2023 Volkswagen Jetta Performance

Volkswagen Jetta Performance Rating

2023 Jetta Performance

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.

2023 Jetta Performance Photos

2023 Volkswagen Jetta Driving Front Angle Volkswagen 2023 Volkswagen Jetta Driving Back View Volkswagen 2023 Volkswagen Jetta Engine Volkswagen
2023 Volkswagen Jetta Driving Front Angle
2023 Volkswagen Jetta Driving Back View
2023 Volkswagen Jetta Engine

Engine and Transmission

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.

2023 Volkswagen Jetta Performance Specs:

Volkswagen Jetta TrimsVolkswagen Jetta EnginesVolkswagen Jetta HorsepowerVolkswagen Jetta TransmissionsVolkswagen Jetta DrivetrainsVolkswagen Jetta MPG/MPGE
S1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas158 hp @ 5500 rpm6-Speed Manual
8-Speed Automatic
35 MPG
Sport1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas158 hp @ 5500 rpm6-Speed Manual
8-Speed Automatic
34 MPG
SE1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas158 hp @ 5500 rpm8-Speed AutomaticFWD33 MPG
SEL1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas158 hp @ 5500 rpm8-Speed AutomaticFWD33 MPG

2023 Jetta Gas Mileage

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.

2023 Volkswagen Jetta Fuel Capacity

Volkswagen Jetta TrimsSSportSESEL
Volkswagen Jetta Tank size14.1 gal.14.1 gal.14.1 gal.14.1 gal.
Volkswagen Jetta Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)29/4129/4029/4029/40
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