Volkswagen’s next big thing in the crossover segment is called the Taos. It'll make its debut on October 13 and after our exclusive first prototype drive, we are pretty confident it’ll become a market hit. It’s good-looking, practical, nice to drive, and - last but not least - has a new 1.5-liter engine. 

The four-cylinder turbo mill is developed from the current Volkswagen Jetta’s 1.4-liter turbo-four with a long list of efficiency- and power-boosting enhancements. According to a new report from our colleagues at Roadshow, the 1.5 TSI will soon become available for the Jetta, too.

"We have some life cycle management in its future," Volkswagen of America COO Johan de Nysschen said when asked if the Jetta is next in line for the 1.5 TSI during a media event at Volkswagen’s R&D center in Oxnard, California. Switching to the newer and more efficient 1.5-liter unit makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

The power advantage the new 1.5 TSI has over its predecessor is not huge - the gain is 11 just horsepower (8 kilowatts), but the new powertrain should be significantly more efficient. The EPA hasn’t released its numbers for the Taos but Volkswagen promises benefits not only in “the fuel consumption proven by the EPA cycle," but more importantly, "real-world customer fuel consumption."

The Jetta, which is due for a comprehensive refresh next year or in 2022, is already a relatively efficient offering in its segment with 30 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined. Assuming the new 1.5-liter engine would give the sedan an efficiency boost of about 10 percent, we could be looking at 33/44/37 EPA numbers for city/highway/combined for the Jetta. Speaking of the vehicle’s mechanical upgrade, we expect the 1.5 TSI to be introduced for the Jetta with the aforementioned facelift.

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