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta.

“As the best-selling VW for more than 30 years, Jetta has proven to be a compelling value,” said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy. “This refresh takes the strengths of the current generation—a spacious interior, excellent fuel economy, and low maintenance costs—and builds on them with a fresh design, better technology, and more access to the driver assistance features buyers are looking for. With the introduction of a new Sport trim, it is easier than ever for customers to get their hands on a vehicle with a sporty appearance at a value oriented price point.”

2022 Volkswagen Jetta gets a new engine

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI engine bay.
2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI engine bay | Volkswagen

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta will get the 1.5 liter turbocharged “EA211” engine found in the Volkswagen Taos SUV. With 158 horsepower and 184 ft-lbs of torque, the engine features Volkswagen’s modified version of the “Miller cycle,” where the intake valves are closed early in the induction stage of the engine. This early closing technique is meant to improve fuel economy. Volkswagen claims that a side-effect of their Miller cycle is more low-speed torque. Customers will have a choice of an eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual.

The Jetta GLI will come with the more powerful 2.0 liter EA888 engine, which produces 228 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs of torque. The Jetta GLI will come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a dual-clutch automatic transmission is an option. These are not shocking engine changes, but they appear to be subtle upgrades that Volkswagen predicts new and old customers will appreciate. 

The Jetta and Jetta GLI receive styling updates

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta (left in blue color) and Jetta GLI (right in red color).
The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI | Volkswagen

The Jetta and GLI get exterior updates in the form of new front and rear bumpers, new colors, and new wheels. The reworked front bumper has a new grille with chrome pieces on either side of the VW logo. The Jetta GLI has a red strip between the chrome pieces to hint at the high-performance nature, and the lower area of the GLI’s fascia has the obligatory honeycomb pattern. 

Chrome window trim is standard on the new base car. However, the sport trim of the Jetta and GLI comes with black window trim. The Jetta GLI will have a honeycomb pattern rear diffuser meant to add to the sporty vibe. The GLI also comes with a re-tuned exhaust for a more aggressive sound. 

Watch the premiere of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI

2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta GLI premire | Volkswagen USA News YouTube

A new Jetta is a big enough event for Volkswagen to have live-streamed the reveal. The entire event is only about 8 minutes long, and it is a great way to learn more about some of the details that we could not get to here. 

While we find the new 2022 Volkswagen Jetta interesting, we cannot help but wonder how long it will be before VW transitions to a 100% electric Jetta. Considering Volkswagen’s history with emissions vehicles, we would think they want to get to an all-electric future sooner rather than later.


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