2023 VW Jetta Sport Feels A lot more High priced Than It Is

You start off the Volkswagen Jetta Sport with a important. Don’t forget these? Ignition keys are to vehicles what snail mail is to e-mail: so final century. That important says a lot about what to count on from this version of VW’s compact sedan as well. It really is a straightforward, fundamental, and simple automobile. Nothing at all fancy right here. But offered that this Jetta also comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, a Sport badge stuck to its B-pillars, and a surprisingly low MSRP, we felt compelled to locate out if it is a spending budget-priced GLI—a sports sedan we have much more than a small affection for.

The Sport fits into the Jetta lineup 1 up from the base S, a modest $900 upcharge to a extremely affordable $22,650 beginning value, some $ten,030 significantly less than a GLI. In the Sport’s case, fundamental does not imply entirely bereft, although. The Sport comes with a decent quantity of gear. Its normal 17-inch alloy wheels and the LED headlights and taillights on all Jettas retain it from searching like a penny-pincher from the outdoors.

Andi Hedrick|Automobile and Driver

HIGHS: Velvety engine note, composed handling, spacious rear seat.

There is no mistaking that the Sport’s roomy interior is outfitted to a value, nevertheless. It really is properly assembled and there are a handful of niceties on hand, such as the eight.-inch digital instrument cluster, a pair of front USB ports, and appealing cloth seats. But really hard plastic abounds, the normal HVAC program is manually controlled, the front seats lack bun warmers, and the tiny six.five-inch infotainment screen is a appear back in time. Simply because it is not VW’s newest touchscreen program, although, it does at least function each a straightforward user interface and volume and tuning knobs. Our test car or truck had but 1 selection, the $955 Driver Help package, which adds adaptive cruise, rain-sensing wipers, a number of driver-help capabilities, and a satisfyingly thick-rimmed, flat-bottomed, leather-covered steering wheel.

VW Jetta Compared and Tested!

That steering wheel is nearly as good as the 1 in the GLI, and it is the sportiest issue about the Sport. No worries, although. This is a friendly, pleasantly refined car or truck. It begins, actually and figuratively, with the Sport’s engine, a turbocharged 1.five-liter 4-cylinder that develops 158 horsepower at 5500 rpm. It keys to life with a quiet hum that barely rises above a whisper, is smooth across the complete sweep of the tach, and tends to make the Sport really feel much more pricey than it is. It really is no surprise our six-speed manual car’s straight-line sprints—60 mph in 7. seconds and a quarter-mile in 15.five seconds at 92 mph—are no match for the 228-hp GLI six-speed’s—60 mph in six.1 seconds and the quarter in 14.six seconds at one hundred mph. Nevertheless, not a terrible displaying for the Sport, as it matches the efficiency of the final Jetta automatic we tested, with a 1-mph larger trap speed in the quarter-mile.

However, the Sport’s efficiency falls to its knees relative to the feisty GLI in regular urban driving. Even though the specs say the Sport tends to make its complete 184 pound-feet of torque at 1750 rpm, our appropriate foot mentioned otherwise. In city visitors it is simple to catch the engine napping off-increase let the revs drop beneath 2000 rpm and it is as if gerbils have replaced the horses beneath the hood. Flooring the accelerator has minimal impact. That shortfall of prepared torque showed up graphically in our major-gear acceleration test exactly where the Sport took an interminable 28.7 seconds to go from 30 to 50 mph the GLI did it in 12.three seconds. The Sport does a lot much better at larger engine and road speeds, posting a 13.six-second 50-to-70-mph time to the GLI’s eight.four seconds. It really is exciting to retain the engine in its perky zone thanks to the simple-shifting six-speed manual. Clutch action is light as well, so this is a pleasantly involving car or truck to pilot, even at reduce speeds.

The Sport proves adept at the rest of the driving practical experience, if not intoxicating. A supple ride and confident steering imbue it with a surprisingly refined persona that complements the engine’s quiet strategies. Volkswagen even produced some minor efforts to make it much more engaging to drive than the base S model by lowering its suspension 15 millimeters and fitting it with a bigger front anti-roll bar. Although it is not a car or truck that begs you to flog it down a two-lane, when leaned on, it stays composed. And although it can not match the sharper responses of the GLI, the Sport’s .87-g skidpad grip is .01-g much better, although its 176-foot cease from 70 mph is only two feet longer. The limiting element right here is that each vehicles are shod with all-season tires a sports sedan like the GLI deserves stickier rubber.

2023 volkswagen jetta sport 15t manual

Andi Hedrick|Automobile and Driver

Out on the open road, the 1.5T proves itself impressively miserly at consuming fuel, with the Jetta averaging 44 mpg in our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test. That is two-mpg much better than each its EPA highway figure and the final Jetta automatic we tested and opens up the possibility for 580 miles of highway variety.

LOWS: Interior’s plethora of plastic, antediluvian touchscreen, it is not a reduce-value GLI.

No, the Jetta Sport can not pretty muster the moves or the efficiency needed to be thought of a discounted GLI. But with a roomy rear seat, a velvety engine, and respectable road manners, it is far much more than a spending budget-priced folks carrier. Ignition important aside, of course.

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2023 Volkswagen Jetta Sport
Car Form: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, five-passenger, four-door sedan


Base/As Tested: $22,650/$23,605
Possibilities: Driver Help package (adaptive cruise manage, lane-maintaining program, blind-spot warning, rain-sensing wipers, leather-wrapped steering wheel), $955


turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-four, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 91 in3, 1498 cm3
Energy: 158 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm


six-speed manual


Suspension, F/R: struts/torsion beam
Brakes, F/R: 11.three-in vented disc/ten.7-in disc
Tires: Nexen N FERA AU7
205/55R-17 91H M+S


Wheelbase: 105.7 in
Length: 186.five in
Width: 70.eight in
Height: 57.7 in
Passenger Volume, F/R: 51/43 ft3
Trunk Volume: 14 ft3
Curb Weight: 2937 lb

C/D TEST Final results

60 mph: 7. sec
1/four-Mile: 15.five sec @ 92 mph
one hundred mph: 18.six sec
Final results above omit 1-ft rollout of .four sec.
Rolling Get started, 5–60 mph: eight. sec
Leading Gear, 30–50 mph: 28.7 sec
Leading Gear, 50–70 mph: 13.six sec
Leading Speed (gov ltd): 128 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: .87 g


Observed: 26 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 44 mpg
75-mph Highway Variety: 580 mi


Combined/City/Highway: 34/29/42 mpg


Headshot of Rich Ceppos

Director, Buyer’s Guide

Wealthy Ceppos has evaluated automobiles and automotive technologies through a profession that has encompassed ten years at Common Motors, two stints at Automobile and Driver totaling 19 years, and thousands of miles logged in racing vehicles. He was in music college when he realized what he seriously wanted to do in life and, somehow, it is worked out. In among his two C/D postings he served as executive editor of Automobile Magazine was an executive vice president at Campbell Promoting &amp Communications worked in GM’s item-improvement region and became publisher of Autoweek. He has raced constantly considering that college, held SCCA and IMSA pro racing licenses, and has competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona. He at the moment ministers to a 1999 Miata and a 1965 Corvette convertible and appreciates that none of his younger colleagues have however uttered “Okay, Boomer” when he tells 1 of his stories about the crazy old days at C/D.

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