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2022 VW Jetta GLI: Turbo, room, vroom, good-looking

Once again, we go back to Asheville, North Carolina, where it really is pretty from a geographic AND political standpoint. And the Bears are handsome as well. (Be sure to check out my travel story on Bear Asheville).

Set to this backdrop is the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI, ‘turbocharged/intercooled’ six-speed manual or seven-speed (dual-clutch) automatic transmission that will offer 228 horses and 259 pound-feet of torque -– for those of you who are into that kind of power.

All of this comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that will give you just what you need to feel the power – and hopefully not get you in trouble with law enforcement as you cruise along. Volkswagens all have turbos and they are indeed fun to drive while not being a drain on your wallet, averaging 37 mpg (manual) and 36 mpg (automatic).

Admittedly, you will be paying 50% more for the GLI trim.  The base Jetta starts at $20,195 US and it truly is a great car for those who want to buy new. On the base Jetta, you will get the Standard Digital Cockpit, contrast stitching and updated cloth seats (leather and leatherette available), and two new exterior colors –- Volcano Brown and Black Two-Tone –- are available. 

Step up to the GLI, where prices for 2022 start at $30,995 US, and the show really begins. Exterior styling includes dual sport exhaust incorporated into the bumper and 18-inch wheels are standard (black wheels optional). 

This, like all the other the Volkswagens I drove, was also a lot of fun to drive.  Cars now are more intuitive, at the 2022 Jetta GLI was no exception. Handling was smooth and comfortable. The cabin was quiet, almost a little too quiet. You expect a turbo to make some noise, but those days are gone. 

Inside, you’ll get perforated leather seats with red underlay (which really does look snazzy and sporty), a very butch steering wheel with touch controls (a lot of them), stainless pedal caps and illuminated door sills. 

Anymore, the safety features that are standard are true lifesavers: Blind Spot Monitoring, Front Brake Assist, Rear Traffic Alert, LED Headlights and Taillights, to name a few. 

The 2022 Jetta or Jetta GLI would be good option if you are considering buying new, but as always, I encourage you to get in the car first. Yes, first and foremost, make sure you are comfortable.

I found that there was plenty of room, even in the backseats, so I think most of you will be okay. 

That said, as we close in on the New Year, be sure to enjoy your holiday season while it lasts.

And celebrate however you desire!

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