Which of these economy cars would walk away at the lights – the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta or Toyota Corolla?
By their definition, economy cars aren’t built for speed. They’re built for affordability, fuel economy, and just all around usefulness. But what would happen if you sitting at a stop light, and a car similar to yours pulled alongside? Which car would win in a drag race for small car glory?
Today, we find out which is faster: the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta SE or the 2018 Toyota Corolla XSE. Perhaps more relevantly than their out-and-out performance on a track, it is nice to know your car can reasonably accelerate up to speed on the highway. Neither of these cars are speed demons, but both engines pack a reasonable punch given their side. However, while the Jetta is turbocharged, the Corolla is naturally aspirated. While the Jetta has an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the Corolla has a CVT.
Despite the differences in engines and transmissions, the fuel economy for these two cars is nearly identical. The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta SE makes 32 MPG combined, while the Toyota gets 31 MPG. However, can you split them on performance? Thanks to a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the Jetta packs a bit more punch, with 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the Corolla makes 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque from its 1.8-liter naturally aspirated engine. At altitude, the difference between a naturally aspirated and turbocharged engine can make a big difference, as can the different transmissions. Which one will emerge victorious? Find out in the video above!
These two cars both come in around the mid-$20,000 range. The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta SE is a bit less expensive, at $23,095 as tested. The Toyota Corolla XSE, on the other hand, costs $25,337 as equipped. Come back to TFLcar.com for more news, views, and real-world reviews! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more videos published throughout the week.