2014 Volkswagen Jetta

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$6,831–$17,987 Inventory Prices
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Key Specs

of the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    26-34 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    115-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Elegant, if understated, design
  • Supportive front seats
  • Solid, planted feel in corners
  • Roomy backseat
  • Big trunk

The Bad

  • Less focus on interior quality than prior generation
  • Acceleration lag from a standing start with automatic
  • Minimal steering feedback
  • Odd mix of modern amenities and cost-saving shortcuts

Notable Features of the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta

  • Newly available turbo 1.8-liter engine
  • Newly standard independent rear suspension
  • 30th Anniversary GLI
  • Gas or diesel power
  • Sedan or wagon body style
  • Hybrid version offered

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Road Test

Kristin Varela

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SE is an amenable car with enough extras to keep you comfortable, but it doesn't strike much of an emotional chord with me.

A whole segment of the population is not only content disappearing into the background in life, but actually seeks ways of camouflaging themselves through their daily drive as well. The Jetta is the car for them.

VW's best-selling car, the Jetta comes in 14 styles, including multiple versions of the GLI, SEL, SE, TDI, S and Base. I drove an SE with Connectivity and Sunroof packages. New for this year is a multilink rear suspension, and SE and SEL versions get a new turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, replacing the earlier non-turbo, 2.5-liter five-cylinder. This engine also teams with a new electric power-steering system. Select trim levels get VW's Car-Net system, and upper trim levels benefit from a new backup camera this year. The Jetta GLI gets turbocharged a 2.0L engine. Compare this year's Volkswagen Jetta with last year's here.

If the Jetta isn't quite the perfect fit for you, you may also want to research the Honda Civic or — if  you desire slightly more pizazz in your car's style — the Hyundai Elantra. Check them out side by side here.

Exterior & Styling
The Jetta SE that arrived for me to test-drive looked like just about every other sedan out there, without any true distinguishing characteristics — despite what VW calls a "pronounced '...

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SE is an amenable car with enough extras to keep you comfortable, but it doesn't strike much of an emotional chord with me.

A whole segment of the population is not only content disappearing into the background in life, but actually seeks ways of camouflaging themselves through their daily drive as well. The Jetta is the car for them.

VW's best-selling car, the Jetta comes in 14 styles, including multiple versions of the GLI, SEL, SE, TDI, S and Base. I drove an SE with Connectivity and Sunroof packages. New for this year is a multilink rear suspension, and SE and SEL versions get a new turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, replacing the earlier non-turbo, 2.5-liter five-cylinder. This engine also teams with a new electric power-steering system. Select trim levels get VW's Car-Net system, and upper trim levels benefit from a new backup camera this year. The Jetta GLI gets turbocharged a 2.0L engine. Compare this year's Volkswagen Jetta with last year's here.

If the Jetta isn't quite the perfect fit for you, you may also want to research the Honda Civic or — if  you desire slightly more pizazz in your car's style — the Hyundai Elantra. Check them out side by side here.

Exterior & Styling
The Jetta SE that arrived for me to test-drive looked like just about every other sedan out there, without any true distinguishing characteristics — despite what VW calls a "pronounced 'tornado' character line" running down the side of the vehicle."

The one exception was my test car's love-it-or-hate-it Toffee Brown Metallic exterior paint color. When I arrived to pick my 11-year-old daughter up from school, she said, "I love how cool the sparkly color of this car is!" The next pickup loop was through the middle school for my 13-year-old daughter, who in typical teen fashion, without greeting me first, exclaimed, "Well, this car's ugly."

And the comment from my husband was, "This is the car my accountant would buy. This is the car my accountant would want me to buy. Enough said."

How It Drives
The 2014 
Volkswagen Jetta I drove had a 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that gets an EPA-estimated 25/36/29 mpg city/highway/combined with a five-speed automatic transmission. This is a little less than both the Hyundai Elantra and the Honda Civic, which get an EPA-estimated 32 and 33 mpg combined, respectively.

While the turbocharged engine could definitely be described as fun, it was hard to accelerate without the turbo kick throwing my head back into the head restraint. That's great when you want that zippy feeling, but a little annoying when motoring around town or in stop-and-go traffic. Braking and cornering both felt confident and secure.

I was struck by how much wind noise infiltrated the cabin during highway commutes. The Jetta SE would definitely benefit from some additional noise damping.

Interior
In the 2014 SE, I was baffled by a sometimes puzzling mix of modern amenities riding side by side with cost-saving shortcuts. My test car had Bluetooth audio and keyless access with push-button start as part of the Connectivity Package, yet I had to manually operate the headlights. Heated front seats were also included in the car, yet the driver's seat was manually adjustable forward and back, though with power-adjustable recline. As we say in our household, "Not weird, just different." OK, maybe it's weird.

Up front, the cupholders were not very functional. It seems Volkswagen tested them with only a metal or ceramic travel cup; the cupholders' prongs grip paper coffee cups way too tightly, making it impossible to get your coffee out. I had to wiggle a little this way (without spilling through the drink spout), then wiggle a little back the other way, shimmying my cup out of the holder inch by inch for every … single … sip. Maybe this is VW's way of forcing me to forgo paper coffee cups in favor of something more environmentally friendly?

Another annoyance for me during my daily drives was that the lowest setting on the heat and air-conditioning system blew way too much air. I had to manage my in-car Beyoncé hair fan by closing and repositioning several of the air vents.

In the back, the kids lounged with an impressive 38.1 inches of backseat legroom. In comparison, the Honda Civic has 36.2 inches and the Hyundai Elantra a scant 33.1 inches. My kids loved how easy the seat belts were to pull out and buckle, and with 53.6 inches of shoulder room in the backseat, all three of my daughters (ages 9, 11 and 13) managed to squeeze in just fine without too much complaining.

A separate lock/unlock button on the back of the center console was very helpful for my family, too, allowing my older kids to easily unlock the car to climb out in the carpool lane.

Ergonomics & Electronics
I appreciated the center control panel's simple design, with clear, precise, logical placement for all the buttons and dials.

The Bluetooth phone system reconnects easily on its own, and the initial pairing was almost confusing in its simplicity. I kept waiting for the car to give me a pairing code, fussing with it over and over again, before I realized my phone had already paired on its own without the input of a code.

Cargo & Storage
The 15.5 cubic feet of trunk space in the VW Jetta was more than enough for my family. The true litmus test each year is whether or not a car can accommodate the massive tri-fold, foam science-fair presentation, this year on "Canine Colorology: Can Dogs See in Color?" It fit in the Jetta just fine, with room to spare. The Elantra has 14.8 cubic feet and the Civic only 12.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

A 60/40-split folding backseat in the Jetta increases cargo space dramatically and adds to the car's hauling flexibility. There's also a pass-through behind the center armrest, plus releases that can fold the seat directly from the cargo area.

Safety
While the 
Volkswagen Jetta has performed admirably in the past in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests, the 2014 version gets a rating of good in all tests but one: the Institute's newest test, a small-overlap frontal crash test, where it was rated marginal (on a scale of good, acceptable, marginal and poor). The Jetta has also been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from which it received an overall rating of five out of five stars. My test vehicle was not equipped with a backup camera, but one is standard on higher trim levels.

All Jettas include VW's Intelligent Crash Response System. This system will unlock all the doors, turn on the hazard lights and turn off the fuel pump in the event of a crash that deploys an airbag. The Jetta doesn't offer advanced-safety systems like collision warning, blind spot monitoring or lane departure warning.

Seat belt buckles in the backseat are on stable bases but are flush with the seat-bottom cushion. This might be troublesome, especially for kids in booster seats that haven't been attached to the vehicle using Latch lower anchors (such as Clek seats); the seats could easily slide over the top of the buckles, impeding buckling. The Latch anchors are fairly shallowly located within the seat bight, in between the stiff, imitation leather surface of the seat bottom and seatback.

See all the standard safety features listed here.

Value in Its Class
The 
Volkswagen Jetta is a proven performer in an increasingly busy pack of value sedans, and most definitely tops the list in terms of interior spaciousness. However, the mismatch of upscale amenities and cost-saving features might confuse more consumers than me, leading them toward more consistently well-equipped body-type choices.

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Latest 2014 Jetta Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

I love this car and it gets great gas mileage!

by JS on August 9, 2018

I love this car and it gets great gas mileage!! The interior is beautiful and the electronics are easy to manage while driving. The exterior is sporty while practical. Very smooth and comfortable ... Read full review

(5.0)

The ride is good

by Jetta from Toronto on July 18, 2018

I like it, it serves my purpose to drive around the city. Not a economical as I thought, but better than most cars. Planning to buy a new one in the near future Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta currently has 4 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Volkswagen

Program Benefits

100+ point dealer inspection, 2 years of 24/7 roadside assistance, CARFAX Vehicle history report, and three-month SiriusXM All-Access trial subscription

  • Limited Warranty

    2018 model year or later: 1-year/12,000, 72,000 miles eligibility - 2017 model year or earlier: 2-year/24,000, 75,000 miles eligibility - 2016 model year or earlier: 2-year/unlimited, 75,000 miles eligibility

    *See owner’s literature or dealer for your vehicle’s warranty coverage, exclusions, and limitations.
  • Eligibility

    2012 - 2017 Model Years / Less Than 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 100+ point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Jetta received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker