The Volkswagen Jetta has long been a go-to for the mainstream segment of compact sedans. As always, the Jetta offers snappy handling, now backed up with a responsive turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. Full torque comes in low, at 1,400 rpm, creating a power dynamic that’s thoroughly usable in everyday traffic conditions. Perhaps the best thing about this little four—which is the only engine available on the Jetta, even on the sporty-looking R-Line—is its economy.
As always, the Jetta offers snappy handling, now backed up with a responsive turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. Full torque comes in low, at 1,400 rpm, creating a power dynamic that’s thoroughly usable in everyday traffic conditions. Perhaps the best thing about this little four—which is the only engine available on the Jetta, even on the sporty-looking R-Line—is its economy. Mid-30s gas mileage is de rigueur across the board, and real-world highway mpg can push past 40. But it’s no boring fuel-miser, either. Along with its responsive steering, the Jetta’s ride is smooth, which is great for those of us with a cranky niño or two aboard that we’d rather not awaken. Highway cruising is as easy as around-town shuttling.
The standard features of the Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T S include 1.4L I-4 147hp intercooled turbo engine, 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, air conditioning, 16″ aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, electronic stability.
The gateway to the lineup is the Jetta S, which is incidentally the only trim with a 6-speed manual transmission. It’s outfitted with cloth upholstery, a 6.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment that’s Apple- and Android-compatible, 9007 LED headlight bulb, alloy wheels, and a steering wheel with audio controls. The 8-speed automatic runs $800 extra, while a worthwhile $450 Driver Assistance package adds automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
The Jetta’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine does a commendable job, delivering an energetic initial spurt off the line and shifting smoothly, thanks to its eight-speed automatic transmission. For die-hards who prefer shifting themselves, a six-speed manual transmission is available on the base car, but VW says it won’t bring any fuel economy advantage.
Every 2020 Jetta is equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 184 lb.-ft. of torque across a broad rev range starting at just 1,400 rpm. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard with S trim, with an 8-speed sport automatic optional for the Jetta S and standard with all other variants of the car.