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2022 Volkswagen Jetta Pros vs Cons

Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Why Buy a 2022 Volkswagen Jetta? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against..

Anyone in the market for a new compact sedan should strongly consider the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta. Although the Jetta may not be quite as popular as the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic, it’s just as appealing. Not only is this car affordably priced, but it’s also roomy enough to satisfy families. For drivers who yearn for performance, VW offers the exciting GLI model. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the new Jetta such a rewarding choice.

What’s New for 2022?

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta has received some big updates. Interior and exterior styling tweaks give the latest model a fresh look. Meanwhile, a new engine seeks to improve the car’s driving experience. A new Q.Drive safety package arrives as well.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta – The Pros

1. New & Improved Engine Arrives for 2022

Among the Jetta’s most beneficial updates is its new turbo four-cylinder engine. It cranks out 158 horsepower, which is 11 more horsepower than the old engine. Volkswagen also tuned it to develop more torque at lower speeds. This change makes the Jetta more pleasurable to drive around town. While the Jetta isn’t blistering quick, it’s certainly peppy enough for most commuters. Road tests show the Jetta sprints to 60 mph in roughly 7.7 seconds.

2. Continues to Offer Good Fuel Economy

Fortunately, the car’s new engine does not hurt fuel economy. It's actually slightly more efficient than before. According to the federal government’s calculations, drivers can expect the automatic Jetta to return 31 mpg city/41 mpg freeway. Choosing a manual transmission results in an equally impressive rating of 29 mpg town/43 mpg freeway. Although the performance-focused GLI model is not quite as frugal, it can return up to 37 mpg on the open highway.

3. Fun-to-Drive GLI Model

This is the most exciting version of the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta. Powering the GLI model is a larger turbo four-cylinder engine, which musters out 228 horsepower. Drivers can also feel the engine’s 258 lb-ft of torque when accelerating. Expect the Jetta GLI to post a fleet-footed 0-60 mph time of around 5.8 seconds. VW also equips the GLI model with some exclusive performance features. While an adaptive suspension enables drivers to adjust the car’s handling characteristics, bigger brakes bring more stopping power.

4. All-New New Sport Trim

The Jetta Sport is the lineup’s newest trim level. It’s a great option for drivers who consider the GLI model to be a bit too pricey for their budget. Although the Sport trim may come equipped with the Jetta’s standard engine, drivers can look forward to enjoying tighter handling. VW’s XDS electronic differential lock and a firmer suspension help ensure a fun performance on winding roads. Exterior styling treatments, such as a blacked-out grille and unique 17-inch wheels, also give the Sport trim a more aggressive look.

5. Offers One of the Segment’s Best Rides

Most cars in this class don’t offer a more impressive ride. The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta delivers a plush highway ride that travelers will love. Its European-tuned suspension quietly suppresses rough vibrations when driving over harsh pavement. Fortunately, this sedan’s excellent ride quality does not comprise its handling. While the racier GLI model is made to perform like a true sports sedan, switching its adaptive suspension to the “comfort” mode ensures a more relaxing drive.

6. Roomy Small Car

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta is highly recommended for folks seeking a budget-friendly family car. Although the Jetta may be Volkswagen’s smallest sedan, it provides a more than adequate amount of passenger room. Automotive journalists give the Jetta top marks for its accommodating backseat. There’s 37.4 inches of legroom in the rear, thus allowing most adults to travel in comfort. Families can also appreciate the sedan’s deep trunk. Whether going shopping or packing for a weekend golfing trip, the Jetta should provide the necessary cargo space.

7. Affordable & Well-Equipped Vehicle

Drivers who are on a budget will admire the Jetta’s affordability. VW lists it with a low starting MSRP of just over $20,000. Luckily, even the base model comes loaded with modern conveniences. Unlike some of its competitors, the Jetta provides a standard mobile hotspot for all-day internet connectivity. A newly standard digital gauge cluster makes the 2022 model an even better bang for the buck. Other key features include a touchscreen multimedia display, App-Connect smartphone integration, and LED headlights.

8. Even More Active Safety Features Come Standard

To make the Jetta a more secure car, VW has updated with new standard safety technologies. When traveling on busy roadways, the car’s blind-spot monitor will help drivers to remain aware of vehicles they can’t see. Meanwhile, active emergency braking helps prevent disaster by reacting to a potential collision. Driver stress is further reduced by stop-and-go adaptive cruise control. Active lane control is another useful driving aid.

9. Well-Designed Infotainment Systems

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta allows drivers two choose between two different MIB infotainment systems. Lower trim levels feature VW’s older MIB interface, which provides an 8.0-inch display with App-Connect. Analog controls make this touchscreen interface a pleasure to use. A more advanced MIB 3 system is found on the higher trim levels. It provides a few extra goodies, including wireless smartphone pairing and wireless device charging.

10. Luxury-Grade Appointments Are Available

While all versions of the Jetta focus on providing a comfortable ride, upgrades are available for folks who desire more luxury. Heated/ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are found on the upscale SEL trim. While genuine leather upholstery is offered, many people will find Volkswagen’s V-Tex leatherette seating material to be just as nice. Available 10-color ambient interior lighting creates a cool mood.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta – The Cons

1. No Optional All-Wheel-Drive System

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta is a front-wheel-drive sedan. An AWD system is not offered on any of the available trims. While front-wheel-drive cars typically perform well in the rain, traveling on snowy streets can result in diminished traction. Folks living in a cold-weather state may need to shop for an alternative. Both the Subaru Impreza and the Mazda3 offer an AWD system.

2. Less Expensive GLI S Trim Has Been Discontinued

Unfortunately, the GLI model’s S trim is no longer offered. This value-packed trim was at least $4,500 less expensive than the 2022 VW Jetta GLI. Although the Jetta GLI S didn’t come equipped with quite as many premium features, it did offer the same level of performance. Prices for the 2022 Jetta GLI start at nearly $31,000 before checking off any options.

3. No Hybrid Powertrain Available

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta is very good on gas. However, some drivers may still be looking to save even more cash at the pump. Unfortunately, a hybrid powertrain is not offered. Rivals, such as the Toyota Corolla and the Hyundai Elantra, are available with a hybrid powertrain. They both can average over 50 mpg.

4. Styling May Be a Bit Too Relaxed for Some People

This sedan returns for 2022 with a refreshed exterior. While most people agree that the Jetta is a good-looking automobile, its styling may not be bold enough for some drivers. The car’s new wheel designs have also received mixed reviews.

5. Shorter Powertrain Warranty

A few years ago, Volkswagen covered the Jetta with a 72,000-mile powertrain warranty. Unfortunately, the automaker has since reduced its powertrain warranty to 50,000 miles. This change puts the Jetta at a disadvantage against some of its key competitors. While most cars in the class provide a 60,000-mile powertrain warranty, some even come with a 100,000-mile warranty.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2022 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2022 Toyota Corolla

The best-selling Toyota Corolla offers great long-term reliability. However, it does not offer as much performance as the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta. Toyota equips the Corolla with a less satisfying standard engine. Some of the Jetta’s premium features also aren’t offered on the Corolla, including ventilated front seats and genuine leather upholstery.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2022 Nissan Sentra

Automotive reviewers praise the 2022 Nissan Sentra for its comfy front seats and sporty exterior styling. However, it does not offer a more powerful engine upgrade. Families will also appreciate the Jetta’s extra rear legroom. A slightly higher fuel economy rating gives the Jetta another edge.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2022 Honda Civic

There’s much to like about the 2022 Honda Civic. However, it has a higher starting MSRP. A less potent base engine also puts the Civic at a disadvantage. Furthermore, buyers can benefit from the Jetta’s longer bumper-to-bumper warranty.


Recent updates make the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta an even buy than before. While its new engine brings a more pleasing performance, an updated list of standard safety features gives the car a more secure feel. Driving enthusiasts will especially enjoy being behind the wheel of the racier GLI model. A soft ride and spacious seating also make the Jetta an appealing family car.

While the VW Jetta has many adoring qualities, the absence of an optional AWD system limits ability to tackle snowy roads. Furthermore, the GLI model now has a noticeably higher starting price.

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2021 Volkswagen Jetta