2014 Volkswagen Jetta vs. Its Competition

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The VW Jetta boasts great interior space and excellent handling, but falls behind compacts like the Ford Focus in features.

Our Best Car To Buy 2012, the Focus is a bit small in the back seat, but it's hugely entertaining to drive, and can be crammed full of the safety and infotainment features almost completely absent from the Jetta. The Chevy Cruze also has a high-economy model, clean and elegant looks, and a refined drivetrain, while the new Dodge Dart plays up more racy looks and big interior room over ultimate refinement.

The Hyundai Elantra is another award-winning compact with great value and space, with less a reputation for handling than for great fuel economy in all versions--and now, with coupe and five-door GT models.

The Kia Forte is new this year, and much more appealing and capable, but it's suffered a poor crash-test score from the IIHS.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid2014 Volkswagen Jetta
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2014 Chevrolet Cruze RS2014 Chevrolet Cruze
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2014 Dodge Dart SXT Blacktop2014 Dodge Dart
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2014 Ford Focus2014 Ford Focus
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2014 Hyundai Elantra2014 Hyundai Elantra
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2014 Kia Forte2014 Kia Forte
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Quick Specs
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 2014 Chevy Cruze is comfortable and practical--and now it offers a diesel engine that can return 40 mpg in real-world use.
Remember the Neon? The 2014 Dodge Dart brings back some of its personality, but in a decidedly better package.
Even without considering the top-performance ST, the 2014 Ford Focus is one of the best-driving small cars on the market--with the impression of being an accessible premium car, not a spruced-up econobox.
The Hyundai Elantra already had the bases covered--we'll see if a new engine and new tuning draws it even closer to best in class.
The 2014 Kia Forte finds better focus with well-rounded performance and grabby good looks, but its safety scores concern us.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 46 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded I-4Gas I4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsMidsize CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsMidsize CarsMidsize Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Manual Base4-Door Sedan Manual LS4-Door Sedan SE4-Door Sedan S4-Door Sedan Manual SE (Ulsan Plant)4-Door Sedan Manual LX
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Manual w/ODManualManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2014 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2014 Chevrolet Cruze2014 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2014 Dodge Dart2014 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2014 Ford Focus2014 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2014 Hyundai Elantra2014 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2014 Kia Forte