Currently reading: New Volkswagen Jetta introduces sharper look and eight-speed auto
Stylish saloon won’t be coming to Britain despite being one of the company’s best-selling models worldwide

Volkswagen has revealed its new Jetta at the Detroit motor show with a sharper design and new eight-speed automatic gearbox.

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 Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen 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.

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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.

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Mikey C 16 January 2018

The Jetta has previously been

The Jetta has previously been a budget car in the US, with torsion beam rear suspension, for example. I assume this is similar

VanDyke 15 January 2018

The next VW Octavia?

The declining sales in the UK are down to two things: the last model was an awkward-looking oddball which VW didn’t put any serious marketing budget into, and the reason for that was that an MQB platformed TSi-engined family car with an enormous boot was already available in Skoda dealers.

Conventionally-styled family cars don’t have a big following in a market awash with SUVs. The Octavia still does decent numbers for Skoda so that will remain the VW Group rep in that market.

Here’s hoping the Octavia gets something better than a dreary old torsion beam at the back next time.

 

Jeremy 15 January 2018

@Will86

Exactly. The gearbox is the most interesting aspect about this car from our point of view. Is it an 8-speed DSG or are VW reverting back to (mostly) preferred if less economical and more reliable TC autos?