Volkswagen used the 2018 North American International Auto Show to reveal the all new Jetta sedan, the first new model in the model’s history since 2010. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will go on sale in North American markets in the first half of 2018, and promises a more upmarket feel with upgraded driving dynamics, and a more spacious interior.
Curiously, the new Jetta isn’t confirmed for Australian sales, nor is it confirmed for right-hand drive production either thanks to slower sales in right-hand drive markets such as the UK.
“The Jetta has long been Volkswagen’s best-selling vehicle in the United States,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, “and we expect that this all-new car will continue to resonate with buyers in the compact sedan class. With its combination of great technology, fuel-efficient drivetrains, sporty styling, upscale interior and amenities, and fun-to-drive nature, we expect that the Jetta will make a huge splash in the compact sedan market when it goes on sale.”
Whilst some may call the new Jetta’s styling conservative, we think that it’s a big departure from the current model – particularly in its coupe-like roofline. The rear end has more than a hint of Audi (even Skoda) in it – again, not a bad thing. Both the headlights and tailights appear more expensive than the previous model, with both ends incorporating LED technology. A range of alloy wheels is available up to 17-inches, and for the first time an R-Line design package is also available with sportier styling and sports seats on the inside.
The interior of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is also a big step forward from the current model. Using a dashboard layout that’s quite similar to the next generation of Polo (due for Australian release in March), the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta’s dashboard supposedly uses higher-quality materials and offers more available technology. The latest version of Volkswagen’s Active Info Display digital dials has been filtered down to the Jetta for the first time, as well as the larger 8.0-inch infotainment system – the same we get in the Volkswagen Golf range.
While the Jetta has been brought into modern times with its new styling, it finally sits on Volkswagen’s MQB platform, which is shared with most offerings in the small-to-mid size Volkswagen Group portfolio – the Volkswagen Golf, Tiguan, Passat, Audi A3, Audi TT, Skoda Superb, Skoda Octavia and even the larger Skoda Kodiaq sit on the scalable platform. This means that the Jetta should be much more dynamic to drive – the current model’s underpinnings date back to the Mk5 Volkswagen Golf of 2003.
For North American markets, the Jetta will initially be only available with one engine – the 110TSI 1.4-litre turbo petrol that’s used in the current model there, as well as the Golf and Tiguan here. In North American spec, it makes identical figures, though curiously it can be matched to an eight-speed torque converter automatic – if the Jetta is offered for sale here, we would really like to see this transmission offered.
Down the track, other Jetta models may be offered such as a sportier 1.8-litre turbo or even a hot GLI model with the same 2.0-litre turbo from the Golf GTI. As with the torque converter auto, we’d also like to see that offered in Australia.
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will go on sale in the first half of 2018 in North American markets. As yet, it’s unconfirmed if the new Jetta will be released in Australia, or if it will be made in right-hand drive at all – Volkswagen UK recently culled the model after slow sales. The Jetta sells in reasonable numbers in Australia and we’d be surprised if this next generation model were to only be made in left-hand drive, especially considering that it sits on the MQB platform that underpins most of the current Volkswagen range.
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for more news from the 2018 North American International Auto Show.
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