Changes to the 2022 Volkswagen Models

Jack R. Nerad | Dec 01, 2021

For 2022, the changes in the Volkswagen model lineup reflect two big initiatives that the brand has undertaken. One is electrification, exemplified by the ID lineup of models led by the Volkswagen ID.4, which debuted as a 2021 model. Other electric vehicles in the new ID portfolio will soon follow. But perhaps even more critical for the short term is VW's increasing reliance on crossover utility vehicles, models like the AtlasTaos, and Tiguan that now represent the majority of its volume.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Blue Front Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

At the same time, Volkswagen is not neglecting the bread-and-butter sedans and hatchbacks that it has become known for over the decades. The Golf GTI and Golf R performance hatchbacks are all-new for the 2022 model year. Both Jetta and Jetta GLI compact sedans are subjects of a substantial mid-cycle refresh. And the Volkswagen Arteon luxury 4-door coupe gets a more powerful engine that should enhance its competitive prospects.

The brand is also dialing up more tech with broader applications of its IQ.Drive advanced driving assistance technology and Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrumentation and driver information system. Both are standard on the vast majority of VW models for 2022.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

The Volkswagen Arteon luxury car ups its sporting quotient considerably for the 2022 model year. The biggest news is an increase in horsepower to 300 from the 268 hp of the 2021 model. The more powerful engine is accompanied by a switch to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), replacing the previous 8-speed automatic. All the available trim levels are R-Lines, and all-wheel drive (AWD) has become standard on the mid-line SEL R-Line.

2022 Volkswagen Atlas Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

As the Volkswagen Atlas midsize crossover SUV continues to build momentum in the U.S. market, it benefits from equipment changes and trim alterations for 2022. 4Motion AWD is now standard on the SEL trim, and they also get 20-inch alloy wheels. The SEL R-Line Black trim features black 20-inch wheels and additional black trim. The base Atlas SE now has an 8-inch version of Digital Cockpit, and third-row USB-C ports join the SE with Technology sub-trim.

2022 Atlas Cross Sport Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

The 5-passenger Atlas Cross Sport crossover SUV shares many changes wrought on its 3-row brother, the VW Atlas. The lineup is streamlined to six trims, and the 8-inch Digital Cockpit is now standard on the SE version. The Atlas Cross Sport SEL gets standard AWD, and a Black package is also available.

2022 Volkswagen Golf Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

An all-new version of the legendary Volkswagen Golf GTI performance hatchback comes to market for the 2022 model year. Horsepower is up 13 to 241 from the updated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Both 6-speed manual transmission and 7-speed DCTs are there to back it up. But perhaps the bigger news is the tech infusion that the Golf GTI offers in its newest generation. The big-screen 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro is standard in the new GTI and the latest-generation IQ.Drive driver-assistance tech is available. The latter includes hands-on-the-wheel semi-automated driving capability.

New vehicle dynamics are also part of the new GTI. The system integrates an electronic locking differential, electronic stability control, and optional adaptive damping that Volkswagen says delivers better handling and superior ride quality.

After a regrettable absence, an all-new Volkswagen Golf R returns for 2022. It delivers 315 hp with the choice of 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed DCT. Torque-vectoring AWD is standard to help get that power to the pavement. Two new driving modes are available: Drift and Special. New vehicle dynamics settings deliver particularly agile and accurate handling.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

The Volkswagen lineup of battery-electric models starting with the ID.4 compact crossover points to the brand's destiny. Two closely related AWD versions of the model—the ID.4 AWD Pro and ID.4 AWD Pro S—were recently introduced to supplement the rear-drive ID.4. All the ID.4 models have full-charge ranges of 240 miles or higher. Because of their recent launches, the ID.4 models carry over essentially unchanged for the 2022 model year.

2022 Volkswagen Jetta Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

The Jetta compact sedan has been one of Volkswagen's mainstay models for decades, and it receives some serious changes for the 2022 model year. The most important is the substitution of a new higher-torque 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It can work with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. Inside, the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrument cluster is now standard, as is Volkswagen Car-Net that provides in-car Wi-Fi capability. The IQ.Drive array of driver-assistance features are now available on Jettas with an automatic transmission. The Jetta's exterior gets a mild update with new front and rear bumpers, redesigned grille, and new wheels.

Unlike the standard Jetta, the sport-oriented Jetta GLI doesn't get a new engine, but it benefits from the tech changes like wireless charging and wireless App-Connect. IQ.Drive driver-assistance features are standard on the GLI model.

2022 Volkswagen Passat Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

The Volkswagen Passat large sedan is being phased out in favor of the Atlas crossovers and ID.4s that will dominate production in VW's Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. But the Passat is not going away without being recognized. A 2022 Passat Limited Edition model will commemorate the roomy 4-door. It has 18-inch alloy wheels, black mirror caps, leather seats, and a seat tag message reading "VW Chattanooga Since 2011."

2022 Volkswagen Taos Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

The Volkswagen Taos small crossover SUV not only joins the VW lineup for the 2022 model year, but it has also rapidly become one of the brand's best sellers. That's not surprising since the good-looking SUV resides smack in the middle of one of the hottest segments in the U.S. market. The Taos is powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers good fuel economy, and it is available with VW's 4Motion AWD system.

VW's Digital Cockpit driver information display is standard, and the VW MIB3 infotainment system with wireless device charging and wireless App-Connect is available. The Taos also offers other upscale electronic features, including optional road sign recognition and the VW IQ.Drive driver-assist suite.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Changes - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

Like the VW Jetta, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan gets a mild styling makeover for the new model year. The front end gets the most work with a new grille, fascia, and some lighting changes. The revisions inside are more noticeable. Not only is Digital Cockpit now standard, but a new touch interface also accompanies it on the climate control. Volkswagen made IQ.Drive standard on all but the base S trim, and it is available as an inexpensive package on that model.

Volkswagen is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on November 3, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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