Road Test: 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Volkswagen keeps things nice and simple when it comes to the Jetta GLI.

There are no optional packages that require you to add-on a ridiculously long list of items to get the few things you really want.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

No, for the 2022 Jetta GLI everything you really need is already included, with the bonus being that it has a six-speed manual transmission as the standard choice.

And all that for a reasonable price of $33,745, with destination included.

With that, you get an extensive list of safety features, a well-appointed cabin, lots of creature comforts like heated front and rear seats, as well as ventilated front seats, all the infotainment goodies one needs and more.

Powertrain: Under the hood is a potent 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which as mentioned is paired to a very smooth six-speed manual. If that’s not for you, then you can always opt for the 7-speed automatic DSG with Tiptronic, but then I don’t want to know about that when a manual is available.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Power from the engine is excellent for a vehicle of this size, with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque available. The one thing I will say about the engine is I did find it to be a little on the noisy side, especially at lower gears. Up at cruising speed, I found it to be less of an issue.

Fuel economy for the GLI is rated at a combined 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres, but I was only able to return an average of 11.6 L/100 km. That said, I did get as low as 9.8 L/100 km when I was doing predominantly more highway cruising at the start of the test week.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Exterior: For 2022, Volkswagen gave the GLI a styling update that includes new front and rear bumpers, a new grille, a honeycomb rear diffuser, larger exhaust outlets, some new paint colours and wheel designs.

Further making the GLI stand out against its Jetta brethren are red accents throughout the exterior, which were in nice contrast to the Rising Blue Metallic paint choice on our tester.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The 18-inch Sevilla alloy wheels, with the red brake calipers poking through, and black rear spoiler are nice finishing touches to what is a stylish sedan.

The lighting on the GLI is all LED, with signature daytime running lights.

Interior: The cabin of the GLI may not have too much razzle and dazzle, but it does certainly feature a nice layout, good materials and the very nice 10.25-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. This large customizable screen allows the driver to have key information clearly displayed right in front of their eyes.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The GLI features leather seating with red accents, but I did notice that despite the vehicle’s young age, the seat material was already showing some signs of wear and tear.

The front seats are both heated and cooled, which is a nice feature for the sedan to have, while the outboard rear seats are also heated.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The rear seats offer decent leg room, and there is a very good amount of cargo space in the trunk, including a 60/40 split rear bench that can be lowered for longer items.

And finally, the interior ambient lighting, that has ten choices of colour, was a definite hit with our son.

Infotainment: In addition to the Digital Cockpit, there’s an 8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. It features a BeatsAudio premium sound system, with six speakers and a subwoofer.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The system is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and features wireless charging, satellite radio and navigation.

The operating system for the infotainment system is quite good, with clear menus and a good response time for inputs.

Controls feature a mix of physical buttons and on-screen commands for ease of use. Below the infotainment screen and easy to operate physical controls for the heating and cooling system.

Drive: The six-speed manual gearbox on the GLI was a real treat to have in my hand for a week, and the rest of the sedan is equally enjoyable as well.

The GLI features a sports suspension, which also helps make the drive a little more enjoyable as it handles well.

The GLI also features ECO driving mode, as well as Dynamic Chassis Control with driver profile selection.

I really enjoyed my week behind the wheel of the GLI. With more than enough power, that smooth manual shifter and a confident presence on the road, it’s a driver’s car.

Conclusion: There was little to complain about after a week testing the GLI. It looks really good, especially the blue exterior with black and red accents, has a comfortable and well thought out cabin with lots of creature comforts, and delivers a great driving performance. For around $34,000, that’s a pretty good package to consider.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Price as tested: $33,745.00
Freight: $1,750.00
Configuration: Front engine/Front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder/ 6-speed manual
Power/torque: 228 horsepower/ 258 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (50 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 7.9 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 11.6 L/100 km
Warranties: 4-years/80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Honda Civic SI, Hyundai Elantra N, Subaru WRX

Links: Volkswagen Canada

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