The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta receives several updates to help keep it competitive in the compact sedan segment. The most important of those are a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and independent rear suspension.
The new 1.8-liter turbo-four engine produces 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, the same amount of power but seven lb-ft more than the 2.5-liter inline-five engine it supplants. It is available on Jetta SE and SEL models. Although there are no official EPA figures yet, Volkswagen estimates the new engine will return 26/36 mpg (city/highway) with a five-speed manual transmission and 25/36 mpg with a six-speed automatic. For comparison, the current Jetta 2.5 is EPA-rated for 23/33 mpg with a manual and 24/31 with an automatic. Volkswagen will also offer the 1.8T in the 2014 Passat and Beetle, as well.
The rest of the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta engines are unchanged: the base 2.0-liter inline-four has 115 hp, the 2.0-liter turbodiesel makes 140 hp, the GLI's 2.0-liter turbo-four has 210 hp, and the Jetta Hybrid has a 150-hp gasoline engine and a 27-hp electric motor.
The other major change is that independent rear suspension becomes standard on all models of the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, replacing the existing twist-beam rear setup. (The GLI and Hybrid already had independent rear suspension.) The change should improve both handling and ride comfort. All versions but the hybrid and the base 2.0-liter also trade their full-hydraulic power steering for an electro-hydraulic system.
Inside, the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta has its optional iPod connector relocated from the glovebox to the center console, and a backup camera becomes standard on SEL, TDI Premium, and TDI Premium and Navigation trim levels. The SE with Connectivity and Sunroof model adds push-button start. The SEL is henceforth offered only with a six-speed automatic transmission, and also adds touchscreen navigation and a Fender sound system. The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid receives a full-color display in the instrument cluster.
New for the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta (as well as other models in the company's lineup) is a telematics feature called VW Car-Net. Similar to General Motors' OnStar and several other competing systems, Car-Net provides features like crash notification, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle tracking, as well as various location and vehicle health alerts, through a smartphone app. The service is free for the first three months of ownership, after which a subscription will cost customers $199 per year or $17.99 per month.
The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta goes on sale in August. Prices will be announced closer to that time.