2014 Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle, Passat Get Smaller, More Efficient Engines

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2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR

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Volkswagen is finally dropping its long-serving 2.5-liter gasoline engine from several models, in favor of a more efficient, downsized turbocharged 1.8-liter.

The 1.8 turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder develops 170 horsepower, the same as the naturally-aspirated 2.5. However, its 184 pounds-feet torque output is 7 lb-ft more than the 5-cylinder 2.5, developed usefully lower in the rev range.

No exact mileage figures have yet been announced, but Volkswagen estimates a 16 percent highway improvement in the Jetta and 17 percent highway in the Beetle, which also receives the new engine.

That means the manual-equipped Beetle and Jetta should improve from 31 mpg and 33 mpg highway, to around 36 and 38 mpg respectively.

The newly-developed engine, built in Silao, Mexico, will debut in the Jetta and Passat SEL, followed by the rest of the Passat range and the Beetle later in the model year.

Several other changes will debut for the 2014 model year in each vehicle. A sporty GSR model (pictured) joins the Beetle range, while R-Line trim replaces the 'Turbo' model line to differentiate it from the turbocharged 1.8. This uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine as before.

All Jettas now get independent multilink rear suspension and electric (rather than hydraulic) power-assisted steering, which should aid handling and further improve fuel efficiency. A rearview camera is now standard on SEL models and above, while SE, SEL and Premium trims get a new high-resolution mutlifunction display in the instrument cluster.

Similar changes appear on the 2014 Passat, along with a host of small specification changes.

While the die-hard economy fans will still opt for Volkswagen's excellent TDI clean diesel models, improved economy from downsized engines should be a little easier to stick with gasoline now too.


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Comments (5)
  1. NIce to know. But did you snitch any possible improvement also in their already good diesel engines in the near future? Like dropping the use of the urea tank the way Mazda did?

  2. The Jetta TDI has never used urea.

  3. Sadly they would get far better mileage improvement at less cost if the changed the car to lighter, more aero.

    And just why do they need 170hp? If the cut their weight, etc they would get the same performance from 100hp. Or far better, 20hp ICE motor and 80 electric Hp.

  4. I've owned four VW diesels starting with a '78 Rabbit with 48 might hp! My current 2013 Sportwagen is the best yet. I'm waiting for VW to come out with that TDI powered sports car..."Blue-something"

  5. I have a 2011 Jetta TDI manual and a 2013 Passat TDI DSG SEL. I get great fuel milage with both of them. Great power and speed if needed. Super ride with both. I have driven VW diesels since 1980. These have more power and better fuel milage than any of the Rabbits I have owned. Resale price is also great, as I got rid of my 2005 Jetta TDI with 114,000 miles for $10,000 and got the Passat!!! People can gripe all they want about VWs, but for my money, they are the best!

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