Volkswagen Jetta Gets Major Upgrade

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This upgrade from the new Taos SUV will carry over to the Jetta.

Later this month, Volkswagen will reveal the newest member of its SUV family: the Taos. Designed for the US market, the Volkswagen Taos will slot below the Tiguan as the German automaker's smallest utility vehicle in America.

But ever since Volkswagen confirmed the Taos will be powered by an upsized 1.5-liter version of the turbocharged, 1.4L four-cylinder engine found under the hood of the Jetta, we were left wondering whether VW's compact sedan would get the same punchier motor. Now, we have our answer.

"We have some life cycle management in [the Jetta's] future," Volkswagen of America COO Johan de Nysschen told CNET's Roadshow recently. We'll take that as a yes.

2019-2021 Volkswagen Jetta Front View Driving Volkswagen
2019-2021 Volkswagen Jetta Rear Angle View Volkswagen

No timeline was provided, but it's almost a foregone conclusion now that the new 1.5-liter engine will join the Volkswagen Jetta lineup as the car undergoes a mid-cycle update, expected to launch in 2021 or 2022. The Jetta's current 1.4-liter turbo engine tops out at 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque - not bad, but we'd sooner have the Taos's 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft.

But the Taos's new 1.5-liter isn't just more powerful than what's currently in the Jetta; it's also more efficient, thanks to VW's variable turbocharging technology and slick, low-friction APS-coated cylinder liners.

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2019-2021 Volkswagen Jetta Side View Volkswagen
2019-2021 Volkswagen Jetta Front View Driving Volkswagen

Of course, EPA ratings are often markedly different from real-world fuel economy. But Wolfgang Demmelbauer-Ebner, chief engineering officer for Volkswagen in North America, promises that VW's upgrades focused on "not only the fuel consumption proven by the EPA cycle," but "real-world customer fuel consumption."

Fuel economy ratings for the Taos haven't been confirmed yet, but it will be more frugal than the Jetta, which is rated at 30/40/34 mpg city/highway/combined. We'll find out more when the Volkswagen Taos debuts on October 23. Volkswagen's new compact SUV, which will be available with front- or all-wheel-drive, will then go on sale in the US in summer 2021.

2019-2021 Volkswagen Jetta Front View Driving Volkswagen
2019-2021 Volkswagen Jetta Steering Wheel Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Source Credits: Roadshow

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