The Volkswagen Jetta has been around for a long time ticking everything in the compact sedan range in the United States market. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a sporty sedan from the Jetta lineup that is ready for hauling around while kicking in lots of excitement. Volkswagen furthermore expects to boom its sales with the refresh of the 2022 Jetta and Jetta GLI models ending up being one of the most anticipated new cars of the year. That said, it gains noticeable tweaks in styling as well as featurelists.
The new front and rear fascias, new color options, and new wheels indicate that a lot of stuff has changed outside. On the inside, a few tech upgrades are carried out related to infotainment and safety. The Jetta GLI is the Jetta model that packs a little extra value and performance to your typical mid-level price, costing around $32,000. While you will certainly pay a bit more for this package than regular cost-efficient Jettas, you are getting a sporty sedan that will suit your needs perfectly, especially with the 288hp produced by the 2-liter EA888 engine.
Comprehending further, it combines the price with a powerful engine, qualityinside work, responsive handling, advanced technology, and durability- such as its ability to handle hit after hit- and you have an outstanding package with great value. With the sportiness flowing through its veins, the Jetta GLI fits in perfectly with other compact sport sedan models such as the Honda Civic Si, Subaru WRX, and Kia Forte GT, while also giving you enough value to justify the price.
The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is offered as a standout single fully loaded trim, dropping out the S and Autobahn types available previously. It continues with the 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine but has upgraded a lot on the aesthetic front. It also has both manual and dual-clutch automatic transmission options that supplement its sporty flair. To get the real juicy elementfurther, things like VAQ electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip differential, XDS cross-differential system, and DCC adaptive damping show their magic.
The front and rear fascias both have been refreshed and accorded with sportier details than the previous version. Of these, honeycomb detail in lower front fascia and diffuser, new grille with red accent strip between the bars, and projector LEDs are worth mentioning. Technology is one of the most fascinating parts you would find in a Jetta GLI. It has a 10-inch Digital Cockpit Pro, MIB3 infotainment, wireless charging, and wireless AppConnect.
The red tone of sportiness would be found everywhere in the GLI cabin running in the form of contrast red stitching. Lots of other comfort creatures are embedded right from the perforated leather seats with front ones having heating and ventilation facility, to the leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and keyless access with push-button start. IQ Drive is a bunch of advanced driving assist and safety features that are incorporated as a standard on the GLI which finally pays off the value.
Honeycomb detail in lower front fascia and diffuser
10-inch Digital Cockpit Pro with MIB3 infotainment
Wireless charging and wireless AppConnect
Perforated leather seats having red underlay
Heated and ventilated front seats
Leather-wrapped sport steering wheel
IQ. Drive driving assist technology
As Jetta GLI is a full-fledged standalone trim in itself, there isn’t much to discuss in this section. Yet there are five color options and a few technological upgrades like a sunroof, Light Assist, BeatsAudio premium sound system, and 10-color ambient lighting. We would recommend checking out the budget factor though before looking at optional features.
2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Release Date
Hold your breath! We’re just an inch far now. Although the exact dates are yet to be revealed by the corporate, they have provided an insight that the Volkswagen Jetta GLI models are expected to hit the dealerships sometime in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Engine and Performance
With the turbocharged 2-liter Inline-4 engine at the heart with either the 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission acting as the veins of the car, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI leaves no mark to impress. This powertrain puts down a healthy 228hp and 258lb-ft of torque. Considered as a sport behind the wheel, whether to reach the city streets or to drive for long trips, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI certainly delivers the goods. That said, it can hit 60mpg from a standstill in 5.8 seconds which is impressive enough.
On the lighter side, the Jetta is nimble and light while still maintaining power and stopping ability. On the heavy side, during our lap, while hard cornering an awkward moment did sprout up as the automatic transmission was hesitant to downshift. The manual stick shift works out as a perfect athletic couple in sync with our driving style, although the automatic transmission covers the lap a bit faster than the manual transmission which is why some might give it preference.
(Note- As most of the data for 2022 models is not yet officially released by organizations, the figures given in tables are references taken from the previously available data)
The perfect blend of cornering cues and ride compliance of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has collectively accounted for an enhanced athletic driving experience. Thanks to the combination of mechanically engineered stuff like the multi-link rear suspension, sticky summer tires, torque-sensing limited slip-differential, cross differential system, and adaptive damping system that hits the right spot while going around corners.
The Subaru WRX has the most potent machine of the lot owing to its bigger capacity engine. Next in the line is the Volkswagen Jetta GLI followed by Honda Civic Si and Kia Forte GT, as both of these lie in similar power and torque ranges. That said, the Subaru WRX also sprints faster than the rest, while the Kia Forte GT is the last winner in the slot. I say the last winner instead of a loser because the price at which the Kia manages to offer such a sporty performance deserves appreciation.
As the motor setup for the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta remains unchanged from the previous model year, the fuel economy estimates won't wary too much. The EA888 engine platform that is also used in 2022 Jetta GLI was launched back in 2013 did 17% of fuel consumption reduction then and that’s the source of Jetta’s efficient setups.
There have been fine-tuning and revisions were done to this engine to get beneficial results out of it. The results are evident in the fuel economy ratings of 26 mpg in the city and 37mpg on highways with the standard manual transmission setup. Opting for the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission drops the highway mileage figure to 36mpg, which is relatively a very subtle drop that can be ignored.
Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Honda Civic Si
Kia Forte GT
Fuel Capacity (Gallons)
Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)
As we know that the Subaru WRX engine is the healthiest engine of the lot, the high power generation comes at the toll of lower fuel economy. Subaru tries to compensate for the same by providing a fuel tank with the biggest capacity of 15.9 gallons amongst the rivals. The remaining three sedans seem to have equally efficient engines in terms of combined mpg figures. But the Jetta GLI produces much more power than the rest two, and thus comes forth as a clear winner when the performance and mpg aspects are collectively considered.
While this vehicle might seem like a small economy car from the outside, it’s a four-door sedan that seats five comfortably for a decent time. The Jetta GLI has a spacious and comfortable interior, especially for a compact car segment. Many would find more than sufficient comfort creatures inside, yet since the interior is not perfect and has some sub-par materials spread here and there, the Jetta GLI should not be considered as a premium high-end sedan. Although the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI's interior design boasts a simple way of life, the contrast red stitching adds a flair of funky sportiness inside. Some may also find the red GLI clip on the center of the steering to be of some status.
A wrenching style continues with perforated leather seats having red underlay combined with the convenience of heating and ventilation in the front seats and only heating function in the rear ones puts one at ease. The leather-wrapped sport steering wheel with a red GLI clip dominates the front of the buyers' minds as they leap into the car and see a bit funky steering wheel design on a Jetta. Other functions that make the Jetta GLI interiors a comfortable place to be in include the power driver seat, automatic climate control system, keyless entry, and push-button start. The appeal Storage is also taken care of as the cargo hold accounts for the 14.1 cu-ft capacity of the total space inside.
Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Honda Civic Si
Kia Forte GT
Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)
Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)
Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)
All these sedans can seat 5 passengers at ease. Yet when it comes to comparison, the Honda Civic passengers would be pressed for space in the walls of the cabin first, followed by the Volkswagen Jetta GLI. The Honda Civic just gets up a notch but falls slightly back only due to slightly limited second-row legroom figures.
The Subaru WRX remains the most spacious sedan in the segment, yet it also suffers a bit on the second-row legroom. The Subaru WRX also leads in the trunk carrying capacity with a figure of 15.4cu-ft onboard, after which Kia Forte, Honda Civic Si, and Volkswagen Jetta GLI allow more space for luggage in descending order respectively. Some standout interior features of Volkswagen Jetta GLI include:
Perforated leather seats with red underlay
Leather-wrapped sport steering wheel
Heated and ventilated front seats
Power driver seat
Automatic climate control system
Keyless entry and push-button start
How intuitive is the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI’s infotainment unit?
The interiors of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI are minimalist and simple which results in a cockpit nearly as clear as the see-through waters from an undersea marble quarry. Inside users can surely enjoy the technology that Jetta GLI boasts upon. This constitutes the 10-inch Digital Cockpit Pro and mildly redesigned digital cockpit instrument cluster. It also features the MIB3 infotainment system as standard which is easy to use.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is offered as standard as well, but the Wifi hotspot capability can be availed by the subscription. Another high-tech feature users would like is the wireless charging system. The gauges and driver controls in Volkswagen Jetta GLI are simple and easy to use even for first-time car buyers. Although the 8-speaker Beats audio sound system and the 10-color ambient interior lighting are some of the most desirable features, they come at the expense of extra cost being optional. The standout infotainment features include:
10-inch Digital Cockpit Pro
MIB3 infotainment system
Wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity
There is a lot of stuff happening in the exteriors of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Perhaps one of the most noticeable changes includes the updated front and rear fascias. The new front and rear bumpers with a facelift make the design of Jetta in line with other models in the Volkswagen lineup. There are five color options available on the GLI models. Unique-styled 18-inch alloy wheels and black window trim surround is standard, but to reveal the most dark-sided nature of the car, two optional black wheel packages are available.
The new front grille with the red stripe between the distinctive chrome bars skirting the VW logo and a six-sided polygonal structure projector LEDs lights. The headlights on the Jetta have been improved with a brand new HID projector array and new reflectors that let you view the unit in and out of need at dusk. If you purchase the Jetta with the top package it also has enhanced high beam control for lighting. Coming on to the rear, the black honeycomb structure to the rear valance and wider dual exhaust systems make it look and sound a bit athletic.
Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Honda Civic Si
Kia Forte GT
Curb Weight (lbs)
Ground Clearance (inches)
The baseline of the Subaru WRX is closest to the ground, and its height is too the shortest amongst the rivals. Not only this, but the length and width dimensions of WRX are also less than its competitors which makes it a real compact sporty, easily maneuverable, yet stable sedan.
On the other hand, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is the heaviest and biggest sedan lengthwise. The Honda Civic Si appears to be the lightest which gives it some benefit in the segment. Also aligning on a similar margin of 106.3 inches wheelbase, the Honda Civic Si and Kia Forte seem to offer a decent cabin space. Some highlight Volkswagen Jetta GLI exterior features of the include:
It’s too early for the NHTSA and IIHS websites to rate the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Despite receiving some noticeable styling and design updates, the NHTSA and IIHS scores for the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI won’t vary much from the previous year’s models. This is because both are built on a similar MQB platform architecture. So just as an insight, have a note that the 2021 Jetta GLI bagged a rating of 5-star from NHTSA and a Good rating in all the IIHS crash tests.
It gets the most advanced driving assist technologies collectively called the IQ Drive package. As a result, this car is provided with a plethora of features like Front Assist (Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring), Active Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Assist (Lane Keeping System), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop and Go, and Travel Assist. Additionally, it adopts semi-autonomous vehicle assistance in case of a medical emergency. For ease of reading let’s list out the standard safety features on our 2022Volkswagen Jetta GLI:
Active Blind Spot Monitor
Rear Traffic Alert
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop and Go
Emergency semi-autonomous vehicle assistance
2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs 2021 Honda Civic Si
The Honda Civic Si is sluggish, less spacious, and noisier than the Volkswagen Jetta. It feels nice behind the wheel, but the Jetta is more refined with the manual stick shift than the Civic Si transmission. The Civic Si has low initial pricing and running costs which makes it economical, but for the punch and enhanced driving experience, the fuel economy of Jetta GLI is very impressive. Thus, we would cast our votes for Volkswagen Jetta GLI here due to space and refinement, yet the 2022 Honda Civic Si is yet to be revealed in detail and we would like to take a closer look at it very soon.
2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs 2022 Kia Forte GT
Although the Kia Forte GT is much less priced, it is very slow and does not feel much connected from behind the wheel in comparison to the Jetta GLI. We would play the bait on putting some extra bucks for getting the lively driving experience of Jetta GLI which bags our clear preference in this case.
2022 Volkswagen GLI vs 2022 Subaru WRX
The Subaru WRX has a powerful engine and offers an AWD setup, but is less efficient. It has more space inside, despite the compact dimensions which make it well-engineered. All these parameters count in making the fight really tough between these two sedans. But the handling dynamics, stability, AWD, and swiftness give the Subaru WRX only a slight edge we feel as we are in the compact sports sedan segment.
The new Volkswagen Jetta GLI makes a decent balance between everything from pricing to power to fuel economy to interior space and comfort to advanced safety. Any other vehicle in the segment does not strike such a good composure to everything as the Volkswagen has done in Jetta GLI. The cabin is spacious and feels very comfortable sitting inside Jetta GLI.
The exterior is well built. The power and dynamics are on the button, still returning impressive mileage. It gets most of the comfort creatures and technologies one would want at this price point. Thus, the Jetta GLI is certainly the sedan that marks off ticks for all the prospective buyers looking for a compact sporty car.