The Jetta continues as Volkswagen’s best-selling car three years after the sixthgeneration was introduced to the U.S. market as a 2011 model. And the 2014 version is the best yet.
Under the hood, the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in the SE and SEL trim lines has been replaced by a new 1.8-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engine with the EA888 Gen 3 designation. The engine makes 170 hp (the same as the 2.5) and 184 pound-feet of torque (7 more, delivered lower in the rev range). Equipped with an automatic transmission, it also has an EPA fuel economy figure of 25/36 mpg, an improvement of five mpg on the highway over the old engine, and it runs on regular unleaded gasoline.
VW engineers also made some other significant mechanical improvements for 2014. On the cars fitted with the available 1.8T engine, the hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering has been replaced by an electric-assist system, in line with the TDI and GLI models. All 2014 Jetta models now have a multilink rear suspension, replacing the previous torsion-beam layout on the 2.0L S, 2.5L SE, 2.5L SEL and TDI Clean Diesel models.
Inside, the Media Device Interface (MDI) cable has been relocated from the glovebox to the center console, while SEL, TDI with Premium, and TDI with Premium and Navigation trims get a rearview camera. The SE with Connectivity and Sunroof adds Keyless access with push-button start. A navigation system and automatic transmission now are standard on the SEL.
Volkswagen also has introduced its VW Car-Net connected services on the Jetta lineup. VW Car-Net — which has a six-month no-charge trial period — offers a host of security and convenience features, including Automatic Crash Notification, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location assistance. It also adds remote vehicle access; boundary and speed alerts; a vehicle health report, and an enhanced POI service on vehicles equipped with a navigation system. Most of the features can be administered through a smartphone app for iPhone and Android devices.
The Jetta design is defined by a coupelike incline of the windshield and the consistent use of horizontal lines. The horizontal blades in the grille and lower intake make the Jetta appear wider and more dynamic. To break-up the tall body sides, a pronounced character line — or “tornado” line — runs across the side of the car as a sharp crease from the rear edge of the headlights, beneath the windows, softening as it reaches the taillights. The pronounced wheel arches also add visual width and weight to the car.
The MSRP for the 2014 Jetta 2.0L S is $16,720.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.