Written by James Hamel
At a recent (well, it was recent in 2014) full line VW drive event that we here attended in Napa, we started our morning grabbing the keys to the vehicle that we expected the least from as far as thrills and surprises go. We chose to drive a manual transmission equipped 2014 VW Jetta
in midlevel (and very affordable) SE trim with the all new VW 1.8 liter base corporate turbocharged 4-cylinder motor. But there is nothing basic at all about this new 170 horsepower/184 lb. feet of torque engine, dear readers, and no longer is the Jetta a bargain basement, built to price economy car with a faint hint of German sportiness about it.
No, the 2014 VW Jetta
is born again as a value price European sport sedan with no qualifiers needed. Yes, after a couple of years with a solid rear axle
, some nasty interior plastics and a boat anchor of a base engine in the form of a geriatric 2.5 liter 170 horsepower 5-cylinder base motor the Jetta has reconnected to its mojo in more than just TDI and GLI trims. The 2014 VW Jetta
also boasts the return of an independent rear suspension
to all models sold in the U.S.A. as well as the addition of electrical power steering
that in a surprising turn actually adds to this car’s feeling of connectedness to both the driver and road.