2014 Volkswagen Jetta Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious interior and trunk
  • smooth ride quality
  • good fuel economy and performance from turbocharged engines.
  • Weak, inefficient base engine
  • high price of diesel-powered TDI
  • spotty interior quality.
List Price Range
$6,994 - $15,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The Volkswagen Jetta is a pleasantly roomy sedan, and improvements for 2014, including a new turbocharged gas engine, have made it more appealing.

Vehicle overview

It took a while, but the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta is finally starting to feel like, well, a Jetta. That wasn't the case in 2011, when the current, made-for-America Jetta debuted. Its rock-hard plastic dashboard, reduced amenities, inferior rear drum brakes and basic semi-independent rear suspension were all notable downgrades from the previous, relatively upscale Jetta.

The idea, of course, was to make VW's venerable small sedan more affordable, but we felt Volkswagen had gone too far. Formerly a top pick among our editors, the Jetta quickly became an afterthought, even as it reached unprecedented sales heights. Like a hollow Hollywood blockbuster, the car was a commercial success but a critical failure.

To Volkswagen's credit, things have improved since. Although the cheap dashboard persists on SE models and below, a soft-touch dash is now standard in the SEL and TDI models. Four-wheel disc brakes have been standard since last year, while a more sophisticated fully independent rear suspension (previously exclusive to the GLI) is now the standard setup for 2014. Under the hood, a new turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine supplants the previous five-cylinder engine, bringing with it superior acceleration, fuel economy and overall refinement.

Other positive attributes are still here for the Jetta as well. Its spacious rear seat and trunk are more accommodating than the interior quarters in other top sedans in this class. And for many shoppers, the diesel TDI engine continues to be a draw as well. It's perhaps less appealing than it once was -- it's expensive, and the new 1.8-liter gas engine is nearly as efficient -- but it still does provide some of the best fuel economy and cruising range you'll find outside of a dedicated hybrid.

That said, there are other 2014 models that deserve your attention. The Ford Focus and redesigned Mazda 3 are nicer on the inside, and are also more fun to drive. Consider, too, the Hyundai Elantra, which promises distinctive style, quality and fuel economy for less coin. If it's fuel economy you're after, the Chevrolet Cruze, with its Eco and new Diesel models, is a very good pick, as is the Honda Civic Hybrid (or even the Jetta Hybrid).

Overall, though, we do feel the 2014 VW Jetta merits consideration alongside segment leaders, which is something we haven't been able to say for a while. It may not be the nicest Jetta ever, but in this price range, its roomy cabin and diverse engine lineup are tough to beat.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta models

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta is a midsize sedan available in Base, S, SE, SEL and TDI trim levels. The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is reviewed separately, as are the Jetta Hybrid and the performance-oriented GLI.

The stick-shift-only Base model, which is technically available but must be special-ordered from the dealer, comes with a 2.0-liter engine, 15-inch steel wheels, power windows, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker CD sound system with an auxiliary audio jack.

The Jetta S adds power heated side mirrors, keyless entry, air-conditioning, a trip computer, an optional automatic transmission, power door locks and a front-seat center armrest.

The Jetta SE steps up to the 1.8-liter turbo engine, electric power steering, 16-inch steel wheels, body-color exterior mirrors, cruise control, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, two-way power front seats, a rear-seat center armrest, a trunk pass-through, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and an iPod interface.

The SE with Connectivity adds 16-inch alloy wheels, heated washer nozzles, heated front seats with driver lumbar adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and Car-Net telematics. The SE with Connectivity and Sunroof adds (you guessed it) a sunroof, plus keyless entry/ignition and an upgraded sound system with a touchscreen interface and SD memory-card reader.

The SEL includes all the SE's optional equipment, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a soft-touch dashboard, a rearview camera, a six-way power driver seat, a touchscreen navigation system and an eight-speaker Fender premium sound system.

The Jetta TDI with its turbocharged diesel engine is equipped similarly to an SE with Connectivity, but it adds different 16-inch alloys and the soft-touch dashboard. Choosing the TDI with Premium nabs the sunroof, rearview camera and Fender sound system with touchscreen interface. When equipped with the optional navigation system, the TDI also gets 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, the six-way power driver seat and keyless ignition/entry.

2014 Highlights

The big news for the 2014 Jetta is its new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine, which replaces the underwhelming five-cylinder that powered the Jetta for many years. There's also a handful of equipment updates, including a standard independent rear suspension, an available rearview camera and VW Car-Net telematics.

Performance & mpg

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Base and S trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 115 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg combined (24 mpg city/32 mpg highway) with the automatic and 28 mpg combined (24 mpg city/34 mpg highway) with the manual.

The Jetta SE and SEL upgrade to a new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that cranks out 170 hp and 184 lb-ft. The SE gets the same transmission choices as the lower trims, while the SEL is automatic-only. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 30 mpg combined (26 mpg city/36 mpg highway) with the manual and 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/36 mpg highway) with the automatic.

The Jetta TDI features a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder that produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission (known as DSG) is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a DSG-equipped Jetta TDI hustled from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. With either transmission, estimated fuel economy stands at an excellent 34 mpg combined (30 mpg city/42 mpg highway).

Safety

The 2014 VW Jetta comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is included in SEL and TDI models. VW's new Car-Net telematics system, standard from SE with Connectivity on up, includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many of these functions on the go.

In government crash tests, the Jetta earned a rating of five stars overall, with four stars for front crash tests and rollover protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Jetta its best possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. In the IIHS's new small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Jetta posted a "Marginal" rating (second worst of four), though most cars the IIHS has tested for small-overlap posted similarly mediocre ratings.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Jetta TDI stopped from 60 to zero mph in 128 feet, which is a little longer than average for this class of car.

Driving

When it comes time to pick an engine for the 2014 VW Jetta, the base 2.0-liter should be avoided, as it's seriously underpowered and returns subpar fuel economy. The new 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder is the one to get, as this genuinely engaging mill is blessed with power, refinement and everyday docility. The automatic transmission executes smooth, well-timed shifts, too.

The Volkswagen Jetta TDI still gets you the best fuel economy, and its ample torque makes it seem more powerful around town than the horsepower spec suggests. More demanding drivers might prefer the manual transmission on the TDI model, because the DSG transmission exhibits a delayed response to gas pedal inputs when left in its normal Drive mode. Most owners get used to this behavior in time, though, and once you're on the move, the DSG provides quicker downshifts than you'd get with a conventional automatic transmission.

One thing that hasn't changed about the Jetta over the years is its solid, substantial feel on the road. The smooth ride quality is ideal for both rough city streets and long trips on the highway. Around turns, the Volkswagen Jetta is not especially sporty, but it's steady and its steering is precise. Small sedans like the Focus and Mazda 3 are significantly more fun to drive, though.

Interior

While the 2014 Jetta has one of the least exciting interiors in its class, some might interpret this as tasteful restraint. Whereas rivals may use various curves, angles and textures to catch your eye, the Jetta just gives you simple, straightforward gauges and a no-nonsense control layout. The controls generally feel substantial and well-damped, which unfortunately makes the numerous hard, coarse plastic panels seem even more incongruous. At least a soft-touch dashboard has trickled down as far as the SEL and TDI models.

What the Jetta loses in finer details, though, it tries to make up for with interior space and features. The backseat is large enough for full-size adults to ride in comfort, which cannot be said of the Focus, for example, and the 15.5-cubic-foot trunk is one of the roomiest you'll find in this class. We also like the available touchscreen stereo interface and its redundant dial knob, which is ideal for controlling a portable music player. The associated navigation system, however, is a bit of a letdown due to the small screen and limited amount of display information.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Still A Great Value
tweetconn,06/12/2014
SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I now have 57,000 miles on my Jetta. I still haven't had any major mechanical problems. The only issue was a burned out light bulb on one of the daytime running lights that occurred several thousand miles ago. That has been the only thing so far. Mileage in and around town continues to be about 32 - 33 mpg. My best highway mileage is 43 mpg. The 1.8 TSI engine still does not use any oil and has lots of power. I have used synthetic oil from the beginning and change it every 5000 miles. The interior (and trunk) is very roomy and comfortable. The ride is quiet and smooth. My wife's 2016 Jetta S has had no issues either and now has over 30,000 miles.
great car for the Price
Marc Cadwell,02/20/2015
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
Bought this car as a come on from newspaper ad. $13599 0% financing. It is exactly what I wanted and got. Underpowered? Yes! Bells & whistles? No. Basic affordable transportation? Yes! If you want more upgrade!!! HWY mpg 41 @ 75mph in town 27 mpg. Don't dog this car you can't make it faster, it is what it is. I love it. No problems great dealer and service department. UPDATE 8-20-17 the car is still as described above with the usual parking lot road wear and tear. No problems. Snow tires added this year, what a difference they make. No squeaks or rattles. Overall I'm pleased with the Jetta S but I knew what I was buying. UPDATE 2-21-18 I've still not had a problem with the Jetta, I occasionally use it driving for a nationally recognized ride share company and half the riders are surprised at the quietness and comfort of the ride. Still very pleased with the car.UPDATE 8-22-18 Still pleased with the Jetta. No mechanical or electrical problems, I've only had the oil changed regularly. New tires coming up soon. 10/10/18 New tires in October, changed cabin and engine air filter, New plugs and wires, all were recommend maintenance. Body and electrical still have no problems. Recently on a long highway trip of 700 miles round trip averaged 45 mpg!!! Love the car still. 8/22/19 I haven't put many miles on since last update. Everything's the same as before. Regular maintenance done, nothing has worn out, the body integrity still good. It's been a good car for basic transportation. I still enjoy driving it and plan to keep it running a long while. 8/22/20 not much has changed with my Jetta I've only had to have regular maintenance done, new tires are coming soon. I've only driven 400 miles since early February total mileage now 64000.
Manual Transmission Broken at 64K miles
Disappointed,03/07/2018
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
VW quality is gone. Very cheaply made. Had software update and mileage has gone down. Windows will stop working because of a cheap plastic pin and cost $380 to fix. Had to replace radio under 30K miles - lots of dots on the screen. Had to replace windshield wiper motor at 34K miles (out of warranty) VW split cost to fix. Cup holder will fall through as tabs are too short to hold holder in place. Now at 64K miles heard clanking while driving and am told I need a new transmission at 64K miles! Waiting to hear if VW will extend warranty to fix. Very disappointed in this car!
Gets the job done
Naderhood,07/27/2015
SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I bought this car brand new due to the year end sales and 0% financing. I wanted a smaller sedan that would get great fuel economy and do its job. This car accomplishes all that and then some. This car went for 700+ miles on a tank of diesel. Currently averages around 550 per tank and costs just under $40 to fill up. Its a great little commuter car. On the down side, the diesel lag is very very obvious in this car. Anyone who says otherwise is still in the honeymoon phase. Accelerating from a stop is very annoying. Either you get the obvious lag or you burn out your tires every-single-time. However, I'm not a speed racer so I can deal with that, but just know to expect it despite what a few are saying here to the contrary. Also, for a 2014, I feel VW should be embarrassed that this car doesnt come with a standard USB plug. Rather, it comes with an ungodly VW specific plug that only uses VW cables that you can only get from VW stores and they are RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. The car charger cables that the car comes with are a laughable 6" in length, which leaves your phone dangling from arm rest as they're too short for your phone to rest on anything. It is such a massive fail on VW's part. I'll keep the car because it does its job, but hopefully VW gets its act together on the new models.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover12.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta

Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Overview

The Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta is offered in the following submodels: Jetta Sedan, Jetta Diesel. Available styles include S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), SE PZEV 4dr Sedan w/Connectivity, Sunroof (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE PZEV 4dr Sedan w/Connectivity (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SEL 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SE 4dr Sedan w/Connectivity (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4dr Sedan w/Connectivity, Sunroof (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), TDI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), SE PZEV 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), TDI 4dr Sedan w/Premium (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), SE 4dr Sedan w/Connectivity (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), SE PZEV 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), SE 4dr Sedan w/Connectivity, Sunroof (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), SEL PZEV 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE PZEV 4dr Sedan w/Connectivity, Sunroof (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), TDI Value Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M), TDI 4dr Sedan w/Premium, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), TDI 4dr Sedan w/Premium, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M), SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), TDI 4dr Sedan w/Premium (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M), SE PZEV 4dr Sedan w/Connectivity (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), TDI Value Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), and TDI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta TDI is priced between $9,800 and$14,990 with odometer readings between 19898 and87474 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SE PZEV is priced between $6,999 and$12,000 with odometer readings between 20241 and134225 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta S is priced between $6,994 and$12,599 with odometer readings between 48786 and152550 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Value Edition is priced between $7,995 and$15,990 with odometer readings between 4918 and105200 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SEL PZEV is priced between $7,900 and$11,999 with odometer readings between 37450 and104525 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SE is priced between $7,915 and$9,500 with odometer readings between 68385 and120783 miles.

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Which used 2014 Volkswagen Jettas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Volkswagen Jetta for sale near. There are currently 54 used and CPO 2014 Jettas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,994 and mileage as low as 4918 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta.

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Find a used Volkswagen Jetta for sale - 7 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $17,594.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 1 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $12,213.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Jetta for sale - 10 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $11,841.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $24,440.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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