Ahh, 2002, those were the days. I was 14 years old, had my first girlfriend and an avid reader of Sport Compact Car. I was thoroughly convinced that the Nissan 240SX was the best car in the world but also had a thing for the Volkswagen Jetta with the 1.8T engine.
The MKIV Jetta 1.8T engine may have been easily upgraded to produce more power, but they were also some of the worst cars of that era in terms of reliability. Friends who later purchased them used (despite my advice) ended up having all kinds of problems with them. Volkswagen is bringing back the 1.8T, but fortunately not the one that was afflicting with defective coilpacks.
The 1.8T engine will become the “premium” engine in the new Jetta, replacing the 2.5L 5-cylinder engine. The new trim, dubbed SEL Plus, would be the top Jetta, but still below the GLI. With 158 horsepower (in European trim), the new 1.8T wouldn’t quite measure up to the old motor, but the 185 lb-ft of torque sweetens the deal. The long-rumored 1.4T will remain solely in the Jetta Hybrid for now.