2014 Volkswagen Jetta Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

7.6
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
7.0
Expert Rating
Performance
7.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
8.0
Expert Rating
Safety
8.0
Expert Rating
Features
8.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
9.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

The 2014 VW Jetta stands out in TDI and GLI trim, and its new four-cylinder erases our bad memories of the old five-cylinder.

The Volkswagen Jetta slots into the VW lineup as the compact companion to the big Passat sedan--but in truth, it's large enough that it encroaches on mid-size territory. Priced to compete with the likes of the Dodge Dart and Hyundai Elantra, the Jetta wears its German heritage on its sleeve in its sober styling and capable handling, and its unfortunately aged infotainment system.

The Jetta looks conservative compared to other cars in its segment, and depending on your psyche, that's either a bonus or a point against it. The lines are sleek and understated, almost completely without drama--but finely rendered on closer look. The cockpit works from a driving perspective, and all the major controls are organized effectively, though VW's concessions to infotainment have been slow, and few.

Where the Jetta distances itself from the vast horde of excellent compact cars is in the powertrains it offers. From base four-cylinders to more exotically engineered hybrids, it spans a wide range of performance and fuel economy. We'd skip the base 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower four entirely--but find much good in the new arrival for 2014, VW's excellent new 1.8-liter turbo four. It's good enough, close enough to the 2.0-liter, 210-hp four in the GLI to make the distinction a slight one--versus the outgoing, lumpy, outdated five-cylinder.

For fuel economy mavens, the Jetta TDI is no longer the only play in VW's book, but it's still far more common than the new-for-2013 Hybrid. Think of the TDI as the 42-mpg highway cruiser that attains those figures with relative easy, one that lets you relax in pursuit of those numbers. The Jetta Hybrid? It's pegged at a lofty 45 mpg combined by the EPA; given our experience with hybrids as a subset of all vehicles, it'll be more challenging to attain those numbers, though in the Jetta at least, you'll be entertained by driving to meet them (cough, Prius.)

Another change for 2014 with a great upside: there's no longer a torsion-beam rear suspension in any Jetta, which means GLI-like handling can be had with the smaller-displacement turbo four, if you're willing to work with shocks and tires.

VW also is bringing back the Jetta SportWagen, which soldiers on for this last model year, riding on the last-generation Golf platform. Only the five-cylinder and diesel are offered on the SportWagen, and its fluid road manners are worth checking out, but back-seat passenger space pales against the back seat in the Jetta sedan.

The Jetta's safety scores have been very good, but a rearview camera comes only on more expensive models. Blind-spot monitors and other new inventions are off the menu, but for a price in the mid-$20,000 range, a well-equipped Jetta turbo or TDI will generate more driving pleasure than any touchscreen ever could. Are we agreed?

The Car Connection Consumer Review

Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
Saturday, October 3, 2015
2015 Volkswagen Jetta Base

stick transmission still geared to tight 1 gear still the same shift to soon..

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Brakes as not as good as i would like,1st gear still the same must shift to soon but still like the car
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
2015 Volkswagen Jetta Base

its a great car.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
design is sleek, interior is very nice, the features could be better, and fuel economy is pretty good
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
Thursday, April 9, 2015
For 2015 Volkswagen Jetta

WORST CAR YOU CAN PURCHASE

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
This being my first big purchase, I am FURIOUS with what I got myself into. I was already hesitant in purchasing a Volkswagen because of all the mixed reviews I heard about it, however, i decided to go with it... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
See all user reviews »
Looking for other models of the Volkswagen Jetta?
Read reviews & get prices
Compare the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta against the competition
Compare All Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
s