Listen to this article

Verdict

6.8 / 10

​​Design | Comfort | Tech | Performance | Safety | Fuel Economy | Pricing | FAQs

The new-and-much-improved Honda Civic gets most of the attention these days, but what about the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta? Although the Jetta doesn’t do much to inspire from the driver’s seat, à la the Civic, it does offer many things that buyers in this segment are looking for.

Most importantly, the Jetta is comfortable. VW’s small sedan has ample passenger space and among the best ride quality in the class. The technology is solid, too, and if you opt for the top-end SEL model tested here, you’ll find a suite of active safety equipment to go with it. Much as it always has, the Jetta makes an attractive alternative to the conventional choice.

A vehicle's verdict is relative only to its own segment and not the new-vehicle market as a whole. For more on how Motor1.com rates cars, click here. The images pictured here were provided by Volkswagen and show a different car than the one we tested.

Quick Stats 2022 Volkswagen Jetta SEL
Engine: Turbocharged 1.5-Liter I4
Output: 158 Horsepower / 184 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH: 7.7 Seconds
Trim Base Price: $20,665 + $1,095 Destination
As-Tested Price: $31,264

Gallery: 2022 Volkswagen Jetta Review

Design

5/10
  • Exterior Color: Kings Red Metallic
  • Interior Color: Titan Black
  • Wheel Size: 17 Inches

Clean and inoffensive are the two highest compliments you can pay the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta, but the styling borders on bland. The Kings Red metallic paint is at least a nice $395 contrast to the normal grays and blacks, while the SEL’s optional 17-inch wheels (a $1,749 accessory option) offer some semblance of sportiness. The interior is just as basic with an unimpressive design that’s littered with black leather upholstery (for the SEL only) and a mix of soft and hard black plastic. There are a few faux aluminum trim pieces that try and offset the monotony of it all, but they’re few and far between.

Volkswagen Jetta
shop now
 

save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Volkswagen Jetta

 
shop now
 

Comfort

8/10
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
  • Cargo Capacity: 14.1 Cubic Feet

The Jetta is a pleasant drive partner. It has a smooth ride, delivers excellent sound deadening, and it will keep you and your passengers comfortable over long distances thanks to its well-contoured seats. Both rows on this SEL model are heated, too, as is the steering wheel, and the front seats offer ventilation – something you won’t find on the Civic. And while not class-leading in any respect, the Jetta is also one of the roomier options in the class.

Interior Dimensions Headroom, Front/Rear: Legroom, Front/Rear: Cargo Volume:
Volkswagen Jetta 38.5 / 37.2 Inches 41.1 / 37.4 Inches 14.1 Cubic Feet
Honda Civic 39.3 / 37.1 Inches 42.3 / 37.4 Inches 14.8 Cubic Feet
Hyundai Elantra 40.6 / 37.3 Inches 42.3 / 38.0 Inches 14.2 Cubic Feet
Mazda3 38.0 / 37.3 Inches 42.3 / 35.1 Inches 13.2 Cubic Feet
Toyota Corolla 38.3 / 37.1 Inches 42.0 / 34.8 Inches 13.1 Cubic Feet

Technology & Connectivity

7/10
  • Center Display: 8.0-Inch Touchscreen
  • Instrument Cluster Display: 10.3 Inches
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto: Yes/Yes

Every Jetta comes with a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen, but the SEL features a larger 8.0-inch screen that has excellent touch response and crisp graphics. Navigation and satellite radio are standard here alongside wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity (exclusive to the SEL trim). Joining that 8.0-inch touchscreen is a lovely 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster that’s relatively configurable and displays different graphics and colors depending on the drive mode.

Performance & Handling

5/10
  • Engine: Turbocharged 1.5-Liter I4
  • Output: 158 Horsepower / 184 Pound-Feet
  • Transmission: Eight-Speed Automatic

The Jetta uses a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that sends 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque exclusively to the front wheels. The Jetta certainly isn’t speedy, but its eight-speed automatic transmission is a refreshing contrast to the ever-common CVT; it shifts with a crisp decisiveness. Fans of corners will have more luck with the sporty GLI as the standard Jetta’s suspension is floaty and too soft for any sort of spirited driving, and the brakes can be grabby, even at low speeds.

Safety

6/10
  • Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
  • NHTSA Rating: Five Stars
  • IIHS Rating: Not Top Safety Pick

Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking are not standard across the board. But the upper SE and SEL models have them both, as well as what Volkswagen calls Lane Assist and Travel Assist; basically, active lane centering and cruise control with braking and acceleration. All of these features work on the highway as you’d expect, with limited ping-ponging in the lane and smooth acceleration and braking inputs.

Fuel Economy

6/10
  • City: 29 MPG
  • Highway: 40 MPG
  • Combined: 33 MPG
Efficiency: City: Highway: Combined:
2022 Volkswagen Jetta 29 MPG 40 MPG 33 MPG
2023 Honda Civic 1.5L 33 MPG 42 MPG 36 MPG
2023 Hyundai Elantra 2.0L 33 MPG 43 MPG 37 MPG
2022 Mazda3 2.0L 28 MPG 36 MPG 31 MPG
2023 Toyota Corolla 2.0L 32 MPG 41 MPG 35 MPG

Pricing

2/10
  • Base Price: $20,665 + $1,095
  • Trim Base Price: $29,480
  • As-Tested Price: $31,264

A base Jetta S will cost you $21,760 with the $1,095 destination fee included, but the top-end SEL is $29,480, which makes it a pricier proposition for the class. Adding the $395 paint and the $1,749 wheels brings the final asking price to $31,264 for this tester. The good news is that, beyond a few aesthetic upgrades, all of the advanced safety and technology features come standard on the Jetta SEL.

Pricing: Base Price + Destination: Competitive Spec:
Volkswagen Jetta SEL $20,665 + $1,095 $31,264
Honda Civic Touring $24,650 + $1,095 $32,848
Hyundai Elantra Limited $20,500 + $1,045 $27,795
Mazda3 S Premium $22,550 + $1,065 $35,755
Toyota Corolla XSE $21,550 + $1,010 $29,810

Jetta Competitor Reviews:

FAQs

What Are The Drawbacks Of The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta?

Unlike some of its competitors, the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta is only available as a sedan, with a single powertrain option and front-wheel drive. There is no hybrid or all-wheel-drive option.

Did Volkswagen Discontinue The Jetta?

No, Volkswagen updated the Jetta in 2019, moving it to a new platform. It has not been discontinued.

What Cars Are Comparable To The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta?

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta competes in the compact sedan space, which puts it up against the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda3, and Nissan Sentra.

Volkswagen Jetta

Engine Turbocharged 1.5-Liter I4
Output 158 Horsepower / 184 Pound-Feet
Transmission Eight-Speed Automatic
Drive Type Front-Wheel Drive
Speed 0-60 MPH 7.7 Seconds
Efficiency 29 City / 40 Highway / 33 Combined
Weight 3,060 Pounds
Seating Capacity 5
Cargo Volume 14.1 Cubic Feet
Base Price $20,665 + $1,095 Destination
Trim Base Price $29,480
As-Tested Price $31,264
Got a tip for us? Email: tips@motor1.com