Latest US Jetta is almost as big as European Passat

Latest US Jetta is almost as big as European Passat

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Volkswagen's redesigned Jetta, unveiled in Detroit, won't be sold in Europe, unlike its predecessors, according to the parent company.

"The new Jetta was systematically designed to meet the needs of customers in overseas markets; there are no plans for a European version. A sibling model will be offered later in China as the Sagitar," a German press statement said.

Since introduction as a 'Golf with a boot'  in 1979, Jetta sales have passed 17m worldwide with the 1998 Mark IV model most popular (4.6m): over 3.2m of six generations have been sold in the US. The model has always been called the Jetta there but Vento, Bora (Europe mainly) and Sagitar (China) have been used in other markets.

The seventh generation is, like the Golf, based on the MQB platform.

"The Jetta has long been Volkswagen's best-selling vehicle in the United States," said VW North American region CEO Hinrich Woebcken. "We expect this new car will continue to resonate with buyers in the compact sedan class."

The cars is on a longer wheelbase - 105.7 inches versus 104.4 - with shorter overhangs, and is longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model. Interior space is increased. It is now almost the same size as the European version of the Passat.

LED lighting is now standard along with more chrome trim.

Interior features include optional 10-colour customisable wrap-around ambient lighting, optional heated and ventilated front seats, power driver's seat with memory, leather seating surfaces, and dual-zone automatic climate control. A new centre storage console is five litres - large enough to fit a standard iPad.

Every version has standard Driver Personalisation with up to four settings. Dependent on trim, customisable features include driver seat memory, driver assistance system preferences, temperature, Digital Cockpit arrangement (if equipped), ambient lighting colour, radio presets and navigation view.

SEL and SEL Premium versions have Digital Cockpit display as standard offering a reconfigurable display of key data and the ability to position navigation data front and centre for easy viewing. The optional Car-Net system provides connected vehicle services, including standard App-Connect technology that offers compatible smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. The new Jetta is the first US Volkswagen to offer an optional 400-watt BeatsAudio system.

Driver assistance technology includes a rearview camera as standard and options such as Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), upgraded for use in stop and go traffic; High Beam Control (Light Assist); and Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist).

Passive and active safety systems include claimed class exclusive Automatic Post-Collision Braking.

The latest Jetta will continue to be powered by the petrol 1.4 litre turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine with 147hp and 184lb/ft of torque with either a new standard six speed manual transmission or an eight speed automatic optional on the base model and standard on higher trims. Automatic transmission models also come with Start/Stop.

The model offers S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium trim levels and launches in the first quarter in Mexico (where it is built in Puebla) and the second quarter in the US. An R-Line trim with sportier styling, exclusive interior and exterior design elements, R-Line badging, and the XDS electronic differential will also be available.