2014 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Cheap, clean fun.No Comments
It doesn't pretend to be ultra-plush or anything else that it's not - it's simple, straightforward driving.
There are three things you should know before you buy a diesel. One, the engine noise will be different - not worse, different. Two, you may experience some very slight vibration. Three, you're going to have a whole lot of torque and not a whole lot of power.
For one or more of those reasons (and despite the fact that they're damn efficient), people have shied away from diesels in favor of hybrid-electric vehicles and tiny, turbocharged gas-drinkers. Only one domestic automaker builds a diesel passenger car - Chevrolet.
Thankfully, European automakers have always had a sweet spot for compression-ignition motors. Granted, most diesels built before the turn of the century were quite crude - loud, smoky, generally unrefined. Now, though, we're very close to the point where efficient diesel motors don't act too differently from their petrol brethren.
One automaker with decades of diesel experience is Volkswagen - their TDI lineup practically defines diesel cars in this country, and the Jetta is one of the most ubiquitous diesels on the road. It's always been a (mostly) rock-solid car that returned great gas mileage, and that tradition continues with the 2014 Jetta TDI.
If you're lucky enough to find yourself in an empty, snow-covered parking lot, you'll find that the Jetta TDI does some amazing drifts and donuts. Thank goodness there's no electronic parking brake.
Transmission: Six-speed manual, six-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power Output: 140 hp / 236 lb-ft
Fuel Economy: 30 city / 42 highway
Base Price: $23,195
As Tested: $24,015 (incl. $820 destination)
Optional Features: Premium Package (Fender audio system, touchscreen infotainment with HD Radio, backup camera, power tilt/slide sunroof), navigation