It’s official: VW is finally ditching the Jetta’s antiquated entry-level 2.0L four-cylinder for a new, 1.4L turbocharged motor.
The move follows the replacement of the torquey-but-thirsty 2.5L five-cylinder with a torquey-and-thrifty 1.8L turbo four last year, and will give the Jetta a thoroughly modern engine lineup for the first time in two decades.
Next to the old 2.0’s 115 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque, the 1.4T’s 150 hp and 184 lb-ft output sound positively sporty; what makes the 1.4T even more compelling (on paper, at least), is that it matches the 1.8 TFSI’s torque, and gives up just 20 hp to its bigger brother. And if the 1.8’s real-world fuel consumption is any indication, the 1.4T promises to blow the two-point-slow out of the water: there are no official ratings yet, but VW says to expect a highway rating of 6.0 L/100 km, a few ticks better than the 1.8 TFSI’s 6.3 estimate.
In the U.S., the 1.4T will replace not only the 2.0, but also the 1.8 TFSI in certain trims, leaving that larger motor to power premium non-diesel and non-GLI (which uses the GTI’s 2.0T) trims, and we’re not sure whether the same will happen in Canada. What we’re more curious to see is whether the 1.4T will make it into the Golf at some point, even though the latest version of that hatchback doesn’t get a bargain-priced trim to match the 2.0-powered Jetta.
The 1.4T-powered Jetta goes on sale this fall, with pricing to be announced closer to launch time.