- Many different trims to choose from, including a diesel model
- 2.5-L, five-cylinder engine is being replaced by a new 1.8-L turbocharged four-cylinder
- Sportwagen and Hybrid varieties covered separately
The most affordable model in Volkswagen’s lineup, the 2014 Jetta adds a brand new engine and advanced safety technology for the new model year to keep up with the Joneses in one of the most hotly contested segments. It competes with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Focus among others.
The Jetta’s calling card is its versatility, coming in several different varieties including a diesel model, a hybrid, and even a wagon (the hybrid and wagon are covered as separate models on this website). From the outside, the Jetta’s styling is more conservative than brash but it remains a very handsome car in a German, simple kind of way. The edges are softened and the lines flow into each other which give the Jetta the same sort of symmetry you notice in Audi’s. 15-inch wheels are standard as are powered side mirrors. Moving up the trim levels adds larger wheels, a moonroof, and foglights. The high-performance GLI gets a 30th anniversary trim for 2014 and adds even more exterior flair with a dual exhaust and smoked taillights, to go along with larger wheels and a sport-tuned suspension.
Under the hood, the Jetta’s engine options include three gasoline engines and one high-efficiency diesel engine. The base engine remains a 115-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is mostly relegated to rental car duty. Next up, things get more interesting with brand new 170-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder which is more powerful and more efficient (26/36 mpg city/highway) than the old 2.5-liter five-cylinder it replaces. For maximum fuel economy, a 140-hp, 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder is also available. The GLI gets its own engine as well, a 210-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The aforementioned diesel engine leads the pack in fuel economy at 30/42 mpg city/highway.
Inside, the 2014 Jetta seats five and has plenty of room in the trunk for baggage (15.5 cubic feet). The base trims of the Jetta do not come with many features in order to keep the base price low; the standard features list is pretty much limited to power windows/locks, auxiliary audio input, and air conditioning. However, Volkswagen doesn’t disappoint those who want to add more to their Jetta by offering a large range of trim levels and options. Leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod port, satellite radio, and a navigation system are all available on higher trims.
The Jetta performed well in crash tests, earning a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS. The usual suspects when it comes to safety features are standard: side curtain and front side impact airbags, antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, and active front head restraints. A backup camera is optional.