The most popular 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel motor is a familiar staple of the Volkswagen line-up, yet it continues to impress in every installation. A 1.6 TDI unit is the only other diesel option for the Jetta and remains the economy champion, but the 2.0 TDI is still the choice for people who want a slightly more rewarding drive as well as diesel economy.
So while you get the benefit of impressive economy, the Jetta 2.0 TDI doesn’t feel like it’s sacrificing performance in the name of saving fuel. More than speed, it’s in-gear flexibility that’s required, and this powertrain provides a suitable spread of torque (the 236lb ft peak is from 1750-2500rpm) to deliver the necessary urge when it’s required.
It’s on the motorway, where Jetta buyers will most likely cover the majority of their miles, that the 2.0 TDI 140 comes into its own. Revving at just over 2300rpm at 70mph, it’s a settled and calm cruiser that can also offer very respectable overtaking potential should it be wanted, although a downshift through the solid-feeling six-speed gearbox may be necessary. This sort of accessibility is far more important than standing-start acceleration, which is average for the class at 9.7sec to 60mph.
Refinement is also very decent, with engine noise being well suppressed and the cabin remaining hushed enough to allow occupants to chat with ease. A reading of 65dB in the cabin at 50mph is acceptable (if again average). For some perspective, consider that the new Bentley Continental GT recorded 63dB at the same speed.
Overall, the Jetta 2.0 TDI 140 offers very competitive performance in all the key areas, and it’s a pleasant motor to use as well.