The entry-level Volkswagen Jetta compact cars will be powered by a new downsized, turbocharged engine, which replaces a four-cylinder motor that has powered this model for over two decades. Volkswagen of America said that this new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is the most recent version of VW’s EA211 series of small-displacement engines.
It is built with aluminum construction and has dual-overhead camshafts, gasoline direct injection and variable valve timing. A VW spokesman said that the new engine is capable of delivering 150 hp and 184 pounds-feet of torque, representing a significant improvement from the 115 hp and 125 pounds-feet produced by the engine being replaced.
This naturally aspirated 2.0-liter, single-cam engine originated in the mid-1990s. Since the 2.0-liter engine is used by about 30% of Jettas sold in the U.S., it puts this model at a disadvantage to other compact cars that have newer engines that delivered improved fuel economy, more refinement, and additional horsepower.
In comparison, the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine used in the entry-level Mazda3 compact cars is only a few years old and delivers 155 hp and gets 41 mpg in highway driving. This new 1.4-liter turbo is the replacement for the 2.0-liter in the Jetta S and the 1.8-liter turbocharged unit in the Jetta SE.
The 1.8, which produces 170 hp, will still be offered in the Jetta Sport. According to VW, the change means that almost all of VW’s U.S. sales will be made up of downsized, turbocharged engines from now on. It will also be offered on each model line.
The spokesman said that the 2.0-liter presently makes up around 30% of Jetta sales. The change is also expected to improve fuel economy ratings. VW said that the 1.4-liter turbo will have a rating of 39 mpg in highway driving when coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, compared with 34 mpg for the 2.0-liter and 37 mpg for the 1.8-liter turbo.
In addition, Jettas that have the 1.4-liter turbo are offered with a five-speed manual. Prices will not be affected by the change in engines. Deliveries of these Jettas to U.S. dealerships are set to start later this month.