Reviews

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI – Still Jekyll and Hyde, and That’s Good

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI could also be modified, however its character stays the identical.

Similar to with the closely up to date Golf GTI, that’s trigger for a sigh of aid.

Maybe much more so, because the Jetta GLI doesn’t get the identical high-falutin’ inside therapy. Thank God for conserving it old fashioned.

Certainly, this Jetta GLI is so much just like the earlier one, at the least when it comes to persona. Similar to with the GTI, Volkswagen managed to make crucial updates with out screwing issues up.

(Full disclosure: Volkswagen flew me to Asheville, North Carolina, and fed and housed me for 2 nights so I might drive the Golf R, GTI, and Jetta GLI, plus every other present VW I wished to. They supplied socks in the identical sample as GTI seats and I left them behind.)

The adjustments to the GLI are minor – a reskin of the entrance and rear, new wheels, and new obtainable paint finishes. The inside is “revised” however not as totally as that of the Golf R/GTI. The GLI is now obtainable in just one trim – the highest trim.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Tim Healey/TTAC

The Jetta additionally will get reskinned and picks up a brand new 1.5-liter engine. One was available in North Carolina however I had no probability to drive it.

GLIs retain the two.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and energy is unchanged at 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed guide is normal, with a seven-speed DSG automated obtainable. Energy goes to the entrance wheels – no AWD possibility right here.

Inside, the most important change is {that a} digital gauge cluster is now normal. As famous above, nonetheless, the GLI does NOT get the haptic-touch management therapy that the hatchback Golfs do. Sure, meaning there’s a quantity knob. Rejoice!

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Tim Healey/TTAC

As a result of the automobile doesn’t change a lot, it retains the Jekyll/Hyde character that pulls followers of sleeper sedans. Drive it sedately, and it’s a quiet commuter that hardly feels completely different from the “common” Jetta.

Throw it into Sport mode, nonetheless, and the automobile comes alive. Hell, you’ll be able to even floor the darkish facet whereas in Consolation – ask the vacationers I shocked after I pulled out of a scenic lookout and punched the gasoline. The automobile went from whisper quiet to offering a head-turning, booming exhaust inside seconds.

To be clear, the GLI’s dealing with is extra restricted than that of the smaller, sportier Golfs. I got here nearer to the restrict sooner, and I managed to squeal tires at some fairly sluggish speeds whereas second-gear cornering on the famed Rattler freeway. The automobile was predictable, with understeer exhibiting up.

These minor flaws apart, the automobile stays extra enjoyable than the usual compact commuter, and it’s a greater city runabout than the high-strung Honda Civic Si (outgoing, anyway, haven’t pushed the brand new one but) or the downright impolite Subaru WRX (which can be redone for this yr, and once more, we haven’t laid fingers on the brand new one). The GLI stays the selection for the hot-compact intender who needs to be relaxed in the course of the day by day grind.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Tim Healey/TTAC

The strut-type entrance suspension stays, as does the multilink rear with anti-roll bar. GLIs journey 0.6 inches decrease than different Jettas and are extra stiffly sprung. DCC adaptive damping is a part of the bundle.

Regardless of that, consolation is usually not sacrificed. The automobile rides properly in sedate commuting. There’s some physique roll when pushed.

It may be a tad noisy, although. Tire noise was noticeable, and the engine makes its presence identified above 3,000 RPM or so. And the exhaust observe can get a bit boomy and echoey.

The clutch/shifter within the guide work nicely sufficient. The gearbox isn’t a real pleasure to row, nevertheless it’s no chore, both, and it’s simply wonderful for the back-road blast.

I’d additionally suggest it over the DSG. Not due to any nostalgia for stick-shifts, however as a result of the DSG typically determined to shift up after I didn’t need it to, even after I was utilizing the paddle shifters to override its logic. It additionally tended to revert again to automated mode earlier than lengthy if I didn’t contact the paddles. It’s a wonderful transmission for commuting, at the least, however when you plop down GLI cash, you’re seemingly planning to drive in anger at the least every so often, and if that’s your plan, you’ll be finest served by the guide.

I’m glad VW left the cabin largely alone. I just like the digital gauges however I additionally like the benefit of use of old-school knobs and buttons. Inside house stays roomy, and most supplies up entrance appear class/worth applicable, although some low cost stuff sneaks in, largely within the rear and/or beneath the beltline.

The reskin is so minor that the majority people won’t even discover. I actually didn’t get chased down by a curious (and educated) fanatic the best way I did when piloting the Golf R a couple of minutes later. The automobile stays good-looking in a conservative means, and really a lot NOT a head-turner. Which is nice, if the sleeper side of this automobile appeals to you.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Tim Healey/TTAC

Since GLIs are basically sharing gear with top-trim Jettas, they get LED lighting, panoramic sunroof, heated entrance seats, cooled entrance seats, leather-based seats, dual-zone local weather management, a ten.25-inch gauge show, USB-C ports, navigation, satellite tv for pc radio, Bluetooth, wi-fi cellphone charging, wi-fi smartphone mirroring, premium audio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. One characteristic that they don’t get – heated rear seats. Wheels are 18-inch, versus the 17s that different Jettas run on.

Choices are restricted to a rear spoiler and a Black bundle that offers you black wheels and different exterior trim bits.

VW’s IQ.DRIVE suite of driver-aid methods is normal. It consists of lane centering, forward-collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, energetic blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise management, and extra.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Tim Healey/TTAC

Gas economic system is listed at 26/37/30 for the stick and 26/36/30 for the DSG.

Pricing begins at $30,995 for the guide and $31,795 for the automated, with the vacation spot charge including $995.

What now we have here’s a automobile that’s mildly modified however largely staying the identical. The most important change – the digital gauge cluster – is good however not a serious enchancment. And that’s wonderful, because the automobile stays a delight to drive when pushed and a quiet commuter the remainder of the time. The GLI’s twin character fits it simply wonderful.

What’s New for 2022

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI will get a minor exterior refresh, new gauges, and different minor tweaks and adjustments.

Who Ought to Purchase It

Somebody who needs a sporty compact that isn’t high-strung throughout day by day commuting.

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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