Volkswagen Jetta Getting 1.8T Engine – It's 2002 All Over Again
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.
My parents have the slightly older version of this engine (still a 1.8tsi, but they've uprated is recently to make it lighter and with more torque) and it's a cracker. Theirs is in a jacked up station wagon with 4x4 and a 6 speed standard; they regularly get 37-40mpg (imperial), not bad for a 3400lb car with awd. It's very torquey, very smooth and quiet. This newer version with 185lbf of torque, up from 160, can only make the jetta better; the fuel economy figures will now be much closer to the competition, as opposed to the 2.5 5 cylinder. Now all they need is the 1.2tsi (105bhp) to put in there rather than the awful 2.0 8v right now and they'll have a winning entry model.
Ah yes, the stream of comments from bloggers that remember a friend's 2001 Jetta as having a lot of problems...I'm not defending VW but this constant waste of space from the same people that remember that my grandfather had a Buick ONCE etc etc...ALL completely irrelevant when talking about CURRENT vehicles whether it be from VW or not. PLEASE, everyone check their calendars...Mine says 'April 2012'. The 1.8T will be based on the current 2.0T which - at least in my personal experience - is an impressive power plant. Comparisons from a decade ago mean nothing and the difference in reliability between modern vehicles from any manufacturer is slight at most (plus when I read the actual experiences in Michael K's True Delta, it's amazing what people 'count' as a repair...New brake pads at 40K? No sh*t!) Seems half the problems mentioned are people that never read... much less can even find...their owners manuals. Time for a reality check for a lot of car owners. I like this move by VW...not that the 2.5L is that bad of an engine (it gets panned a lot but I've had one in a Rabbit/Golf for 6 years and it has been trouble free and gets the stated EPA mpg ratings).
It looks like the venerable 5 cylinder engine is facing the end. Sad, but it must go because it is too heavy for a compact. I am also extremely annoyed at the sheer quantity of comments about VW reliability, 90% for this one. The post is not about VW reliability so the comments are not relevant or asked for. It's just plain irritating. VW's are typically a bit more expensive and bit more "high maintenance" but they are good cars and it's great that Americans have the choice, unlike Renault for instance, no choice there, sadly.
Just came across an articles today and with all the VW haters on this site i just had to show it. An editor on Mens Health Magazine ran an article about his 2001 VW Jetta 1.8T that was very interesting. He took care of his car and when he reached 400,000 miles posted his hope to reach 500,000 miles before buying a new car. He had serviced the car by the book changing oil at 5,000/7,000 miles with synthetic oil and had very little trouble. At 500,000 miles he contacted VW and they had him bring the car into their midwest service center and they pulled the engine. upon taking the engine apart they were surprised at the little amount of wear and a total lack of any sludge. They advised the owner the car could have done another 1/2 million miles. Look up the article in Men's health and see what you can get out of a car with the proper care. Cabriolet