The model, which will not be offered in Britain for the first time in more than thirty years following low sales for its predecessor, slots beneath the Passat in the brand’s US-line up. It has grown in length by 43mm and width by 35mm to offer improved cabin space.
The car gets reduced overhangs, which are now 10mm and 18mm shorter at the front and rear respectively. Much of its exterior design is reminiscent of the Passat and Golf, while inside, the dashboard is near identical.
The Jetta comes available with Volkswagen’s latest MIB instrument cluster, a 10.2in Active Info Display, as well as its dashboard-mounted touchscreen infotainment system. The technology is smartphone connectable, featuring Mirrorlink, Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Power comes from a 1.4-litre TSI engine that produces 148bhp and 184lb ft of torque. Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox or new, eight-speed automatic. This gearbox is not offered in Britain – the most cogs available from Volkswagen here are seven. An insider said that currently, there are no plans to change that.
Volkswagen has chosen to keep the latest Jetta out of Britain because the model’s forebears had experienced declining sales. Just 379 units of the previous Jetta were sold here between January and October of last year, the latter of which being when the model was removed from the line-up. That compared to 5398 Passats and 52,722 Golfs in the same time period.
Despite its decline in Britain, the Jetta, which was previously called the Bora here, is one of Volkswagen best-selling models globally, with around 17.5 million units having been produced since its introduction in 1979.