2022 VW Jetta SEL Premium - A right size sedan
I like sedans. I like them more than SUVs. That puts me at odds with most out there. When I was younger I preferred 2-door sedans and coupes. I still like 2-doors but I guess I'm more practical in my dotage.
What is it that I like about a sedan? Well right off the top it isn't a SUV or truck. Not that all SUVs are truck based. Then of course there's the fact that I do not travel with a large family. It's usually just my wife and me, occasionally one of our grand-kids, or maybe another couple. Yup a nice 4-door sedan fits our needs just fine.
And the 2022 VW Jetta is a perfect size 4-door sedan for me even though the EPA says it is a 'compact'. Within its 186.5" in length there is room for five (four very comfortably), and enough room for almost nine carry-on bags in the trunk (one carry on bag holds about 1.6 cubic feet).
What else should a modern car excel at? Fuel economy! US EPA rates this Jetta at 40-mpg on the highway and an astonishing 29-mpg around town. I wasn't able to verify this but a quick peek at results in some of the magazines says the EPA figures are obtainable.
I like the styling of the Jetta, heck I like the styling of all VWs. They are not 'wowie-zowie' but tasteful. I tend to keep cars for a long time and I want a car that still looks in style ten years on. As far as I'm concerned that should be the styling norm.
Volkswagen has upped their game inside. VW interiors have always been practical (well in a Teutonic way) but maybe a tad boring. I'd call the interior style tasteful. Again nothing that will be passé in a few years. VW seats are not sofa soft, they are firm and supportive. The only complaint is that sitting on my wallet was uncomfortable.
For a car this size the engine might seem small to some. The 1.5-liter 4-cylinder is not the most powerful turbocharged engine out there but it felt more than competent on the road. It's 158-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque felt like more to me. Again turning to those that do instrumented tests I see that the Jetta does okay in acceleration - 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds. If you want higher performance opt for the GLI and it's more powerful, but thirstier engine.
The test Jetta SEL Premium had an 8-speed automatic that worked just fine. I like that the transmission doesn't default to the economy mode every time you restart. I just left it in "Sport" and it stayed that way. A 6-speed manual is available on some models if you like to shift for yourself, something now a rarity in most vehicles.
VW prices their vehicles to sell in my opinion. A base Jetta with a manual transmission starts at $20,365. A SEL, a fully loaded car, is still under $30,000 ($28,095). And when I say fully loaded I mean it. There was nothing I would want that wasn't included.