Volkswagen has revealed this European-spec version of its new Jetta saloon in Germany.

The cosmetic differences over the US version of the car, launched earlier this year, are described by VW as “subtle”. But the real changes are underneath, where European models get their own distinct engine line-up and a more sophisticated suspension system.

See the official pics of the new VW Jetta for Europe

While US Jettas make do with a simple torsion beam rear suspension set-up, European buyers get a four-link system similar to one seen in the Golf. The system differs from the one used in the outgoing Jetta too, with the car now sporting a wider rear rack and revised springs and dampers.

European buyers can choose from a range of VW’s TSI and TDI engines. Petrol units include 104bhp 1.2 TSI and 120bhp 1.4 TSI options, while the diesels are a 104bhp 1.6 TDI and a 2.0 TDI with either 138bhp or 168bhp. A range of manual and DSG gearboxes are also on offer.

Other changes to the European model include the adoption of an electro-mechanical steering system as standard.

Read Autocar's first drive of the new VW Jetta

While the Passat-inspired exterior changes are limited, inside European buyers will get higher-quality materials and trims. Three trim levels will be offered in the UK: S, SE and Sport. Standard kit will include six airbags and ESP.

The best-selling model in the UK is expected to be the entry-level diesel engine in S trim, accounting for more than a quarter of the Jetta’s projected annual sales of 3800 units from 2012.

This model will also wear the firm’s Bluemotion Technology eco badge, meaning it will include stop-start and an energy recuperation system as standard. Economy for this model will be 68mpg, while CO2 emissions are rated at 109g/km. The cleanest petrol model will be the entry-level 1.2 TSI with 53.2mpg and 123g/km of CO2.

The new Jetta will be built at VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico, also the production base for the firm’s next Beetle. UK sales will start in 2011’s first quarter and prices are expected to start from around £17,000, similar to those of today’s car.

See all the latest Volkswagen Jetta reviews, news and video