• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

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


Mar 15, 2023

You get started the Volkswagen Jetta Sport with a essential. Don’t forget these? Ignition keys are to automobiles what snail mail is to e mail: so final century. That essential says a lot about what to anticipate from this version of VW’s compact sedan as well. It is a easy, standard, and simple automobile. Practically nothing 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 really is a spending budget-priced GLI—a sports sedan we have extra than a tiny affection for.

The Sport fits into the Jetta lineup 1 up from the base S, a modest $900 upcharge to a pretty affordable $22,650 beginning cost, some $ten,030 significantly less than a GLI. In the Sport’s case, standard does not imply entirely bereft, although. The Sport comes with a decent quantity of gear. Its common 17-inch alloy wheels and the LED headlights and taillights on all Jettas preserve it from hunting 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 cost, nevertheless. It is effectively assembled and there are a couple of niceties on hand, such as the eight.-inch digital instrument cluster, a pair of front USB ports, and eye-catching cloth seats. But difficult plastic abounds, the common 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. Mainly because it really is not VW’s newest touchscreen program, although, it does at least function each a easy user interface and volume and tuning knobs. Our test automobile had but 1 choice, the $955 Driver Help package, which adds adaptive cruise, rain-sensing wipers, a number of driver-help attributes, and a satisfyingly thick-rimmed, flat-bottomed, leather-covered steering wheel.

VW Jetta Compared and Tested!

That steering wheel is practically as good as the 1 in the GLI, and it is the sportiest factor about the Sport. No worries, although. This is a friendly, pleasantly refined automobile. 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 extra costly than it is. It 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 negative displaying for the Sport, as it matches the overall performance of the final Jetta automatic we tested, with a 1-mph larger trap speed in the quarter-mile.

However, the Sport’s overall performance falls to its knees relative to the feisty GLI in standard urban driving. Although the specs say the Sport tends to make its complete 184 pound-feet of torque at 1750 rpm, our ideal foot mentioned otherwise. In city targeted traffic it really is effortless to catch the engine napping off-increase let the revs drop beneath 2000 rpm and it really 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 prime-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 far 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 is enjoyable to preserve the engine in its perky zone thanks to the effortless-shifting six-speed manual. Clutch action is light as well, so this is a pleasantly involving automobile to pilot, even at reduce speeds.

The Sport proves adept at the rest of the driving knowledge, if not intoxicating. A supple ride and confident steering imbue it with a surprisingly refined persona that complements the engine’s quiet techniques. Volkswagen even produced some minor efforts to make it extra engaging to drive than the base S model by lowering its suspension 15 millimeters and fitting it with a bigger front anti-roll bar. When it really is not a automobile 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 far better, when its 176-foot cease from 70 mph is only two feet longer. The limiting issue right here is that each automobiles 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 far 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 really is not a reduce-cost GLI.

No, the Jetta Sport can not really muster the moves or the overall performance needed to be viewed as a discounted GLI. But with a roomy rear seat, a velvety engine, and respectable road manners, it really is far extra than a spending budget-priced folks carrier. Ignition essential aside, of course.

Arrow pointing downArrow pointing down



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


Base/As Tested: $22,650/$23,605
Selections: 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 Outcomes

60 mph: 7. sec
1/four-Mile: 15.five sec @ 92 mph
one hundred mph: 18.six sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of .four sec.
Rolling Commence, 5–60 mph: eight. sec
Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 28.7 sec
Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 13.six sec
Prime 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 for the duration of a profession that has encompassed ten years at Basic Motors, two stints at Automobile and Driver totaling 19 years, and thousands of miles logged in racing automobiles. He was in music college when he realized what he truly wanted to do in life and, somehow, it really 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 solution-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 present 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.