The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is refreshed this year.  And I like what The People’s Car people have done!

For sure the compact sedan always delivers on stylish good looks and performance.  Furthermore, they always manage to do it at a great price point.

But even with that in mind, it feels like VW has leveled up its game for this refresh.  Perhaps you’ll agree as we unpack this review.

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2022 VW Jetta GLI Top-3:

  1. Styling
  2. Technology
  3. Value

What’s New For 2022 VW Jetta GLI?

So the front grill and rear bumper are the most noticeable areas of the 2022 GLI’s refreshment.

And both are enhancements that play perfectly to the target market of Jetta driving enthusiasts.  And the cover picture of this article tells the story on the front.  But the back is a bit more subtle as you’ll notice below.

2022 VW Jetta GLI rear - rear bumper lower valance

Sporty rear lower valance

Spot the honeycomb lower valance across the rear bumper?  Nice touch!

Volkswagen also notes larger exhaust pipes on the ’22 GLI but I don’t think that’s quite as noticeable.  Other exterior changes include new wheel design options and a Black appearance package.

Additionally refreshed areas are inside the Jetta GLI.  Including a newly designed steering wheel wrapped in leather.  And red accent stitching.

2022 VW Jetta GLI driver front

2022 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn

Trim Configuration And MSRP

For the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI it’s super simple.  Because the German carmaker gives you only one option.

So if you want to go with the enthusiasts Jetta for this model year, then you’re getting the Autobahn trim.

And the ’22 Autobahn GLI trim is well equipped and the starting manufacturers suggested retail price is $31,295.

Engine, Transmissions, And MPG

Also, when it comes to your engine and transmission options your decision-making is simple.

Because the 2022 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn comes with one engine.  However, here in the United States, we have the option of transmissions.

First, the engine is a spirited 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder.  It’s a 16-valve turbocharged inter-cooled, TSI.

And available here in the US for 2022 the GLI Autobahn is available in both automatic and manual transmission!  (Exciting because in VW’s European home only manual is available.)


However, GLI is a blast to drive especially at its price point.

This is due in large part to the well-balanced 228 horsepower engine that puts out 258 pound-feet of torque.


Aside from manual and automatic, there is a slight difference in the transmissions.

The automatic, which I test drove and you see pictured throughout this article is a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.  Notable here is that paddle shifters come with the single-trimmed GLI for 2022.  And this automatic trans/paddle-shifter combo provides ample driving enjoyment.

However, if you want to take your driving enthusiasm to the next level, you can opt for manual transmission.  And it’s a six-speed.  (My guess is that getting your hands on a manual transmission will probably require a special order.)

GLI Fuel Economy

Near identical MPG will be delivered for the 2022 VW Jetta GLI regardless of your transmission.

If you opt for the manual trans then you’ll get an estimated 26 MPG in the city and 37 on the highway.

Ever-so-slightly adjusted MPG for the GLI automatic transmission is an estimated 26 in the city and 36 on the highway.

The fuel economy for these transmissions is so close that they’re estimated to both deliver 30 MPG for combined city/highway averages.

2022 VW Jetta GLI driver rear and roof

5-seat compact sport sedan

What’s The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Look Like?

It’s a compact sedan.  But the GLI is the enthusiasts/sporty version of the Jetta.  And with this year’s refresh the sportiness is taken to the next level!

Undeniably European and Volkswagen is how the 2022 Jetta GLI appears on the road.

Key exterior dimensions are below.

2022 VW Jetta GLI Exterior Dimensions:

  • Length 186.9
  • Wheelbase 105.6
  • Track:
    • front 60.5
    • rear 60.7
  • Width 70.8
  • Height 57.9
  • Groud clearance 5.7

*All inches

And the GLI, which stands for Grand Luxury Injection, has a curb weight that differs slightly.

So, it depends on the automatic or manual transmission.  The curb weight for a manual is 3,272 lbs and the automatic is 3,355 lbs.

Also with the 2022 Jetta GLI refresh are the previously mentioned optional wheel designs.  As well as the aforementioned black appearance package – which is precisely what it sounds like. :0)

2022 VW Jetta GLI cockpit

41.1/37.4″ – front/back legroom

2022 VW Jetta GLI Interior

Inside the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is all the fit and finish finery we’ve come to expect in a VW.

And I really love that aspect of VW overall.  But it’s especially felt, noticed, and appreciated on their highly equipped rides like the GLI.

Everything is solid to the touch and feel.  All the joints of the panels come together cleanly.  The vehicle just has an overall sense of solidness and above all quality.

Moreover, though, this year’s refresh highlights that even a bit more with the newly designed gear shifter and steering wheel.  Both are newly wrapped in leather.

2022 VW Jetta GLI Interior Metrics:

  • Headroom 38.5/37.2
  • Shoulder room 55.9/54.0
  • Hip room 53.0/51.4
  • Legroom 41.1/37.4

*All front/back inches

2022 VW Jetta GLI cargo area with backseat partial down

14.1 cu ft cargo space with backseats up

Interior Volume

  • Passenger volume 94.7
  • Cargo volume 14.1

*All cubic feet

Infotainment And Technology

Unquestionably the leading technology favorite in the ’22 GLI is Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit.

Because it replaces all traditional dashboard analog instrumentation with a digital monitor.  Meanwhile, that monitor can be configured in numerous different ways.

2022 VW Jetta GLI steering wheel and digital cockpit

7-speed automatic trans w/ paddle shifters

So you can highlight MPH, RPM, navigation, and other driving metrics to your liking.  Additionally, you can save the profiles you configure.  And this way you have it at the ready for whoever or whatever driving conditions lay ahead.

Plus all the latest safety tech is packed into the 2022 VW Jetta GLI.  Because again, there’s just the one trim Autobahn.  So it gets all the cool content.

Top-3 Favorites For 2022 VW Jetta GLI

So back to Top-3.  There’s plenty to choose from but when I have to pick just three – here you go:

  1. Styling: The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a great-looking ride – really inside and out.  It punches way above its weight class here.
  2. Technology: Let by my favorite, the Digital Cockpit.  It’s again, tech that you won’t find in many of the Jetta GLI’s class competitors.
  3. Value: Because of the previous two, and a whole bunch of additional aspects like the drive, acceleration, and handling. GLI is a great buy for your bucks.


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