2022 Volkswagen Jetta facelift debuts in the US – new 1.5 litre turbo base engine; GLI returns with 228 hp

Even though Volkswagen of America (VoA) is saying goodbye to the Passat, the smaller Jetta will continue to have a place in the company’s line-up and has been refreshed for the 2022 model year. Set to arrive in dealerships in the United States within the fourth quarter of 2021, the sedan gets a nip and tuck job as well as some mechanical and equipment updates.

The regular Jetta will be offered in four trim levels, including a new Sport option, while there’s just one version of the performance-focused GLI. For the standard model, there’s now an EA211 1.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that replaces the previous 1.4 litre TSI unit.

The EA211 is also used on the Taos and runs on the Miller cycle to produce 158 hp and 250 Nm of torque, sending drive to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. The GLI keeps its EA888 2.0 litre turbo four-pot from before with 228 hp and 350 Nm, accompanied by either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG dual-clutch unit.

Both receive new front bumpers, with the standard model sporting a wide-width lower intake, joined by a redesigned grille with chrome trimmings. Meanwhile, the GLI gets a sportier front bumper with black garnish and is bookended by brake ducts. Also unique to the GLI is the honeycomb mesh applied to the lower intake as well as the grille, the latter of which comes with a red accent stripe between the chrome bars and a “GLI” badge.

Along the sides, chrome window trim is standard fitment, but the GLI and Sport trim feature a black window surround instead. As for the rear, the GLI comes with dual exhausts and a honeycomb diffuser element in black, whereas the normal model is more subdued with its chrome trim and hidden exhaust outlet.

Depending on trim level, there are different wheels on offer that range from 16-inch alloys on the Jetta to 18-inch units on the GLI, with two optional black-wheel packages. LED headlamps are standard too, and customers can choose from seven exterior colours for the Jetta, while it’s just five for the GLI.

The interior remains pretty much unchanged from before, but all regular Jetta trims get an eight-inch Digital Cockpit instrument cluster as standard now, while the GLI comes with a 10-inch Digital Cockpit Pro system. Both receive Volkswagen’s MIB infotainment system, wireless charging and wireless App-Connect and an eight-inch touchscreen.

Lesser trim levels get rhombus fabric seats with contrast stitching, while costlier options can be had with leatherette and leather seating surfaces. The latter is available in Volcano Brown colour and black two-tone palette, which is new for the 2022 model year. The GLI, being the sportier model, gets red contrast stitching, a sport steering wheel and perforated leather seats with a red underlay.

Elsewhere, a powered driver’s seat, Climatronic automatic climate control as well as keyless entry and engine start are available from mid-trim models on Jetta and are standard on GLI. Other options include a sunroof, BeatsAudio sound system and 10-colour ambient lighting. The IQ.Drive driver assistance suite is also available from the entry-level trim, with additional systems added on further up the line-up.

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