With its new 1.4-liter turbo-four base engine in S and SE trims, the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta sees its fuel efficiency improve significantly. When fitted with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Jetta 1.4T returns 28 mpg city and 39 mpg on the highway. With a 5-speed manual transmission, the engine manages 28/40 mpg.
Those are huge efficiency improvements over the Jetta’s previous base engines. The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta S, with a 115-hp 2.0-liter inline-four, returned 23/34 mpg (city/highway) with an automatic transmission and 25/34 mpg with a manual. The Jetta SE, which used a 170-hp, 1.8-liter turbo-four engine, was rated at 25/37 mpg with an automatic transmission and 25/37 with a manual. The 1.8-liter turbo engine remains available in the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta SEL and Sport trim levels.
The new 1.4-liter engine produces 150 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, huge improvements over the 115 hp and 125 lb-ft offer by the Jetta’s decades-old 2.0-liter base engine, but a little behind the 170 hp and 184 lb-ft from the 1.8-liter turbo-four mill. The 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI and the 2.0-liter turbo-four gas engine in the Jetta GLI are unchanged for this year, although the Jetta GLI did receive a visual update for 2016.