The biggest degree of separation in the Jetta lineup lies beneath the hood. Base S and the uplevel SE trims rely on a 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque at the ready.
A more aggressive alternative can be had in the SEL and its stout turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter four. The gas burner is rated at 200 horsepower from 5100 to 6000 rpm and 207 lb-ft of torque from 1800 to 5000 rpm. Both gasoline variants produce 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway.
The turbodiesel of the TDI makes its presence felt on the torque side, where it pumps out 236 lb-ft along with 140 horsepower at 4000 rpm. The engine redlines at 4800 rpm, so don’t blink when power-shifting. Once settled, the TDI purrs at 1900 rpm at a 60 mph cruise, racking up 40 mpg. Around town, the SportWagen TDI delivers 29 mpg — a number SUVs can’t even dream about.
Source: MSN Autos