VW adds 40 mpg turbo to compact sedan lineup

The Volkswagen Jetta is the best-selling car in America, and for good reason.

The five-passenger, front-wheel drive compact sedan is an amazing vehicle delivering performance, comfort and practicality.

With a base price starting at $17,680, the Jetta provides a lot of bang for the buck.

For the 2016 model year, Volkswagen has added a new 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 engine that delivers an EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city, 40 mpg highway.

Consumers have their choice of four trim levels — S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium — with a total of 10 equipment levels.

The 1.4T S features a five-speed manual transmission (available six-speed automatic); 15-inch wheels; power windows; MIB II infotainment system with touchscreen and USB, Bluetooth connectivity; multifunction steering wheel; speed-sensitive electric power steering; air conditioning; cruise control; power locks with remote keyless entry; and power-adjustable heated exterior mirrors.

Jetta 1.4 SE models (starting at $18,995) add 16-inch wheels; push-button start; heated front seats; and heated washer nozzles.

Jetta 1.8T SEL models (starting at $23,650) features the 1.8-liter turbocharged I-4 engine and adds 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; keyless access with push-button start; soft-touch dash; and foglights.

The 1.8T SEL Premium (starting at $25,380) adds two-tone sport seats with full-power driver seat; Fender premium audio system; Homelink; Climatronic dual-zone climate control; and cooled glove compartment.

Consumers may also opt for the 2.0-liter turbo diesel I-4 engine delivering 150 horsepower and 236 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, 2.0 turbo diesel Jetta models have an EPA fuel economy rating of 31 mpg city, 46 mpg highway when equipped with manual transmission (32 mpg, 45 mpg respectively when equipped with automatic).

The Jetta is also available in GLI and Hybrid models, but we will save both of those for a later review.

The Jetta is a remarkable vehicle. Throughout its powertrain lineup, the Jetta delivers solid performance, a smooth, quiet ride and exceptional comfort in a spacious, nicely equipped cabin.

And how can anyone complain about driving a turbocharged engine and still netting a 40 mpg highway fuel economy rating?

For those in the market for a compact sedan, the Volkswagen Jetta is a must for the test drive list.


Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.