2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan - Rating Details


B
Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SE Sedan 1.8T Driven On 11/7/2013 Ratings Summary The Volkswagen Jetta offers plentiful passenger and cargo room, but its cabin is otherwise nothing special. The low base price is eye-catching, but competitively equipped Jettas are priced similar to competitors. The SE's 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder is a gem, delivering class-beating acceleration and excellent fuel economy.
B
Performance The Jetta's new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is leaps and bounds better than the old engine and one of the best in the segment. However, "Performance" goes beyond acceleration. The Jetta's numb steering and unengaging driving experience do the engine few favors.
Acceleration
A
Fantastic engine for a compact sedan. Low-end power galore, responsive automatic transmission. Goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. No competitor we've tested does it quicker than 8.
Braking
A
Many dislike Volkswagen's long-travel, low-effort pedal feel; others appreciate it with time. Its 60-0 stop in 118 feet is among best in segment.
Steering
C
Steering has an elastic band quality -- numb with dead play at center, then weights up when turning increases. OK set-up on the highway, but not enough response or feedback.
Handling
C
Grip is on-par with rivals (0.83g on skidpad) and pace on mountain road was acceptable, but utterly lacks feedback. You don't feel confident driving it energetically (nor would you want to).
Driveability
B
Intuitive and easy to drive with the possible exception of the brakes. Excellent automatic transmission doesn't draw attention to itself, which is a plus. Cruise control does not hold speed downhill.
B
Comfort Damping on choppy pavement made the Jetta less comfortable than expected for a supposedly Autobahn-bred sedan. The seats are excellent, but this isn't the cross-country road trip car you might expect it to be.
Seating Comfort
B
Firm, supportive seats that hold up better on lengthy drives than many other compact sedans. Space is plentiful front and back. Driver seat has power recline, all other directions are manual.
Ride Comfort
C
Overly firm and borderline rough at times over choppy pavement, especially at highway speeds. Lacks the well-damped feel you'd expect from a German-tuned sedan.
Quietness
B
Turbocharged engine more pleasing to the ears than most other four-cylinders in the segment. Wind and road noise average for the segment. A road trip would not become tiresome.
A
Interior Huge cabin and trunk will appeal to families seeking the biggest car for their money. However, the electronics interface is below average and visibility suffers as the result of window reflections and limited rearview camera availability.
Ergonomics
C
Very simple HVAC. Touchscreen audio requires too many touch "buttons" to be pressed for iPod/iPhone control. Bluetooth pairing unintuitive. Cruise controls are on the turn signal.
Ingress/Egress
A
With its sizeable interior proportions and big doors, this is an easy compact sedan to get in and out of. Squared-off roofline means fewer clunked heads for rear passengers.
Space/Room
A
The Jetta is nearly a midsize car, as a pair of 6-footers can sit back-to-back. Headroom is plentiful, even with the sunroof. A much better family car than many compact sedans.
Visibility
B
Big windows, thin pillars and squared roofline create good visibility. Rearview camera only available on pricier SEL trim. Excessive reflections from plastic trim front and rear.
Cargo/Storage
A
15.5-cubic-foot trunk is enormous, matching those of midsize sedans and easily besting its compact rivals. Opening is very wide, 2 golf bags fit easily. 60/40 split-folding.
B
Value Our Jetta SE does not "feel" like a $23,945 car. Features list is competitive, but rival cabins have a posher look and feel at a similar price. This is not the near-luxury interior of Jettas past. On the plus side, fuel economy is excellent.
Build Quality (vs. $)
C
The Jetta's materials are average at best; many competitors' look and feel richer. Dash and door tops are hard and cause annoying reflections. Vinyl seats breathe OK, prevent stains.
Features(vs. $)
B
Jetta SE includes cruise control, leatherette, satellite radio and an iPod interface. Bluetooth phone/audio, touchscreen, heated seats, leather wheel are options. No rearview camera.
Cost
B
$16,315 base price is a mirage -- no equipment, sub-par engine, special order only. SE starts at $19,715 and has turbo engine, decent equipment level. As-tested is $23,395.
MPG
A
We averaged 30.6 mpg in 539 miles of driving the Jetta SE -- EPA estimates 29 Combined. On the 116-mile Edmunds evaluation loop, we achieved 35.4 mpg. Impressive given this car's power.
Warranty
B
3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and roadside assistance coverage. Drivetrain covered for 5 years/60,000 miles.
Ownership
B
3-year roadside assistance coverage and 2-year free scheduled maintenance save money and peace of mind. A long-term Jetta test car of this generation was largely trouble free.
C
Fun To Drive This isn't a fun car to drive unless your idea of fun is simply beating other compact cars at traffic lights. The Jetta will humbly take you to work and chew away long journeys, but a Ford Focus or Mazda 3 are more engaging.
Driving Experience
B
Despite its top-notch engine, this is not a car you relish coming back to for another go behind the wheel. Its firm ride at times is not balanced by commensurate handling capabilities.
Personality
C
Energetic engine scores it points, but this is otherwise a forgettable compact sedan. Lacks the styling flair and driving verve of many rivals, and near-luxury feel of Jettas past.
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan in VA is:

$172 per month*
* Explanation
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