Ahead of its debut early next year
When we last tested a Volkswagen Jetta, we found that it continued the tradition of lagging behind the Golf in both technology and refinement. Even with a 150-hp 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood, the Jetta couldn’t compensate for its dated platform. For 2019, though, Volkswagen says that will change. The Jetta gets a redesign and lands on the company’s excellent MQB platform. But before it’s revealed at next year’s Detroit auto show, Volkswagen has begun teasing the car’s new design.
Previously, we’d heard that the redesigned Jetta would get a coupe-like profile. Based on what we can see here, that’s not necessarily the case. It looks less like a smaller CC and more like a conventional compact car. The grille has been changed, and the headlights have a little bit of Atlas in them, but beyond that, there isn’t much we can make out. Of course, it is a teaser, so you can’t expect it to reveal everything.
“The Jetta is heavily positioned for the U.S. market. Of course, we are going to export the car to other markets, but the majority of the car will stay in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. And that’s why we decided to give this car a North American touch, not always in terms of lower costs or less content, but in specific needs for the market,” said Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen North America, last month. “The Jetta will be for me a symbolic statement that Volkswagen is changing by really allowing to listen to American customers and American dealers what that market means.”
Expect the base Jetta’s 1.4-liter engine to carry over, with an R-line model arriving within three months of the Jetta’s launch. A GLI version is also in the works and will be available within the first year.