in Used Wagons under $20K

Avg. Price Paid: $15,655 - $22,103
Original MSRP: $20,995 - $30,265
MPG: 23 City / 30 Hwy
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2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers think the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen handles better than many of the wagons and compact SUVs against which it competes. They say the standard five-cylinder gasoline engine provides adequate performance, but they recommend choosing the diesel-powered Jetta SportWagen TDI for its combination of peppy acceleration and good fuel economy.

  • "Another key benefit to Jetta Sportwagen ownership is the driving experience itself. VW's wagon handles more securely than any crossover SUV you'll likely cross shop, and it has a truly refined ride quality that makes road trips a pleasure." -- Edmunds
  • "A solid and refined feel is immediately apparent. Tight responses and crisp steering make this wagon live up to its SportWagen name. The five provides good power, but isn't as fuel efficient as the superb turbo-diesel engine." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen comes with a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, which is paired with a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. TDI models come with a 140-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, which is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automated manual transmission. The five-cylinder gas model gets 23/33 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and the TDI gets 30/42 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission.

Reviewers say that the Jetta SportWagen TDI offers great fuel economy and quick acceleration. Additionally, the Jetta SportWagen’s manual transmissions win points for their precise shifts. A few reviewers say that the Jetta SportWagen’s automatic and automated manual transmission can be slow to downshift at times, but they also note that both transmissions operate smoothly.

  • "The diesel engine generates a little more noise and vibration than the 2.5-liter engine, but we still think it's the better choice thanks to its snappier acceleration (both around town and when climbing mountain passes) and outstanding fuel economy." -- Edmunds
  • "The manual transmission offers a precise, low-effort shifter, matched by light, progressive clutch action. The automatic and auto-manual gearboxes are sometimes slow to downshift, but are otherwise responsive and generally smooth." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

While test drivers agree that the VW Jetta SportWagen is no sports car, they say it has nimble handling for a wagon, with a composed, yet comfortable, ride, accurate steering and powerful brakes.

  • "You won't mistake the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen for a full-on sport wagon à la BMW's 3 Series wagon. Although the VW's steering is precise and predictable, the Sportwagen's suspension is a little too soft for max-attack driving on back roads. But that's OK; you don't buy the Sportwagen to go fast. Instead, you buy this Jetta wagon for its comfortable, controlled ride and relatively quiet interior." -- Edmunds
  • "Though based on an older platform than VW's current Jetta sedan models, the SportWagen offers the same fine handling, ride comfort, and mechanical refinement, and thus compares favorably overall with most anything in its class." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The Jetta SportWagen may look like a station wagon, but it delivers the solid feel, crisp handling, and tactile steering of the celebrated GTI." -- Car and Driver (2011)

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