2022 VW Jetta starts at $21,190, sporty GLI at $31,990

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Volkswagen announced pricing for its 2022 Jetta lineup Monday, confirming a starting price of $21,190 (including $995 for destination) for the Jetta S — an increase of $1,200 over the 2021 model. That's just enough to nudge it over the line from our 2021 list of best new cars for under $20,000.

Though the GLI's price hike seems especially egregious at nearly $5,000, that's because the 2022 model will be offered only in the Autobahn trim; the cheaper GLI S model has been deleted entirely.

The Jetta got a fairly comprehensive overhaul-in-place for the 2022 model year. All models got some exterior tweaks and equipment updates. Non-GLI models get LED running lights at the flanks of its new nose, while the GLI gets red-trimmed air intakes. The regular Jetta's rear bumper gets some chrome accents whereas the GLI gets a large mesh trim around enlarged dual exhaust tips. LED headlights and taillights are standard on all models, and new colors and wheel designs are available, too.

Inside, little tweaks have been made throughout. VW's "Digital Cockpit" instrument setup is now standard. Contrast stitching has also been added to the dash panels and in the doors for a little more detail as well as a slightly more premium feel. New steering wheels have been fitted, with the GLI's getting haptic touch buttons along with a bright red accent. The GLI gets new red and black dash accents as well as perforated leather seats with red coloring in the perforations. Since the S model has been eliminated, the GLI is pretty much loaded up at its starting price.

For 2022, the Jetta gets a standard turbocharged 1.5-liter engine making 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The EPA has certified this combo at 29 mpg city, 43 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined in the standard S model with six-speed manual. Switching to the optional eight-speed automatic gets you 31 mpg city, 41 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined. SE and SEL models equipped with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission have an EPA-estimated rating of 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined.

The GLI, with its the turbocharged 2.0-liter four making 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, is rated at 26 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined with the standard six-speed and 26 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined with the optional seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic.

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