Volkswagen has updated all of cars in its US lineup except for the Passat, which continues to be offered with the same outdated styling and platform since 2011.
Now, consumers can opt for the bigger and more modern in many ways Jetta, which unlike its North American Passat sibling, rides on the VW Group's lauded MQB architecture that underpins a boat load of models, including several Audis.
Presented in front of the international media at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Jetta has a larger footprint riding on a 105.7 inch wheelbase (vs 104.4 before), more attractive styling on the outside, and a modern cabin that offers pretty much everything one would want from a car in this class, including a digital display instead of the analogue dials on better-equipped models.
Motivation comes from the same 1.4-liter four-banger of its predecessor, which continues to develop 148hp (150PS) and 184lb-ft (249Nm) of torque, married to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Those who would rather have an automatic will be glad to know that a new and more efficient 8-speed unit replaces the old 6-speed DSG.
By sharing its platform with the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3, and TT models, the new Jetta has the potential to offer some excitement on the road with the right (powerful) engine and chassis tune, though we'll have to wait for a higher performance model.
For now, US consumers should know that the order books for the new Jetta will open this spring. Prices will start from $18,545 without the destination charge, which makes it $100 more affordable than its predecessor, and $4,450 more economic than the slightly larger Passat.