Examined: 2022 VW Jetta GLI Proves That VW Nonetheless Cares about Drivers

UPDATE 2/25/22: This evaluation has been up to date with take a look at outcomes.

Regardless of Volkswagen’s push towards electrical automobiles, the corporate is offering assurances that it is nonetheless devoted to the sporty compact automobile. Need proof? The brand new-generation Golf GTI and Golf R have clearly been developed with driving fanatics in thoughts. VW’s American arm pushed for six-speed manuals in each of these vehicles and satisfied its company overlords in Germany that such a transfer could be rational and sensible. Take into account {that a} love letter to the American driver, as a result of our counterparts in Europe will not discover that possibility accessible after they place their orders.

The efficiency variant of the standard Jetta sedan—the Jetta GLI—additionally won’t present up in a European showroom; it is offered solely in North America and Brazil. The GLI’s 228-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four makes a whopping 70 horsepower greater than the usual Jetta’s engine and comes with efficiency enhancements akin to adaptive dampers and a limited-slip differential.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

HIGHS: Playful driving demeanor, nonetheless accessible with a six-speed handbook, Audi-like cabin environs.

Up to date for 2022, the Jetta GLI wears a newly styled grille and entrance bumper with pink detailing. The rear bumper has been revised as properly and sports activities a honeycomb-patterned decrease valance and larger-diameter exhaust retailers. The GLI’s cabin receives new pink distinction stitching to accent the black leather-based upholstery and new touch-sensitive steering wheel controls.

The GLI stays a beautiful driving companion. Throughout our take a look at drive by the hill nation close to Asheville, North Carolina, the GLI’s keen steering and crisp-shifting six-speed handbook made working by the realm’s slim mountain passes a joyful train. Though it is not as tied-down as the brand new Golf GTI, the GLI does its greatest impression of that efficiency icon. On the freeway throughout regular cruising and commuting, the GLI settles into Jetta mode, that means it is refined, snug, and easygoing.

Even though VW has made no modifications to the automobile’s powertrain, our take a look at outcomes point out that the 2022 mannequin is barely slower than the final GLI we examined again in 2019. Nonetheless, it nonetheless turned in a stable efficiency at our take a look at observe, reaching 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and eclipsing the quarter-mile in 14.6 seconds at 100 mph. The GLI’s instances are faster than the new-for-2022 Honda Civic Si, which wanted 6.8 seconds to hit 60 and delivered a 15.1-second quarter-mile time. However the VW’s cornering grip fell wanting the Honda’s, with a 0.86-g consequence for the GLI on our skidpad versus 0.96 g for the Civic. A few of the efficiency deficit is because of VW not providing summer time tires (beforehand a no-cost possibility) on the 2022 GLI. That should not cease you from becoming a set.

LOWS: Cheaper base mannequin has been faraway from the lineup, exhaust drones noisily when cruising in Sport mode, fussy steering wheel audio controls.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

The GLI sports activities an up to date exhaust system that sounds a bit louder for 2022, significantly when driving in Sport mode, which lets extra of the automobile’s newly baritone voice to enter the cabin. This soundtrack might delight boy-racer sorts, however we discovered ourselves needing to activate the Regular driving mode to quiet the cabin when cruising. In the end, we’re not satisfied this does a lot to boost the GLI’s attraction.

Similar goes for the brand new touch-sensitive steering-wheel controls. Their shiny black end offers an added pop of premium look, however on a number of events when driving the snaking roads west of Asheville, we managed to inadvertently change the radio station midcorner by by chance bumping the tuning button. Furthermore, the amount management slider is fussy and imprecise.

The properly tailor-made inside offers off sturdy Audi vibes, which is sweet as a result of for 2022 Volkswagen has eradicated the entry-level GLI trim, leaving solely the loaded $31,990 Autobahn mannequin. Go for the dual-clutch automated, and the worth climbs to $32,790. The GLI’s nearest rival, the Honda Civic Si, is all new for 2022 and begins at simply $28,315.

However VW might discover that the GLI’s largest competitors is inside its personal showroom: The 2022 Golf GTI begins at $30,540—granted that is for a base mannequin with much less tools. However the Golf’s hatchback physique fashion, its efficiency legacy, and its extra trendy styling might draw patrons away from its Jetta sibling. The 2022 mannequin’s updates assist preserve it recent, although, and the GLI’s fun-loving perspective is one thing each driver can respect.


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Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for Vehiclenews.net, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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