The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta isn’t usually the first compact sedan on our minds when parsing through the best-in-segment, but you should still keep that in mind. High riding on a big update for this year, the Jetta is spacious, ultra-efficient, easy to live in and completely undisputed.
Its Powertrain offers lots of punches, and there’s a lot of love for those who want a manual transmission, since you can get it in three different Zeta trims. Of course, GLI will not be excluded from any Zeta discussion, so we include it in this review and purchase guide. Commonly known as the sedan version of the GTI hatchback, the GLI is even more different than usual this year. Although VW has radically changed the internal user experience for the brand new GTI, we already know and love GLI tracks with older VW bits. It’s a serious fun, small sport sedan, and presents itself as a valid Civic C or WRX alternative.
When it comes to mobility we might prefer to travel in a Civic or Mazda 3, but there’s no denying that the Zeta is great technology as an A-to-B commuter, with plenty of up-market features and a comfortable ride.
Interior and Technology | Passenger and Cargo Space | Performance and fuel economy
What does it feel like to drive a car? Prices and Features | Crash rating and security features
What’s new for 2022?
Zeta and GLI have been refreshed mid-cycle for 2022. This update brings updated styling, more security features and strengths for the regular Jeter, as well as modified trimming. A new grille, new bumpers, new LED lights and taillights highlight the changes outside. Inside, VW is offering all Jettas a complete digital gauge cluster that was previously available at the upper trim level, a new steering wheel and touch haptic buttons for the infotainment system.
VW has upgraded the base powertrain from Taos to a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It offers more horsepower and greater efficiency versus the outgoing engine.
How about Jetta’s interior and in-car technology?
The interior of the Jeter is a classic Volkswagen. It’s simple and easy to use, looks professional and built at a cost. You won’t find the Mazda3’s flair or luxury, or the Civic’s alluring style, but there’s very little to annoy inside the Jeter. It doesn’t have the interior of the new GTI, which is a plus in our book. GLI’s upgraded upholstery, sport seats and sport steering wheel have made things a bit nice at GLI.
The standard touchscreen measures 6.5 inches, which is small, but competitive with other base model sedans. The 8-inch screen upgrades significantly increase functionality, but both are fairly easy to use. The standard wireless Apple CarPlay integrates well (wireless Android auto included too), and the touch haptic controls are actually easy to use. We like the inclusion of a physical volume knot and all the other controls are simple and neatly arranged.
How about the interior and in-car technology of Jetta GLI?
Meanwhile, Zeta GLI (directly above) gets its own infotainment system. It’s a 10-inch touchscreen, but effectively works just like an 8-inch screen on a regular jet. The VW Zeta equips the GLI with its touch haptic-controlled steering wheel, which you’ll find in the new GTI or Golf R. It is relatively painful to use, but there is definitely a steeper learning curve compared to regular jetter wheels. The GLI also gets lots of red internal accents, which you can see in the bottom right.
How big is Zeta?
The Zeta is a large “compact” car on the outside and the largest on the inside. The legroom in the back seat is huge, and the rear seats fit easily into the kids’ seats, making the Zeta a great option for families on a tight budget (or in fact those who don’t need more space than the increasingly large medium-sized car). Its 14.1-cubic-foot trunk is also wide and deep, though not as big as what you’d find in a Kia Fort or Honda Civic. The Honda compact sedan and hatchback match the jetter rear seat on the paper, but the VW’s high-mounted seat means you’ll probably be more comfortable.
This also applies to GLI, which makes it a great performance bargain. It doesn’t look as compact or maneuverable as a GTI or Honda Civic Si, but it’s not a huge difference.
What are Jetta’s fuel economy and performance specs?
The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta comes standard with a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four. Normal for its 158 horsepower segment, but its 184 pound-feet of torque transmits it to the front wheels. Ideal for a six-speed manual transmission S and Sport trim. An eight-speed automatic is ideal for everyone else. Fuel Economy for the manual is rated 29 mpg City, 43 mpg Highway and 34 mpg combined. A base auto is rated for 31/41/35 mpg, but step by step up to the SE or SEL trim, and those figures drop to 29/40/33 mpg.
The Zeta GLI significantly boosts things with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a six-speed manual or VW’s seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. An electronically locking front differential has been added as well. Combined fuel economy excellent for 26 mpg CT, 37 mpg highway and 30 mpg manual. Highway image automatically drops to 36 mpg.
What does it feel like to drive a jet?
Regular zeta is forgettable to drive, but not aggressive. The ride is comfortable for most minor bumps and road imperfections, but on large bumps, such as railroad crossings, it can crash, land with a heavy sound, and float slightly as it returns to its normal state. Some more sophisticated damp will do it well. It’s not a particularly great handler either, either – it doesn’t do any good for this new generation to have a torsion beam rear suspension. The steering, in ordinary VW fashion, is numb in the center and very artificial in feeling. Similarly, throttle response and action are described as “lazy mash”. The 1.5-liter turbocharged engine attached to it is at least compliant around town and enough to merge into a highway.
How does it feel to drive Zeta GLI?
Everything goes much better with Zeta GLI. The rear suspension is a more advanced independent multi-link setup that is more suitable for posed cornering, and while the tuning is slightly softer than a GTI with extra roll and pitch, it actually encourages improved stability on rough roads. Even better, the GLI comes with adaptive dampers. The Sport mode is quite strong, while the normal mode provides a better-damp balance between control and comfort.
GLI’s steering is good enough – it’s high in effort but consistent with adequate feedback. Although it is still a bit of an artificial feeling, and can transmit more street feeling. Other upgrades include an electronic locking differential that efficiently powers out so that the GLI explodes from the angle in a friendly and supportive manner. We’ve also been impressed by its brakes under heavy use and no throttle complaints.
Any other VW Jetta reviews I can read?
2022 VW Jetta GLI Road Test Review | Is the trunk beat hatch?
In today’s compact sport sedan game we have updated GLI to spin to see where it stands.
2022 VW Jetta and GLI makeover, new features, still have manual
All the nitty-gritty details about what’s new for the 2022 version of Zeta and GLI.
2019 Volkswagen Zeta First Drive Review | More style, not more excitement
Our first crack in the new generation of VW Jetta.
2019 Volkswagen Zeta R-Line Driver’s Note Review | Find that old flame
Our editors have all given their opinion about the updated VW Jetta for 2019.
What is the price of 2022 Jetta and what features are available?
The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta is available in S, Sport, SE and SEL trim levels. The 2022 GLI can only be at the top-shelf Autobahn trim level.
The Zeta S’s standard equipment includes a 16-inch alloy wheel, LED headlights / taillights, heated side mirrors, a manual driver’s seat, upholstery, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, Wireless and USB. Port. The SE trim adds many coveted extras: 17-inch wheels, keyless entry and push-button start, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seat with lumbar support, V-Tex leather upholstery Components, a rear center armrest and a large suite of driver assistance systems. As such, we think this is the best place to start in a standard Zeta lineup.
The sport adds some coveted extras that make the Zeta a little more attractive, including the GLI to XDS cross differential system, 17-inch wheels, black out trim and sport seat.
Below, you will see the base price of each Zeta and GLI trim level, here you will find the features of each Zeta trim level and the complete division of specs and local prices. Autoblog. You will find the same information for Jetta GLI here.
S: $ 21,360
Game: $ 22,260
What are the safety ratings and driver support features of Jetta?
In addition to general airbag selection, rearview cameras and stability aids, the standard comes with Zeta blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. Generally, these are optional. A $ 995 package includes several systems including forward collision warning, front automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and travel assistance (lane-centering). These features are ideal for some competitors. SEL trim adds automatic high-beam. Meanwhile, GLI comes standard with every possible driver support system.
In the official crash test, 2022 Zeta got five out of five stars for overall crash protection. It has four stars for front protection and five stars for side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the best possible rating in each crash category, but marginal and poor headlight ratings prevented it from winning the IIHS Safety Award.