2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI Second Opinion

The Pricey Diesel Wagon Impresses

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI Second Opinion

For those that may have missed the first installment, “Second Opinion” is a new AutoGuide.com feature where we give my wife a vehicle to evaluate. With an avid interest in cars from a wholly practical standpoint, Amanda is the perfect antitheses to our mostly enthusiast-biased staff.


Engine: 2.0L turbo four cylinder diesel makes 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.

Transmission: Choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Fuel Economy: is officially rated at 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

Price: Base gasoline models cost $21,815. A Fully-loaded diesel model costs $31,085.

First up we gave her the 2014 AutoGuide.com Car of the Year, a 2014 Mazda3. As a surprise to everyone including Amanda, she came away not overly impressed with the compact hatchback. Now it is time for round two and we have given her a vehicle in the middle of the young family demographic: the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI. As her first experience with both a diesel engine and a wagon body-style, there was a lot of uncharted territory to explore.

Last of the Breed

Having been around since 2010, the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is beginning to get on in years. Based on the Mk V Golf platform (but looking like a Mk VI), the Jetta is one of the few compact wagons left in the U.S. market. Power for the TDI model comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder diesel that makes 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a traditional six-speed manual and Volkswagen’s six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI 11

Sticking with the more popular consumer choice, our test vehicle came equipped with the DSG. Amanda found the response from the gas and brake pedals were a little quicker than she was used to, but became accustomed to them after a few minutes of driving. She appreciated the high levels of torque from the diesel engine in both morning commutes and highway driving.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Review

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI 07Immediately she fell in love with the way the car drove. Being somewhat of a particular driver, this is not a common occurrence and speaks volumes to Volkswagen’s engineering efforts in making a car that is both predictable to operate and easy to drive. A highlight for her was how narrow the car felt, especially the front-end, as it was so easy to pull in and out of tight parking spaces. As mentioned, this was her first experience driving a proper wagon and despite the ample cargo space from the extended rear section, the SportWagen didn’t strike her as an unruly road barge.

Cold Weather Testing

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI 10

A popular myth against diesel engines is poor cold weather performance. We had this car during the fabled polar vortex that saw temperatures dip down to -20 Fahrenheit at night. Although the car did take a while to warm up, the auxiliary cabin heater made the drive bearable after a few minutes. A remote starter would be a huge factory-optioned plus for a car like this on extremely cold days.

The extreme cold weather caused problems with the TDI’s gas gauge. It reported a quarter-tank of fuel even though it had just been filled. Later in the week as the temperatures started to warm up, the indicator returned a proper reading. Amanda appreciated the ample range one tank of diesel provides as she didn’t have to stand outside and fill the car up once during the bitter cold week.

Accommodating Interior

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI 02

Inside, she found the front seat easy to adjust and found her proper position quickly, without having to re-adjust through the week. With nearly a one-foot height difference between me and my wife, there aren’t many cars that fit both of us properly but the Jetta SportWagen does. The panoramic sunroof is set too far back for Amanda to use, but that’s true with most cars. Still, it let a lot of light in that made the Jetta seem spacious. Plus, the large panel is a nice touch for passengers in the back seat.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI 06Everything else inside was placed logically and within reach. She found the dash and steering wheel buttons easy to use and was able to figure everything out right away.  The leather on the seating surface felt more premium than the SportWagen’s price point, but the driver’s seat was only partially powered in our test vehicle.

Fuel efficiency is a key factor in people choosing diesel-powered vehicles like the Jetta SportWagen TDI. Officially rated at 29 mpg city and 39 mpg highway, not many compact cars can touch this VW’s real world economy results. Even with the Polar Vortex robbing us of precise fuel economy, Amanda still returned an impressive average of 32.3 mpg during our week with the car.

The Verdict

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI 01

In the end Amanda became quite fond of the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI. But this car will not be finding a home in our driveway anytime soon. One main issue would ultimately prevent her from plunking down our hard earned cash: the price.

Starting at $21,815, the Jetta SportWagen seems like quite a bargain. At that price however, it uses the less efficient five-cylinder gasoline engine and is missing many options found on compact hatchbacks of the same price. To get a vehicle optioned out like our test vehicle, the price escalates rather dramatically to $31,085. For a vehicle that doesn’t offer anything more than its competitors other than some extra cargo room, that is a lot of money for a compact wagon regardless of how well it drives.

  • disqus_YokW9U615l

    Just got the 2014 TDI and you can get great discounts since the new 2015 will be an engine and body change to a Golf will not come our until at least march. Got fully loaded TDI with nav, sunroof etc for a $25K. Great car and great reliability for the 2014.

  • Scott Watson

    can you contact me?

  • Scott Watson


  • disqus_YokW9U615l

    you wanted me to contact you do you have a regular email not sure what you want to know

  • Scott Watson

    yes watts2246@gmail.com, i have questions regarding ur VW purchase.

  • disqus_YokW9U615l

    check your gmail I will send you my work number

  • Scott Watson

    watts2246@gmail.com, not sure how DISQUS works

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked