I’m just wrapping up my week with the 2016 VW Jetta, having logged big miles in it driving to and from Chicago through terrible weather. Road trips are the best way to get to know a car and the Jetta surprised me in a number of ways.
Let’s face it; VW has yet to find its styling mojo in America; a hindrance to increased sales that far predates dieselgate. For some irony, it’s their blandest-looking car which is also their best-seller. This 6th generation Jetta debuted as a 2011 model and is the poster child for staid German design. But as long as you don’t judge this book by its cover, the Jetta will prove its worthiness in more ways than one.
The big news for this model year is right here. A new 1.4-liter turbo replaces the base 2.0-liter engine in the Jetta lineup. And no, this isn’t the hybrid.
While the TDI models are on an indefinite hiatus, the timing for fitting VW’s best-seller with this new engine couldn’t be better. Why? Because gas prices are so low and diesel prices are still relatively high, this motor will save you money at the pump. And the EPA estimates are the real deal. I averaged nearly 40mpg highway here and beyond that, this smaller turbo is fun, lively and rich with sound; a real diamond in the rough.