VW bets on new Jetta to revive its share of flagging saloon market in US

Dec 13, 2017   Vehicle Launch

Volkswagen is hoping that there enough life left in the compact saloon segment in the US to attract new customers to the redesigned 2019 Jetta.

The Jetta is VW's best-selling model in the US but the German OEM's ventures into crossovers and SUVs have left it looking rather marooned. The new saloon boasts improved driving dynamics, more technology and a more fuel-efficient petrol-only powertrain, riding on the brand's global MQB platform.

The redesigned Jetta, which will go on sale in the US in mid-2018, will continue to be equipped with the brand's 150-hp 1.4-litre turbocharged I-4 engine, but it will now be backed with a choice of an eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.

Volkswagen's platform strategy — which uses the same flexible baseplate for US vehicles ranging from the Golf hatchback to the three-row Atlas crossover, allows it to more rapidly amortise development costs, making it possible to put luxury-level safety equipment into commodity-like segments such as compact sedans, said Matthias Erb, chief engineering officer and head of product strategy for Volkswagen's North American region.

Qualifying this reasoning, the 2019 Jetta will get post-collision braking standard, with optional blind spot monitoring, rear parking assist and adaptive cruise control, all possible due to expected volumes and consequent economies of scale.

The saloon will come with standard LED front and rear exterior lighting, and an updated cockpit which will largely mirror the current design of the European 2018 Golf, with an optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible infotainment system.

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