I Have A Jetta 1.8T For The Next Week

The bitchin' Camaro got swapped out for this. But hey, life isn't always fair. (I'm kidding! The Jetta is a fine little car.)

While rich oligarch Travis Okulski is driving around in a Bentley Flying Spur, I, Patrick George — proud member of the proletariat — shall make do with this new Jetta instead. Because I'm a man of the people.

The current Jetta has been around for a while, but for 2014 it gets an all-new 1.8-liter turbo four with 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque as its base engine. That's the same one that's in the new Golf, and it's a pretty good motor. "GTI lite" is the best way I can describe it, and I mean that in a good way.

My tester is the top-trim Jetta SEL with a six-speed automatic transmission, fake leather interior, the premium Fender sound system and a sunroof. Sticker price is $26,745, which strikes me as a solid deal.

Things I like: The new engine is punchy with minimal turbo lag, a lot of power down low and a nice flat torque curve; six-speed auto isn't DSG-good, but it's plenty responsive; it's roomy and comfortable inside; overall fit-and-finish is excellent; sound system is impressive.

Things I don't like: It looks pretty bland inside and out; paddles would be nice; handling is just so-so, with lots of understeer and a decent amount of body roll; the infotainment screen is really small with dated graphics, and its nav makes extremely questionable decisions; it's reasonably fun but not what I'd call a driver's car.

Expect a full review sometime next week or around then. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments.