Standard across the new VW Jetta lineup (excluding the Jetta GLI which we review separately) is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine borrowed from the new VW Taos. The 1.5L turbo-four replaces the 1.4-liter mill used last year, bringing more power and low-down torque to the Jetta family. What doesn't change is the sole use of a front-wheel drivetrain, while the Mazda 3 and Subaru Impreza both offer the option of AWD. The new powertrain has improved the Jetta's acceleration, but not by any substantial margin. 0 to 60 mph comes up in an unhurried 7.6 seconds in independent testing while its top speed is just 127 miles per hour.
The Sport model is meant to be the performance-focused option, but there aren't any extra ponies to play with. It does however get an XDS differential that sharpens up its handling, but if you're after a Jetta with a bit of poke, the 228-hp Jetta GLI will be up your alley with a six-second 0-60 mph dash and sharper handling.
Volkswagen's new 1.5-liter turbo-four-cylinder engine has brought some much-needed power to the Jetta range. With 158 hp and 184 lb of torque, the turbo-four now offers another 11 hp compared to last year. It's not a lot but it is supplemented by the engine's tuning for low-down torque delivery. The outputs are forwarded through a six-speed manual gearbox in the S and Sport and through an eight-speed automatic transmission in the SE and SEL to a front-wheel drivetrain in all.
Acceleration responses from off-the-line are brisk by virtue of the engine's low-down torque tuning but from there, gaining ground and getting up to overtake speeds is really gradual. Even so, the engine exhibits minimal turbo lag whatsoever, and the motor works effectively and efficiently with either of the transmissions. The manual gearbox does provide some level of engagement, but with not much power to play with and a fair bit of weight, the Jetta doesn't exactly come alive the way other compact sedans do.
|Volkswagen Jetta Trims||Volkswagen Jetta Engines||Volkswagen Jetta Horsepower||Volkswagen Jetta Transmissions||Volkswagen Jetta Drivetrains||Volkswagen Jetta MPG/MPGE|
|S||1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||158 hp @ 5500 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
|FWD||34 MPG |
|Sport||1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||158 hp @ 5500 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
|FWD||33 MPG |
|SE||1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||158 hp @ 5500 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||FWD||33 MPG|
|SEL||1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||158 hp @ 5500 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||FWD||33 MPG|
The Jetta has always been a frugal car but VW has improved its efficiency even further with the new 1.5-liter engine. The manual-equipped S and Sport have lost a little efficiency in city driving but gained better highway mileage for returns of 29/43/34 mpg city/highway/combined compared to the 30/41/34 mpg of last year's models. Opt for the automatic transmission and those figures improve slightly with both the S and Sport attaining 31/41/35 mpg. Both the SE and the SEL come standard with the automatic but are heavier, returning slightly lower figures of 29/40/33 mpg. Both the Hyundai Elantra and the Honda Civic are more frugal, attaining best combined-cycle figures of 36 mpg and 37 mpg, respectively.
With a full 13.2-gallon tank of gas, one should be able to travel for up to 459 miles in mixed conditions before needing to refuel.
|Volkswagen Jetta Trims||S||Sport||SE||SEL|
|Volkswagen Jetta Tank size||14.1 gal.||14.1 gal.||14.1 gal.||14.1 gal.|
|Volkswagen Jetta Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||29/41||29/40||29/40||29/40|