By on May 8, 2017

[Image: Volkswagen/YouTube]

Lost amid the automaker’s newfound focus on bringing as many utility vehicles to global customers as possible, Volkswagen’s stalwart Jetta soldiers on without a diesel option, wearing more or less the same duds it donned for 2011. A mild — some would say unnoticeable — refresh came in 2016, but the Jetta’s U.S. sales have continued to slide at a remarkably steady rate ever since the current generation’s debut.

Naturally, Volkswagen wants to arrest the plunge. As part of its newly crafted product strategy, the automaker plans to find time for a new Jetta among all the crossovers.

In an annual meeting held May 5, Volkswagen brand CEO Herbert Diess outlined the company’s 2017 product schedule. Already the three-row Atlas is rolling off its Chattanooga assembly line, while the 2018 Tiguan (known as the Tiguan Allspace overseas) began production in March. The 2018 Jetta is listed for a December launch.

The next-generation Jetta promises a top-down revamp, with the compact moving to the company’s MQB modular architecture and adopting a more contemporary design. Engine offerings aren’t known, but the automaker has said it plans to cull a number of ICEs in the near future. Expect the 1.4-liter four-cylinder to remain as the Jetta’s frugal base powerplant. Industry journal Automotive News claims the 1.8-liter turbocharged four will likely disappear from the lineup.

While we haven’t seen spy shots or renderings of the next Jetta, seven months isn’t a long time in the life of a product. We should know more details by this summer.

Two products expected to bow in overseas markets this year will likely find their way across the Atlantic next year. VW hasn’t confirmed an arrival date for the T-Roc compact crossover or the larger next-generation Touraeg, though the U.S. remains a top market for the brand’s utility push. The luxurious CC replacement, the Arteon, will also arrive next year.

[Image: Volkswagen/YouTube]

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31 Comments on “Next-Generation Jetta to Launch in December: Volkswagen CEO...”


  • avatar
    caltemus

    I wonder if we’ll get a new north american-only jetta, or if they will consolidate it with the next international jetta. The price drop and focus on value worked at the beginning of the last generation to push units, and once they added back IRS they seemed to hit a sweet spot; until everyone that wanted one owned one.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      Great question.

      In the likes of the UK, the Jetta isn’t a huge seller – even compared to previous generations of the model.

      I could actually see the next Jetta being a US/China only model built in Mexico/China and possibly imported to some sedan loving countries such as Ireland and Eastern Europe. It makes no sense for a low selling model to have a seperate production line for Europe.

      The UK and western Europe, VW group have the small sedan / sedan-shape market covered with the Octavia (similar shape to the Jetta and uses MQB, but a practical big hatchback, recent controversial facelift), Rapid/Toledo (smaller than a Jetta, uses parts from the smaller Polo), A3 saloon or upsell to an EU Passat – especially if the Arteon is going to take top spec Passat sales.

  • avatar
    tallguy130

    They better have something besides the 1.4 under the hood if they want to be competitive. This segment is only getting better and that engine isn’t going to set anyone pants on fire. I hope they do something better with the interior too. I test drove a 2017 and it was a sea of cheep black plastic. Wanted to like it but that was just too much for me.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I’d much rather have the 1.8T, but I’d also bet money that the 1.4 is strong enough–especially at low-mid engine speeds–that most buyers will be plenty happy with it. Enthusiasts won’t, but that’s a small market share. An improved interior will likely be far more effective at impressing most buyers than a more powerful engine.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        Since the new Jetta will essentially be the current MK7 Golf with with a trunk, you already know what to expect. It will keep the Jetta competitive, but since the world has gone CUV crazy, don’t expect the new MQB Jetta to set any new sales records.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Tallguy –

      My brother’s 1.4 Jetta routinely returns 40mpg on the highway and is perfectly fine for most people around town. It’s a really good powerplant and reason enough for VW to ditch diesels here.

      The rest of the car interior and exterior design is completely “meh”, however.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        I saw a debadged 1.4t the other day, post refresh, burgundy, with a neuespeed sticker (I am not kidding) and likely stick driven by a middle aged man. When the speed limit went to 55 he dropped me fast before I could rec up my three liter BMW. Very sprightly sans drama.

        • 0 avatar
          quaquaqua

          Cute story, but no. The Jetta 1.4L turbo is no better than the Sonic’s 1.4L turbo. My friend with a Kia Soul getting some body work done just had one as a rental and hated how sluggish it was. And he has a frickin’ first-gen 2.0L Soul with the 4-speed auto. And 120k miles on it no less.

          • 0 avatar
            Middle-Aged Miata Man

            I had a Neuspeed Power Module on my ’15 GLI (2.0T/6MT) and it notably improved throttle response off the line. The only drawback was an occasional EPC light.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick_515

            Quaqua, I know what I saw – a Jetta that took me many seconds to catch. Perhaps it had the 1.8t instead of 1.4? Could be. It was NOT slow.

        • 0 avatar
          Juggar

          It could have easily been a Sport or SEL model as for 2016 + those were the ones with the 1.8t, which with a tune will be quite fast in the low and midrange. The 1.4t with a tune or piggyback is no slouch either.

          I have a 2015 Sport with the 1.8t and and APR 93 octane tune. and its good for 242 HP/293 ft/lbs.

          It will burn rubber going into 3rd easy, 55-100mph is very quick. Ive had mine to 141 MPH so far. the look on the guys face passing me in a 911 was priceless lol

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I miss the Jettas with the square-ish trunks. After the car got rounded, it no longer stuck out from the other sedans out there. The old one looked “European” and stood out. Now? Not as much.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Problem is that there is not ONE car in that on-screen list that even begins to appeal to me outside of some interesting colors; their lines and their looks are so generic that for all I know I’m looking at a fleet of BMWs or Mercs instead of Volkswagens.

    Cars need identity and quite honestly most brands simply don’t have that any more.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “for all I know I’m looking at a fleet of BMWs or Mercs instead of Volkswagens.”

      An economy car could do far worse in the public eye than resembling an entry level German luxury cars. I find the traditional lines and proportions of the Jetta very appealing.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Sales of the current model may be declining, but selling 70% of first year volume 7 model years in doesn’t seem too shabby. I see a fair number of new ones here, they stick out well because of the revised front LED running lights that look pretty sharp.

    I hope the new Jetta gets the Golf’s interior quality without a price bump, the current model was a large step down from the plush MkV without an accompanying price decrease. Unfortunate about the 1.8; the 1.4 looks plenty adequate but the 1.8 adds a significant dollop of performance. VW already removed the 1.8 from the SE, so now you’re paying former 1.8 prices for the 1.4 on that popular midrange trim and that’s a step backwards. I would also think they need to get their GLI pricing inline with the GTI; they want $2500 more for it than the GTI and the advertised $6000 off MSRP of GLIs at my regional dealer shows how well that’s working.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Yeah, Volkswagen tried to zig when the rest of the market zagged with the current Jetta. The fact that they scrambled as fast as they did to remedy the major complaints demonstrates just how wrong they got this one.

      From a pricing, packaging and styling standpoint the MK4 is still the benchmark (let’s forget that whole abysmal quality thing, for a moment….).

      Expect the new Jetta to be an MQB Golf with a trunk – as someone else said, Google “NMC Concept” and I would put good money on the production car looking almost identical to that both inside and out.

      I also suspect that we’ll have two drivetrains: 1.4TFSI and 2.0TFSI in a GLI model with an electric variant and/or hybrid 1.4/electric a sure bet thanks to Dieselgate.

      With MQB vastly more cost effective, I suspect that content will go up without prices following. GLI pricing should also come back into line.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        Yeah, they got the current Jetta so “wrong” it blew away the pre-2011 model in sales.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          I’m genuinely curious as to why it did sell so well. Compared to the 2006-2010 model before it, VW did the following with the 2011+:
          -Decontented and cheapened the interior in a savage way
          -Charged more for the car for similar equipment levels
          -Undercut the 2010 prices only by bringing back the 2.slow in a stripped out base trim
          -Added a bigger backseat
          -Gave more marketing attention for the 2011?

          The 2011 was a complete ripoff compared to the 2010. I’m guessing it sold well because most customers never got the chance to compare them back-to-back to realize this. They added some equipment back in subsequent years and put in modern powertrains, but even now it still feels like a cheaper car than the 2010.

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            30-mile: I think it did well because of two things: building it to a specific price point and heavily subsidized leases.

            My brother picked up a 2017 “S” model for a whopping $169/month on lease. He’s very happy with it, even though I find it to be completely spartan and generic. He’s not a car guy – so, there’s that.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I can understand the base S models moving on price. I’ve see a lot of them in my area ever since they debuted.

            My issue is that the 2011 cost more than the 2010 when similarly equipped. The MSRP of a 2010 2.5S manual was ~$18,500. Heated seats, heated mirrors, power equipment, power seatbacks, rear air vents, a tilt and telescopic armrest, and some genuinely nice interior materials. A 2011 equipped to that level was more expensive and still had the infamous cheapo interior. A shopper who didn’t experience the fat car would have been fine with the new one, but for someone like me who owned one it was no bueno.

            I wonder if it was a financial necessity for VW; that MkV 2.5S was a killer deal and I wonder how much profit VW could have turned from it.

        • 0 avatar
          hreardon

          Fair point, Whatnext. What Volkswagen did was to build the current Jetta to match a specific price point – and that seemed to work.

          Nobody was thrilled about it, but the pricing strategy did seem to do the job. The current Jetta was the ‘tweener model, introduced before the MQB kit was available, as such, the economies had to come from somewhere and the interior quality was the biggest loser.

          Moving to MQB, the Jetta will likely retain its pricing but gain all of the goodies we have in the Golf.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The GLI’s more expensive because it comes loaded (nav / pleather seats / pushbutton start / sunroof, etc).

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Sure, but up until a few years ago there was a nicely equipped base trim that undercut the GTI’s price by about a grand. I’d rather have the three thousand dollars than the superfluous stuff atop an aging platform.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    The new Jetta will be based on the MQB, not the old platform, which is a step in the right direction. See the 2014 New Midsize Coupe concept for hint at what the new car will likely look like, IMO.

  • avatar

    I’m putting it out there that the whole ‘decontented’ ‘numb driving’ nonsense means absolutely nothing to the average low-end Jetta owner.

    Give me all the off-lease 30k-mile Jetta SE w/Convenience or Connectivity Pkgs – 16″ alloys, sunroofs, NAVless touchscreens, Bluetooth, cruise, keyless entry, Cornsilk Beige V-Tex, and any color except Reflex Silver or that stupid White Gold crap, and I’ll sell move ’em like no tomorrow.

    For $9500-10900, you won’t get anything close in a Civic/Corolla/Sentra.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Actually, speaking as a base Jetta owner, I can tell you the reason I bought it was that it does NOT “drive numb.”

      Folks who want a numb car buy Corollas – lots of ’em.

  • avatar
    Menloguy

    I hope the new Jetta retains the good outward visibility and large windows of the current model. I also wish that the base model still retains a mechanical parking brake lever (not electrically actuated), uses a key for the ignition (not push button), has buttons and knobs for audio controls (no touch screen), has a proper shifter for automatics (not a knob or push buttons), and has a spare tire.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The 1.4 is OK, but the 1.8 is godly. It’s the difference between mashed potatoes out of a box vs mashed potatoes from scratch, with butter and milk and sour cream.

    Hopefully the next Jetta injects some excitement back into VW’s design; they’re going a little too gung ho with the staid straight lines.

  • avatar
    SteveMar

    We bought a 2016 SEL with the 1.8 turbo. Discounts were big and the interior quality is much improved in this version. The biggest plus was the 1.8 engine though – it revs nicely and pulls strongly with good low end power. It also doesn’t run out of breath at the upper end, compared to the 1.4.

    More recent Jettas really are vastly improved over the ones at the start of this model run. We didn’t like the go cart styling of competing models and really preferred the handling and drive solidity of the current car. Combine that with some of the best outward views and you actually have a pretty competitive car. I think VW still deals with diesel scandal blow back, but I think folks overlook other models that are both fuel efficient and get the job done.


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