2014 Volkswagen Jetta Review – U.S News & World Report


The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta ranks 21 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Jetta, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta is ranked:

#21 in Affordable Small Cars
#13 in Affordable Compact Cars
Automotive journalists are pleased with the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta’s spacious cabin and new turbocharged engine, but they say the base model lags behind rivals with poor fuel economy and a spartan interior.

The VW Jetta is available with four engine choices, which gives it one of the most diverse powertrain lineups among compact cars. Reviewers say the Volkswagen Jetta’s base four-cylinder engine is underpowered, but they’re impressed with the new turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s available on SE and SEL trims, saying it offers better fuel economy and a lot more oomph at a reasonable price. Additionally, test drivers note that better performance and greater fuel efficiency is available from GLI and TDI models, which feature turbocharged and turbodiesel engines, respectively. The 2014 Jetta is available with manual, automatic and automated manual transmissions, and reviewers say that stick-shift models offer a precise shifter, while the automatic transmission available on SE and SEL models impresses test drivers with its quick, refined shifts. Equipped with an automatic transmission, the base Jetta gets an EPA-estimated 23/29 mpg city/highway, which is poor for the class, but the diesel-equipped Jetta TDI gets an excellent 30/42 mpg. Reviewers agree that while the Jetta is not a sports sedan, it delivers a stable ride, composed handling and accurate steering. The Jetta also comes with safety features like Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System, which automatically unlocks doors, turns on hazard lights and cuts the fuel line in the event of a collision.

Reviewers say the Jetta offers a spacious trunk and one of the roomiest cabins in the class, with ample head- and legroom in the front and rear seats. Some reviewers note that the 2014 Jetta’s simple cabin design looks a little plain compared with the cabins of other rivals, and they note that the Jetta’s cabin features more hard plastic surfaces than they would like. Auto writers say that the Jetta’s controls are well-arranged and easy to use, though a few critics say the available touch-screen display is too small. Standard features include a CD audio system and an auxiliary audio jack, but buyers will have to upgrade to get features that are standard on many rivals, including Bluetooth and iPod integration. Optional features include dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, a Fender audio system, navigation, cruise control, a rearview camera and a sunroof. VW’s Car-Net system, which links car security, maintenance and navigation features to a compatible smartphone app, is also available.