By on July 18, 2012

Members of Generation Why will fondly remember the Volkswagen 1.8T powered Golfs and Jettas of the early 2000′s – or if they don’t, they probably knew someone who swore that the turbocharged Volkswagen mill was a gift from Our Lord and Savior Herr Schmaus himself. Yes, it was plagued with ignition issues and a rather unsophisticated character, but you could chip it, broooo (as one Golf MKIV owner so eloquently put it).

Autoblog got to sit down with Rainer Michel, Vice President of Product Marketing & Strategy for Volkswagen of America, who confirmed the engine changeover. The 1.8T will be replacing the 2.5L 5-cylinder, bought by many but loved by (almost) none. The new 1.8T has nothing in common with the MKIV motor. It is based on the existing 2.0T engine, and make 158 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. It’s only a  matter of time before there’s a Stateside ECU reflash…

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40 Comments on “Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T Returns In 2014...”


  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I did love the 1.8T in my Jetta Wagon, even with slushbox, although a manual would have been too much fun and impossible to find. I replaced the coils myself and VW eventually paid me for it! No other issues for me, but I only had the car two years, though I bought it used with 45k on the clock. Miss that car.

    No one will miss the 2.5. Torquey, but that’s about it.

    • 0 avatar
      stryker1

      speak for yourself. I like the 2.5 well enough. Sure the mileage isn’t great but I don’t drive alot, and when I do I appreciate the extra 30 hp I have over other cars in the same class (Golf).

    • 0 avatar

      I will miss the 2.5. I will miss the fact that it meant there was at least ONE model of VW you could buy with a reliable engine. It WOULD be like VW owners to miss that fact and just whine about fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Hey! Some people see the merit in the 2.5:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/bye-bye-miss-emm-kay-five/

      Even the wildly inconsistent and subjective Motor Trend:

      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/oneyear/sedans/1207_2012_volkswagen_passat_sel_update_2/

      Certainly seems to be suffering fewer problems than the prior 1.8T

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    158 hp from a 1.8T, sounds a little weak, must be a typo.

    My 2001 TT with 1.8T is 225 stock.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      There could be durability, cost or fuel economy reasons to keep the power down. Or, it could be to keep it in line with the other engine options. IIRC your 1.8T was making 170bhp in the Passat when the V-6 was making 190bhp. Presumably the settled on the 170bhp number so as not to outperform the V-6.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      The 1.8T was originally a 150 hp engine, with the TT getting upgraded 180 hp and 225 hp versions and the 180 eventually replacing the 150 in the VW lineup. Recall though that at 200 hp, the current 2.0t is hardly a specific output champion by todays standards for turbo engines. This is probably meant to be a fuel economy special, in the vein of the GM turbo 4 in the sonic and Cruze, as opposed to a performance motor like the VW 2.0t, Ford Ecoboost, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      rushn

      I suspect that the new 1.8T will easily beat your (top of the line) 1.8T in fuel economy by a large margin.

    • 0 avatar
      cacon

      The power figure is correct, is the same engine my SEAT Leon ’09 has :). In any case the power figure is underrated, supposedly it makes 180 to 190 in the dyno.

      I’ve driven my Leon (manual 6 speed) against a DSG GTI (2.0T) back to back, and I feelt my Leon was quicker and torquier, must have been the “slushbox” effect, although it was a DSG.

      It’s quite a good engine actually

    • 0 avatar
      geggamoya

      A 400€ remap will bring it up to about 210-220hp. This engine is available in 120hp, 152hp, 160hp, and 170hp in various VWs, Skodas, Audis, and Seats.. Not in the Golf or Jetta though, except for a limited run at the start of Mk6 Golf production.

      My last post with a link to Superchips dyno sheet for this engine was stuck in moderation for some reason.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      in the B5/B6 or MkIII/MkIV and the early TT generations there were multiple turbo configurations used.

      Pre-00 A4, Passat, MkIII GTI used a standard K03, good for 150HP. The B5 S4 used Dual K03s, 1 for each cylinder bank
      01+ A4, Passat, MkIV GIT, MKIV Jetta GLI used a K03 sport, good for 170-180hp depending on model.

      The TT offered the K03 Sport for 170HP and the K04 for 225HP. B5 RS4 offered twin K04s for 350 or so HP stock but upping the boost it could hit in the low 400s reliably, or close to 500 not-so-reliably.

      If you have a K03 epquipped car and some mechanical know-how, you could swap the turbo and ECU tuning to a K04 for less than $1500 and get even more than that 225, due to stronger aftermarket ECU tuning.

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      The 2.0T doesn’t make spectacular numbers either, at 200hp. My guess is, like the 2.0T, the 1.8T will be tuned for an even torque curve at the expense of peak horsepower numbers. The under-rating of the engine also gives them some headroom to increase power as time goes on.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    That’s going to be one under-stressed motor. Cue all the grandfathers complaining about turbos based on something they read in 1976.

  • avatar
    mcg

    Nissan gets 188hp out of their Turbo 1.6L engine.

    Seems that VW is under-specing the engine so they can cheaply upgrade for a model refresh… “WOW! We found 40 more HP for next years model!”

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    My parents have the slightly older version of this 1.8TSI in their Skoda Octavia Scout (think between a Jetta/Golf Station Wagon and a Passat Wagon in size, with a raised ride height and 4×4). It’s a cracking engine. For them it’s 160bhp and 160lbf of torque. 0-60mph in about 8 seconds, just over maybe. For a FWD it’s under 8 seconds. They get 40mpg imperial out of it on a run, the FWD can do better. I’ve been waiting for them to drop the 2.5 and replace it with the 1.8tsi over here for a long time. The new engine beats the 2.5 hands-down for torque by using a reasonably small turbo that spools very fast and gives great torque. My parents’ car has a flat torque curve 1800rpm to 4800rpm I believe.

  • avatar

    Random Questions:

    Is this going to be a 4v or 5v head?

    Why is it VW mostly likes .5L/cyl or less of displacement?

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    4v head. The engine code is EA888. In my opinion one of the best petrol engines available; I couldn’t detect any turbo lag, it’s under-stressed (chipping/tuning in the UK will easily take it to over 200bhp), it’s quiet, light and economical. Doesn’t sound like a diesel compared to some competitor DI/Turbo engines.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I enjoyed the 1.8T on our 2003 Passat. It performed well and returned better than average MPG. We had no real engine-related problems with that car. We had a coil recall, but we never had one go out on us. The old 1.8T had a 5-valve head.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Chip this chip that, why’re we trying to get 688hp out of grocery getters? I’d rather just buy a TTS.

    Actually, why can’t VW tune their own engines that well?

  • avatar
    gslippy

    If it doesn’t burn oil, and doesn’t come with a VW electrical system attached to it, and has a 100k mile warranty, I’m all in.

    • 0 avatar
      theonlydt

      Parents’ car burnt 1/2 a litre of oil before the first service and then not a drop since; I’ve heard they use some oil as the bed-in. Gently driven their car is stating 18,000 miles between services, but they do the oil once a year as their mileage is currently lower than that. No electrical glitches in 3 years and 40,000 miles. Skoda actually have better reliability than VW strangely, but there’s much part-sharing.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    The new 1.8T has an integrated manifold design and along with the just-announced 2.0T with similar integration, supposedly is simpler, more efficient powerplant.

    I’m glad that Audi/VW have gotten around to routinely fine-tuning their engines. The first generation FSI 2.0T was a great engine – with the exception of everything that went wrong with it: severe carbon build-up, a PCV that was redesigned about four times, failing diverter valves, etc. Thankfully they (relatively) quickly introduced the EA888 variant in ’08.5 that brought with it a timing chain instead of a belt, improved dynamics again and Audi Valvelift, variable lift system.

    The second generation motor is a real gem, with none of the gremlins of the first. Pretty much bulletproof from most of the people I know who have it. My hope is that the third generation (of which the new 1.8T is based upon) steps this up another notch in the efficiency and reliability game. It’s a wonderful engine.

  • avatar
    dancote

    Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T Returns In 2014 … and I should care why?

    OK, maybe if you own it until the warranty is up.

    If you still lust after Euro cars, I hope you have lots of money and patience.

    OBTW, I do own one. And I don’t have an unlimited bank account or patience. What in the world was I thinking?

    • 0 avatar
      James Courteau

      I’ve been there, buddy. The only thing I liked about my VW was the elasticity of its self-repairing bumper… The eighth time it broke down in six months of ownership, I went apeshit on it. Think Cameron Fry and the Ferrari in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. There was a yoga class going on in the building I parked beside, and the entire class pressed their faces against the glass to watch some furious man kick the everliving hell out of his car.

      I held onto it for another year until the breakdowns went from annoying but inexpensive to outrageously expensive and frightening. While it was in the shop for the umpteenth time, I borrowed my boyfriend’s VW (which also broke down while I had it, and twice since) and shopped for a new ride. I’ve had my six-speed Versa hatch for two months and I couldn’t be happier.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    why would this be any worse than the gm/ford/chrysler turbo fours here and coming?

    do they have DI? that could be an issue

    otherwise the 1.4 turbo fours in Europe seem to be fine (but they are port injected i believe)

    granted they have driveability issues when pushing around 3,000lbs and they only do 120hp 150lb/ft but you can’t beat physics

    • 0 avatar
      theonlydt

      The VW engines are DI, not port injected. That includes the 1.2TSI, 1.4TSI, 1.8TSI, 2.0TSI and 3.2TSI. Also the 1.0TSI that’s due out soon. All the latest TSI engines are doing brilliantly in Europe with none of the carbon build-up issues on in the intake so far and good reliability.

      The 1.4tsi also has no driveability issues. It’s all the engine one would ever need in the Golf. It’s just the North American obsession with excess power.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    This is probably a good time to introduce this engine; the
    Cruze with the 1.4 is selling well, and Dodge is introducing two turbos in the Dart.

    Is the 2.0L 115hp trilobite still going to be the base Jetta engine?

    I would love to see a thorough comparison of fuel economy, acceleration, drivability, and subjective enjoyment of a 2013 Jetta with the 2.5 and a 2014 with the new turbo.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I thought the the fact that the current (TSI) version of the 2.0L turbo engine (rated 200/207) usually makes about 205 hp and 215 lb/ft of torque AT THE WHEELS on a Dynojet was about the worse-kept secret in the automotive world.

    Guess not.


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