Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 2014 First Drive Review - New Car Reviews 2014

Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 2014 First Drive Review

Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 2014 First Drive Review. For 2014, Volkswagen is taking some concrete steps to restore some of that luster. Under the hood Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 2014, a Gen 3 version of the EA888 four-cylinder turbo replaces the 2.5-liter five-cylinder in SE and SEL trims, which together represent 60 percent of Jetta sales volume.

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While the new 1.8-liter turbo makes the same 170 horsepower as the now-retired five-banger, it generates a bigger dollop of torque (184 lb-ft) and holds that from a just-above-fast-idle 1500 rpm to the upper reaches of the rev range. A faster-responding turbo and reduced engine friction help make the Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 2014 a very flexible engine that’s responsive to the throttle across a wide swath of the rpm band and not overly concerned what gear it’s in. With the base five-speed manual, for example, the engine will pull in top gear on uphill grades from 2000 rpm, or lug down to 1200–1500 rpm around town without the need to downshift.

Not that we have any aversion to shifting, as the Jetta’s five-speed stir stick offers low efforts, positive gates, and a precise feel. On paper, you might think that the Jetta’s five-speed manual is one cog short of its competitors, but the turbo mill is so torque-rich that five ratios cover the waterfront amply. We expect the Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 2014 will sprint to 60 in eight seconds or less, about a half second quicker than last year’s 2.5 model did. Also, unlike the premium-unleaded-sipping 2.0-liter turbo engine that powers the GLI, the new Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 1.8-liter turbo runs on regular unleaded, which should save a couple of bucks at every fill-up.

When you put it all together, Volkswagen is giving us the Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 2014 with the 1.8-liter turbo and a multilink rear setup for about the same money as last year’s car with the old 2.5-liter five and rear beam axle.

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